According to a recent new Zillow Digs analysis, real estate listings mentioning keywords like “barn door,” “shaker cabinets,” or “farmhouse sink,” sell faster than other listings—and for up to 13% more than the original listing price.
While it’s never ideal to remodel your home for someone else, this is great news if you want to flip investment property or if a new opportunity means you need to list your house sooner than expected and some sprucing up needs to be done.
For the study, Zillow analyzed 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 50 keywords (“granite,” “crown molding”) with those that didn’t.
The homes ranged in price from $20,000 (what?) to $88.3 million (in L.A.), and the median value was $232,000.
According to Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s senior economist, you can’t just slap a barn door up on any home and expect an increased value. 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.”
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.”
I probably use subway tile in over 90% of my projects because it is so versatile. It comes in stone, ceramic, glass and sizes range from micro-mosaic to larger 4 x 12 formats.
According to the report, homes listed with the words “subway tile” sold on average 63 days faster, and for 6.9 percent more, than those without it.
The report actually suggests you opt toward the refined end of these design options.
Neighborhood context is also key. “Midcentury” used in listings averaged some homes 40 days fewer on the market and sold for 2.7 percent more.
Item 15 on the list was “Outdoor Kitchen”. The Tampa market – the only southern area listed within the top 15 – was listed as having the most recently sold homes using this key word.
Here’s the top 15 list:
Another key takeaway from the report is to make you home sound modern and updated by using the right buzz words. For example, “Frameless shower” sounds more current than “Jacuzzi tub.” If you had a flashback to a bathroom with gold and chrome fixtures then you understand what I mean.