When preparing your home to sell, remember your basement! Repair issues, such as cracks, water damage or mold, could hinder the sale. Also, staging your unfinished or finished basement could add perceived living space, making your home seem larger!
As with any room in your home, apply the basics of home staging to preparing your basement: declutter, clean, brighten and make minor repairs (cracks/leaks).
Declutter. Though basements are commonly used for storage, you will want to free up as much space as possible to increase the visible square footage. Remove anything that isn’t essential and put it in a storage facility or get rid of it. If you must keep some items stored in the basement, then try to reduce the number of boxes by consolidating contents into fewer, larger boxes. This is also a good time to remove hazards and junk, such as solvents and lumber scraps.
Cleaning Your Basement. Clean the stairs to the basement. Sweep the floor and wipe down the furnace, hot water heater and any other appliances using a damp cloth. To reduce odors, try leaving the windows open for a day. A dehumidifier can also get rid of extra moisture and musty odors. Be sure to remove any unsightly critter or pest traps when buyers come to view your home. If the basement floor is concrete, then consider painting it gray to create a clean look.
Brighten Your Basement. Make sure you use the highest wattage bulbs allowed for the light fixtures. Add lamps if the basement still appears dark. You can also brighten the space by painting the walls white, especially if the basement in unfinished. If you have paneled walls, then sand and paint them.
Make Minor Repairs. Check for and repair any cracks, water leaks, or mold. Make sure the stairs and handrail to the basement are sturdy.
Setting the Stage. Whether your basement is finished or unfinished you can delineate areas based on where different activities occur. For example, you could set up a kids play area, a sitting area, a hobby area and/or a workshop. Staging your basement can give buyers the perception of extra living space.
And in Closing. If you plan to refinish your basement , it’s a good idea to check with your Town or Municipality about a building permit. You may need it when it’s time to sell.