When preparing your home for sale, be sure not to overlook your basement as an area that may need some attention. Basements can be cold, dark, damp and uncomfortable spaces when touring a home. If your basement is finished, don’t overlook that unfinished laundry area or holiday decorations storage area. Chances are high that a buyer will want to have a home inspection and basements are a No. 1 concern.
Basements often have little to no natural lighting. When touring a home, it is important to make sure your basement lights are on a switch or a pull chain that can be easily accessed by Realtors. More importantly, make sure there is a working bulb in the socket.
Buyers may feel you are trying to hide something if the basement is dark and lights are not accessible. Don’t forget about those crawl space lights. No matter if it’s a dirt or concrete floor crawl space, buyers and home inspectors want to see it.
REDUCE THE CLUTTER
A clean and organized basement can set your property apart from others. Organization not only allows a better flow within the area, but also shows the space is well maintained. If you have furnishings that block off or reduce walkways, try rearranging the room to open the area up and give it a larger feel. You may think about renting a storage unit to put in less-used items while your home is for sale. You don’t want to give buyers the idea that your home offers little or no storage space.
REPAIR ANY LOOSE STAIRS OR RAILINGS
Ensure the safety of prospective buyers while touring your home by making sure your handrails and stair treads are secure. Stairs that are loose or worn down should be repaired or replaced. If the finish is worn, paint or stain the stairs and handrailings. If your stairs have carpeting, make sure it is secure to help avoid any tripping hazards.
Has it been a long time since your basement walls have been painted? Though it is true sometimes buyers feel a freshly painted basement is a way for a seller to hide any problem areas, a basement that is clean and fresh can help sell your home. If you have any moisture issues, make sure to correct them prior to painting and document everything so you can disclose the information to prospective buyers. Choose a brighter paint color for the basement as this can improve the overall appearance, transforming it from a dark, gloomy and depressing area to a more enjoyable space.
Do you know the install dates or last service dates for your mechanical systems? Buyers like to know the age of the furnace, hot water heater and other mechanical systems. Keeping records of installation and service dates is a great idea. If you are not sure the last time you had the mechanical systems of your home serviced, it is recommended to have that done before putting your home on the market.
If you are unsure if your basement needs improved before selling, ask your Realtor what he /she recommends. They can provide suggestions to help maximize the value of your home and in many cases can recommend service providers to help.