Design features that sell your home faster, for more money

Anchor -



It used to be a real estate listing with “Jacuzzi tub” or “crystal chandelier” would draw a lot of eyeballs, leading to higher prices and a speedy sale. These days, a barn door might be the golden (or wooden) ticket.
According to a report released on Tuesday by Zillow Digs—the real estate site’s design and home improvement cousin—a sliding door might help a home fly off the market 57 days faster and fetch a 13.4 percent higher price than homes without it.
Scouring listing descriptions from 2.8 million condos and single-family homes sold across the country between January 2014 and March 2016, the study’s authors marked keywords from “craftsman” to “solar panel.” They controlled for the size, age, and location of homes, comparing, for example, listings of similarly aged and sized houses within the same county that included the keywords (“granite,” “crown molding”) with those that didn’t.
Then they created a statistical model to try to predict what a home with a pendant light or an outdoor kitchen might sell for, and how quickly, compared to homes without those attributes. The homes ranged in price from $20,000 (in many locations) to $88.3 million (in L.A.), and the median value was $232,000.

Design Signals
“I can get an idea of how Americans are valuing these different home features,” says Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s senior economist.
Olsen knows that having “barn door” in the listing alone doesn’t directly correlate to a higher price or a quicker sale. You can’t just slap a barn door on, or in, any old home and automatically, and dramatically, increase its value. “‘Causal relationship’ are strong words,” she says.
Instead, “Barn doors are a signal of a strong design sense. People that design homes or fix them up with barn doors might have their eyes toward other key design elements that people value, like a farmhouse sink or an open kitchen.”
Also, “barn door” might not be what you think. “These days they have a very refined look, more polished and modern and sleek,” says Kerrie Kelly, Zillow Digs’ home design expert. You can forget the reclaimed barn wood, she says. “It’s more a high paint gloss or glass with stainless steel.”
Olsen adds, “They’re actually very expensive.” A farmhouse-meets-industrial “modern slab” barn door will run you almost $1,600. A black leather option with “barbed wire scar” trim is $3,500.

Craftsman Meets
The first four items on the list—barn doors, Shaker cabinets, farmhouse sinks, and subway tile—are all descendants of a simple, even rustic, aesthetic that’s been reinvented as au courant design. It’s a look Zillow Digs refers to as “craftsman meets farmhouse.”
Listings with the words “subway tile” sold on average 63 days faster, and for 6.9 percent more, than those without it.
The versatile tile can fit any house style, size, or budget. You can get glossy white tile for $2 a square foot, or, says Kelly, “You can get subway tile in Calacatta marble with a beveled edge.” The latter can run you $40 a square foot easily.
Farmhouse sinks—deep sinks that jut out from the surrounding cabinets—may be undermounted and made of stainless steel these days. As Olsen says, “You can still pay a pretty penny for a farmhouse sink.”
Other features may be more of a surprise. Is a tankless water heater—which heats water on demand—really such a draw? Could be. Homes that included those words in the listing sold for 4 percent higher and 43 days faster than those without.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend