How to Choose the Best Carpet When Selling Your Home

Carpet samples on wooden floor

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When the time comes to sell your home, most real estate agents will advise you to update and refresh your décor, unless you have recently done so. Put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, make sure to de-clutter the shelves, and, oh yeah, replace your carpet! This process is known as staging your home–you are “setting the stage” for buyers to see your home in its most appealing and aesthetically pleasing state.

According to Ronique Gibson, Home Staging Expert, “the finishes and material in your home can make a huge difference when getting a higher return on your investment (ROI) in the sale of your home.” It goes without saying, therefore, that having soiled, stained, or matted carpet will not go far towards getting top dollar for your home, and could cause your home to sit longer on the market. This is why many sellers choose to replace tired carpet or floors before listing their home.

Benefits of Carpet

Obviously, there are many options available in floor coverings. With hardwood floors currently being so trendy and other options widely available, why might sellers choose to install new carpet instead? Well, there are a number of reasons why carpet could be the better choice in floor covering when selling your home.

  • Cost: carpet is typically much less expensive than hardwood or tile when you factor in the installation and other costs (such as moldings and trim required for hardwood). With all of the other costs associated with selling your home, you’ll want to save money where you can, while still getting a beautiful end result.
  • Floor imperfections: if your floor is not completely level or your walls are not perfectly straight, carpet is far better at minimizing the appearance of such imperfections than is hardwood or tile. This is not to suggest that you hide such conditions from your potential buyers (your real estate agent will give you the best advice on this) but you want to show buyers that the issue is minor and can be lived with if they don’t plan to do repairs right away.
  • Personal preference: chances are, you’re going to be living in your home until the closing date of the sale, which could be months away. So no matter what you choose, you want it to be something that you can live with in the interim. And despite current trends, there are still many out there who prefer carpet to hard surfaces, and if you’re one of them, it’s likely that someone considering buying your home could be one of them too.

Best Types

So, now that you’ve decided to replace your carpet, which is the best type of carpet for selling your home? Purchasing carpet for the purpose of selling your home is slightly different than purchasing carpet for yourself because there are different features and qualities you will want the carpet to have.

Unless your home is a very high-end home, you will likely not wish to put the same level of investment into the carpet as you would if you planned to live on it yourself for the next 15 to 20 years. So, you will be looking for a carpet that has a lower price tag but that still looks full and appealing. One great option for this is to consider a textured saxony, which is an updated version of the traditional cut-pile carpet. Textured saxonies are usually fairly generic and inoffensive, and can often provide a look greater in value than their cost. Look for a BCF fiber, as this construction tends to provide a fuller, bulkier (and therefore more high-end) look.

If you live in a modern urban home, you may want to consider a type of carpet that is trendier, as your market will be different than that for a suburban or rural home. Consider going with a cut-and-loop style–perhaps a short-pile geometric or pin-dot look. Or, if many of your finishes are smooth and polished, consider a long-pile frieze to add some texture and sense of comfort to the space.


Obviously color is a very personal choice, and everyone has different tastes. When staging your home, you want to use a color that will appeal to as many people as possible. Typically, this means choosing a neutral tone that will work with a variety of decors, so that potential homebuyers will be able to easily blend their belongings into the space.

Light-colored neutrals generally work best, as they help the space to feel larger. However, many homebuyers will be put off by white carpet, as they will worry about how they will keep it clean. So go with a light beige, taupe, or warm gray tone; cool grays can feel uninviting.


You can use almost any type of carpet fiber when staging your home, but you will likely find that polyester generally offers the best value, while still giving a nice look. Of course, if you find a better value on another fiber type, go for it!