Selling your home

Get rid of the carpet before selling the house


The New York Times

Q: We have worn carpet in our bedrooms and hardwood floors in the rest of the house. Should we replace the carpet, change it to hardwood or leave it as is?

A: “A worn carpet connotes shabbiness, so I would definitely make a change,” said Shirley Hackel, an associate real estate broker at Warburg Realty in New York. “Happy properties are the ones that are clean and well maintained; they make buyers feel good and bring in the most dollars.” Worn carpets, on the other hand, create the opposite feeling.

The change that would probably be most appreciated by potential buyers, she said, would be to tear out the old wall-to-wall carpeting and replace it with hardwood flooring and area rugs.

And when you pull up the carpet, she added, you might find a pleasant surprise underneath.

“If there are existing hardwood floors under the carpet,” Hackel said, “they can just be refinished.”

Jayne and Joan Michaels, partners in the New York interior design firm 2Michaels, offered the same advice.

“We’d recommend wood floors with a soft rug over them,” Jayne Michaels said. “People usually like a soft rug in a bedroom but aren’t big fans of wall-to-wall carpeting. With carpeting, there are always issues with cleaning and wear. Hardwood always looks clean.”

Although you may be concerned about the cost of installing wood floors, hardwood flooring does not have to blow your budget.

“Prefinished wood floors can be a very inexpensive option,” she said, particularly if you buy them from retailers like Lumber Liquidators or Home Depot, and they will probably increase the value of your home. And any area rug you place on top — Restoration Hardware has some affordable, attractive options, she said — can be rolled up and taken with you on moving day.

If you do decide to put in new wall-to-wall carpeting, the Michaels sisters cautioned against installing anything that looks cheap. But “if you buy a wool carpet, which we’d typically recommend, the cost can add up very quickly,” Jayne Michaels said. “Especially if you want it to be soft or semi-plush.”

A good money-saving alternative, Joan Michaels said, would be to use carpet tiles from Flor: “They’re relatively inexpensive, have the appearance of wall-to-wall, and you can easily replace a tile if it becomes soiled.” And the company, she continued, is “doing nubbier and softer options now,” like the Carry a Torch pattern from the (Better Than) Wool collection, which would be ideal for a bedroom.

In the end, however, almost any new floor covering is better than worn carpeting, Hackel said.

“There’s always the question of money,” she noted, but “an old, shabby carpet is just not welcoming.”

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

  • Washington Report

    A creative way to reach a home sale

    Interest rate buy-downs, long used by home builders, are gaining traction in the resale market.

AT HOME for release JULY 2014 BY DESIGN Caption 05: Metallics, particularly gold, continue to draw the eye in home decor. A highly polished brass four-post bed with a padded upholstered headboard is a shout-out to '70s chic. The new London collection mixes tradition and Carnaby panache with surfaces that the company calls a mash-up of golds: shiny (but warm) brass, gold-leafed woods and satiny jewel-box cabinetry. The rivet treatment on the Kent buffed-brass chest of drawers echoes nailheads on the tailored upholstered drum ottoman.


    Practitioners of ‘modern’ design are softening their traditional starkness

    For minimalists, even a whisper of decoration is like a flaw on an otherwise perfect diamond. But one reason that a more modern aesthetic currently is appealing to a broader segment of consumers is because it’s showing a softer side. That may translate to a loosening of form or color — both unabashed and subtle — where something more neutral is expected.

Crate & Barrel’s Bowery queen bed has drawers underneath for storage

    Interior design

    Need more storage? Might have to sleep on that

    Restoration Hardware’s catalogs might be getting bigger, but its furniture, if you can believe it, is shrinking. In 2012, the retailer responded to growing demand for lighter, leaner pieces by introducing a line of scaled-down furnishings. This year, its Small Spaces catalog is organized by city and residence, such as Los Angeles Bungalow or Boston Brownstone.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category