4 of 52: If Your Carpet Was Installed In The 70s…

…it’s time to replace it now!

Every Friday I post an idea or project to enhance your house now with an eye to selling down the road someday.

I showed a house a couple of weeks ago with mottled brown-and-orange, sculptured shag carpeting throughout the basement. The buyer, a mere youngster next to me, looked at it for a while, then looked at me as if to say “this was popular at some point?”.

By the time a carpet gets that old, who knows what’s growing in it! In this property, it was obvious where the furniture had been – the colors were richer and you could tell there was padding underneath. In the traffic  areas…not so much.

Of course the paneling was of the same vintage, but it was in great shape and would have looked much better with fresher and more contemporary carpeting.

There’s nothing like the feeling of new carpeting – it makes the house feel more welcoming and I guarantee you’ll enjoy something from this century instead of the last.

Each Friday I’ll post a new “52 things to do now that will improve your resale value/chances later.” Why do them now? Because you’ll enjoy your house more. Let’s face it – if you don’t do it now, you’ll pay for it later – either because you’ll have to do it as part of your preparing the house for sale, or if you don’t do it at all, you’ll pay for it in your sales price. (Tip: buyers always discount a problem more than it actually costs to fix.) Why not enjoy the benefits of your labor now? What is the second most-common comment I hear when I list properties -after the prep work has been done to put the house on the market? “I wish we’d done this a long time ago -we love it!”

© 2011 Susan Pruden. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to 4 of 52: If Your Carpet Was Installed In The 70s…

  1. MDSuburbs says:

    It's amazing the kind of things people hang onto over the years. I can relate to replacing old carpeting. It can be expensive and I've had lots of Sellers say "a buyer may not like what I replace it with or want their own color." Or, a different version of this is "I'll offer a carpet allowance."

    Well, a carpet allowance is just a oblique way of saying "I'll give closing costs help." and if a Seller replaces old 70s style carpet or even beat up 90s or 2000s style carpet with a nice neutral color it will do wonders for the presentation of the house. A newly painted and newly carpeted house can sell pretty darn fast if it is also priced right.

    I recently sold a house in the Calverton area of Beltsville where that was all that was done (paint and carpet).. Days on market? Less than a week. The house was in generally good shape but you could tell it would need some updating. All the same, it looked clean and more open and light with a quick and relatively inexpensive "face lift".

    Neglecting things like carpet and paint end up costing in the long run either in longer time sitting on the market or a lower sales price or (God forbid!) both.

  2. Carpet allowances seldom work, do they? Same with painting allowances. So many buyers can't see past what is there when they see the house. Some don't want to be bothered with having to arrange for the work to be done on top of packing, moving, etc.

    The only time I sold a house that was seriously out-of-date and the buyer was totally fine with it was because the house was immaculate – you could eat off the basement floor and you could tell the seller kept it like that all the time, not just for showings. The kitchen appliances were turquoise (circa late1950s) and looked brand new.

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