Carpet Allowances – A Shoot Yourself in the Foot Home Selling Strategy!

I’ll be getting in trouble with some real estate agents over this one, but I have strong opinions on the “carpet allowance” question! What does “carpet allowance” say to me?

  • The seller doesn’t have the time or money to get new carpeting, so maybe I can negotiate the lower selling price.
  • There may be other items that need repair or replacing that haven’t been done.
  • If I’m not a handy or visual person, I’ll probably not be impressed by this home.  You’ve lost the “fall in love factor” – which is key to getting an offer.

Giving an allowance doesn’t change the first impression, gives another items to negotiate, and buyers ALWAYS overestimate the cost of potential repairs.

  • Would you get married in a tuxedo that needed pressing and cleaning?
  • Would you sell a truck that had been four-wheeling and not washed?
  • Does that old carpet give the impression that you have meticulously cared for your home?

Here’s a perfect example!

Recently we were hired for a home staging consultation for a darling South Salem Oregon home.  It had been on the market for some time, was getting showings but no offers.  The owner wanted to know what else they could do to make it more desirable.

Living Room - old carpet

Do you get a "wow" feeling walking into a home with old carpet?

We rearranged some furniture, made some recommendations.

The the biggest problem was the carpeting.

It had traffic wear and was a blue-gray that looked anything but contemporary.

The owner said they were giving a carpet allowance of $3300.

Neutral stylish carpet makes rooms feel fresh and new

Neutral stylish carpet makes rooms feel fresh and new

Hmmm –

I knew that replacing the carpeting would cost far less than that –

plus give them a wow when potential buyers walk in the door!

We called Jerry Havlinek of JK Carpet Center and this beautiful new carpeting was installed for about HALF of the offered carpet allowance!  These photos don’t do justice for the change in the ambiance of the home — and that speaks volumes to buyers!

What color of carpeting is good for home selling?

What color of carpeting is good for home selling?

The bedroom before looked good compared to many listings online.

The carpeting would not appear neutral to someone that doesn’t love with the color blue however!

When choosing your carpeting, stick to a medium neutral beige in a warm tone for a broad buyer appeal.

Warm beige carpeting for home selling

Warm beige carpeting for home selling

(Or, just call Jerry of JK Carpets and ask him to bring samples that Creative Concepts would approve of!  Our clients get discounts too!)

By changing the carpet this home seller now has that “WOW!  This home is really nice!” feeling when everyone looks at it – online and in person. Not only was the carpet almost half the allowance, but the home now shows it is contemporary and move in ready – not almost perfect!

When selling YOUR home – make sure it says WOW – not fix me!  When selling your home you are selling so much more than just a structure – you’re selling a lifestyle and dream!  My dream home doesn’t include worn out carpet – does yours?

Can’t wait to hear that this house has sold soon – because we know it will!

Margaret Oscilia is partner and a Professional Home Stager with Creative Concepts – Home Staging and Contracting which offers home staging and interior design services throughout the Salem, Albany and Corvallis areas. Creating beautiful spaces to come home to, and winning strategies for home sellers is their specialty! 503-881-0886



  1. I agree, Margaret. We once sold a home that we had remodeled and freshly painted, but the carpet was still in awful condition. Sure, we considered giving buyers a carpet allowance, but when we decided to invest $2,000 on new carpet, the house showed beautifully and sold right away!

  2. Nope, not in trouble from this local real estate agent. Great points!! A carpet allowance just can’t speak the way a first impression does. Thanks for the tips!


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