Profile picture for lisa911332

Can I sell my house with no garage?

We are getting ready to put the house on the market this spring. We were going to wait until next year but decided to do it sooner. When we bought this house, the previous owner turned the 2 car garage into a downstairs master bedroom with a 2nd mudroom and large laundry room. We had always planned on converting it back to a garage, beautiful as it is. 

Building a new garage is way too much money. We got a quote from a reputable contracting company that it would take 10,000 to convert the garage back. We planned on doing that later this year.

So now, we wonder, should we put out the 10 grand (that we really don't have) to convert the garage back before the house goes on the market or can we just offer 10,000 back  in closing to the seller to convert the garage back themselves. They can choose to do it or keep the money. This way we don't have to actually put out that money ourselves.

I know homes with no garage are a hard sell. But in this case where the garage exists and the money will be given to convert it back, would this be an exception?

thank you in advance for any and all feedback!
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March 03 - Richmond
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Answers (11)

Profile picture for Dunes ..
lisa9...Just my opinion but I'd suggest the first order of business would be to VERIFY that the changes to the garage were done legally/with permits/inspections ect....

The hey I bought it and so it must be ok approach or making financial decisions/plans before doing this may be truly a case of putting the cart before the horse..
I've personally have made that mistake in the past, it isn't a pleasant experience and currently here in Dunesville there is a case/situation going on based around the same type of situation...

House converted to Tri-plex over 50 years ago (
No one is sure of exactly when but 50+ years ago..house is 80-90 years old/nice place)
Couple bought house 20+ years ago and rented the units out the entire time and this year decided to sell. Immediate buyer, agreed offer, headed for quick sale/both sides happy
BUT
City stops sale and says...Hey this wasn't done with, we didn't know, no permits
Done all that time ago and you bought and we didn't catch it then?
Whoops!
BUT NO SALE UNTIL......Gotta stop renting out units until illegal tri-plex is converted back or or or or



Anyway thought I'd share...
Imo..
Better to be sure than sorry especially when so much is at stake....a little time may save some bigger money/time now/later

Hopefully everything is cool but?...Anyway best of luck with your decision and sale

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May 13
You have to look at all the positives and negatives. Here are just a few:

Positives 

1) Extra bedroom, can add thousands to the price.
2) First floor bedroom, would appeal to buyers who may have in-laws living with them.
3) First floor laundry, bonus.  
4) Additional living space, can add thousands to the price.

Negatives

1) Hard sell for someone who must have a garage.  

I wouldn't even advertise the 10,000 credit until you've determined that not having a garage is the only reason you cannot attract a buyer. 

As to the legality of the work that was done.  You should be able to lookup your property on your local counties website.  Do a google search for "YOUR COUNTY real estate tax assessment".  They will list the number of bedrooms they think you have.  If it doesn't match the actual # of bedrooms that is the first indication of a problem.   

Above all remember this, you bought this house exactly as it is, without the garage.  There will no doubt be someone else who doesn't mind it, likes the additional rooms or will put it on the back burner.  

Don't worry and don't be so quick to give away your hard earned money if it is not absolutely necessary. 

 Best of luck.  
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May 13
Sooo...yes having a garage is nice but for some buyers not necessary. I have plenty of buyers who tell me they want a garage and then buy one without due to other great features. My suggestion is place the house on the market, see what the feedback is about the no garage and if after a couple months it is truly holding you back from the sale, address it with your agent then. That is if your not in a huge hurry to sell. 
I hope this helps :) 
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May 12
Profile picture for lisa911332
We have two storage sheds and a barn so there is plenty of space. But I'd say 99% of homes out here have a working garage. I don't know why the previous owners chose to kill their garage rather than just add on an extra room. So I know not having a garage will hurt us. But I wonder if the credit back will make up for the fact of not having a garage or we need to just go ahead and take care of it ourselves.

I think what we are going to do is try putting the house on the market with offering a credit back. If it's still an issue for buyers based on feedback, then we'll just have the garage converted back. I'm hoping people just opt for taking the cash back because that would really be nice not to have to put out 10 grand in the next year. 
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March 06
No garage is kind of a bummer for many buyers. In my experience they need, and want a garage for storage and a workspace. If you are missing a vital part of a home, you will have to compensate for that with a Lower Price. Yes it's a good idea to credit the buyer.
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March 06
Hi Lisa,

Does your neighborhood have other houses without garages?  I'd say that looking at your competition first might be a key determining factor.  While garages are important to many buyers, there are plenty of homes in Richmond that don't have them.  Do you have a storage shed?  Working with buyers, I've run into this concern plenty of times and as long as your home stacks up nicely among the competition and is priced accordingly without having a garage, then you'll probably be okay.  I've had clients looking at homes with or without and have had several choose the one without based on other features.  I had one recently, where they really wanted to have a garage but couldn't find anything nice enough in their price range, so they ended up buying a house without and built a very large storage shed on site (for much less than $10K).

Good luck!
Chris
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March 05
Profile picture for lisa911332
Chandra thanks. That's a great idea about making the upstairs master look more master-y should we have to do the garage conversion.

We were able to buy the house with the garage as is, so it darn well better be legal! lol. I'd be pretty annoyed if somehow the house passed inspection for us and it wasn't legal. 

I think we'll just try selling as is with offering money back to convert and see what happens. Buyers always want cash back for something anyway it seems. If we spend the money to convert the garage back they'll want money back for something else. 
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March 04
I would check with an agent in your local area (or a lender). A home with an illegal garage conversion may pose a problem getting financed. If it is a legal garage conversion then you could list it and see how it does on the market. If you are not getting any potential buyers, then you could have your agent ask the agents that brought clients to you home if the garage conversion was a problem. If it had no bearing on the potential buyer's decision not to purchase your home, then that would be your answer. You should be able to get that answer fairly quickly after it is listed. Make sure if you are going to get rid of the current master bedroom that you also focus some attention on the room that will become the master bedroom. I hope that helps! Good luck to you!
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March 04
Thanks for posting your question on Zillow.com!

I would not, especially if you do not have the $!

Houses sell with the features you described for the same amount of money if the right buyer comes along.  Plenty of people need "mother-in-law" suites or boomerang suites for those kids they kick out & keep coming back.

Good luck!
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March 04
Sharon is correct...due to all areas being different. I am a Realtor® in the Richmond area and I can tell you that it all depends on the home, the neighborhood, price range and of course, the buyers needs/wants. I do think your point about giving back, would be greatly received by buyers, but truly, in order to say, I'd need to view your home and surrounding offerings.

Feel free to contact me, if you need help.
Good luck....
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March 03
Discuss this with your Realtor. In some areas, a 1 floor master bedroom would mean more to buyers than a garage - if it doesn't still look like a garage. In other areas, a garage will more to buyers. Your Realtor would be familiar with what buyers are looking for in your area.
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March 03
 
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