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The 3 Best Carpets for Selling Your Client’s Home

Fixing up a house you’re trying to sell is a tricky balance. You don’t want to spend so little that the house loses curb appeal, but you also don’t want to sink more money into the house than you can get back in the sale price.

One of the most important areas of the house to consider before selling is the carpet. After a decade of being lived in, almost all carpet will show obvious signs of wear and dirt. When the furniture is out of the house, those indications of aging are even more obvious. So which carpet should you put in a house before you sell it? We have some tips.

Why Carpet?

First, we know what you’re thinking. Isn’t carpet going out of style? Shouldn’t I put in a hard flooring surface if I really want the house to sell? The answer: it depends, but don’t write off carpet just yet.

First of all, carpet is the best bang for your buck when it comes to surfacing large areas. While vinyl flooring can cost $5 to $8 per square foot and hardwood even more, carpet can be had for under $1 per square foot, depending on style and quality.

That’s not to mention the cost of installation. If the house you’re selling has carpet now, then there’s a good chance that there’s a plywood subfloor underneath. A high-quality carpet pad and carpet can be easily installed on top of that subfloor in a day or two. Hardwood takes much longer, often involves resurfacing subfloors, and costs much, much more.

Finally, there’s the question of comfort. Hardwood floors aren’t much fun to walk on in bare feet or play with children on. In living rooms, bedrooms, family rooms, and play areas, carpet is still the best choice for a cozy home.

What to Consider

Some realtors try to avoid the whole question of which carpet to install by offering a carpet allowance — taking a few thousand off the sale price so that the new buyers can install whatever new carpet they want. While a carpet allowance might save you time, we think it’s a bad idea.

When someone comes by to look at the house, first impressions matter. Old carpet that looks dingy, discolored, and faded will give an air of dilapidation to the whole house. Old carpet also holds lingering smells from pets, mildew, and dust that can put off potential buyers even if they don’t consciously notice them. Home shopping is aspirational and no one dreams of moving into a dingy home. Offering them a carpet allowance won’t change those first impressions, even if rationally they know they can fix the place up after they buy.

What Color Carpet Should You Install?

When it comes to carpet color, neutral tones are a realtor’s best friend. Pick a carpet in a shade of tan, beige, taupe, or other subtle tones — if you’re feeling trendy, go with a cool gray color. Avoid strong colors or tints — you don’t want potential buyers thinking that you’re forcing their hand when it comes to the decor or furniture that will look good with their floors.

Carpet Styles

There are dozens of carpet styles to choose from, and we have some suggestions below. The important thing is to pick a pattern and texture in the middle of the road. You might see a floral cut-and-loop texture that you love, but buyers could be put off by strong statements in one direction or another.

Carpet Material

In most cases, a synthetic carpet material will be your best bet. If you’re operating on a tight budget, a polyester carpet will give you the best value. If you’re replacing the carpet in a higher-end home, a nylon carpet or triexta fiber like Sorona SmartStrand might be worth the money.

Natural fibers like wool, cotton, or sisal should be avoided unless the house you’re selling is extremely upscale and trendy. Natural cotton fibers often need special care to keep them clean and durable, and the average family will be reluctant to take on that burden.

How Much to Spend

There’s no hard and fast rule for how much to spend on replacing the carpet in a home you’re putting on the market — it will vary based on the price of the house. If you’re selling a home in the RiNo neighborhood of Denver for $350,000, you can probably spend less on carpet than if you’re selling a $4 million home in Cherry Creek.

Berber Carpet

Berber carpet is one of the most popular carpet styles on the market these days, and with good reason. It’s extremely durable, comes in a variety of materials from polyester and nylon to triexta and olefin fibers, and can stand up to high-traffic areas like living rooms, hallways, and stairs. Berber also comes with excellent stain resistance, making it a perfect choice for households with pets or small children.

Shag Pile Carpet

Shag pile carpet is back! Once thought to be a relic of the 1970s, shag pile carpet has made a huge comeback — but not in the orange and brown tones that you might remember. Instead, shag carpet is now available in a wide variety of materials and subtle colors that will match any modern decor. Done properly, shag pile carpeting is stunning.

Shag should be used sparingly to maximize its effect, such as if you want to give the master bedroom a luxurious look. Nothing gives an air of decadent luxury like a thick shag pile carpet.

Twisted Pile Carpet

Twisted pile carpet has long been one of the most popular choices for any residential application. Where loop pile consists of closed loops that can catch on vacuums, furniture, and cat claws, twisted pile consists of loops of yard that have been tightly twisted and then cut so that they stand up. The higher the twist, the denser the carpet.

Replace Carpet on a Budget

Our number one tip for replacing carpet before you sell a home is to shop at Sloane’s Carpet Secret. We carry top-shelf brand name carpets at prices that won’t break your budget, so you can get your clients’ homes looking their best. Take a look!