In order to sell your home and get the best price, there are all sorts of expert recommendations about small but significant tweaks you can make which will help attract buyers.

Most tips focus on things like tidying up living spaces, clearing out clutter from bedrooms, perhaps repainting tired-looking parts of the home to give them a new lease of life, and even doing minor maintenance to get your property into the best possible shape.

The attic is an interesting question in this context, and one which many people overlook. But is it worth dealing with this rarely-visited but often essential part of your home before you list it?

Space Sells

The unavoidable fact of the matter is that when people look for a home to buy, space is often at the top of the agenda. If you’ve got a usable attic, then even if it is just suitable for storage and nothing more, it could give your listing that extra edge it needs to get prospective buyers through the door for a viewing, and encourage them to make an offer.

Obviously an attic which has been deployed as a dumping ground to store your Christmas decorations, your kids toys that aren’t played with any more, your family heirlooms you can’t bring yourself to sell, and any other pieces of domestic detritus could feel like a dirty secret.

The smaller the property, the more important this space will be, so if you can find a way to clear out items from it, or at least organize them so that you can get a sense of how much room is available in the attic, this is for the better.

Making use of a storage unit to temporarily house the objects from your attic until you have accepted an offer could be sensible in this context.

Conversion Could Help

What if you aren’t storing that much stuff in your attic; could you justify increasing the asking price on your home if you converted it into a more liveable room?

This is definitely a potential route to take, but you need to balance the cost to finish an attic space against the amount it will add to the value of your property as a result.

There are lots of variables to keep in mind, and it is definitely sensible to talk to experts in both the construction and real estate industries to work out an accurate answer.

However, you can get a quick gauge on this by checking local listings for properties that are similar to yours in your area which have already undergone attic conversions, and seeing their asking prices right now.

Timing is another aspect. It will take a while for you to convert an attic, in addition to the inevitable costs. So unless you are willing to wait, this is not a quick fix for a fast sale.

Access Is Relevant

Another point to weigh up when thinking about your attic in relation to a property listing is how easily it can be accessed at the moment

If there is not an especially convenient way for anyone who views the property to get up into it, then they might not be able to in the first place.

Of course, you could go right ahead and request that viewings do not encompass the attic, but this could seem like a red flag to any prospective buyers. And when a home survey is carried out, it will be necessary to allow access to the attic anyway, so you need to at least ensure it is tidy enough for this purpose along with doors and windows.

Value Is Relative

A talking point that is often ignored when it comes to listing a home is that while you could sell it quicker if you make some improvements, sometimes it is not worth the time and money this requires.

In the case of the attic, if you are going to have to spend hours clearing it out, selling on old items, or moving it to storage just to try and win over viewers, it might not make financial sense to do this if you are not going to see an appreciable increase in the value of your home as a result.

In fact many people choose to adjust their asking price for their property according to the work that needs to be done, in anticipation that the new owner will pay for this after they move in.

Not everything needs to be perfect if you want to list your home and sell it with minimal hassle. You simply need to be realistic both about its value in its current state, and encompass any costs and investments of effort you’ll need to make to change this, whether or not the attic is the issue.

Ellie Chen

Ellie Chen is a graduate of New York University with a Master’s in Real Estate who has been an expert in property market trends and real estate investment for over 12 years. Her previous roles include working in real estate brokerage and as a property analyst. She has provided insights into real estate marketing, property management, and investment strategies. Her background includes roles in real estate development firms and as an agent. Beyond work, she is a great hiker and a volunteer in housing affordability programs. She is also a passionate urban cyclist and enjoys participating in community development initiatives.

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