Situation:Old,Worn,Smelly Carpet Who Changes Seller or Buyer?

A recent listing situation:   The Seller had owned and lived in the property for the past 10 years.  He was not in financial distress

Mr. Seller, “I want top dollar, I am not giving away my property.  I want this xxxx price.”  (Note:  The price point was above $400,000) From our market analysis his price was at the top of the range.  The house looked great, except the carpeting was 10 years old.  We suggested that the Seller consider replacing the carpet to be competitive in today’s market.  The Seller said no. We recommended a price adjustment for the carpet.  In a Buyer’s market a carpet credit may not be as “valuable” to a Buyer as an overall lower price.

This opens up discussion that we want to share with you.  In this situation, the carpet was 10 years old.  It was blue, worn, stained and produced an airborne odor that was mentioned consistently by agents and potential buyers.  The cost of the carpet was approximately $3000. Utilizing builder grade carpeting the price could have been less.

The Seller’s position was that the next Buyer could replaced it.  He was not.  The problem was that potential Buyers were consistently avoiding the property due to the immediate cost of the carpet and the airborne odor.  In addition the property did not show as well as other properties at that price point (because of the carpet).

We took the Seller into competing properties to improve his awareness of the current market.  He was reluctant to admit that his property was just not as “fresh” as his competition. 

After much work, an offer was received.  The offer was low.  Why? The Buyer’s agent said that the carpet needed to be replaced.  This presentation gave them the impression that the house was neglected and required additional deferred maintenance which they took into account when making their offer.  They also mentioned the odor which raised a concern about mold. 

The end result, the Seller waited longer and agreed to an adjusted price that could have been much higher and the offer received earlier if the carpeting had been addressed in the early phase of the listing. 

Typically, properties receive a flurry of activity in the beginning.  This flurry can establish a market opinion.  When agents and buyers are looking at 25, 50 or sometimes 100 homes, a property with a tired carpet and airborne odor could be crossed off the list pretty quickly. 

In this case, an early remedy (changing out the carpet) would have been beneficial and more cost effective in the overall scope of things.


~ by Lynn Brock on December 26, 2010.

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