Listing descriptions can increase sales price by up to 29 percent

by Rincey Abraham

When looking for a new home, many buyers have specific amenities and features on their wishlists, ranging anywhere from state-of-the-art kitchen appliances to solar panels and other green features. These amenities aren’t just important for buyers — they can have a major impact on sellers as well. Certain listing descriptions can help a home sell for up to 29 percent above its asking price, according to Zillow’s 2018 Home Features that Sell analysis..

Zillow analyzed home listings from 3.6 million homes across the country that sold between 2016 and 2017 and observed 100 terms across these listings to see what impact certain home features, amenities and design aesthetics had on selling price.

For example, listings that included “steam showers” sold for 29 percent above their expected price. In fact, Chicago was the most popular metropolitan area for listings that included a steam shower. Other health and wellness amenities also correlated with a rise in sale price — especially listings that included a “free-standing tub” or a “meditation room.”

In the kitchen, some of the listing buzzwords that drove sales performance were “pizza oven,” “outdoor kitchen,” “prep sink” and “professional appliances.”

“Homes with spa-inspired bathrooms, chef-like kitchen amenities and certain craftsman or farmhouse features are very popular among today’s buyers. If you have these features in your home, try to highlight them in listing photos and descriptions,” says Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow.

The study also found that buyers are attracted to different features based on the price range they’re searching in. In listings for homes in the bottom-third of pricing, “solar panel” generated a 40 percent premium in price over listings without the term.

In the mid-ranged price segment, “shed/garage studio” was the most profitable listing term, creating a 24 percent premium for its sellers. In listings with a higher price point, a “sub-zero fridge” boasted a 38 percent premium over other homes in the price point with standard refrigerators.

Zillow determined that in addition to features that can drive up sales price, there are listing terms that can shorten the time a home spends on the market. Advertisements with “exposed brick” sold two weeks faster than those without. Listings with “open shelving,” “dual flush,” “subway tile” and “mid-century” were all found to spend significantly less time on the market than their counterparts without these features.

Home Feature Keyword

Percent
Homes Sell For
Above Expected
Values

Most Common
Metro

Steam shower

29%

Chicago

Professional appliance

29%

Los Angeles

Pizza oven

26%

Los Angeles

Pet shower

25%

Denver

Outdoor kitchen

25%

Dallas

Entertainer or prep sink

25%

Los Angeles

Shed or garage studio

24%

Los Angeles

Heated floors / radiant heat

24%

New York

Meditation room

24%

Los Angeles

Wine fridge

22%

Los Angeles

Chef’s kitchen

21%

Los Angeles

Craftsman

21%

Seattle

Herringbone or parquet floors

21%

New York

Free-standing tub

21%

Los Angeles

Solar panels

21%

Los Angeles

Coffered ceiling

20%

Atlanta

Outdoor fireplace

20%

Los Angeles

Carrara marble

19%

Los Angeles

Home theater

19%

Denver

Farmhouse sink

19%

Los Angeles