Wood still beats carpeting

oak stair case – hardwood floors

Go ahead and remove the old carpeting before selling your home if that carpeting is sitting on hardwood floors.

Home buyers usually prefer hardwood floors. I have know this for many years. National Association of REALTORS® found that 54% of home buyers were willing to pay more for a home with hardwood flooring. (study done in 2016)

I am not suggesting that people who want to sell their homes run out and replace the carpeting with hardwood floors. Sometimes the carpeting needs to be replaced and there is hardwood flooring under it. Even hardwood floors that need a little work are better than old carpeting and usually better than new carpeting.

From experience I know that there are certain types of homes that people expect to see hardwood flooring in. People expect older homes to have hardwood floors. That doesn’t mean that hardwood is preferred in bedrooms, kitchens and baths or that every room in the house has to have hardwood floors.

It should also be noted that a buyer’s willingness to pay more for a home with hardwood doesn’t mean that they will be willing to pay enough to cover the cost of the hardwood floors. There is quite a price range for the flooring and it doesn’t always have to be oak.

Some of the most popular flooring options include mid-priced varieties such as teak, American cherry and oak, which costs $5 to $10 per square foot for materials and another $4 to $8 per square foot for installation. Carpeting costs a lot less, which is one of the reasons why it became so popular.

There are a lot of choices even composite wood floors. Dark wood floors have made a big comeback.

Nothing is really all that black and white when it comes to making improvements that will have a positive impact on resale value. There are shades of gray but it is good to know that home buyers will pay more for homes with hardwood floors.

What is clutter?

We always advise home sellers to clean and declutter before putting a home on the market, but what is clutter? We don’t all define clutter the same way. I define it as “stuff” that distracts potential home buyers.

The stuff keeps potential buyers from seeing the beauty of the home. Here are a few items that become clutter once the home is for sale:

  1. Family photos.

    Antique Tea pot
  2. Wall calendars.
  3. Refrigerator magnets.
  4. Too many house plants, real or fake.
  5. Too many books
  6. Doilies
  7. Throw rugs
  8.  Extra dining room chairs
  9. Large ottomans
  10. Large coffee tables
  11. Extra end tables
  12. Large collections of almost anything

The important thing to remember is that it is alright to use our homes anyway we see fit but when it comes to selling a home it is all about marketing. Women in particular react negatively to “clutter”. Less really is more and when in doubt, leave it out. The general idea is to make the space look larger and a bit more generic.

My list is only partial and has the most common items that I ask home owners to remove from rooms. Homes that are not decluttered sell too. The list is aimed at the home owners that want to go that extra mile and put some effort into getting the most money for their home in the least amount of time.

The longer people have lived in a home the harder it is for them to de-clutter. As a service to my clients I go through their homes before they put them on the market and make suggestions.

The reason your house did not sell

Even in this market some homes do not sell right away. There is really only one reason why a home doesn’t sell. It is because the home is over priced but there is a little more to it than that.

Some homes are priced  right but photographed and marketed so poorly that they get over looked by interested buyers. Other homes might sell for close to the asking price if the owners would make a few repairs.

In general homes have a value and should be priced accordingly. Sometimes home owners choose a price based on how much money they want for their home. As a home owner myself I can relate. It would be nice to get half a million for my home but I know it is worth half that much but only if it is fixed up real nice.

Homes that are dated inside tend to sell for less than the homes that have updated kitchens and baths. Sometimes major updates are not needed. Fresh paint, new hardware and some new light fixtures are enough. What is old and tired can be made to look new and fresh again, or maybe neutral enough to be attractive to a home buyer.

In most cases the real estate agent listing the home isn’t the main reason a home hasn’t sold. The homes that are the easiest to sell are the homes that have owners who take an active interest in the home sale process. When the home owner refuses to fix a leaky pipe or won’t tidy up before a showing the house is harder to sell.

The local real estate market still favors sellers. All homes are salable. If you would like to know why your home didn’t sell when it was on the market ask or agent or give me a call.

Sold in less than a week, with multiple offers for more than the asking price.


Hiring movers Vs. DIY

Some people hire movers and others move with the help of friends and family. I remember way back in my 20’s my husband and I rented a U-Haul and with the help of some friends we moved from on second floor apartment without an elevator to another second floor apartment without an elevator.

We didn’t have much in those days but what we was big and heavy. We were young and strong and so were our friends but when we moved again seven years later we hired a moving company.

Hiring movers costs money but it may also save money and a lot of grief. There isn’t anyway to make moving fun but hiring movers will make it less un-fun.

The professionals are less likely to damage furniture or the home they are moving it into. Movers are less likely to be injured. Your friends could get hurt trying to help you heft that big old sofa into the house.

For people who are both buying and selling the movers can be loading the truck during the closing on the sale of your home.

There is a solution for every moving logistics type problem. I have seen them all and so have they.  If you ask me money spent on movers is money well spent.

Two men and a truck

An example of marketing

fresh salsa

I found this display at the Farmer’s market. It stood out from the average stall featuring the same fresh produce.

Marketing a home is a bit different than marketing produce but there are some similarities too.

The artistic display is created by staging, the home is photographed by a professional and words are included with the pictures on the internet. The home stands out.

Real estate agents like to use the word “fabulous”, I think I like the word “amazing” better.

This grower knows how to market produce. A trip to the Saint Paul Farmer’s market can be educational.