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Selling a Home with an Attic: What You Need to Know

Do you have an attic in your home, and you’re not sure if it’s important to your home sale? It is, and the good news is that you can take steps to make it a major asset as you sell your home. Discover the one upgrade that always adds value, whether you should finish the attic, and more!
Do you have an attic in your home, and you’re not sure if it’s important to your home sale? It is, and the good news is that you can take steps to make it a major asset as you sell your home. Discover the one upgrade that always adds value, whether you should finish the attic, and more!

If you’re ready to sell your home, you already know that you want all of it to be picture perfect. You’re probably planning to declutter, repair various areas, and stage the home so that it sells quickly and at top dollar.

But what about the attic? In some homes, the attic is an almost-forgotten storage space. Others have a finished attic or, unfortunately, concerns with the attic.

Regardless of which situation you’re in, you can make your attic an asset to your home sale. Here’s how.

What’s the Current Condition of Your Attic?

If you’ve never ventured into your attic, this could be a scary question. But there’s a good chance that you’ve been up there at least a few times to put items up for storage.

If your attic is nothing but insulation, that’s OK. But if it’s finished, or partly finished, that’s even better. However, don’t feel like you have to finish it just to sell the home. In fact, the best “update” you can do isn’t finishing at all.

If your attic already looks nice, be sure that your seller’s agent makes a note of it. It can be a prominent part of your listing and advertising, especially if it’s a finished bedroom or really nice storage space.

The Number One Attic Upgrade That Adds Home Value

The one thing you should definitely do to your attic, regardless of its condition, is to upgrade the insulation. Having better insulation in your attic will make the home more comfortable and it will add significant home value.

Energy-efficient upgrades give you the most bang for your buck of any improvement, and you’ll recoup an average of 116% of the cost of attic insulation.

Energy efficiency is a big deal, and better insulation can lower energy bills significantly. If you do improve the insulation in your attic, make sure your realtor advertises the home appropriately. You want to make sure they mention the energy savings and the new, high-quality insulation.

Working with the right listing agent is essential when it comes to getting the right price for your home. And it doesn’t even have to be expensive!

Clear Out All Pests and Seal Gaps and Holes

It goes without saying that a buyer will not want to buy a home that has bats, rats, or other pests in the attic. If you don’t spend much time in your attic, or you’ve never considered checking for pests, it needs to happen before you list the home.

You can go up and look for signs of pests yourself to start with. Be sure to walk safely if your attic isn’t finished, and wear a dust mask if you haven’t been up there very often.

If you’ve never heard noises or scratching in the ceiling, you might be in luck and not have any problems. However, look for these signs:

  • Animal droppings
  • Signs of nesting
  • Shredded insulation
  • Missing shingles or screens, or obvious entry points

Remember that pests can get through holes that are smaller than one inch, so don’t overlook anything. If you see signs of pests, call an exterminator right away to get the problem handled.

To Finish or Not to Finish?

Should you finish your attic to add value to your home? The answer generally depends on how large your attic space is. If it’s large enough that you don’t have to do major construction, finishing may be a good idea.

If you’re considering finishing your attic space, first check the height. You generally need a seven-foot clearance after you add the ceiling. The finished area must also be at least seven feet wide and 70 square feet of total space.

You’ll also need an engineer to make sure your home can carry the extra load. Finally, think about how you’ll set up access to the attic.

If you don’t already have enough space to manage these updates, you probably don’t want to try to finish your attic just for a home sale. You’ll be doing major construction and it will cost quite a bit, as well as delaying your ability to list your home. You also probably won’t get a good return on the investment.

Work With a Skilled Realtor to Sell Your Home

One of the biggest helps you can have when it comes to selling your home is an experienced local realtor. They will understand the market and can give you advice about what renovations make the most sense for your property.

A seasoned realtor will also market your home, arrange showings, screen buyers, and help you negotiate for the best price. You’ll get a higher price and sell more quickly working with a realtor than you will alone!

When you’re looking for the best agent in your area, look no further than Clever. Our Clever Partner Agents are not only highly-rated and experienced in your local area, they offer a low flat-fee commission of $3,000 or 1% if the home sells for over $350,000.

If you’re ready to get started selling your home, contact us today! We’ll answer all of your questions and set you up with a no-obligation consultation with a local seller’s agent who can help you sell quickly and for a great price.


Jamie Ayers

Jamie is the Director of Content at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents and helps you save thousands on commission. In the past, Jamie has managed columns for clients in a variety of leading business publications, including Forbes, Inc., CEO World, Entrepreneur, and more. At Clever, Jamie's primary goal is to provide home sellers, buyers, and investors with the information they need to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the real estate industry.

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