Whether you live in an old or new home, chances are you will need to make some upgrades before putting your house on the market. Most will put a fresh coat of paint on their walls, make some minor upgrades to lighting, but not undertake major revonations. Let’s face it. The market is not anything that it used to be so what sellers could do in the past isn’t going to sell a house in today’s market. However, installing new flooring can drastically make a difference in both the amount of time it takes to sell your home as well as the price you should expect to receive.

Some homes will need to be virtually gutted and upgraded from ceiling to floor. Updating kitchen appliances, making a modern bathroom, or putting in new windows and doors are one of the most popular upgrades people do after painting their walls. However, many neglect the floor. If you have wall to wall carpeting, you might think running a rug cleaner over will suffice. Others might look at replacing carpet in the rooms that get the most traffic, but people don’t want carpeting these days.

When you go inside a model home, you see hardwood flooring. In cheaper houses, you might find laminate flooring, which is a cheaper solution to installing hardwood flooring. While a potential buyer might not be able to tell the difference between the look of hardwood and laminate flooring, you certainly have to disclose what type of flooring the home has in the contract. So what will give you the biggest bang for your buck?

Compare the prices of homes in your neighborhood to see the difference in asking price of the home. For homes that peaked at $575,000 in late July and early August 2005, these homes have taken quite a hit in price in northern New Jersey. Those that left these homes virtually the same as they were when they were originally built in 2000, have a tough time selling in today’s market. These same homes will be lucky to sell for $330,000. For those who do a couple updates such as putting in laminate flooring, they can expect to see closer to $333,000 for their home sales.

However, the best return on investment is for those who install hardwood flooring in their homes. These are the homes the neighborhood sees sell for $339,000. This is the best investment for your money because it increases the overall price of your home. These homes will put hardwood flooring throughout the main level of their home and see a 100% return on their investment. For those who take it a step further and put hardwood on their stairs leading to the bedrooms as well as the hallway, their homes can go for over $340,000.

The overall price you will receive from your home depends on how good of quality the upgrades you put in are. If you put in a cheaper hardwood that scratches easily, you might not see as good of a return of your investment as you wanted. You certainly won’t get the return on your investment for laminate flooring because it is faux wood. Those who are looking for hardwood over carpet want to receive actual wood and not one that just looks like wood. If you take the time and effort to make good upgrades to your home and price it right, you might just find it is easier to sell your home than you originally thought.