Buying / selling?

email Kevin: Quick reply.

Replace Carpet or Not: Selling a House

Posted · Add Comment
Picture of Model-Home Carpet Realtor Kevin Paffrath.

All too often, prospective home sellers ask their real estate agents, “Should I replace the carpet or just ‘sell the house as-is?’” Then that begs the question: What about carpet cleaning? Below is the professional, real-estate insight one should consider about carpets.

Carpet to Replace Per Realtor Kevin Paffrath

Here are the musts:

Must #1) The carpet must be neutral. Neutral is beige. That’s it. If the carpet is white, blue, green, too dark of any color, stained, etc.: It is going to hurt the value of the house more than the cost of new carpet.

Must #2) If the carpet is neutral, have it professionally cleaned.

Here are the Facts:

    Carpet to Use Per Real Estate Agent Kevin Paffrath

  • Fact #1) Carpet, along with paint, is one of the first things a buyer will notice.
  • Fact #2) Carpet is one of the cheapest upgrades that will help increase the market value of a house.
  • Fact #3) If the carpet is stained, worn, or the wrong color, a the vast majority of buyers will perceive the house to, “Need work.”
    • Even if the house has endless upgrades (dual-paned windows, new water heater, remodeled kitchen, etc.), a bad carpet will make the house appear like it “needs work.” That puts a stink on all of the upgrades that exist, bringing down the value of those upgrades.
  • Fact #4) Foreclosure banks are now installing new carpet (and paint) because they realize the massive return on investment these upgrades make.
  • Fact #5) Most buyers do not have vision. Why? Because they don’t need to! They would rather buy the flipped house or the foreclosure that has new paint and new carpet than buy a house they cannot move into right away.

      Stained Carpet to Replace Kevin Paffrath Realtor

    • “That’s not true, buyers buy houses that need paint and carpet all of the time.” Yes, I agree. In fact, I am one of those buyers. I LOVE buying houses from sellers who do not do the basic paint and carpet work. Why? The market severely undervalues a house when the carpet is not clean and neutral.

    • In other words, the market (a.k.a. ‘buyers’), demand a large discount on a house without neutral, clean carpet.

Here are the Myths:

MYTH #1) “Buyer will want to put their own style carpet in.”

  • A) This is only true if the house is under-priced. Buyers want a discount for any “work” that needs to be done.
  • B) Buyers would prefer to walk into a house and not think about the carpet.
    • Focus a buyer’s attention on:
      • Upgrades
      • Layout
      • Neighborhood
      • Value
    • Not
      • Work. No one likes work unless they are compensated. To assume a buyer will put in their own carpet AND to ask full market value essentially says, “We want you to work for free by putting your own carpet in.”
  • C) New carpet leads to higher sales prices and can help “set a new comp” by giving the impression of a “move-in-ready” house.

MYTH #2) We’ll sell the house ‘as-is’

  • This only works if the house is priced under market value.
  • Again, buyers want a discount if they are expected to do work (the market builds in the fact that people will have to spend their time doing and coordinating the work, not just the cost of the work).


Do not let a buyer discount the value of your house simply to save the effort of the finishing touches, like:

  • Paint
  • Carpet
  • Outlets
  • Switches
  • Faucets
  • Light fixtures

Staged Carpet Realtor Kevin PaffrathSo, if one is reading this and is thinking about replacing the carpet vs “selling as-is,” believe me: One will be rewarded for replacing the carpet. Do not know which style? Just reference any model home or the pictures herein. Or, ask a carpet installer what type of carpet the flippers are using; that is usually “what’s in.”

Now go replace some carpet.

Post written by Realtor at “Meet Kevin“, the amazing real estate agent and brokerage serving Ventura County and writing for home buyers, sellers, investors, and anyone with an interest in real estate.