Ask A Realtor: Replacing Carpet Before Selling Our Home

A reader writes:

My husband and I have decided that we are likely going to sell our house in the next year and a half. We have four kids and three pets and the same carpet that came with our house when it was built 16 or so years ago. As you can imagine, it is pretty awful at this point, even right after we get it cleaned. Do we replace the carpet now (so we can enjoy it), when we go to sell the house (so that it stays relatively clean), or do we not bother?

Yes, you’ll definitely want to replace the carpet.  I call this the “large surface rule” – Any surface that takes up a significant amount visual space is of paramount importance.  This applies first to flooring and walls, and then to things like counters, cabinets, windows, shower surrounds, etc.

The question of when to replace the carpet is a little more difficult.  Obviously, it would be nice to have some time so you can enjoy it, but if it gets dirty before you sell then you’re losing the benefit of what you paid for.  You’ll have to make that call for yourself.  As a Realtor though, I’d say error on the side of doing it just before you’re ready to sell.

– Jeremy

Jeremy Isaac is a local Realtor, but you probably know him better as Carrie’s husband.  Do you have a real estate question you’d like answered? Email Jeremy directly at

You can search the Colorado Springs MLS on Jeremy’s website, with no registration required to view homes, prices, addresses, or any other information. If you’re looking to sell your home, be sure to view his marketing portfolio and see how the use of HDR photography, professional video, and more will help your home sell for top dollar!



  1. And nothing beat the “New Carpet” smell for showings!

  2. We’re fixing up our place to sell it too and we’re going to replace the carpets. Do you have any suggestions? We’ve thought about wood laminate or neutral carpet. Is one better than the other?

    • Rachel,
      I can’t say for sure w/o seeing your place, but if you’re going to pay someone else to install something, I’d almost always say to just go w/ new (cheap/neutral) carpet. If you want to do the work yourself and install wood laminate, that can be a great option, but you have to be willing to spend enough to get a decent laminate. The cheap ones look cheap and you’d be better w/ carpet. Simply put, if you do wood laminate, go with something that is *indistinguishable* from real wood – if it looks like laminate, you’d be better w/ carpet.

      • Thanks for the tip! We’re painting first, but we’ll keep that in mind when we’re ready for the floors.

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