The material and conditions of your flooring can have a profound effect on how quickly your home sells - and even how much it sells for. Overwhelmingly, hardwood floor is not only considered a top flooring choice, but also an overall top priority for homebuyers. According to HGTV, a house with hardwood floors is the No. 1 desire of homebuyers.
If you are looking to increase your asking price or appeal to more people, hardwood floors are just what you need. Hardwood floors, especially those that have been kept in good condition, are certain to help you pass a home inspection with flying colors.
Why hardwood floors always win
Hardwood flooring not only looks great, but it is also incredibly durable and lasts far longer than other floor materials. While hardwood can be expensive, it does not have to be regularly replaced, unlike carpet, which Realtor.com said must be replaced every 10-15 years. Time Magazine explained that hardwood material can be sanded and refinished many times,, which makes it incredibly long-lasting and helps it maintain high quality over time. It is also very easy to clean.
Installing hardwood floors can raise your home's value, but Realtor.com said its OK not to install them in every room. First of all, it's an expensive undertaking, and no matter how high the return on your investment may be, it is possible you just don't have the money. One place that some people prefer carpet: the bedroom. It's nice to hop out of bed each morning onto something soft and warm. If you do install hardwood floors in your bedrooms, consider also adding area rugs.
How other types of flooring hold up
Other common types of flooring, according to Time, include engineered wood and laminate flooring. Engineered wood consists of many layers of plywood with one hardwood layer on top. Laminate flooring is one of the cheapest options and is designed to imitate the appearance of wood floors. Both engineered wood and regular hardwood are relatively similar in cost, and both will give you a similar return on your investment. Laminate on the other hand, is much cheaper and even though it is easy to clean, it can't be refinished and wears easily if walked on often. While laminate flooring is half the price of hardwood flooring, it will not contribute to raising the value of your home.
As mentioned above, carpets are not all that durable, and Realtor.com added that they are unappealing to people with allergies, as they trap dust.
How important is flooring, really?
Short answer: very.
Of course, the actual return on your investment for hardwood floor will depend on your location and specific market. For example, Realtor.com explained that in Florida's hot climate ceramic tile is preferred over hardwood. Make sure to do the proper research and speak to an expert in your area before redoing your floors.
Overall though, hardwood flooring is key to a quick, successful home sale. A 2013 survey by USA Today found 54 percent of homebuyers are willing to pay more for a home if it has hardwood floors. The average price increase homebuyers are willing to make is $2,080.
Another 2013 survey conducted by the National Wood Flooring Association found 99 percent of real estate agents believe hardwood floors make homes easier to sell. In addition, 90 percent think homes with hardwood floors sell for more money and 82 percent think hardwood floors make homes sell faster.
The NWF explained that the faster a home sells, the more likely it will be sold at a price close to the original asking price of the owner. As a result, hardwood floors contribute to keeping the price of a home high. 88 percent of agents said that homes with hardwood floors sell for between 1 and 10 percent more than homes that don't, and 12 percent of real estate agents said they believe homes with hardwood floors sell for 10 percent more.
In the New York Times, Marje Vance Allocco, an agent with Sotheby's International Realty, said refinishing your floors can make them far more appealing to buyers. Even if you already have hardwood floors, make sure they they do not look worn or dirty before a home inspection