If you’re looking to sell your home, naturally you want to sell it for the best possible price (and a little profit wouldn’t hurt, either). But selling a home can be a complicated and stressful process with so many things pre-occupying your mind, the least of which is your home flooring.
But for most homeowners, overlooking your home flooring is a major faux-pas. In some cases, the floors of your home can actually make or break a home sale. When you are staging your home or putting it on show with little-to-no furniture, this is when your flooring becomes most apparent.
So, just how important is flooring when selling a house? Here are the most important factors to consider.
What Types of Floors Sell Homes?
Don’t make the mistake of overlooking your flooring, even if your mind is clouded with a million other intricacies and tasks during a home sale. Your home flooring counts — you may not notice it as much because you’ve looked at it every day for a number of years.
But the reality is that it’s one of the first things all potential buyers see when they walk through your front door. If your flooring is neglected and looks like it needs too much work, many homeowners will walk away from the sale.
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Yes, there are a number of remodeling projects to consider before you put your house on the market. But re-doing your flooring is not to be overlooked.
So, if you were to rip up your old flooring or carpeting, what type of flooring should you invest in?
Research shows that there are a few key characteristics home buyers are willing to pay extra for. And one of those is hardwood floors — in fact, up to 54 percent of buyers are willing to fork out extra for this feature.
But bear in mind that not all hardwood flooring is created equal. There are certain styles that most homeowners of today tend to prefer, such as wood floors with a rustic-chic feel.
Hardwood flooring that is especially popular includes styles that are hand-scraped, those that look a little more worn, or have an engineered look and feel.
How Important Is Flooring When Selling a House?
Now, you may be wondering whether you have to replace all the flooring in every single room of your home. This would be a massive (and expensive) undertaking that you may not have the budget for.
But the good news is that not every single room in your home needs to have the perfect flooring. So, when it comes to the importance of flooring when selling your home, you only have to consider a few key areas.
Should You Replace Carpets Before Selling a House?
If your bedrooms have carpeting, you can usually come away with a decent home sale and you don’t have to worry too much about them. But you want to have your carpets expertly cleaned and all stains removed before putting your home on the market.
When it comes to other areas of your home, consistency with your flooring is what really counts.
Whatever you do, you want to avoid multiple, inconsistent layers of flooring throughout your home. Especially in high-traffic or highly visible areas such as between your kitchen and lounge area.
Key areas of your home to focus on include your kitchen, main living areas, and your hallways. In these spaces, your flooring should be consistent. Some of the most popular options include hardwood flooring, as mentioned, wood laminate, or wood vinyl. You want to avoid carpeting in these areas wherever possible.
If you’re going to install hardwood or wood laminate flooring, opt for consistent color and pattern between these key spaces, too.
What To Consider When Re-Flooring Your Home
If the floors in your home are in sub-par condition, this is the best time to tackle them head-on. Real estate experts believe that bad flooring is one of the top reasons home buyers do not follow through with a sale.
Keep in mind that it’s pretty hard to come back from floors that show a lot of wear and tear — especially in key areas of your home. No amount of cleaning or stain removal may be able to bring them back to life.
But before you rip up your flooring and start from scratch, here’s what to look at first:
1. Assess Your Carpeting With a Critical Eye
Should you replace carpet to sell a house? Not always. As mentioned earlier, carpeting works in a home only if it’s in good condition and confined to certain areas, such as your bedrooms. Most home buyers are happy to accept a home sale with good quality carpeting.
But, the key to assessing the state of your carpets is to look at them as if you were a home buyer. In this case, you’ll need to be hyper-critical. Remember that home buyers are seeing your carpeting with fresh eyes, for the first time.
When assessing your carpets, ask yourself these key questions:
- How would you really feel if you saw your carpets for the first time?
- Would you be willing to walk barefoot throughout your carpeted rooms?
- Would you let your children, i.e. a small infant crawl and play on these floors?
- Are your carpets really on-trend in terms of preferred styles and colors of today?
If you have doubts about any of your answers to these questions, it may be time to consider fresh carpeting or a flooring replacement. A good rule-of-thumb to keep in mind is that your carpets should always look fresh.
2. Do Your Existing Hardwood Floors Need Some TLC?
If your home already has hardwood flooring, this is great news. But before you put your house on the market, you’ll have to take a long, hard look at your flooring quality. While hardwood flooring sells homes, it won’t do anything for your home sale if they’re in dire condition.
You might not have the funds to completely re-do your hardwood flooring, but there are plenty of options to revive your flooring without breaking the bank. There are a number of conditioning treatments and other fixes that can re-inject new life into hardwood flooring. You just need the right products and an expert to finish them off for you.
Here are a few tips to ensure your hardwood floors are a key selling factor:
- Ensure your flooring is in good condition with minimal creaking, areas of sagging, and warping
- Clean and condition areas that are particularly worn down
At the end of the day, a home with hardwood flooring is a real asset in today’s world. If you’re lucky enough to already have this feature in your home, do everything you can to maintain and preserve it for the best possible home re-sale.
3. Think About Synthetic Wood Options
In today’s day and age, synthetic wood flooring looks almost like the real deal. In some cases, it’s difficult to differentiate between real hardwood and synthetic wood floors.
This is because synthetic applications evolve all the time and there are plenty of budget-friendly options on the market, too. One of the most popular and fail-proof options you could go for is luxury vinyl if you plan on re-flooring before you sell.
Synthetic wood flooring is some of the best home flooring because it’s cost-effective and there are tons of options in terms of colors and textures. They are also simple to install and have great longevity. Some luxury vinyl options also offer pet-proofing and scratch-resistant properties.
Final Thoughts: Your Flooring and Home Value
It’s a no-brainer that hardwood flooring is one of the best home flooring options to consider. But you may not have the budget and with so many other costs associated with selling a home, an alternative like luxury vinyl is also a great choice.
Yes, hardwood flooring adds the greatest value to your home, but this is not to say that you will lose a home sale if your home doesn’t have them. After all, your home could have many other beautiful key features that sell it.
What you should keep in mind is that today’s average buyer prefers hard surfaces throughout the home, over carpeting. If you need to replace carpeting, vinyl/wood laminate is also the best choice if you’re on a budget.
If you’re in doubt about the condition of your floors and how they may affect your home sale, call in the help of a real estate agent. Ultimately, they have a world of knowledge to offer on what would work best for your home. They can also offer the best suggestion that will guarantee you the most money in your home sale.
A real estate agent will also be brutally honest with you and let you know if your home flooring has passed its expiration date — especially if you can’t see it!
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So, how important is flooring when selling a house? As you can tell from this blog, it’s a pretty big deal. Take your time to carefully consider the impact of your flooring and weigh up your options before you splash unnecessary cash on re-flooring.