Fab Real Estate Blog: Should I Replace the Carpets?

Should I Replace the Carpets?

Last night, I was meeting with someone who is considering selling their home.

One of the first questions I was asked was, "Should I replace the carpets or just offer a credit to the buyer?"

This is actually a very common question.  And my answer is always the same:
Replace the carpet!
While you're at it, make any necessary repairs.
Do everything you need to to bring your home into model home condition.

There is a lot of inventory on the market right now.  Buyers have a lot of homes to choose from.  You want them to choose yours.  How do you do that?
Well, of course, you have to price it right.
You also need to make the home easy to show.
And, of course, the home needs to be in perfect, model home showing condition.  Always!

Make any needed repairs up front.  The carpeting can probably be replaced now for about $2,000.  However, a buyer is going to look at the stained carpets and demand a $5,000 credit.  Or, worse yet, they'll lower their offer price to compensate for the carpeting, plus they'll ask for a credit.

Surely, as a seller, you stand to make more money by replacing those carpets up front, before the home hits the market.

If you can't afford to replace those carpets, ask the carpet installer if you can pay them at closing.
Otherwise, we'll have to price your home lower to accommodate the deficiencies.  And, unfortunately, the offers submitted by buyers may be even lower...

Don Fabrizio-Garcia, REALTOR
Real Estate Sales & Appraisals

Comment balloon 11 commentsDon Fabrizio-Garcia • August 07 2008 04:37PM

Comments

Hi Don I agree with your thought but I am not sure that can be done across the board.  I think it is based on market, location of the house , financial situation of the seller and just sometimes, a seller will replace those carpets only to find out buyers don't like the sellers choice.  I do tell them , if the carpet is decent and neutral to get them cleaned, and most definitely, if there are hard wood floors under the carpets...get rid of the  old ones.

What I do mostly is give a carpet allowance to the  buyer and let it be there choice.  When the sellers can change the carpet I suggest  to check the remnant department of the carpet stores .. there isn't anything defective about the carpet, they are just left over from other job sites. Anyway good post..good idea and just my 2 cents Thanks for the post

Posted by June Lewis, Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 10 years ago

Quite often, sellers and landlords refuse to accept the fact that their property is in less than perfect condition. I like the idea of tearing out the carpet and leviving the floor "raw" either concrete or wood or whatever else lies below the unsightly flooring.

A fresh coat of paint works wonders and cleaning the windows - inside and out can't hurt either

 

De-Clutter!

Posted by Mott Marvin Kornicki, Waterway Realtors, Notary Public 786-229-7999 (Waterway Realty, Realtors® • Broker • South East Florida •) about 10 years ago

Great points, Don.  The seller always pays for the fix-ups on one end or the other!

Posted by Ron Moore, MOORE Thoughts (RE/MAX Professionals/Regal Builders - Retired) about 10 years ago

June - these are carpets that are stained and cannot be cleaned.  They need to be replaced.  Offering a credit to the buyers will more often than not backfire on the seller, costing them more money in the end.

Mott - Yes, sellers must de-clutter.  Yes, sellers should paint.  Those are always among my list of recommendations.  All that is under these carpets are a plywood subfloor.  They need to be covered.  New carpeting is the cheapest route for a seller.

Ron - Yes, the seller is going to pay one way or another.  It's our job to help them minimize the potential costs.

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Absolutely  Not only will it help the house sell, if the color is neutral, there can't be any buyer financing problems with credits. 

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Hi just wanted to clarify, at the times we do allow a concession for the carpet it is on the fact sheet as such and taken into consideration before the offer is written  so it isn't a financial credit. These times are usually on

low end houses.  Higher priced homes sure ...if it can be done absolutely and I agree .  It's the better choice but all I am saying is . It is not the cure all in all situations ..just need to be open to different options. It's the easiest, better way but situations can be different.

  For instance there is a house on the market..not my listing,  but I have shown it.  It is in a run down neighborhood,  the house is dated with a LOT OF WALLPAPER THAT SHOULD COME DOWN.  The carpet is worn.  Kitchen is new, updated and beautiful. Perfect solution...remove wallpaper..replace carpet all this will fit in with that beautiful kitchen.  Where the problem is...the neighborhood has deteriorated quickly and badly.

They are in their 80's and the husband is dying from cancer.  The agent had the house listed at $65,000 reduced to $ 59000 ( where it should have easily sold for, but because of the market and the other conditions) the agent couldn't get it sold.  It is $ 30,000 now and they need to come to closing on a due equity for $12,000.  That house no matter what was done to it will never have sold for the price. A new carpet would not have brought them a higher price.  Sometimes  a seller needs to, reduce the price, cut their losses and move on.  just my opinion

Posted by June Lewis, Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) about 10 years ago

Lenn - Neutral does rule, as it will appeal to the majority of buyers.  Good point you bring up that in this current mortgage market, not all lenders will allow seller credits to the buyer.

June - You must have missed this line in my post:  Otherwise, we'll have to price your home lower to accommodate the deficiencies.  Price rules.  If you can't replace those carpets and that wallpaper, then the price must be reduced - usually by more than the cost of the repairs.

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Don...  Carpet is such a quick and really a "low cost" fix and can bring a new freshness to a house.  You gave them the right advice!

Posted by Debbie Summers (Charles Rutenberg Realty ) about 10 years ago

Debbie - You're right - when it comes right down to it, replacing the carpet is cheap, especially compared to what they buyers will value the carpet replacement out.  Sellers need to do all they can to make their homes show perfectly.

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Yaaaaah! I am jumping up and down with joy!  I couldn't agree with you more!  In today's market home buyer's want move in ready....investor's want it "as is" so they can get the property at a bargain!  Thanks for spreading these wise words.

Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) about 10 years ago

Janice - Glad I brought a little joy to your day!

I love your quote:  In today's market home buyer's want move in ready....investor's want it "as is" so they can get the property at a bargain!

That is very true.  You will pay for those carpets one way or another!

Posted by Don Fabrizio-Garcia, Owner/Broker/Trainer - Fab Real Estate (Fab Real Estate) about 10 years ago

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