new floors make a big difference
Photo: Kolin Smith
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7. What's Under Your Feet?

Don't undervalue the materials you're standing on. Ninety-four percent of real estate pros recommend spending some money on floors. But it doesn't have to be a lot of money. For an estimated average investment of $600 to $900, brokers report that the return in value comes in at up to $2,000.

And you can spend even less than that. A few well-placed nails can eliminate distracting squeaks. Other small projects with a big impact include repairing broken tile, patching damaged floor boards, and tossing out the wall-to-wall carpeting.

In some cases, however, a new floor is in order. Broker Reba Haas says one would-be seller's house might've sold were it not for a kitchen floor that drew questions from buyers. "The number one problem was the fact that her floor was really personal: blue and green vinyl. It clashed with the other upgrades in the kitchen. Everyone kept saying, 'That kitchen!'"

If you want a wood floor that holds value, Reba Haas suggests engineered hardwoods. If you like cork, she says floating cork wears better than cork tile which is glued down and can peel.

Get It Done
Fix a Squeaky Floor
Repair a Broken Floor Tile
Install a Cork Floor
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