Why Should I Replace My Carpet Before Selling My House?

Our carpets serve as a memorial for our spilled food and drinks, dirty feet and other daily messes. So when you’re trying to sell your home, err on the side of caution and replace them. Clean carpets portray an empty canvas and help potential buyers visualize themselves living in your home while dirty carpets spark their imagination for how the rest of the home and property have been maintained and treated. The majority of homeowners, up to 80%, prefer a move-in-ready home and dirty carpets send the opposite message. Homebuyers will not be willing to pay more (or anything for that matter) for your home if they have to spend the time and money to replace worn-out carpet and consequently, your home will sit on the market. 


The lifespan of a carpet is between 5 and 15 years and on average, homeowners reside in their homes for 13 years. In that time, our carpets are tarnished by dirt, allergens and stains and are especially damaged by pets and children (pet odors are one of the most common reasons for a home not selling). While you may not know the exact age of your carpet, you can evaluate their state to determine if they need replacing. Areas with high-traffic such as entryways, hallways and walkways will tell the real story. Is your carpet frayed or ripping up at the baseboards? Are they visibly worn down? Are there noticeable stains? Is there a lingering odor? Is it covered in or does it smell like mildew? Even new carpets can be in terrible condition if they are subject to high-traffic areas and endure the brunt of the daily messes. Consider replacing carpets older than 15 years, even if they appear clean, because their fibers become matted and frayed and the padding gets worn down- and chances are it looks outdated. If however the carpets are not old, damaged or stained, then it is recommended to professionally clean them to remove any underlying odors that have become trapped in the fibers. Potential buyers are much more sensitive to smells in your home as they are not immune to it like you are.


New carpet, hardwood floors or luxury vinyl tile are currently the most popular flooring options and thus the safest choice to replace carpet with, as they will appeal to the majority. Carpeting itself accounts for almost half, 48%, of the total flooring market in the United States. Each option however, offers its own advantage. Carpets are soft, decrease sound and provide insulation that will respectively lower heating and cooling costs. Hardwood floors are low maintenance, easy to clean, strong, durable and can be refinished. Luxury vinyl tile is softer than hardwood and tile, can mirror countless flooring styles and is water resistant. In rooms with an abundance of moisture or where messes are more prone to occur, like bathrooms and kitchens, carpets should be replaced with flooring other than carpet. However, carpets reign superior for bedrooms, living rooms and basements because of their warmth and comfortability. 


Choosing new floors for your home can be overwhelming, but when in doubt, always choose the most neutral so it will appeal to the broadest amount of people. For carpets, stick to beiges, taupe’s and brownish greys with minimal yellow undertones. Lighter colored carpets should be reserved for low-traffic areas. In regards to wood floors, opt for darker rather than lighter because it hides dirt more easily and offers a richer look. While luxury vinyl tile does come in a variety of colors and appearances, the most favored are tiles that resemble hardwood floors or classic stone styles. 


Floors are one of the first things buyers see- and feel- when they step into a home and establish the overall feel and aesthetic. New floors will not only make your home smell fresher, or look newer, but they will also significantly increase the value of your home.