Features That Help Homes Sell for More and Faster

April 16, 2024 - 2 min read

Sell your home for more money

If you want to fetch top dollar when selling your home, having the right features can help.

While timing may certainly play a factor, house hunters will pay a premium for contemporary looks and functionality, according to a report from Zillow.

See what property characteristics are appealing to home buyers and up your odds to sell your home quicker and for a higher price.

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For-sale properties that already contain and highlight current housing trends in their listings are reaping larger profits for sellers.

Many of these features cater to the shifts in everyday life born out of the Covid pandemic and the latest viral designs. For its report, Zillow analyzed 359 different features from about 1 million sales across 2023.

Outdoor TVs gave home sellers the largest dollar boost, with a 3.1% price premium. Soapstone countertops became the choice material and added a 3% premium. Next came the use of matte black finishes, good for 2.9%.

For speed, rounded corners gave the biggest lift, helping homes sell 6.2 days faster on average. Plant ledges followed at 5.6 days, then frameless showers at 4.7 days. Because of this trio’s recent popularity in architecture, design and furniture, they can showcase how contemporary the home is.

“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, home trends expert at Zillow. “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.”

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The table below shows the top 10 features bringing homeowners the highest premiums and helping them sell fastest.

RankFeaturePrice premiumRankFeatureDays faster
1Outdoor TV3.1%1Rounded corners6.2
2Soapstone3.0%2Plant ledge5.6
3Matte black2.9%3Frameless shower4.7
4Outdoor shower2.6%4Terrazzo3.7
5Beverage center2.4%5Picket fence3.2
6Bluestone (patio)2.3%6Modern farmhouse3.1
7She shed2.0%7Turf3
8Pizza oven1.9%8Fenced yard2.8
9Quartz1.7%9Energy Star2.6
10Outdoor kitchen1.7%10Saltwater pool2.6
Source: Zillow
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The premium percentages did fall slightly year-over-year as the lack of affordability loomed larger in 2023. In 2022, the top three features outpaced 2023’s premiums. The steam oven brought sellers a premium of 5.3%, followed by pizza oven at 3.7% and professional appliances at 3.6%.

However, speed rose from the previous year. Doorbell cameras topped 2022’s list at 5.1 days faster. Then came soapstone at 3.8 days and open shelving at 3.5 days.

The bottom line for borrowers

Sellers have — and have had — the upper hand in the housing market. But you can still give yourself a bigger edge when taking the steps to sell your property.

If your house has any of these features, be sure to highlight them in your listing. Of course, the things home buyers will pay a premium for likely vary by location.

Reach out to a local mortgage and real estate professional to see what features are popular in your housing market.

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Paul Centopani
Authored By: Paul Centopani
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Paul Centopani is a writer and editor who started covering the lending and housing markets in 2018. Previous to joining The Mortgage Reports, he was a reporter for National Mortgage News. Paul grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Binghamton University and now lives in Chicago after a decade in New York and the D.C. area.
Aleksandra Kadzielawski
Reviewed By: Aleksandra Kadzielawski
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Aleksandra is the Senior Editor at The Mortgage Reports, where she brings 10 years of experience in mortgage and real estate to help consumers discover the right path to homeownership. Aleksandra received a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University. She is also a licensed real estate agent and a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).