Seller Hot Topic: Fix the Floors or Add An Allowance?

More controversial than “so is the pool in the back yard going to kill the sale” in the real estate community is the ongoing inner battle of sellers plagued with “bad floors.” Should we go on ahead and replace the floors OR should we just offer an allowance to the buyers to put in their own?

Good question!  So I went out and polled Facebook to get those answers.  The feedback is pretty hopeful for sellers.


The conversations were scintillating, I tell you!  Well, about as popping as they can get about a house related question.  The feedback was overwhelmingly for the allowance.  Now, it should be noted that most folks simply replied “Allowance” and moved on or posted “New floors” and moved on.

Being out in the field on a daily basis where the type and quality of flooring in the house is indeed extremely important, these stats should be taken with a grain of salt.  But, since I am all into what folks are really saying about the issue, let’s dig deeper.


Okay, not exactly the “masses” but just from these three comments one thing is completely clear, the decision is really between that one seller and one buyer.  Flooring is so subjective and comes in such a wide range, it’s hard to really pin down what is “right” and what is “wrong.”  A few points to ponder as we close out:

  • Certain types of financing do not allow for missing flooring, period.  What does that mean?  If you have subfloors showing and you want to open up your home to as many buyers as possible, VA and FHA appraisers more often than not mark up that missing or damaged flooring as an item that HAS to be fixed before the loan can close.  Just something to think about…
  • Living with nasty floors now and not planning on selling anytime soon?  Get something that YOU love and maintain it well until it comes time to sell.  Best of both worlds!  You get the flooring you love and get rid of the flooring you hate.
  • Either way you ultimately decide, call your Realtor to help you with the decision.  Realtors see hundreds of houses a year and will be up to date on the latest trends that are sure to wow and negotiate repair costs for you.
  • Thinking about replacing the floors?  Next step is to consider if you’re going to hire a pro or do it yourself.  And that’s a whole new can of worms.  Consider your skill level is the best possible litmus test.  If the idea of do it yourself makes you sweat, hire it out.  Nothing is worse than new floors being put in wrong.

Join in on the discussion!  What do you think?

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