Not all homes have a basement, but a house with a basement has the advantage of additional storage and entertaining space. The basement can house a guest room for visiting relatives, entertainment center or home theatre. While yet others may utilize the space for a wine cellar or to showcase collections and crafts.
Of course, it is also true that in so many homes the basement is simply where old furniture and fixtures are dumped in order to make way for new ones in the other areas of the house. Basements are often used to keep old clothes and shoes, and over time can be so neglected that the occupants rarely ever venture down there because of the dust, cobwebs, and clutter.
If you are putting your home up for sale and staging your home, the basement is not an area of the house you can overlook! Potential buyers are sure to take a look at the basement, and if they see nothing but junk and clutter, it can have a negative effect on their overall assessment of the property. If staged properly, on the other hand, a functional and pleasant-looking basement will blend into the totality of the house and make your property a lot more marketable.
Where to start
Start with a general clean-up of your basement. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to cleanliness; start with the door and stairs leading to the basement, and move on down to the entire basement. Depending on how much non-maintenance your basement has endured over a period of time, this can take a whole day or even a week, but the results will be worth it.
During the clean-up, get rid of things and furniture items that you no longer need. Furniture and other items that are still in good shape but have outgrown their use for you can be sold at a garage sale, and you can use the money for further basement staging projects. Or, you can opt to donate to a local charity; many charitable organizations take old furniture, restore them to a good condition, and then are able to use them again.
Get a theme going
Depending on the size and layout of your basement, you can showcase its strongest points and highlight how the next owners can maximize the space. Is it big enough for a pool table, a family den, or a home gym? If it is already being used by your family for recreation or entertainment, simply highlighting the potential would be enough to communicate to the potential buyer that it is an essential part of the rest of the house, and not just an unused area.
One thing most basements lack is natural lighting, so invest in contemporary, energy-efficient layers of lighting that can transform the basement into a warm, welcoming space. As much as possible, the flooring should also be in line with what the rest of the house has. For instance, if your living room is carpeted, area rugs for the basement add continuity while also providing warmth and insulation to the cold basement floor.
Touch-ups go a long way
Flowers and plants make your basement look more liveable and less “imposing”. Other little updates such as the right window treatments will make clients want to stay in the basement longer. Most likely, the basement does not have a view; if the only view outside the window is half of the street above or the pavement, add drapes or blinds that make the basement more homey. In addition, a few pieces of sculpture or art work add a dash of sophistication and luxury to the basement, so consider these decors as well.