Finding the right flooring for your home sale
by Les O’Dell, Contributing Writer
Let’s face it. We don’t give our floors much respect. We put them down, walk all over them and treat them dirty. But when it comes time to selling our homes, Mark Novoa says we need to show our floors some love.
“Flooring is one of the main components of a home,” says Novoa, owner of Ground FX Flooring, a Midwestern flooring supplier and installation company. “When you walk into an empty room, you’ve got paint, there are the finishes—things like baseboards and trim—and the floors. They are important.”
Novoa points to a full range of flooring to prep your home for a sale, ranging from hardwoods and carpeting to tile, decorative epoxies and concrete. He says laminate waterproof flooring is also a popular alternative.
“It’s not as expensive as hardwood and comes in a variety of styles and colors and is very durable,” he says. “In a lot of rural areas, it is a very good choice—places where you need a pet-proof, kid-proof, flooring option where you can come in dirty and not worry about staining or scratching the floor.”
WHERE TO FLOOR
The decision to replace floors involves more than making a choice of materials. Sellers also must decide which rooms need new flooring.
“You can’t go wrong with installing floors throughout the main level of a home, including the kitchen,” says Jonathan Faccone of Halo Homebuyers in Bridgewater Township, N.J. “With many people favoring the open-concept look, running the same flooring throughout the space helps provide a roomier feel.”
Novoa agrees. “Flooring can transform the look and feel of a space. It’s an important component; something to be done so a buyer doesn’t have to worry about it. It should be done tastefully and well-done to be move-in ready,” he says.
Carpet remains a popular selection and has several benefits. It can hide imperfections in the floor and is one of the least expensive choices.
“If the carpet smells like pets or is dirty, it should be professionally cleaned or changed out. Of course, you can offer a carpet allowance, but that doesn’t change the perception,” says Jason Gelios, author of “Think Like a Realtor.”
“When you replace the carpet, you will get a better price for the home and you won’t get lowball offers because the buyer has stained carpet in mind.”
Some real estate agents, including Jimmy Whaley of Whaley Realty in Americus, Ga., suggest sellers leave flooring decisions to the new owners.
“As long as floors and especially carpet are in good shape, I don’t recommend changing them out because buyers have their own ideas and their own preferences,” he says. “Of course, that is unless you have ‘70s shag carpeting or if it is stained or stinks.”
Novoa says to really make an impression, don’t forget the garage floor.
“Believe me, there is nothing more impressive than hitting the garage remote on a house you are showing and as the door is lifting, it reveals a professional industrial-grade finish on the floor,” he says. “It is almost like adding an additional living space. My refrigerator is out there, the freezer is out there and if I’m hanging out with my buddies, we will go out to the garage.”
Les O’Dell is a multimedia reporter for The Southern Illinoisan and a frequent contributor to Illinois Country Living.