How New Garage Doors Sell Homes

© 2008 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Fall 2008
Author: Scott O’Neill
Page 58

How New Garage Doors Sell Homes
A Strategy for Selling in a Down Market

By Scott O’Neill

All garage door dealers are feeling the pinch of the down economy. Home sales have dropped as home values are badly sagging … especially here in California.

But one thing I know as a garage door professional ... the garage door, especially a front-facing door, has a significant impact on the home’s value. With today’s shaky real estate market, this fact now carries more significance than ever before.

Forget About “30 Percent”

It makes sense. Here in California, land prices have skyrocketed over the last decades. That has forced lot sizes to get smaller, which also has pushed more garage doors to the front of homes. Fewer people have the land to carve a driveway all the way around to the side or back of the home.

So now, the garage door dominates the front elevation, almost entirely in many cases. We used to say that the garage door can take up 30 percent of the front elevation. But I’ve seen many homes where the doors swallow more than 50 percent. Today’s garage doors clearly have a huge visual impact on many homes.

Statistics to Cite

Every garage door salesperson should be quoting the research study cited on “A stylish new garage door can affect the perceived value of the home by as much as one to four percent.” If the home is worth $200,000, that means the garage door can increase the home’s value as much as $8,000.

The GarageWowNow site also cites a recent online survey that revealed, “A whopping 71% of homeowners who recently replaced their garage door believe it definitely increased the value of their home.”

In other words, if homeowners are worried about their home losing value, they can buy a new garage door to regain that loss. In many situations, the door will actually increase the home’s value.

“Help! I Need a Facelift”

Here’s a case in point. A local real estate agent, Sonal, contacted me about a month ago, asking about garage doors. Her client had a house on the market, but when the first open house came up, the garage doors clearly became a problem.

“Many people commented that the garage doors look horrible,” said Sonal. She described the splitting wood and warped sections on the existing doors, emphasizing how the doors were the very first impression for prospective buyers (see the photos).

She mentioned that pictures of the house were posted online, so I quickly reviewed the Web site she cited. There, seeing the home’s style, I realized that the doors dominated at least 60 percent of the front view of the home.

Shedding Light on the Situation

I offered advice on matching door panels that would complement the home’s style and “enhance the curb appeal of the home.” She was ecstatic with the idea.

She responded how “dark and dingy” the garage was, and how new doors with windows would help make that space more valuable to the property.

“With a few extra dollars, you can add windows that dramatically inject décor as well as light to the garage interior,” I told her.

That was all she needed to convince her client that installing new doors with windows was the perfect move. Her client, who soon bought the doors with windows, commented how thorough and professional her real estate agent was to find us!

And yes, you guessed it. The home sold shortly afterward, above the asking price.

A Ripe Idea

This isn’t just a nice story. It bears a ripe idea, ready for picking.

How about contacting the real estate agents in your area, informing them of the benefits of this cost-effective way to sell a home? This strategy might do more than help agents sell homes in a down market. It might also propel your company’s sales during down times.

I’ve already started to draft letters to my real estate agents!

Scott O’Neill has been in the garage door business since 1986 and a sales manager since 1992 at Madden Door, Martinez, Calif.