Unfinished basements lack a certain glamour. When staging your home to sell, making your unfinished basement look appealing to buyers can be a challenge.
You may not achieve the level of refinement in your basement that you can reach in other parts of your home, but with basic cleaning and organizing, you can present your unfinished basement as serviceable, functional and useful.
Make Necessary Repairs
Many 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 signal warning bells to buyers. 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.
Let in Light
Basements tend to be unpleasantly dark. To let in a little light, rake out your 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.
Pick Up Clutter
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.
Add Small Touches of Home
Many unfinished basements lack the warmth and sweetness of 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 cheerful new shelf liner. 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 and even add to the positive perception of your home as they view it.