Flooring allowance?

ladynimueApril 2, 2008

How many of you have offered a flooring allowance? Or did you chose instead to lower to price of your home to reflect that it needs new flooring? Do you offer full cost or just some percentage? Did it work out okay for you? Did you ever buy a house that came with an allowance?

After a two approx. $2,000 quotes to replace carpet in two bedrooms and one hallway, I'm wondering if it just might be better to leave the old stuff here and offer an allowance. Master bedroom suite carpet is heavily stained, the other carpets are old multi-blue short shag (wearing out, but more outdated than in bad shape). All other flooring is tile.

This is for a mid-priced home...mostly updated except for floors, so someone could move in and not have to do much except hire someone to install whatever flooring they want. We're in a good market, I don't expect any trouble selling as long as we set the price right.

Our agent will be here this afternoon to offer his opinion but I also want to know yours.

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I would replace the carpet. There is no beating a positive first impression.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 12:12PM
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For $2000 and a better first impression, I'd probably replace it. We did buy a home a number of years ago that had a $2000 carpet allowance to replace outdated and worn carpet in the living room, hall and three bedrooms. To us that was preferable to having the sellers put in new carpet, simply because beneath the old carpet were hardwood floors. We took the allowance and used it to refinish the hardwoods instead of replace the carpet.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 12:25PM
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I would vote for replacing the flooring if that is the lone detractor on the house. Frankly most buyers have no vision and will go in there and have a negative impression of the house due to the carpet and probably not see the positives as much.

I'm sure a lot of Gardenwebbers will disagree as they have vision, but from the general population, they want it finished.

If the rest of the house were not updated, I would say leave it and no allowance, just price accordingly.

Get a professional opinion in your market and see what they say.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 2:42PM
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I would replace the carpet, at least the shag with a neutral color.

You also might think to offer a decorating allowance, let them use it for whatever they want. Did you ever do anything with the dining room tile?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 4:24PM
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We had new vinyl installed in the kitchen of a house we sold last summer. The previous vinyl was very old and worn. It looked terrible, and our realtor was sure it'd turn off a lot of people. Cost us $1,000.

I agree that first impressions count and that most buyers have no vision.

I'd replace the carpet with something neutral.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 4:26PM
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Thanks everyone, I think it's wise to install the new carpet. The agent wasn't particularly helpful - he said if we can afford it then go ahead, otherwise do the best we can.

He also said the old carpet would likely limit the available pool of buyers, but it's hard to say whether it would limit it so much that spending $2k is worth it (or not) - some homes here are selling in less than a week, and people who prefer everything to be new do have the option of buying one of the new builds. Mosts of the new builds are smaller sqf and lesser quality construction, so it's kind of 50-50.

We're installing new tile in the master bath (it was carpeted) for $1k. And Roselvr, we are buying 5 boxes of left over high quality laminate flooring from our agent for $100, and we hope this will solve the kitchen floor problem. Everything else we've tried just hasn't worked out or has looked like you know what. I'm so tired of trying to figure out that darn floor! On the other hand, the new kitchen looks great and shows well.

I made a mistake in my op - the blue carpet is only in ONE bedroom and in the hallway. HD has a $199 install special right now and quote me a total with tax of $1750 for 111sy.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Replace the carpet. The blue shag would be a turn off to me. The dirty, stained carpet in the bedroom would make me wonder how dirty the rest of the house is.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 2:47AM
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Even if the rest of your house looks great, it would be forever remembered as the one with the gross carpets.
One caveat, don't go with a shag. I know you are probably thinking of a frieze, but for many people, they can't even look at shags, they think '70's. I personally love a cream colored frieze for look and durability, but as a realtor, I wouldn't put it in as a replacement.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 6:47AM
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I hadn't thought of people thinking our home might be dirty because of stained carpet (it was like that when we bought it and won't come out), but I guess they could get that impression, though I'm anal about cleaning. I myself get an ick feeling when I look at it, so I do think many other people would feel the same.

