should a home seller offer a flooring allowance on a finished lower level of a home ? or try picking out

Asked by Apple Valley Dog Walker, Apple Valley, MN Sun Jul 19, 2009

flooring a buyer would like ?

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Jeff Wall’s answer
Jeff Wall, Agent, Apple Valley, MN
Fri Feb 8, 2013
I agree, an allowance is better than nothing but a lower price will attract more buyer's. Hopefully they have a good buyer's agent to explain the costs involved and the value of the home.
0 votes
Joe Houghton, Agent, Plymouth, MN
Wed Sep 22, 2010
In my opinion the flooring allowance doesn't usually do much for a buyer. When a buyers sees things that need work or need replacing they typically deduct whatever they think it will cost to replace from the offer they make on your property if they are even interested in your property. They almost always over estimate what it will cost and this almost always affects your bottom line. The most important thing to do is to get your home to show better than the competition, to be move in ready and to be priced at or below the competition. First time buyers tend to have a very hard time picturing the home with different amenities, finishes, decor etc. and they tend to either rule the home out right away or fall in love with the home based on the general feel the home gives them. It's very hard for a first time buyer to see past messy, smelly, or outdated homes and to see the potential in home. The better home shows, the sooner it will sell and the sooner your home sells the more money you will net.
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Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Sun Jul 19, 2009
Apple Valley Dog,

First, there is no right or wrong answer. Second, the opinions will be as different as the agents giving them. My answer is that it depends. If people aren't buying your house because of the flooring in your lower level and you are consistently receiving that as feedback, get the work done. It is too hard for buyers to envision what it could be and most will be concerned with whether or not what you are offering as an allowance will enough to get them what they want - even if it is.

If the flooring is okay, it isn't being mentioned in the feedback, and you are just doing it because you don't know what else to do but feel you need to do something. Reduce your price by the amount that you were going to offer as an allowance or spend on the floor. In the end it is nice to have a perfect house but if what is there will do for now, it is better to have a perfectly (or at least that much better) priced house.

Cameron Piper
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1 vote
Patrick Howa…, Agent, Edina, MN
Sun Jul 19, 2009
My answer would be neither. Don't offer an allowance for the reasons as stated below but also do not try to pick something out on your own. It will be worth your time, effort and money to have a professional make a recommendation of what to put in. I would also suggest that you have them look at the rest of your house for recommendations. Please keep in mind that you may not like what they recommend but go with it anyway. The idea is to appeal to the largest group of buyers or to a specific target market, depending on your house. If your house is in the right condition and priced correctly, it will sell. Anything less and it's yours to keep.

Good Luck!

Patrick Howard- Edina Realty
1 vote
Gail Strom, Agent, Apple Valley, MN
Sun Nov 24, 2013
You may not pick the absolute best carpet for the future homeowner but you can easily find something neutral that will help the home to sell, which is the main objective. While buyers like feeling like they can get a discount or even an allowance, they will be more motivated by purchasing a home with fresh carpet rather than a worn out carpet that they will need to contend with after closing. Good luck.
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Jim Olive, Agent, Key West, FL
Thu Nov 15, 2012
I agree with Cameron, there's no right answer. But a lowered price always draws attention, so that is probably the "most correct" answer. Best of luck...Jim
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Rachel Long, Agent, Savage, MN
Thu Nov 15, 2012
Through a buyers eyes, a floor allowance may raise flags as to the condition of the rest of the home. When guiding my sellers, I suggest replacing the carpet and flooring as opposed to offering an allowance. That way we can market the home with new finishings and it will smell really fresh!
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Elizabeth Fu…, Agent, Wayzata, MN
Sun Jul 19, 2009
People really do expect everything done. Even if they are not in love with your choice, they will accept it more quickly because they do not have to go through the trouble of looking for the materials and be inconvenienced by waiting for the work to be finished, or have to put up with installers in their home. For those of us who enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to experience the improvements, that may seem counter intuitive, but over the years I have found people are not good visualizers and would rather just experience and react to the home and its decor. Good luck! Liz, Associates Realty.
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Dan Swanson, , Burnsville, MN
Sun Jul 19, 2009
We have been through this discussion with a number of our Sellers. In this market, allowances are not as compelling as offering the prospective Buyer a turn-key, contemporary home. Please seek guidance from a decorating or staging professional (or a Realtor with experience in this area) to help you make a choice for the flooring in your lower level. Also, have this renovation completed prior to going on market if at all possible. Most Buyers in the current market don't want to read notes which say "countertops to be replaced soon" or "carpeting allowance offered". They simply want everything in move-in ready condition and at market price or less.

Good luck with your renovations!
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