Which Backyard ‘Bells and Whistles’ Can Help Homes Sell for More? 

Homebuyers are willing to spend more for a backyard complete with all the bells and whistles, according to new Zillow research. In a new study, Zillow revealed that homes with an outside TV sell for an estimated 3.1% more than anticipated, or $10,749 on average in the U.S.

When other appealing backyard facilities like an outdoor shower, pizza ovens, and bluestone patios are highlighted in a listing description, the sale price rises above expectations. Outdoor elements account for six of the top 10 features that help homes sell for more, indicating that the need for functional outdoor space from the epidemic era has not subsided.

Certain popular or viral qualities may attract more competing buyers, resulting in quicker sales. Rounded corners, which are fashionable in modern furniture design and construction (hello, curving kitchens), can help a home sell six days faster than comparable residences. #Plantparents buy properties that mention a plant ledge in the listing description more than five days earlier than planned. Statement terrazzo tile may make a home stand out and sell almost four days faster.

“When certain home features or design styles are highlighted in a listing description, they serve as a signal to a buyer that a home is appealing and up-to-date. As a result, those features can help a home sell faster and for more money,” said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow Home Trends Expert. “On the flip side, certain features can suggest a home is dated and needs work, and can lower a home’s sale price. Features like laminate or tile countertops can hurt a home’s value by at least 1% when mentioned in a listing description.”

Soapstone countertop

Top 10 Features That Sell a Home for More than Expected:

  • Outdoor TV (Price premium: 3.1 %)
  • Soapstone (3.0 %)
  • Matte black (2.9 %)
  • Outdoor shower (2.6 %)
  • Beverage center (2.4 %)
  • Bluestone patio (2.3 %)
  • She-shed (2.0 %)
  • Pizza oven (1.9 %)
  • Quartz (1.7 %)
  • Outdoor kitchen (1.7 %)

In With “The New”

Modern elements that indicate that a home is brand new or recently updated contribute to higher sale prices. The present appearance of contemporary homes frequently includes matte black finishes and white oak flooring, which can increase a home’s sale price by 2.9% and 1.6% respectively.

Soapstone now exceeds quartz as the preferred countertop material, resulting in a 3% sales premium versus 1.7%. The new wine cooler also functions as a beverage center. Beverage centers can help a home sell for a 2.4% premium, compared to 0.9% for wine refrigerators. These undercounter refrigerators include numerous temperature settings for a variety of beverages, not only wine.

Homeowners hoping to sell for top cash this spring will want to highlight these home features, if they have them. However, building an outdoor shower or any of these specific features simply for resale may not result in such high returns. Instead, these phrases should be seen as indicators of what else a home has going for it. For example, if a home has an outdoor shower, it most likely has a pool or is close to the beach, which purchasers are ready to spend more for.

Home sellers should also be aware that features that help homes sell in one neighborhood may not appeal to purchasers in another. An expert local real estate agent with strong market knowledge may assist sellers in emphasizing the proper qualities, and will likely have additional creative pricing and marketing methods to help maximize a home’s sale price.

Saltwater pool

Top 10 Features That Sell a Home Faster Than Expected:

  • Rounded corners (Days faster: 6.2)
  • Plant ledge (5.6)
  • Frameless shower (4.7)
  • Terrazzo (3.7)
  • Picket fence (3.2)
  • Modern farmhouse (3.1)
  • Turf (3.0)
  • Fenced yard (2.8)
  • Energy Star (2.6)
  • Saltwater pool (2.6)

Affordability Curbs Home Features’ Price Premiums

Price premiums for particular features were smaller overall in 2023 compared to prior years, since purchasers’ budgets were limited by higher mortgage rates. Affordability remains the most significant challenge for home buyers, particularly first-time buyers, who must put “need to have” amenities above “nice to have” features.

This spring’s house shopping season will bring comparable affordability issues, as well as increased competition for properties with desirable characteristics. Homebuyers can use affordability calculators to create a budget, and then search for homes on Zillow by monthly cost rather than purchase price.

With the most appealing homes selling in just 17 days, prospective buyers should be pre-qualified for a mortgage first so they can act swiftly when the ideal home comes up—with or without an outdoor TV.

To read the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.

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Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for MortgagePoint (formerly DS News and MReport) with more than eight years of writing and editing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Lester is a jazz aficionado, Harry Potter fanatic, and avid record collector. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.
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