Top 15 Features in Homes That Sell the Fastest—And for the Most

March 4, 2020
Modern Farmhouse Kitchen
By bmak

Every builder nowadays is familiar with the HGTV buzzwords populating clients' inspiration boards and wishlists: modern farmhouse, waterfall countertops, curbless showers, and more. But these features are not just the pretty faces of the design world. Although the details themselves do not necessarily sell a buyer on a home, an analysis of listings by Zillow shows that they tend to pop up again and again in homes that sell fast or for more than expected—or both. Find out the top attention-grabbing design details that can help your next project fly off the shelf.

Many rustic-chic home design elements – of the kind often featured on popular home improvement TV shows – also frequently pop up in the online listing descriptions of homes that end up selling for more money than otherwise expected.

The apex of the trend? Over the past two years, homes described as “modern farmhouse”-style sold for about 10% more than expected, according to a Zillow analysis of listing language and the sales performance of thousands of homes nationwide in 2018 and 2019. Other features that could help boost proceeds for sellers include waterfall countertops (listings mentioning this feature sell for 9.4% more than would otherwise be expected), Moroccan tile (7.3%), Craftsman-style homes (6%) and exposed brick (6%).

And just like there are features and descriptors associated with higher sale prices than we’d otherwise expect, there are also elements and phrases associated with lower-than-expected sale prices. Perhaps unsurprisingly, sellers that ‘fess up to or otherwise describe their homes as maybe needing a little work should probably expect to fetch less for their home. Homes described as “fixer-uppers” yield a price discount of 27.8%; those needing some “TLC” end up selling at a 17.4% discount; and ones that mention “investment” potential go for about 10% less than expected. Bike racks, perhaps due to their frequency in small spaces or as a substitute for car parking, are associated with a 2.9% discount. And listings that mention a water slide could end up soaking sellers, netting about 1.6% below their expected sale prices.

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