Can hardwood flooring improve the resale value of your home and increase a home's value?
Most definitely! The majority of real estate agents surveyed by the National Wood Flooring Association said houses with hardwood flooring are easier to sell, sell for more money, and sell faster. The trend towards hardwood flooring keeps growing year after year because not only has it become more stylish (and more affordable), but because allergies and asthma conditions are on the rise, the number of home buyers requiring hardwood has increased. Hardwood flooring adds more elegance and natural charm to virtually any room in the home, whether it's traditional or contemporary.
While adding new hardwood floors will initially cost you more than carpet, it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Carpet gets dirty and worn and needs to be replaced every 7-10 years. As a general rule of thumb, hardwood flooring usually costs twice as much as carpet, so by the time you replace the carpet once, you’ve already spent at least as much as you did on hardwood. While hardwood floors need to be periodically sanded and refinished, this cost is significantly lower than the cost of replacing the carpet, not to mention the annual carpet cleaning costs.
It is rare for carpet to remain in place with a new home buyer…they will almost always rip it up and either replace it with wood floors, re-finish the existing hardwood underneath the carpet, or replace it with new carpet in the bedrooms. The new owners are typically concerned about the germs and odours from previous owners, not to mention that they rarely have the same taste in carpet style or colour
There are usually furniture indentations as well as areas where the carpet is stained or discolored from light (and it becomes very apparent after the sellers’ furniture has been moved out). When a buyer sees carpet, they see a lower value and higher costs that they will need to pay to replace it. This can reduce the offer on your home as well as increase your time on market.
If selling your home, what should you DO and NOT DO with your flooring?
When you are selling your house, you want to spend the least amount of money for the highest return. Following are my recommendations:
(1) If you have hardwood underneath the carpet, rip up the carpet and refinish the hardwood. It's one of the biggest bangs for your buck when selling as will appeal to most buyers. If funding is limited or if this is too inconvenient to do, then consider just refinishing the wood for some of the rooms to at least show the buyers that you have hardwood and what it looks like such as the living room or master bedroom. While you could certainly replace the old carpet with new carpet that is more cost effective in the short term, keep it mind that it will be less appealing to home buyers so may take longer for your home to sell, costing you potentially money in the long run when factoring in the 1 or 2 price reductions!
(2) If your current hardwood floor isn’t in the greatest condition, it's usually worth it to sand and refinish it. This will make it look good as new and show your home at its best. Alternatively, if you don’t refinish the floors, your house won’t show as well and the new owners will need to refinish the floors which will likely be factored into their offer price.
What colour of hardwood should you choose if selling your home?
This does depend on the style of the house, but I generally recommend choosing a light, natural wood which makes your space look larger and brighter. If your current hardwood floors are really old and beaten up and/or have some water stains, you may need to select a darker stain when refinishing it to cover the imperfections.
Hardwood flooring is a smart investment not only because it looks beautiful, warm and luxurious, but they are also easier to clean, last a long time, as is usually on buyer's "wish list". In fact, most hardwood floors last well over 100+ years and never go out of style. You just can’t go wrong with hardwood!