Dear Home Staging Expert -
My wife and I are finally going to be living our dream after 35 years of life in the Midwest. We are anxious, excited, and ready to head to The Sunshine State, and plan to relocate as soon as the house sells. The problem is, our realtor has asked us to replace the carpeting before the house goes on the market. I agree it is definitely old carpeting, but I don’t want to dip into our retirement funds since the move will be expensive. I think it would be better to just give the new buyer a carpeting allowance and let them pick their own. I don’t want to spend anything out-of-pocket we won’t be getting back. What do you think?
Don’t-Wanna-Spend-The-Money in Chicago
Dear Don’t-Wanna-Spend-The-Money -
I totally hear ya, and really…who wants to spend money on a home you will be leaving behind for an update you won’t get to enjoy yourself? But I’m afraid your realtor is right. Buyers can’t see a carpeting allowance. They can only see what’s there right now. And unfortunately, more than 90% of potential buyers can’t seem to visualize anything beyond that. They also tend to think of an ‘allowance’ as an opening to make an even lower offer if they make an offer at all, over-estimate the cost to replace, and tend to think of it as a hassle, in general. ‘Move-in-ready’ condition is the key to enticing a solid offer on your property.
That being said, while I totally understand your dilemma, I have to disagree with you on one major point; You will definitely be seeing a return on your investment in the form of a quicker sale and higher offer! And that is the ultimate goal, right there. While it might not feel like it now, once the carpeting is replaced and the house is staged and looking fabulous, your house will suddenly appeal to a much larger market.
My best advice would be to listen to your real estate agent. I suggest you bite the bullet, shop around and look for a deal that offers interest-free financing or something similar, and replace that carpeting upfront. If you can find a financing deal like that, and they do come around quite frequently, you can purchase the carpeting and have it installed without dipping into your retirement funds and simply pay it off the investment at closing.
Look for carpeting that is nice and neutral and goes with everything! New carpeting is a HUGE selling point and will positively influence how your house is perceived by potential buyers.
Thank you for writing in, and wishing you and your wife a world of happiness on your new adventure!
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