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Selling Your Home: Replace Carpet or Carpet Allowance?

Updated on September 8, 2012

Our Great Room has Carpet in Need of Repair

Our carpet affects the look and feel of the great room, our main room in our house.
Our carpet affects the look and feel of the great room, our main room in our house. | Source

Replacing your Carpet Versus a Carpet Allowance

Carpet Replacement
Carpet Allowance
Can result in positive feedback from sellers
Allows buyers to chose carpet of their choice
Helps sellers who can not see beyond carpet needing replacement
Can deter buyers who can not see beyond carpet needing replacement
*Can cost seller $3000
*Can cost seller $3000
*Dollar amounts for carpet replacement and possible carpet allowance are specific to my home

Do you have carpet that is well loved? When we put our house on the market, our Realtor quickly noticed our carpet. It needed to be replaced. It was ten years old and had gone through five rounds of spit up and potty training for our children, two rounds of puppy potty training and everyday high traffic.

We wanted to sell our house quickly so the decision quickly presented itself. Do you replace the carpet or provide a carpet allowance?

Replacing Your Carpet

Replacing the carpet would have eliminated the issue immediately. New buyers viewing our home would have been able to instantly fall in love with the brand new carpet and then focus on the floor plan.

But, there is a cost involved. To re-carpet our house with an average grade carpet and pad, our estimate was over $3000.

What are the pros and cons to replacing our carpet?

Our House Had Carpet that Needed Replaced

Our dog created a pull in our Berber carpet. Our carpet needed to be replaced.
Our dog created a pull in our Berber carpet. Our carpet needed to be replaced. | Source

Benefits of Replacing the Carpet

Where I live, there was major new build boom about ten years ago. While many of the suburbs are done building, the buyers in our area still want that brand new feel when they walk into your home.

Some buyers cannot ‘see’ the home beyond flaws such as older carpet. For those buyers, it is better to replace the carpet allowing them to be eager for the brand new feel of the interior of your house.

Our Realtor assured us that brand new carpet, creating a move in ready status, is appealing to the majority of buyers.

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Cons of Replacing the Carpet

There is no guarantee that the carpet investment will result in a quick sale or even a partial return in investment.

Will I spend $3000 to find that our potential buyers don’t like the color or type of carpet we chose?

What if they wanted hard wood floors instead?

Consult with your Realtor to understand the market in your area. Replacing the carpet could be a gamble. Perhaps a carpet allowance is a better option.

Providing a Carpet Allowance

A carpet allowance allows the new buyers to receive cash after closing that they can use on flooring or any other home improvement that they chose. Carpet allowances can provide freedom to the new buyers, allowing them to install the carpet the want in the style they prefer.

However, our Realtor assured us that while replacing our carpet would be around $3000, most buyers would request a $5000 carpet allowance. Buyers often think sellers will underestimate repairs and then question what other ‘hidden repairs’ need to be performed.

Carpet allowances provide cash to the seller to address necessary upgrades, but could result in costing the seller more money in the long run.

Did We Replace our Carpet?

We were fortunate in our selling process. We had a neighbor interested in our house and we went into contract within days. However, as part of our contract, a price was negotiated for flooring. They wanted to install hardwood floors. If we had chosen to install new carpet, they would have removed it immediately.

However, due to the nature of our contract, we had to continue to show our home until our buyers sold their home. During this showing process, we consistently received feedback that our carpet needed to be replaced. While we knew this fact, the redundant feedback made us wonder if we should have replaced it. If our contract fell through, we realized that the potential buyers viewing our home could not see beyond carpet and were not interested in the allowance.

We lucked out and our carpet was not replaced and new floors will take their place soon. In hindsight, we would have replaced our carpet prior to showing. The overwhelming feedback was carpet related. It was like getting a bad report card over and over.

Sellers declutter and depersonalize the home during the staging process so that the buyers can focus on the details of the home. We came to learn quickly that carpet in need of repair is a distraction as well.

Are you debating carpet replacement or providing an allowance? Based on our experience, if you are interested in overwhelmingly positive feedback and a move in ready feel, replace your carpet prior to listing your home.

Best of luck selling your home!


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    • twinstimes2 profile image

      Karen Lackey 5 years ago from Ohio

      Jimmy- your method sounds SO much simpler! Thanks, Jimmy, for reading.

    • jimmythejock profile image

      James Paterson 5 years ago from Scotland

      I have never heard of a carpet allowance, when we sell in Scotland we either ask the buyer if they want the carpets and leave them if they want them or we throw them out when we move.....jimmy