Thank you for your input. I have already taken into consideration the fact that a prospective buyer may not like the choice of carpeting, but in that vein, there is no doubt in my mind that they would have hated what was there (I already tore the old stuff out). It needed replaced from the moment I bought the house about 6 years ago, but with all the other fixing up I was doing I never got around to it. I was advised by the realtor to stay neutral in color, so I'm probably going to take your advise and go with tan or beige.
You brought up another point that I wanted to touch base on and that was about the hardwood flooring. Actually, the top of each step is a beautifully finished oakwood, but here's the depressing part...the rise or face(I'm not sure how to describe it) has an ugly linoleum glued overtop of the wood. I tried to take a small piece off, but it is glued so fast that the wood actually chipped. Any thoughts on possibly getting the linoleum off without damage?