First Time Selling A Home

victoria_gDecember 3, 2013

It will be my first time selling a home and I would like advice on the best way to do it. We purchased our home new and have been the only owners, we have taken excellent care of it and everything is great with the exception of the carpeting having never been replaced in 9 years.. and it needs to be. We are relocating out of state so probably need to go with a realtor.. and we cant afford to replace the flooring right up front with the expense of moving/renting a new place. We do plan to replace it after 3-4 months if the house does not sell right away, and I doubt it would in this market. We do have in-laws we can trust to watch the house, and it is in a decent lower-middle class neighborhood.
Oh.. and should we leave the cleaned (but irrevocably stained in places) carpet in place or just remove it? Its basic builders carpet.. so I doubt even professional cleaners could even make it right.

This post was edited by victoria_g on Tue, Dec 3, 13 at 9:32

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function_first

I would offer a credit to cover new carpet-- even if you could front the money for new carpet it is the type of thing people prefer to choose themselves -- they might even hate carpet and put the credit toward installing hardwoods. Nothing's worse to me than facing tearing out something new. Much better to be offered a credit.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 9:56AM
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nosoccermom

I would see if it can be cleaned. Some cleaners can do close to miracles. Also, consider your carrying cost if the house is empty for 3 or 4 months.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 10:03AM
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nancylouise_gw

I don't like giving upfront allowances for anything when selling a house. Let that be reflected in the pricing of the home. Definitely get a professional carpet cleaner in to see what if anything can be done about the tough stains. You would be very surprised at what they can do. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 2:15PM
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weedyacres

If you lack the cash flow to replace the carpet, consider opening a Lowe's credit card and putting it on a 6 months no interest deal. If you couple it with $99 whole house installation, which they often have, it won't be that painful.

I'd opt for trying the pro cleaner first. If that doesn't work, buy new carpet (you can do cheap builder's grade). Leaving stained carpet can make an impression that the house is not well cared-for. If you're in a slow market, that could make the difference between a first-time buyer making an offer or not (because they don't have the cash to replace).

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 3:47PM
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victoria_g

Lots of good advice here, I appreciate it. That horrible carpet drives me bonkers. ;) I considered a cheap but nice laminate wood floor, but i need to weigh that against the cost of just replacing the old carpet with basic neutral. Up-front offering a credit might be what we do.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 9:58AM
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nightowlrn

IMO -- if you can, replace the carpet if it is as bad as you make it out to be. Cheap carpet is fine. As a potential buyer, if I saw a lot of stains on a carpet I would question how well other areas of the home are maintained and I wouldn't stay in the home long to find out.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 1:23AM
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graywings123

People are going to look at the carpet and immediately form an opinion of your house. A carpet allowance is a great idea for a sophisticated buyer who can think past the stains, etc. But first time home buyers generally need to see a house that is move in ready in order to be convinced to buy it. Consider who your target audience is.

I seldom say this, but my opinion is that even if you have to take out a loan to replace the carpet, do it.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 9:16AM
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nosoccermom

Agree with everything above. Also, declutter, depersonalize, and clean as much as possible.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2013 at 3:55PM
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victoria_g

Thanks for all the advice. We definitely have been scrubbing walls/doors/everything down and are sealing any little nail holes and freshening up the paint in every room. I am going to steam clean the floors as much as possible myself and replace them asap later. They are probably driving me more crazy than they might anyone else.. they are not torn up or anything seriously detrimental at least.

Ive seen some "things" out and about house hunting for my new place that makes me feel a bit less paranoid about those few stubborn dark spots on my carpets..

Some of these places.. just wow. Do not see how they even considered trying to sell a home with gashes to the baseboards and crusty spills on their carpets.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 8:41AM
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iread06

I agree with you about the condition of some homes for sale (Shocking), but, don't forget, potential buyers won't be comparing your house to the worst house they've seen, they'll be comparing it to the best they've seen. In order to sell, your house has to be the best of the comparable group---at least to one buyer

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 11:24AM
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nosoccermom

What really shocks me is homes that are for sale with paint slapped over obviously softening drywall, outlets, and light switches, or new carpet over rotting subfloor and windows. On the other hand, there are new (cheap) SS appliances and "staging." Do they think buyer are blind, or do people not really care?

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 1:10PM
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victoria_g

I spoke with my realtor and basically I need to get the house freshly power-washed, the door to my laundry room fixed, and finish painting/cleaning and its good to go.. so really not bad news... and I asked for total honestly. He said initially I can clean the carpets and offer replacement at the time of sale, and if the home does not move right away I will replace the old carpeting within the first 2 months anyways.

Hopefully I can finish all this in 2 weeks.. my weekend will be crazy!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 1:37PM
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Acadiafun

Good luck Victoria. For what it is worth I would replace the carpets ASAP. New paint and carpet means "move in condition" for many buyers and it is important to them. Lowes or Home Depot will install relatively cheap carpet very quickly and I used HD for this purpose when I sold my first house. I had fresh paint, and new carpet and the house sold the first day listed. Also- if you go this route I recommend choosing light colored carpet as this has more appeal to many buyers.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 12:14AM
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Happyladi

What's under the carpet? If it's wood, remove it now.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 12:28PM
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nosoccermom

If they are the first owners, and the house had carpet for 9 years, chances are that it's not wood underneath.

Agree to have the carpet replaced unless you can get it really well cleaned, so it looks (almost) new. I'd call in an expert on removing spots. I've seen it done.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 1:50PM
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detroit_burb

post pictures on the design forum to help with room staging, and consider putting down runners/small area rugs if the stains are localized.

do not spend any money on replacing carpet. there are all kinds of "fixes."

removing 50% or more of your belongings (you will need to pack up anyway if you are moving) and leaving the place sparsely furnished will help sell quick. Go on real estate websites to see sales in the last 6 months and be brutally honest with yourself. A house that sells fast will put money in the bank for you because you will not have to pay mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc.

be aware that leaving a house vacant waiting for a sale may raise your insurance, your rate is based on occupied property. if something happens after you leave and you do not report that the property is vacant to your insurer, they can deny a claim.

so sell ASAP by cleaning out, and pricing well.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2013 at 4:17PM
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jewelisfabulous

The first 3-4 weeks on the market is your best chance at selling your home. Replacing the carpet only after the best viewings have come and gone with no offer is a classic newbie mistake. I disagree with your realtor and agree with the posts above that it's far better to replace your carpet before putting your home on the market than at some point after it's been on the market. Stained carpet will just give buyers a reason to strike your home from their list even if you provide a flooring allowance because too many buyers simply have no vision when it comes to cosmetic glitches.

A realtor friend told me that, in his experience, buyers who can see past stained carpet will discount their offer anyway (and still expect the allowance).

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 3:25PM
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daniellaB

You can renovate your house before you sell it.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:37AM
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