The laundry room is often overlooked when it's time to sell a home. Proper staging can turn an often dull and scary area into an asset. Everyone must do laundry and having a bright, clean, pleasant space is just another reason for someone to buy your home.
01 of 07
What Home Buyers Want in a Laundry Room
Check out the real estate listings in any city. Whether you're looking at a starter single family home or high-rise co-op, you'll see that an available laundry room is prominently mentioned for most home and condo sales. Why? Buyers want a laundry room.
Americans do, on average, more than 400 loads of laundry each year. Since buying a home is a big investment, buyers want to be able to do laundry in their home.
Today's buyers are looking for a specific room dedicated to laundry chores. And they want it to be functional and attractive.
In a 2019 survey of almost 4000 first-time home buyers, conducted by the National Association of Home Buyers (NAHB), 91% of respondents said they want a laundry room.
Of those who wanted a laundry room, 54% considered it essential and would not buy a home that didn't have one. Chalk up the need for a convenient laundry room to our busy lives and the need to multitask. Finding time to head to a laundromat or community laundry room is difficult.
A close second on the list of desirable attributes in a home are Energy STAR-rated windows, mentioned by 89% of respondents. Energy STAR-rated appliances came in at #4, with 86% of respondents rating it essential or desirable, while a patio came in at #3 with 87%.
As a major area of energy consumption—water and electricity or gas—laundry appliances are an important feature.
Location, Location, Location
Clearly, having a laundry room is a top priority when buying or building a home. Now, where do you want that laundry room?
According to the NAHB in a survey of new home buyers:
- 37 percent prefer a laundry room near the bedrooms.
- 20 percent like a laundry room close to the kitchen.
- 17 percent would rather wash and dry in the basement.
- 12 percent would keep the laundry machines in the garage completely out of sight.
In nearly every location preference, the key is a workable, separate laundry space so that noise from the washer and dryer are limited and dirty clothes are concealed. And, a space with plenty of storage and a spot to organize daily household chores.
Home buyers are requesting a space that not only houses the washer and dryer but has a deep laundry sink that can be used for soaking clothes, washing the dog, and cleaning up after hobbies such as gardening and painting. They also want a multitasking room that is part mudroom, coat closet, craft center, and locker room.
If the laundry area is large enough to house other activities, it is most often located adjacent to the garage. Most homeowners enter and exit through the garage, and having the expanded laundry room there helps to streamline clean-up and organization. Allowing kids and adults to drop off dirty clothes before they get scattered around the home makes laundry chores easier.
Need Ideas for Staging Your Laundry Room?
With just seven steps, you can stage your laundry area so that a buyer will be ready to make an offer.
02 of 07
If your laundry area is part of a finished or unfinished basement or garage, make sure a specific area is for laundry only. Even if the space is used for storage or another use, the laundry area should sparkle as much as your clean clothes. Discard or store off-site anything that does not have a specific use in the laundry area.
03 of 07
Every real estate agent will tell you that your home must be clean for potential buyers and that includes the laundry room.
Take time to wipe down your washer and dryer to make them look shiny and well cared for. You might even want to give them a new coat of paint. If your washer has an unpleasant odor, clean the machine so that buyers won't be concerned that the smell is permanent in the home. Vacuum up any lint around the dryer and clean any traveling dust bunnies. Wipe up detergent spills.
If you are still doing laundry while showing your home, don't leave piles of dirty or clean laundry in the space. No one wants to see that.
04 of 07
Brighten and Lighten
A coat of fresh paint and a new light fixture with plenty of wattage will easily brighten up the laundry area. Consider painting an area of the concrete floor in an unfinished basement to designate the laundry space.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Store It Correctly
You can probably find some laundry product bottles in your space that are outdated or empty. Throw them away. Put detergent and other laundering supplies in storage cabinets. If you don't have cupboards, inexpensive shelving can look great with attractive canisters or baskets.
06 of 07
Add Some Flair
If there's a window with a drab view, hide it with a curtain or a nice blind that is light enough to allow some light to pass through it.
Add a framed picture, accessories, or a plant to make the area more attractive.
07 of 07
Tend to Outdoor Areas
Take a moment to clean the outside vent from your dryer. Loads of lint hanging from the vent does not speak to a well cared-for home. If you have an outdoor clothesline, be sure it looks neat and usable—no rust or sagging.
Laundry Practices and Water Conservation. U.S. Department of the Interior.
Home Features Buyers Want—And Don't Want. National Association Of Home Buyers, Washington D.C.