15 features that will help you sell a home the fastest and at the best price

 

Don’t you hate it when you see an interesting article on your computer, you click the link to investigate & then you see the dreaded words: “BEGIN SLIDESHOW”. You know you are going to be asked to click through multiple webpages while being bombarded with ads. Well I did the clicking for you & have added commentary to make it more useful for everyone but especially for those of us who live or invest where winters are shorter. All of the pictures were provided by Business Insider Inc. & the data of this Blog first posted on Tech Insider on 4/16/2016. The commentary about the features is all by me.

 

Now on to the article…….

 

The 15 features you want to maximize your Home Value & Listing Effectiveness.

It turns out homebuyers are really into barn doors.  When Zillow looked at design features that sell homes at the best price and with the shortest listing time, that feature topped the list.  Anything craftsman-style, like rectangular farmhouse sinks, also got homes off the market at a premium.

Zillow Digs screened over 2 million listings for homes sold between January 2014 and March 2016 and looked for the keywords that had the best effect on how much more than the expected price and how much faster they sold.

I should also mention that while I am not a fan of big data aggregators like Zillow because people try to apply their findings & “zestimates” to individual homes & specific values, often with tragic effects for the homeowners, there is no doubt as to the value of information that can be derived from such sources if applied with common sense & experience.

As an appraiser, investor, design professional & amateur chef who has spent the vast majority of my professional life in people’s homes I list & comment on these top 15 design features to give you the benefit of my experience.

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 13.4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 57

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 3.7%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 19

In the south where outdoor living can be enjoyed year-round or at least longer, the value of outdoor living spaces should not be ignored or given short shrift.

Tankless water heater

2

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 43

Instant hot water on demand, who doesn’t like that. One note though, in areas with “Hard Water” Texas Hill Country I’m talking about you. You MUST have a water softener or your expensive water heater will meet an untimely early death!

Backsplash

3

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.1%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 46

Backsplashes are a prominent optical element in the most important room in most every house. Best to make it Nice. However try not to get too trendy or personal unless you don’t mind doing it over again before you sell.

Granite

4

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.1%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 38

One of my favorite countertop surfaces. Hard Wearing & Hard Working. Just remember to seal it with a good sealer every 18 months. Natural beauty & Function. Note to Investors: Granite can vary wildly in price, do not pay the premium for the “Rare Colors” with lots of movement unless you are OK with eating the premium paid over a more common granite when it comes time to sell.

Stainless steel

5

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.2%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 42

Stainless has been around just about forever & I don’t see that changing. Like granite think Form & Function, Colors are ok but they come & go, But Hey its’ your kitchen.

Heated floors

6

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.3%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 28

This might be good in the north where winters are longer & Temperatures colder, in the south this will only be of importance in luxury homes in the master bathroom.

Frameless shower

7

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.6%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 38

Once again, form meets function who doesn’t like the look of a nice clean frameless shower as opposed to a curtain & rod, or a framed shower door with rust & or lime deposits. Speaking of lime deposits, this is another area which unwittingly highlights the benefits of a good water softener in areas with hard water.

Pendant light

8

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.6%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 48

Pendants especially in breakfast bars & on kitchen Islands can allow you to add style inexpensively, & if you pick something highly personal or unique, it is relatively inexpensive to switch out.

Exposed brick

9

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 4.9%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 36

Few thing can warm up a space, especially a modern or cold one as exposed brick. However common sense must be your guiding hand. Let’s face it not all bricks are attractive, think character, sheetrock is preferential to exposed ugly brick. Additionally exposed stone walls bring character, often even more than exposed good brick.

 

Craftsman

10

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 5.4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 14

People associate the word “craftsman” with quality of workmanship especially with that of a bygone era. Ironically when it is used in the context of housing styles, “Craftsman” refers to the supplier of the materials as much as the means of construction. After WWII when the GI’s came home there was a boom in housing which Sears & Roebuck was more than willing to service. The “Craftsman style” name came from the association of the delivery of “Home kits” in the 40’s & 50’s delivered via large Sears’s delivery trucks. The name/style is the same name associated with Sears’s famous line of tools.

Quartz

11

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 6.0%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 50

An impervious stain proof professional work surface which outperforms granite, what’s not to love? Well not much, quartz is great but make no mistake, quartz, general speaking, does not have the same natural beauty that granite does. That said if you find a color/pattern which you like similar to a granite you like, Go with the quartz.

Subway tile

12

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 6.9%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 63

Tread carefully here folks, this amenity is hot now, just as glass tiles are/were. This feature smells somewhat like a fad to me, I’ve seen my fair share. Keep this in mind if you choose to add subway tile. But if you are to be selling in the coming 3 years it is definitely hot now.

Farmhouse sink

13

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 7.9%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 58

I think these are cool, & I am obviously not alone. But make sure that it goes with the other elements of you kitchen or bath. Placing a Farmhouse sink on laminate top is just yuck! I know that I’m not the only one who thinks this. In case you are wondering who would ever do such a thing, trust me. I’ve seen it more than once, I’m not naming names if you read this you know who you are. Thankfully most people who add these do so as part of a larger update.

Shaker cabinet

14

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 9.6%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 45

Shaker cabinets are nice & obviously hot now. Plus they do not appear to have that trendy feel to them I can easily see these being stylish decades from now if done well.

Barn door

15

Percent of homes that sell for above expected values: 13.4%

How many days faster than expected the home sells: 57

Like Exposed Brick & Farmhouse Sinks earlier in this list in the right house barn doors are a great addition, but think context here everyone. These elements bring style & warmth to a home in need of it thin “modern, luxury homes” but in a modest starter home it will look like you raided a barn because you could not afford to finish it “traditionally” which is definitely not the image you want to portray if you are selling a home. I have unfortunately seen this personally as well in case you were wondering.

 


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