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How Replacing Carpets Can Help You Sell Houses Faster

Selling a house is a balancing act — you want to increase the value of the house to get the best price you can, but you also want to move the house quickly without spending months (and thousands of dollars) completing renovations first.

How do you prioritize what needs to be fixed up before the house is ready to list? What upgrades help sell a house? We think carpet is one of the most important things to replace, and we’ll tell you why.

Improves the Aesthetic of the House

When you sell a house, much of the current owner’s furniture and personal items will be removed either for aesthetic purposes or because the owner has already taken them to his or her new place. You might stage it with some furniture here and there, but it won’t be nearly as full as when it’s occupied.

That means the flooring will take center stage. It will be one of the first things that prospective buyers see when they come in and one of the most visible aspects of the house as they walk around and picture their own belongings filling the home. Remember that showing your home is aspirational and viewers will imagine how beautiful their new home could be. Make sure it’s looking its very best.

Gets Rid of Lingering Smells

We’ve all experienced it — whether it’s your clothes, your car, or your bedroom, you don’t notice lingering odors until you leave and come back. You get so used to subtle smells that you don’t even notice them anymore.

But prospective buyers will. No matter how well you clean them, old carpets will retain a trace smell of dust, cleaning products, pet odor, and even mildew that can really put someone off, even if they don’t consciously notice it.

Carpet padding is especially susceptible — the foam absorbs moisture from cleaning, spills, and the air, and those small amounts of water are difficult to fully dry out. Replacing the carpet and padding will give the home a fresh, new smell that makes it much more appealing.

Updates Out-of-Date Decor

The median age of an owner-occupied home in the US is around 35 years old, though it varies from state to state. A lot has changed in the last 35 years, not least the world of fashion.

We all remember orange and brown paint, shag carpet, and wood paneling from the 70s and 80s, right? Well, new buyers in the 21st century don’t want those things anymore. Carpet has come a long way in terms of durability, appearance, materials, and colors, and selling a house is the perfect chance to modernize the flooring with a brand new carpet. Dollar-for-dollar, carpet is the most efficient way to update the look and feel of your home.

Last Note: Don’t Just Clean It

Some realty sites will tell you to just have the carpet professionally steam cleaned before you list the house. Technically, “steam cleaning” is a misnomer — the process actually involves forcing hot water through the carpet fibers and then vacuuming it out.

We can see the appeal of hot water cleaning — it’s faster and cheaper than replacing the whole carpet, so you might think you can get the house turned around faster that way. But even if hot water cleaning gets all the stains out (which is by no means certain), there’s one thing it can’t hide: wear.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average homeowner is expected to stay in their home for about 13 years. That’s 13 years of footsteps, dogs, kids, spills, vacuuming, furniture, and so on. Since even the best carpets aren’t expected to last more than about 15 years, there will almost certainly be obvious signs of wear on a carpet more than a decade old — especially once the house is empty.

It’s not just the carpet — the pad underneath the carpet wears out, too. After enough foot traffic, the foam becomes compressed, leaving slightly uneven spots in the flooring that are very noticeable to a new owner. If you want the house to look its best, replacing the carpet and padding entirely is the way to go.

Replacing carpets is relatively low-cost — you can get long-lasting Berber carpet for as low as $1.88 a foot — and only takes a day or two to install, but it can completely rejuvenate any home you have on the market. Before you list your next home, replace the carpet! Your seller will thank you.