Carpet vs. Wood Flooring: Should you Update Old Flooring when Selling?


What type of flooring provides the best ROI (return on investment) when selling your home?

Sanding and refinishing your existing hardwood floors is almost always your best investment.
If you have hardwood floors, great—hardwood sells and gives value to your home. If you have hardwood floors that are beaten up, your first consideration should be to refinish them. Most real estate agents anecdotally report that you will get your investment back threefold on this.
With refinishing hardwoods, you have the option of changing the color. Lighter colors make the space look larger and more airy and informal; darker colors are more dramatic and give the home a more formal and sophisticated look. Satin finish is usually the preferred sheen and tends to show the scratches less than a semi-gloss finish.
If you have hardwood underneath your carpet, by all means, rip up those carpets and refinish the hardwood…you have just found a gold mine. Hardwood sells; very few customers want carpet.

Add hardwood flooring to key rooms, if you can afford it.
Most homeowners strongly prefer hardwood for the main living space, common areas and the master bedroom. If you have hardwood in those areas, you are set; if you don’t, you may want to consider investing in hardwood for those areas. You will definitely get back that return on investment—probably at least twofold.

If your carpets are dirty, it’s best to replace them.  
Replacing the carpeting will not improve your selling value; rather, it will allow you to capture the potential selling price of your home. It will sell faster, appeal to more buyers; or said differently, it will prevent buyers from being turned off by your home. You will most likely just break even with this investment.

Kitchens are tricky and it’s best to consult your agent for opinions.  
We have all heard that kitchens and bathrooms sell. However, kitchens are usually the most expensive area of the home, and a full kitchen remodel will only give you about a 70% return on your investment. This is why it’s usually better to invest in your kitchen if you are planning to stay put for a while.
If your kitchen is out of date, however, you should consider your options. Sometimes it is not worth doing anything because the next homeowner will completely gut and redo the whole kitchen. So why invest more money? Other times, it is worth it to make some minor enhancements to either eliminate an eyesore or bring it up to an acceptable level.

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