• Melanie Evans

How - and Why - To Stage Your Unfinished Basement in Your Waterloo Region Home for Sale



Your basement represents a lot of livable square footage in your home. Lots of buyers are looking for spaces they can live and work in, and the more space, the better. Which is why the idea of a home with a basement can be of articular interest to them. After all, there are a lot of things that can be done with basement space to extend a home's functionality and the owner's enjoyment of it.


Unfinished basements lack a certain glamour. When staging your Waterloo Region home to sell, making your unfinished basement look appealing to buyers can be a challenge. But finishing a basement is a long and sometimes rather expensive project, and it is not one that anyone planning to sell their home soon wants to undertake.


However, you really don't need to. You may not achieve the level of refinement in your basement that you can reach in other parts of your home through home staging, but with some basic cleaning and organizing, you can present your unfinished basement as serviceable, functional, useful and appealing to a wide range of Waterloo Region home buyers.


With all of this in mind, here are some tips for staging an unfinished basement in your Waterloo Region home for sale.


Make Necessary Repairs


Many unfinished basements will face problems with moisture and flooding at one point or another. If your basement has had these problems in the past, there may be parts of your basement that require repairs.


Even if your basement is now dry and the moisture is under control, problems like cracks, mildew stains and water stained wood will trigger warning bells in buyer's minds. Have all walls, ceilings and floors repaired before your home goes on the market.


Scrub, Scrub, Scrub


Sweep the floors and wipe away spider webs off the walls, then give your basement a good once over with a strong cleaning solution of water mixed with bleach. You may need to move boxes and pieces of furniture to get the floor fully cleaned, but it will be worth the extra effort to do so. A clean, welcoming unfinished basement space is far more impressive than a dark, dank space that just not smell good...


Let in More Light


Basements tend to be unpleasantly dark in their 'natural' state. To let in a more light, clean out your basement window wells and wash down your basement windows. If you’ve hung curtains in the windows, take them down. Remove any obstructions in front of window wells to allow as much natural light into your basement as possible.


You should also make sure that all the light fixtures in the basement work and have working, higher wattage bulbs. If there are not very many lights, install some simple stick up lights to illuminate any creepy dark corners.


Do Some Decluttering


Clutter is the bane of unfinished basements. No matter how clean your basement is, no matter how much light you let in, your basement will appear dark and messy if it is drowning in clutter. It’s alright to use your basement as a storage room—many people do--but it should be organized and tidy.


The easiest solution is to pack all of your clutter into matching plastic bins. For a more sophisticated organizational system, purchase sturdy shelves or a modular storage unit. Put away anything that has been left out that has no logical storage location.


Better still, start the moving organization process early and undertake a real decluttering session, one that includes purging all the items you rarely - if ever - use and either donating them or throwing them away. The less you have to move once your home is sold that you don't need to, the better, and who wants to take useless clutter to a new home anyway?


Decluttering will also help buyers see the potential your unfinished basement offers. While you may have never given much thought to adding a home office down there, or converting some of your unfinished basement space into an extra bedroom or children's playroom, a lot of buyers will, and if the space is clean, uncluttered and easy to view than imagining those things will be far easier for them to do.


Add Small Decor Touches


Many - or even most - unfinished basements lack the warmth and charm of the rest of your home. You can fix this problem by adding subtle decorations in the parts of the basement that get the most use.


For example, place an inexpensive mat or rug on the floor in front of your washer and dryer to make the space more cozy. On the shelves where you store your laundry detergent, lay down attractive new shelf liners. If you have a couch or chair elsewhere in your home to spare, you could even set up a simple sitting room in the center of the space.


Making your basement seem like a cozier, more friendly place will help endear your home to buyers.


While the basement typically isn't the main focus of a house, following these guidelines can help you avoid turning off potential buyers with a glimpse of scary looking basement and even add to the positive perception of your home as they view it.

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