Hardwood floors or carpet? Which is the choice for buyers and sellers in the real-estate market and which reaps the biggest financial benefits?

The Sun Gazette asked some local agents that question. Here are their answers:

Lilian Jorgenson, Long & Foster: “Hardwood for sure, as everyone loves that. Carpets, colors, texture can vary and not everyone likes the same thing. Tile would be preferred in the lower level and maybe the kitchen area.”

Casey Margeneau, Casey Margeneau Fine Homes & Estates: “Hardwood is preferred over carpet on the main level any day. When you get upstairs, if there is a preference, having hardwood in the hallways is important. It’s all price-sensitive.”

Tracy Dillard, Long & Foster: “Hardwood is generally preferred over carpet. Buyers can always add a rug over top the hardwood. We had heard buyers say that because of allergies they prefer hardwood over carpet. Tile can be good too in certain areas of the home.”

Craig Mastrangelo, Re/Max Allegiance: “Today’s home buyers are certainly attuned to the specific amenities a home has to offer and as such, hardwood floors are seen as an upgrade relative to homes with carpet (in similar price points). Sellers are aware of these competitive differences and try to position their homes in the best light possible, and often times, offering hardwood floors, over carpeting, can help justify a pricing strategy or help a seller in direct competition with other active homes in a similar pricing category.”

Joan Stansfield, Keller Williams: “Homes in our area with carpeting are a tough sell. Carpeting is one of those features that buyers often cannot see past (like bold paint colors). Although hardwoods can always be installed after the sale, buyers will not pay top dollar for a home with carpeting – especially if on the main level – and it will surely affect the price for the sellers.”

Jack Shafran, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “It depends on the price range. Large expensive homes often have hardwood on all levels. In small condominiums, sometimes owners believe it’s more comfortable and cozy with carpeting instead of hardwood.”

Donna Moseley, TTR Sotheby’s International: “A lot of hardwood flooring can look rustic, and people like that look. Carpets attract more debris. Hardwood is a little bit easier for a lifestyle.”

Casey Samson, Samson Properties: “The 2016 buyers want hardwood on the entire main level except for family room carpet and ceramic tile in the mud room if they have one. The upstairs landing should be hardwood with carpet in the bedrooms. Basement should be a nice berber carpet with ceramic tile landing at the back door. Preferred hardwood is 31/2-4 oak, stained on site. Too much carpet screams 1985, and we are trying to rid the home of anything that feels old.”

Laurie Mensing, Long & Foster: “The value is in the eye of the beholder, and I think hardwood is preferred as the higher value. Some do like to step out of their beds onto carpet, though, in their bedrooms. It’s all about the perception of value.”

John Mentis, Long & Foster: “Buyers today prefer wood floors – whether solid, manufactured or pre-finished – versus carpeting, which many believe can harbor allergens, smells, asthma triggers, and pet stains.”

Karen Close, Century 21 New Millennum: “My experience tells me it’s hardwood all day long. Now there are some factions who want to feel soft carpet under their feet in the bedroom. On lower-level rec rooms and basements, carpeting is preferred. In general, the type of flooring is a personal matter.”

Dean Yeonas, Yeonas and Shafran Real Estate: “Hardwood is preferred by most buyers. Sometimes, though, parents who have small kids prefer carpet in the kids’ rooms.”

Karen Briscoe: Huckaby, Briscoe, Conroy Realty Group of Keller Williams: “Hardwood flooring is more durable than carpet and is a lot easier to maintain. Carpet has to be replaced.”

Mark Middendorf, Long & Foster: “No question, hardwood is what buyers prefer. There are just more possibilities with hardwood.”

Dana Landry, Washington Fine Properties: “Hardwood floors are certainly more desirable and often considered an upgrade in newer homes. Carpeting is acceptable in bedrooms, while tile floors are acceptable mainly in bathrooms and kitchens.”

Adam Gallegos, Arbour Realty: “I’ve never seen a case when buyers don’t strongly prefer hardwood. There is more value and durability there.”

Carol Temple, Coldwell Banker: “No one objects to hardwood. It should be everywhere. If a home doesn’t have hardwood, buyers see that as a negotiating tool to negotiate the price of the property down.”

Steve Wydler, Wydler Brothers Real Estate: “It depends on the price points, but generally speaking hardwood flooring is always preferred over carpet. It’s cleaner and there is better resale value.”

Dawn Wilson, Keller Williams: “Most buyers prefer hardwood. For selling purposes, it is better to have hardwood. If there is not hardwood in the home already, and it is cost prohibitive to put hardwood in, then in most cases, new carpet should be put in prior to resale. Buyers like tile flooring in the bathrooms. It can be OK in some other areas of the home; however, some buyers consider it hard and uncomfortable, and easy to have things break if they drop on the floor.”

Michael Highman, Acquest Realty: “Overall, hardwood flooring is a better asset for resale than carpet, but there are many scenarios on when to have that, what type of hardwood flooring, and for what resale market. It’s like going to the toothpaste aisle and, well, not an easy choice. There’s solid hardwood, engineered, floating, planks, exotic, etc., and the budget of the seller.”

Sue Feinthel, McEnearney Associates: “Definitely hardwoods. Hardwoods are richer in appearance, are more durable, plus they go with every decor. People with allergies will always choose hardwoods over carpet. Homes with hardwood floors will command a higher value.  If there are hardwoods under the carpet, the buyers may mentally calculate how much it will cost to have the carpet removed and the floors refinished. This can be a deterrent to a potential sale.”

Carol Ellickson, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty: “From my experience, most buyers prefer hardwood.  It gives a more favorable impression when a buyer walks into a home, lasts longer than carpet, is easier to clean, and over the long term is less expensive.”

Gloria Adams, TTR Sotheby’s: “A lot of times people have allergies. That’s just one reason hardwood flooring is best. Some do like their bedrooms with carpet. Hardwood homes are cleaner and they sell better.”

Jennifer Halm, McEnearney Associates: “Today’s buyers at all price points want hardwoods. We tell our sellers that carpeting on the main level will bring down their net and slow the sale. Carpet does not photograph well. Almost without exception, buyers look at carpet and begin calculating the cost to remove it and install hardwoods. Then they multiply it times five and deduct that from their offer.”

Ginny Brzezinski, McEnearney Associates: “Tile works in the bathroom for buyers. Many tile floorings in the front hall or kitchen can look cold or dated. Hardwood in our market is king.”

Dee Murphy, Long & Foster: “It’s interesting how people’s preferences for hardwood flooring has changed over time. It’s popular now and has been for a while. With so many allergies now that carpeting can pick up, hardwood floors minimalize living.”

Natalie Roy, Keller Williams Realty: “Currently, hardwood floors are in demand by buyers. They like the fact that hardwood does not stain or shed like a carpet and consider it a better resale investment.  As part of prepping their home to put on the market, sellers are focused these days on refinishing their wood floors. If they do not have hardwood floors, many seriously consider replacing old flooring with stylish hardwoods.”

Betsy Twigg, McEnearney Associates: “Hardwood makes a house look better and is preferred by buyers. I don’t know if that makes a home sell faster or for a higher price.”

Billy Buck, Buck & Associates: “The market drives that hardwood is the way to go.”