I don't even know what frieze is?? Not putting shag in though, just a low pile.

What about a Berber in the spare bedroom and hall?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 12:54PM
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lady -- some people don't like Berber (including my hubby) and some people do not like frieze (me), so I'd actually just do a low pile neutral carpet to appeal to a broader range of buyers.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:28PM
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Here is what frieze looks like. It is often used in parade of homes homes because it withstands traffic so well.

Here is a link that might be useful: What is frieze?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 3:06PM
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Check around for prices, Home Depost is often more expensive then other places.

I have a frieze and I like it. A cheap frieze looks better then a cheap plush, I think. Don't get berber, it's a little more dated and not as soft as a plush or frieze.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 6:28PM
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Don't use HD. I would replace the carpet. It would be a real PITA for the new owner to have to install new carpet before moving in, and worse AFTER moving in. If perchance there are hardwood floors in good condition under the carpet, then refinish them and forget new carpet.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 7:30PM
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My carpet needed replaced and my Realtor advised against an allowance. He said in this market (houses are selling but there are a lot more to choose from) your house needs to look better than the others in your price range. Our new home purchase hinges on the sale of our current home so I am doing all I can (within reasonable time and financial limits) to make it as appealing as possible.

I've painted about half the interior, replaced all the carpet (over 200 sq ft) replaced the ugly worn kitchen floor with new vinyl, and then when they told me my hardwood entry could not be refinished, I replaced it with tile. I hope the investment pays off, even if I don't get the money back, I truly believe I would have a hard time selling without doing it, it was all long overdue.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 12:41AM
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Well I ended up ordering a neutral plush today, from HD. Cost was about $1600 and like janjan, I really hope these improvements pay off in a quick sale at a good price.

Thanks to all the replies I don't feel so nervous and unsure about spending so much money on a house we won't be living in much longer. I sincerely appreciate everyone's responses. I'm only nervous now about how long they'll take to install!

Btw, HD was the least expensive of all my options (available companies that could get the install done within a month). One place I called had an add for "Carpet 3 Rooms just $495!" I called just to find out that it was another $1650 for padding and installation. Other places had only subpar quality in stock. ugh

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 1:50AM
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Sounds like you did ok.

I actually like the Fleck in the Dried Peat & thistle. We have a flecked in our living room, don't see the color we used it is a light beige with taupe & sage. We were going to get the sage version, maybe in the new house.

We did buy ours from the Depot as they were the only ones that had what we liked. In our master we used a carpet place & got a berber in taupe as they were the only ones that had that specific color / type.

IMO, you have to know your market in order to know what to do. It's so hard making the decision. You take a gamble and either it pays off and you sell or it doesn't.

Good luck. I think you made a good decision as that will leave the flooring in the main living area for the next person to redo if they so choose. It's really a personal choice, where I could see some not liking what you picked if you redid the tile or others coming in and it kills the deal because it will be a big job to rip it out. Since I've never had tile, I'd be afraid of how large a job it is. Pretty sure sparksals posted about hers at one time.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:34AM
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I think you made the right choice. I'm one of those people that has "no vision" When I bought my place 7 years ago there was one just like it on the market a few miles away. It was listed for 10K less. Both good neighborhoods. The one we bought had a few upgrades over the other but not 10k worth though! The differences were mostly cosmetic. Our place had a nice, more formal looking neutral carpet, the other a more worn looking forest green. Our place was nicely decorated with some color on the walls, while the other was partially empty with worn white walls. The person staying there was using a blow up mattress and had his dirty clothes on the floor.

I had the ability to reason with myself that the differences were things we could change but I had an emotional connection with the house we bought and the other one frankly left me feeling totally blah and uninspired. It wasn't until we were half way through seeing it that I realized it was the same floor plan, it just looked and felt totally different.

My house is in an average or slightly above average price range for my area, and there are certainly much grander things out there. I'm just hoping the changes I've made by getting rid of the 15 year old carpet, freshing up the paint and decorating will make someone have that same emotional connection with this place as I did.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:44AM
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