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updated: 7/30/2011 7:43 AM

Maximize your garage as a selling point for your home

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When selling your home, your garage can be an attractive part of the overall package you offer buyers. Too often, however, the space is not marketed to its fullest potential. As kitchen, laundry and mudrooms become the new activity centers, homebuyers making their list of "must haves" are searching for more space for storage and hobbies. Now is the time to add a bit of sparkle to that garage.

"While the garage usually is not a deal-breaking element in a home-buying decision, it can be a tipping point for the buyer who is vacillating between a few different homes," said Jim McEneaney, senior regional vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. "When organized correctly, the garage can add to your home's 'wow' factor."

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• Gloss over the gritty. Certain household chemicals, while necessary for maintenance, are better left concealed while showing your home. Bleach, paint stripper, etc., should be stored away. Tuck them in a cabinet or storage box.

• Steer clear of clutter. Do not let the garage become your dumping ground. Take advantage of the many attractive and functional storage options available to you, and solicit your Realtor's feedback on the aesthetics of each. Additionally, storage shelves should be hung against the corner walls of the garage, and shelving units should not exceed three to four in number. Also, arranging items according to category will create a neat, orderly portrait for even the pickiest buyers.

• Take it to the floor. Some buyers don't like a badly stained garage floor. Tackle this problem with a thorough cleaning, do-it-yourself epoxy coating, or garage floor tiles that snap together to form a grid.

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