Sales model units receive thousands of prospective buyers throughout the course of a large multi-unit project.
This amount of traffic creates wear-and-tear in these units in a variety of ways.
The builder should sell the sales models on an as-is basis. Most sales models are decorated with wallpaper, wall treatments, optional decorator features, and upgraded flooring. Sometimes sales models are purchased with all of the furniture.
For these reasons the sales model prices are often negotiated with the homebuyer. Like a demonstration automobile with low mileage at a car dealership, the homebuyer must understand that the sales models are slightly used.
The builder wants to avoid a purchaser demanding that entire areas of vinyl flooring be replaced in the kitchen, for example, because of a small cigarette burn discovered after move-in and occupancy.
The builder should not intimate to the buyers that the sales models will be brought up to the standard of quality of the new, untouched by sales traffic, production units.
For the negotiated sale of a model-unit to have any meaning, the words as-is in the sales agreement must mean as-is.
This should be the arms-length understanding, even when the builder engages in some final prep-repair work in converting the models into livable units.
Several things can be done to prolong the new look of carpeting in the sales models in spite of the wear-and-tear from sales traffic.
The first thing is to place wipe-off mats at the entry doors to each model. These mats should be washable, and they should be cleaned often. Mats at the entry doors intercept dirt before people can track it into the models and onto the carpeting.
The second thing is to schedule cleaning of the sales models on Fridays and Mondays of each week. Models are cleaned in anticipation of increased weekend sales traffic, and the weekend wear-and-tear to the flooring is then followed up with a Monday cleaning. This benefits the lighter sales traffic generated during the upcoming week.
Carpet manufacturers recommend frequent vacuuming as one method to help maintain carpeting. Not only does the Friday/Monday cleaning schedule get the sales models looking their best for the busiest sales period of the week, but it also gets the carpets vacuumed before and after the heaviest foot traffic period.
Carpet manufacturers also recommend having the carpets professionally cleaned periodically. Because of the abuse that sales models carpeting takes from all of the foot traffic, the builder should consult with the interior design center (or the flooring contractor) and the carpet manufacturer directly to determine how often the carpet can be safely cleaned to keep it looking new.