Suit Yourself™ International Magazine #75 How To Sell A House 10: Basement ~ Garage ~ Laundry



Suit Yourself™ International Magazine #75





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 I hope this is enjoyable and useful to you!

Debra Spencer



This issue continues the series of articles to help you sell your house for the best price in the least amount of time. Yes, I know, there are a lot of "sell your house" books and articles out there, but none quite like this. Really.

Many people feel overwhelmed when they first decide to sell a home.  In these issues, I introduce the basic selling concepts organized into a reasonable system,
so you can ready each part of your home without feeling overwhelmed by the task. 

Recall the the key points from the introduction to this series:
Minimize Clutter 
and then, Open House!

Remember: think like a buyer and have a critical eye.

Thanks for reading and I hope this series is helpful to you!


Some parts of your home will be more challenging  than others; which parts are challenging will depend on the type of dwelling you have, and how you've used it. Homes with unusual configurations, or in challenging locations, or selling out of season, need extra attention to detail to compete.

This is why I provide each part of your home with a specialized checklist for it, and each checklist applies these same five important points to package each part of your house for sale. 

Even if you can't get to every detail, the checklists will help you to keep the basics in mind and to stay organized. When you're ready to begin work, print out and use each of the checklists, adding your own "To Do" lists to each one.  

If you can remember only one "take-away" rule from this entire series, it's REDUCE CLUTTER. One person's "Pride And Joy" is just clutter to someone else. There is no accounting for taste. Clutter blocks people from visualizing themselves living in your home. Think "hotel room" and "theatre", and pack and store away all non- essentials and anything personal. Your buyers are considering buying your home from the front row of an intimate theatre, not from the rear of the cinema or behind a Rock n'Roll concert crowd. Once your home is for sale, think of your home as a hotel where you're staying until the home sells; in your mind, you've already moved out. 

Remember, to compete successfully and sell, your house must stand out from the competition as memorable in some way other than price. No matter how fine the neighborhood, that cannot offset a dilapidated ill-kept dwelling in poor repair. At the same time, your home has to encourage buyers to picture themselves living within it. Advertising and publicity can't do this for you; they just announce your house is for sale. 


The laundry, basement, attic, and garage areas of a house are usually the first places to become cluttered.

With or without a growing family, entropy wins. 

Even when a house is cavernous, laundry rooms are used to store

all sorts of occasionally used handy things that are not "laundry".  

Just as laundry attracts lint,

laundry rooms attract fix-it-later projects.

Without some clutter control, they can become indoor tool sheds for every broken device, tool, and gym ball ever owned.

Attics and basements are synonymous

as far as expansion and storage space are concerned.

Both are often converted

into extended living spaces.

Both are usually reached via indoor stairs from inside the house,

rather than via a separate or adjoining entry as with a garage. 

Attics suffer from extremes in temperature, and require serious attention to insulation and climate control to manage the extremes.

Unfinished attics are best used for short term storage of seasonally used items, and never for chemicals or items sensitive to hot and cold.

Storing things in attics indefinitely, even dishes, will see them deteriorate quickly

unless they are carefully packed for such storage and there is some management of the extreme temperatures they are subjected to in this space.

Basements tend to flood, and engineering them so they don't is both costly and ambitious.

European basements are often used as root cellars or remodeled as temperature controlled wine cellars.  

Americans, however, prefer to hold informal gatherings in basements,

often remodeling them extensively

into a "bar".  

An American modified basement bar is often the most used, most elaborate, and most costly family zone in the house. 

Garages are frequently used to store objects

that are not cars, bikes, messy tools,

mowers, or guests,

including but not limited to noisy, smelly, and otherwise untoward activities

that nobody wants anywhere near the house.

Unfortunately, using garages "outside the box" depends on good weather.

Since most places have inclement weather at least 20% of the time, many house-disrupting activities are forced indoors, consigned to the basement or attic.

There is a wonderful basement "story" in the play "You Can't Take It with You" by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, later made into a 1938 Frank Capra film starring James Stewart.

The character Paul Sycamore is a tinkerer who manufactures fireworks in the basement with the help of his assistant Mr. De Pinna, an ice delivery man who came to deliver ice, and after eight years, has never left.

Of course, at a crucial moment in the plot, they leave their basement unattended, and at the most inopportune moment, their fireworks start exploding. BOOM! 

                        Basement ~ Garage ~ Laundry

Minimize Clutter:
Tool, shop, and laundry areas: straighten, box, and store.
Recreation room: straighten play areas and store extra toys.
Garage: store the lawn and garden tools and equipment.
Walls and ceiling: remove any cobwebs.
Floors: sweep and clean the grease spots and marks.
Windows: clean inside and out.
Pet areas: thoroughly clean and deodorize.
Store any chemicals and partly filled containers.
Empty all trash cans.

Repair what you can. Do not depend on using duct tape or electrical tape.
Appliances - be sure the furnace, water heater, etc. are in working order.jpg
Pipes and laundry connections: check and make repairs as needed.
Be sure garage doors, air conditioners, and other electrical and appliances are in good working order.

Walls and floors: consider spray painting walls in neutral colors.

Arrange laundry supplies to suggest ease of work.
Display an organized project in the work and hobby areas.


Thanks for reading and I hope this series is enjoyable and helpful to you!

Best Wishes,

Debra Spencer

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All Content is © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself™ International. Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part of in whole without express written consent. Thank you.



All Content is © Debra Spencer,Suit Yourself™ International.Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.



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