Staging Your Basement

Staging your basement can seem like a challenge, but your goals are the same as for the rest of the house. When staging your basement, you want to highlight its best features and get potential buyers to imagine themselves enjoying the space.

Staging Your Basement When It Is Unfinished

A fresh start. No matter whether your basement is finished or unfinished, you’ll want to begin staging your basement with a deep cleaning. Floors, walls and baseboards should be cleaned. All furniture should be dusted and have any stains removed. Appliances and mechanical equipment like furnaces and water heaters should be cleaned to give them the appearance of being well maintained.

Thinning the herd. The most popular use for an unfinished basement is storage. If your basement looks like it’s auditioning for the graveyard of the Atlantic, try and get rid of as much clutter as you can. Donate, sell or throw out anything you haven’t used in the last 18 months. Removing as much clutter as you can will make your basement appear larger.

Get organized. Once you’ve removed as many items as you can, try to consolidate the remainder into as small a space as possible. If you have several small boxes, consider replacing them with a few large storage boxes. Move the rest of your stored items into a single corner of the space to open up as much of the area as possible.

That finished look. Even if you never spend a moment in your basement, it is important to remind prospective buyers of the room’s potential. Take the time to paint the walls with a bright white paint and think about painting concrete floors as well. Set up a seating area near the brightest light source even if it’s only two chairs and a small table. Cover exposed concrete or mechanical areas with portable screens for the duration of your home sale experience.

Staging Your Finished Basement

Belly up to the bar. If your basement has a bar, remove all of the liquor bottles you may have and only display a bottle of wine or two. You want the bar to look sophisticated, not like a dive or college “kegger”. For the same reason, take down the neon beer lights and sports posters and replace them with an abstract print or two.

Family entertainment. When staging your basement, be sure to leave out a board game or half finished jigsaw puzzle neatly arranged on a table. These items will remind buyers that your basement is the perfect place for family-style entertainment.

The lights are on. By nature, basements tend to be dark spaces. While you’re staging your basement, be sure to include plenty of light. Open any window coverings to allow as much natural light into the basement as possible. Make sure existing fixtures have the brightest bulbs installed they can safely handle. Consider supplementing existing lighting with extra floor or table lamps.

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