4 Reasons Not to Overlook the Basement When Staging a Home for Sale

Posted On Monday, 28 December 2020 20:46

There are a lot of things to consider when staging a home, and one of the reasons why home staging has become such a big business is the simple fact that how a home appears during a walk-through has a big impact on prospective buyers. 

Creating a space that draws attention to the home’s most appealing features generates excitement and helps them imagine themselves living in the space, which is the first step toward closing the sale. 

But while the main living area, the kitchen, and the bathrooms will probably receive the most attention when preparing the home for walk-throughs, here are four reasons why a well-staged basement can make or break the deal.

1. Basements are a Key Extension of the Living Space

If you’re staging a home in the heavily developed downtown area of a large city, one of the biggest concerns is going to be square footage. Homes in the urban core of cities from Texas to Toronto have been rising steadily over the past decade, and even a modestly-sized house can command prices in the millions of dollars if they are close to transit and other amenities. 

A finished basement in this kind of house adds an extra floor of living space, making it a compelling choice for young families or professionals who work from home. Staging these extra rooms to be as appealing as possible — and playing up all the potential uses for this space, for example, as a home office — will make the house as a whole more attractive to buyers. 

2. Basements are a Common Problem Area

A finished basement can impart lasting value to a home by expanding the number of bedrooms and bathrooms or by providing extra features like a home office, games room, or lounge. 

But a basement is more than just a place to hang out: it’s also a functional part of the building as a whole. If there are cracks in the foundation or there is a sump pump with insufficient capacity, it can become a major problem area due to:

• Flooding
• Moisture damage
• Mold

Most people don’t want to buy a fixer upper. If they feel like they’re going to inherit a whole host of problems the moment that they move in, they won’t put down a bid. 

If you’re staging a home, you’ll want to make sure the basement is waterproofed properly so it doesn’t become a liability for future buyers (you can click here to learn more about Toronto basement waterproofing and the steps you need to take to ensure the foundation is in good order). 

The good news is that a basement that has been properly waterproofed is a huge asset, and can make all the difference when it comes to closing a sale. 

3. Prospective Buyers May Be Looking to Rent Out the Basement

In many cases, people looking to purchase a multiple-storey home may have an interest in capitalizing on that extra space by renting it out for a profit. 

Staging basement rooms in such a way as to enhance their independence from the rest of the house can be a smart way to attract buyers who see the home as being a potential investment in future income. 

For example, if there is a separate entrance to the basement, use landscaping, plants, and flowers to improve the homey and welcoming feel. Not every potential buyer will be planning on renting part of the building out, but there is no downside to making the basement seem like its own cozy little world.  

4. The Basement Could Contain the Home’s Most Desirable Features

What are the most important features in a house for potential buyers? A big bathtub? A spacious and well-lit kitchen? Bedrooms that get lots of natural light?

These are all important features to have, and most buyers will be charmed by attractive living spaces that feel light and roomy. But according to many realtors, the features at the top of the list are a little more mundane. 

According to Kiplinger.com, the feature 91% of potential buyers say they want to see in a home is a separate laundry room. In many ways, this makes a lot of sense: every house will have certain basic amenities, but you’ll feel the lack of a laundry room pretty quickly. 

Staging a basement to include a laundry room and extra storage space (like a walk-in pantry, for example) will automatically check things off of most potential buyer’s lists, making the home more appealing from the start. 

One of the reasons the basement shouldn’t be an afterthought when staging a home is that basements vary a great deal, even between homes built during roughly the same period. A finished basement with good access to light and a practical layout can make a house stand out from the rest in a way few other features do, which is why it’s worth putting the time in to make sure it looks its best.

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.