A common question from sellers is what improvements to make to their home before listing it. I recently met  with a seller listing a $500,000 home and since she has 6 children her light carpet needed to be replaced. She didn’t want to spend the money now or hassle with replacing plus thought it would be better for the buyer if she offered them a credit and they could select their own carpet. She perceived this as a win win. No hassle for her now and the buyer would be happier with carpet of their own choosing.

This is clearly a mistake. It will end up costing a lot more money and become much more stressful.  The reason is simple. She is giving up control to the buyer. They will want a premium carpet and she is making the transaction more complex which will create more stress. Instead she should take control and just make the issue  go away for the least amount of money and no stress.

To gain control all she needs to do is replace the carpet now with something acceptable but not expensive. Carpet that would cost $3,000 at most not the $8,000 she wants to offer as a credit to a buyer.  For $3,000 she is buying the  “I am selling my house” quality of  carpet.  If you give control to the buyer they will want the “I am moving into my new home” quality of carpet. If she simply installs the “no one will notice the difference” carpet and then list the home it will be a non issue and never ever come up. Plus the buyer will see it is brand new and will feel good about the house.

If you are thinking of selling your home fix, repair, replace what ever is wrong now. It is always cheaper to do it on your own terms. Once the buyer has control they will want it done the most expensive way by the most expensive contractors with more expensive materials.  If you do it right you will save money, not be stressed and not taken advantage of, plus the buyer will feel you have taken care of the home.  Now that is a win win!