Should I Just Offer a "Decorating Allowance" or Do the Work?

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc MD 82788 DC SP97220

“Should I offer a “paint and carpet (or insert update) ” allowance instead of actually doing the work on my Silver Spring or Takoma Park House?”

Silver Spring Homesellers- When you’re getting your home ready for the market, the list of things that need to be done can seem overwhelming.  

Would'nt it be much easier to just offer the buyer a "credit" or an "allowance"?  The buyers probably would prefer to pick out their own carpet or paint color.

The problem with offering a decorating allowance or Home Selling Silver Spring Neutral Paint Colorscredit instead of actually doing the painting, refinishing or carpeting is that these two items are the strongest emotional triggers for buyers. When buyers walk into a home, they form an impression right
away.  If the buyer’s impression is that the home has worn carpet, floors or dirty, nicked up walls, no allowance is going change that initial impression.

It’s the first impression that is most important, so if you’re on a tight budget, just make sure that the flooring in every room the buyer can see from the front door is in the best condition it can be. Same with the paint. A buyer will be more likely to overlook bad carpet or not-so-fresh paint in secondary rooms that don’t contribute to that critical first impression in their hardwood Floors Selling a Silver Spring Takoma Park Homesight line.

*NOTE - Many of the homes in Silver Spring and Takoma Park have original hardwood flooring.  Hardwood floors are one of the most desired ammenites of today's buyers.  If your hardwood floors are covered with wall to wall carpet, one of the best things you can do to make your home very attractive to buyers is uncover those hardwoods.  Pull up that carpet and show off the hardwood flooring you have.  If you've got them, flaunt them!


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If you are planning a move to or from the Silver Spring or Takoma Park, Maryland area, put my 30 years of local experience and expertise to work for you.  Licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia. 

Call or email me at:  

Cell      (301) 233-8309            Debbie Cook - Silver Spring Takoma Real Estate
The Silver Bee Silver Spring Real Estate Blog
Home  (301) 587-3528



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Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
This is really great advice. I often forget that there are multiple options for dealing with design issues.
Aug 22, 2012 12:30 PM #1
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Few buyers in my market have an imagination necessary for an allowance to work.


Aug 22, 2012 12:46 PM #2
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Debbie -- if a homeowner has limited time and/or money and can only complete certain things -- prioritize and choose those areas where you can achieve the best results --- begin on a good note with a strong first impression.  As far as carpeting --- I've had seller clients discover that the old shag carpeting from the 1970s has been nicely protecting those beautiful hardwood floors all these years ---- pull it back and you may discover $$$ under that ugly old padding.   

Aug 22, 2012 12:54 PM #3
Richard and Beth Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Massapequa, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Excellent advise for everyone thinking of selling their home... I do agree with Doug however Melissa makes a great point regarding the multiple options... Have a Happy Day

Aug 22, 2012 10:21 PM #4
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Debbie Cook

Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate
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