New carpeting to sell a house

marvelousmarvinFebruary 19, 2014

I was reading through New York TImes' series about preparing your home for sale, Market Ready, when I found this article:

In the article, it says:

Ms. Scalo often uses Grand Tournai carpeting by Merida. "It's really fresh looking, wears well and has an organic feeling to it," she said, that resembles sea grass, but it is actually made from 60 percent wool and 40 percent sisal. It also comes in neutral hues (Ms. Scalo's favorite is Honey) that appeal to a wide range of tastes perfect when your intention is to sell.

"Its not million-dollar carpet, but its also not cheap," she said. (The retail price is $17.90 a square foot; information: 800-345-2200 or

Then again, carpet is not a good thing to skimp on. As Ms. Scalo put it, "Cheap tends to look cheap," a signal you would not want to send to potential buyers. [/QUOTE]

I can understand the importance of getting new carpeting when its too soiled to clean, but to pay $17.90 a square foot for carpeting?

Did anybody ever that and put in expensive carpet for a house you were going to sell? Or, did you just put in new, but cheap carpet as long as the cheap carpet wasn't hideous or something.

How would somebody really know if the carpet is cheap or as expensive as Scalo's recommended carpet?

This post was edited by marvelousmarvin on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 2:56

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In all decisions when preparing a house to sell, the owner has to consider ROI. If $17.90/sf carpet is in keeping with the home, the home's price, and the neighborhood AND will help get offers close to the desired list price, it's the right decision. That said, $17.90/sf carpet is not usually a wise choice for most soon-to-be-listed homes.

On the flip side: when shopping for carpet recently, a sales associate was shaking her head in disgust at sellers and flippers who selected polyester or olefin carpet when a good nylon carpet was available for nearly the same price. They didn't care that their choice would look terrible and need to be replaced by the new homeowners within a short time; afterall, they weren't going to live there and wouldn't have to deal with it.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:40AM
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The Times article speaks to an upscale NY market where buyers are paying high prices. Cheap carpet would be a turn-off in this market.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:24AM
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"How would somebody really know if the carpet is cheap or as expensive as Scalo's recommended carpet?"

Go to any large box store with a variety of carpet samples at various price points. Feel them. Look at them. The cheaper stuff is usually pretty flimsy and not as tightly woven. The more expensive carpet has a tighter weave. They also feel different.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 12:09PM
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We put some cheap carpeting in my dad's house when we sold it. In my heart of hearts, I just know they probably ripped it out to put in something decent.

Yeah--the NYC market is different--I think that in some places, you are required to have carpet on an upper floor, so a nice, neutral, new carpet is probably a good idea. And where a 300 ft studio goes for $359,000, I wouldn't go cheap, either. In most regular houses, I don't think new carpet is necessarily a selling point, since lots of people these days might want to put in hardwood or laminate or tile.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 5:39PM
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In a similar vein, I'd like to hear feedback on fixing/staging/updating 25 yr old rough plywood stairs to a bonus room with a plywood floor over the garage with access to the master. We pretty much have lived like college kids in this room that we use as our office. It is 26x20, we are outside of Boston and house is in the $700k -ish range. Price to put hardwood on the stairs is $2.5 K - Would you do it? Would you give a flooring allowance for the office? Or what would you put down? Thx.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:09PM
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She was referring to runners in "staircases":

"Lynne Scalo, an interior designer in Westport, Conn., suggested adding a tasteful runner even if the wood underneath isnâÂÂt worn. Particularly in large houses with high ceilings, she said, a runner can make the space feel warmer while providing a more forgiving surface for children.

Ms. Scalo often uses Grand Tournai carpeting by Merida......"

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Belfast--do it. On a 700K house, 2.5k is nothing and will get the house sold instead of people thinking "work, work, work... too much work to do".

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:15PM
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Thanks Kirkhall just the jump start I needed.

Since the 26x20 space could be an exercise room, extra bedroom, playroom, or office I am a deer in the headlight for finishing it - hence thinking offering $1,000 allowance. Is that enough? It is pretty ugly after 25 years. We will have a similar room in our next house and wondering what type of carpet could be put down for staging and shoved out the window (because of size) when we move? Thx for your support.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 9:52AM
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I would not offer an allowance. Allowances are intended to alleviate the buyer's concerns about a flaw in the house. I don't see that an unfinished space above a garage is a flaw, I see it as a definite positive that should be used to market your house. Smart buyers love the option of "expansion space" because it allows them to decide what the room should be for their family and gives them a chance to easily increase their equity by finishing it.

Secondly, in cases where the allowance is offered due to a flaw (like worn out flooring), many buyers will take the allowance and will STILL reduce the their offer for the same flaw. In those cases, the owner should either fix the flaw before listing OR simply price the home taking the flaw into consideration.

Again, your unfinished stairs and bonus room is so not a negative.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 2:56PM
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I would put the hardwood on the stairs, either way (whether or not you finish the bonus space).

Is the floor the only "unfinished" part of the bonus space? Or, are the walls not insulated, electrical bare minimum, etc?

While you could market it as a positive, I'd check in with your local realtors with their suggestions. They will know your 700k market best--whether it being finished would be a positive or neutral to what you currently have now.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 4:09PM
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Walls are blue board with plaster, ceiling is plaster, window trim primed - but plan to paint, too easy and cheap not to do. Space is heated, 14 foot ceilings. Thanks again for your input.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:04PM
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I would carpet it inexpensively not $100 ft but a step above builder's add baseboard moulding and consider carpeting the stairs. the space would be finished for 2K or less and would help buyers envision it as whatever they decided to use it for, buyers see unfinished and assume it will be big $$$ and a hassle, this way they will see finished space they can upgrade, not unfinished space they have to finish. it sounds like you have already had the expensive part done. I wouldn't put in hardwoods, a space over a garge is bound to be chilly in the winter and for some uses (a playroom or kid's rec room) carpet is warmer and quieter.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2014 at 10:35PM
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