Could a garage be the key to your home sale?

by Housesimple on 6th June 2018

When you’re preparing your property for the market, it’s easy to overlook the garage. But that would be a mistake. Convenient and safe off-street parking makes a home even more appealing to buyers. Even garages that are unused or full to the brim with boxes have plenty of potential.

Off-street, on the money

Off-street parking nearly always adds value: in fact, property website Zoopla found that ‘garage’ was one of the most popular search terms in high-demand areas like Edinburgh and Croydon. So bear this in mind before you decide whether to keep or ditch your garage.

If you don’t have off-street parking, you can apply to your local council for permission to drop the kerb. That allows you to safely drive onto a paved front garden, adding a valuable parking space.

You can build a garage too, if you have the space. Whether or not it’s worth the cost will depend on how much it improves your valuation. Prices start at around £18,000, so in some areas, a simple ‘carport’ is a better option.

Clear out the clutter

If your garage is packed with boxes, you’re missing a chance to appeal to buyers. Having a proper clear out is likely to attract house hunters looking for a car-friendly home. Not only can you earn a few pounds by selling old electronics or unwanted children’s toys, but this way you won’t put off the 16% of buyers who hate clutter.

The case for conversion

About 3.9m homes in Britain no longer use their garage as an extra outbuilding and have instead converted it into additional living space. As a rule of thumb, a 10% increase in floor space adds about 5% to a home’s value. You can expect to pay £1,000 to £1,250 per square metre for a decent garage conversion, so do the maths before pressing ahead.

Making space

Alternatively, you can have the best of both worlds by building an extension on top of your garage. That way you keep the covered parking and storage, while adding to your living space. Nationwide says that an extension can add as much as 22% to your sale price.

Even if you’re looking for a quick house sale and don’t fancy investing the time and money on construction, there is a Plan B.

Just getting the right planning permission could be enough to attract buyers . It gives purchasers the opportunity to unlock the property’s full potential – and that can give the sale price a boost.