A Beautiful Floor

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 Should you decide to replace the flooring in a home that’s being staged for sale, you should ask yourself a few questions. Hopefully, they will help to point you in the right direction so you choose the best option for that room — one that looks good, is durable, but won’t cost a lot of money.

Is there any wood, ceramic or carpeted flooring that is damaged and need to be repaired or re-surfaced? If so, would it cost less to salvage what’s not damaged, if it is it even possible? What is your budget? What is the norm in your neighborhood or area? What is your home’s price point limit?

If tile is in all the bathrooms and kitchens of all the comparable homes on the market in your area, then you should try to install tile. If you really can’t afford it, at least find a laminate that truly looks like tile. If not, just be prepared for that to have an effect on your home’s price.

If you want to price your home competitively, you need to have similar materials to be able to list at a comparable price as the other homes. Of course, this is just one factor. Other materials, such as counters, and other features, such as a large back deck, will also affect price. But floor material is one major feature buyers look at when deciding whether they like the home. It’s difficult to change flooring once you move in.

By the same token, if certain materials aren’t seen in any of the comparable homes, there’s no need to spend the extra money to use them. Yes, to some extent it may give you a reason to increase the price of your home just slightly and give you an edge over the other homes. But remember, it is possible to over-improve. You won’t get back what you put into the home because the home values just don’t support that much of a price increase.

However, if you are selling an expensive home, buyers are going to be offended if they see laminate or vinyl tiles anywhere in the home.

Wood floors can be sanded and stained if the damage is not too extensive. If there are deep stains or lots of them, it may not be possible. Also, if there are pieces missing or severely damaged, you need to see if it’s possible to get replacement boards or pieces that will look seamless.

Individual tiles, like ceramic, can be replaced if you have extras or can get them. Or, if you can’t get the exact replacement, see if you can remove other tiles and then add new tiles so it looks like an intentional pattern. What’s great about this is you can splurge on an expensive tile because you’ll only need a few.

Laminate floors usually can’t be sanded, so unless the damage is only in one spot and you have, or can get, replacements, you’re better off just replacing the floor.

Carpets can be steam cleaned, which can really do an amazing job, even if you have stains. It might be worth a try. But if the carpet is just extremely dirty, smelly, grimy, has tons of stains or large stains, looks worn, is ripped in places, is starting to ripple from improper installation or old age, or is an unattractive color (say hot magenta or pale pink), then it’s time to replace.

One more tip: if you have carpet, (wall to wall) in the kitchen or bath, get rid of it immediately. That is a huge turn-off to buyers and even visitors.

Important Note: Unfinished projects can scare off potential buyers, so finish them. Missing floorboards and large cracks in the sidewalk on the way to your door tend to be a red flag, for example, and they cost you less to fix than buyers might deduct from the asking price.

Please tell a friend and spread the word!