Real estate agents and brokers from Palm Springs, Calif. to Nashville, Tenn. and Garden City, N.Y. can be found online encouraging homeowners to rip up the carpet and replace it with tile or hardwood flooring to increase the value of their homes. But does flooring really add value?
New flooring can add a ton of perceived value, encourage higher offers, and even make a home sell faster, but it may not add dollars to your appraisal. Buyers may like the updated flooring and offer more as a result, but don’t expect a higher appraised value. The potential exception to this is if an appraiser considers the overall condition of the home has been raised from poor or average to good with the addition of new flooring.
So sellers, be warned. However, it is important to point out that some picky buyers have been known to run from homes just because they didn’t like the pink carpet in the third bedroom.
What Flooring Issues Should Buyers Look For?
The lesson here for home buyers is not to fall head over heels in love with the flooring and end up over bidding for a home only to lose the deal because the appraisal won’t support it.
Flooring is probably one of the easiest and most inexpensive home improvements of its size. So if you love the rest of the home, pause and do the math.
What is critical for buyers to pay attention to is the quality of the flooring installation. If shoddy work was done, who knows what else was skimped on that could cost you more money later. Underlay is especially important – it may look great from the surface, but if underlay wasn’t properly installed, your flooring could quickly become a nightmare.
What Should Sellers do to Their Floors?
Sellers should of course consider repairing or replacing the flooring when it is badly damaged. However, this doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Depending on the circumstances and condition of the flooring, offering to install custom flooring or giving buyers a credit at closing could make more sense, especially if you are tight on funds.
Which Flooring Options Have the Best Return on Investment?
If you really must replace your flooring and budget isn’t an issue, does a specific type of flooring add more value?
Of course, the best answer really comes down to where you live, the styles of the moment and which rooms you are remodeling. Debbie Gartner, aka “The Flooring Girl” of Westchester, N.Y., tells her clients with hardwood floors that refinishing them is one of the best moves they can make, adjusting the flooring to fit their style with new tones and finishes.
Insiders of the house flipping game will probably tell you that switching to Berber carpet in the bedrooms, affordable tile or laminate faux wood flooring in the living areas, and possibly higher grade marble in small bathrooms makes for the perfect recipe for both rentals and resales – delivering a high visual impact, great ROI and best value for the new owners.
4 Flooring Trends to Consider
If money isn’t an issue, then look into:
- Concrete (stained, colored or stamped)
- Sustainable, ethical or healthier flooring ideas including Marmoleum and recycled carpet.
5 Tips for More Affordable Flooring Projects
If you’ve decided to upgrade your flooring, these ideas may help you maximize your budget:
- Ask contractors if they have access to cheaper flooring.
- Shop online.
- Look for specialty warehouses and clearance centers.
- Learn how to install it yourself.
- Strip the flooring from your neighboring foreclosure properties (just kidding, please don’t).