Replace carpet with laminate floors before selling?

7 Replies

Hello fellow BP members, I have a question in regards to selling my Condo. Question: Should I replace my worn out carpet with new laminate floors before selling? I’m currently in a hot market (Temecula, CA) for sellers. The unit next to me had an offer in within a week of listing it (229k) and it just sold for 237k. The unit that sold had old worn out carpet just like mine and ugly paint. I plan to repaint all of my rooms to a neutral color. My concern is, would I regain the money put into installing the floors plus some? Or am I wasting my time? I received a quote from a flooring company and it will cost about $4k (705sqft) to redo my floor. Note: purchased the condo in 2014 for 175k, currently owe 165k.

If the unit next to yours sold in a week, over asking, and was in worse condition then yours then why make the improvement? Are you trying to sell for a higher price then you think you can get in the current condition?

It might be cheaper and faster to just get some decent, low price carpet (HD or Lowe’s) to replace what’s there. That may make it look a little cleaner instead of the time and labor of laminate, unless you think you can get that done less expensively.

I agree with @Jo-Ann Lapin that the realtor should know the market and if putting in laminate will provide a return to be worth the effort/cost.  Use your realtor's knowledge.

Like many people on BP I have rentals.  At rehab I have been putting in composite flooring but we typically only do rehabs upon tenant turn over on units that the rehab will provide 150% return on rehab cost.  So the most thrashed units are the ones that get rehabbed.  This implies that I have quite a few units that have not been rehabbed and many of these have carpet.  Occasionally carpet needs to be replaced while the tenants occupy the unit (sewer, slab leaks that went undetected for too long and mold is under carpet, etc).  We look to use remnants first.  We personally like the slightly darker neutral color, higher end remnants but the darker color is because it hides stains better in the rentals.

If laminate is not worth the cost/effort but the carpets are really worn you may desire to look at what is available in remnants in your area.  The cost should be significantly less than laminate and less than non remnant carpet.  Again the realtor should be able to tell you if replacing the carpet with remnants will be worth the effort/cost.

Good luck

Originally posted by @Matt B. :

If the unit next to yours sold in a week, over asking, and was in worse condition then yours then why make the improvement? Are you trying to sell for a higher price then you think you can get in the current condition?

It might be cheaper and faster to just get some decent, low price carpet (HD or Lowe’s) to replace what’s there. That may make it look a little cleaner instead of the time and labor of laminate, unless you think you can get that done less expensively.

I would like to get a premium price when I sell. The units that are selling in my complex are on the market for no longer than a week and a half. The last unit that sold in my complex went for $237K

There are condos selling a mile and a half down the street for ~$260K with the same square footage, however, most of them have carpet and are in the same condition as mine. 

Originally posted by @Dan Heuschele :

I agree with @Jo-Ann Lapin that the realtor should know the market and if putting in laminate will provide a return to be worth the effort/cost.  Use your realtor's knowledge.

Like many people on BP I have rentals.  At rehab I have been putting in composite flooring but we typically only do rehabs upon tenant turn over on units that the rehab will provide 150% return on rehab cost.  So the most thrashed units are the ones that get rehabbed.  This implies that I have quite a few units that have not been rehabbed and many of these have carpet.  Occasionally carpet needs to be replaced while the tenants occupy the unit (sewer, slab leaks that went undetected for too long and mold is under carpet, etc).  We look to use remnants first.  We personally like the slightly darker neutral color, higher end remnants but the darker color is because it hides stains better in the rentals.

If laminate is not worth the cost/effort but the carpets are really worn you may desire to look at what is available in remnants in your area.  The cost should be significantly less than laminate and less than non remnant carpet.  Again the realtor should be able to tell you if replacing the carpet with remnants will be worth the effort/cost.

Good luck

 Dan,

Thank you for the thoughtful reply, it is very much appreciated!

Originally posted by @Jo-Ann Lapin :

Ask the realtor that plan on listing with they know their customers.

 Thank you for the suggestion Jo-Ann! I have not chosen a realtor yet but I will definitely bring this up when I do.

Hello Chandler. I'm a realtor here in Temecula. Having worked with so many buyers over the years, I can tell you first hand that the better you present your property, the happier the buyers will be to pay the higher prices. That being said, timing is everything. We are coming into the high season for sales, and prices always go up this time of year. Since there are different types of buyers that want completely different purchases, you will be fine, whichever you decide. If you spend the time and money, don't be afraid to reflect it in the price. Your price point is good for a lot of folks to afford. In my experience, buyers get the best feelings when looking at clean homes. When they feel better, they spend more money! And as long as you aren't overpaying for work, and as long as you're keeping to pleasant, common color choices... you'll do well.  I'd be happy to talk to you more if you're still looking for a realtor. (of course)

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