17 December 2018

Why You Should Consider Replacing Your Flooring Before Listing Your Home for Sale

When it comes time to figure out how to sell a house, many sellers choose upgrades based on what they’d like to see in their home. But if everything goes well with the selling process, you won’t be staying. So why fix up a home you won’t be living in long term? That’s a big mistake.

It’s critical to get yourself into the mindset of the buyer rather than the homeowner.

Award-winning Northeast Florida real estate broker-associate, Cara Ameer writes: “In undertaking for sale preparation, strike a delicate balance between what to fix and what to leave alone, but in the end, make the right improvements that will result in a faster sale for top dollar.”

Ameer outlines seven major issues sellers should fix before listing, with the best being a flooring makeover.

“If you can only afford to make the investment in one significant part of your home, consider updating the flooring,” Ameer writes.

We agree.

Below, we’ll explain why upgrading your flooring before listing your home on the market will help you get a higher sale price.

Flooring matters

New flooring can completely change the look of a home. Some buyers can’t see past cosmetic issues, and others are ready to gut a home and start over. Regardless of what type of buyer purchases your home, they’ll appreciate a new canvass to work from.

And new flooring doesn’t go unnoticed. It runs throughout the entire home, which means that no matter which room buyers are in, they’ll be able to appreciate the recently installed walkways. 

When considering which type of flooring to go with, hardwood flooring has been the long-standing favorite of buyers.

The National Wood Flooring Association reports that 99 percent of real estate agents agree that homes with hardwood are easier to sell, and 90 percent say they sell for more money.

And 54 percent of buyers are willing to pay more for homes with hardwood flooring, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Consistency is key. Agents often see buyers walk away from homes that have a hodgepodge of flooring.

If you can’t afford to put hardwood flooring throughout the home, Elizabeth Weintraub, former writer for The Balance, escrow officer and real estate broker, recommends that sellers nix carpeting in entertainment areas like the living room, dining room and family room because today’s buyers prefer alternate flooring in the places they spend the most time.

Collin County, Texas based real estate agent Ryan Cave, who ranks in the top 3 percent of agents (with over $35 million in sold homes), agrees. 

“Hardwoods are especially popular with buyers when they’re hand-scraped finished, old or have an engineered look,” Cave said. So when looking at finishes, think rustic.

To further enhance the resale value of your home, keep in mind these tips on flooring:

  • Hard surfaces such as hardwood are better than carpeting
  • Keep it consistent throughout the home
  • Don’t let multiple flooring types meet in high-traffic areas of the home. 

Making the tough choices

Of course any choices you make to enhance your home’s resale value will depend on your market. Real estate agents have their fingers on the pulse of what works in each market, so it’s best to consult with your agent before making any major investments in upgrading a home.

And before you start the work, it’s best to have a timeline in mind.

For example, the best time to sell your house in Santa Rosa, California, would be in August because sellers sold for 6.69 percent more than the yearly average, according to HomeLight data from 2014-2017. The most optimal month to list the home would be in June as a home takes about three months to sell.

And because the hardwood flooring installation process varies depending on finishes and materials (and that’s after you go through the process of choosing the right flooring for your home), you’ll want to get an installation time estimate and allow room for mishaps.

A good real estate agent can help you determine what will look best, what buyers are looking for and how long it will take, so it’s best to find an agent first and keep him or her in the loop to advise you throughout the process.

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