BAM Key Details: 

  • New Zillow research shows homes with tricked-out backyards can sell for $10,000 more than comparable homes without. 
  • Outdoor TVs, kitchens, and showers can net a homeowner as much as 3.1% more on the sale of their home, while viral home features can help a home sell up to six days faster than expected. 

New Zillow research highlights trending home features that can help your homeowner clients get more money for their home—or sell it more quickly than the average home. 

Tricked-out backyards, for one, can add $10,000 to a home’s sale price. Adding special outdoor features—like an outdoor kitchen, shower, or TV—can net a homeowner as much as 3.1% extra on the sale of their home. 

Homes with viral home features—including TikTok trends like plant ledges and rounded corners—can help a home sell up to six days faster than average by drawing in younger first-time homebuyers. 

And fresh features like soapstone countertops and beverage centers are replacing old favorites like quartz countertops and wine fridges. 

Read on to learn more about home features that can help your homeowner clients sell faster and for more money. 

The #1 outdoor selling point 

Of all the 359 features analyzed by Zillow, the one that brought homeowners the highest sale premium is the outdoor TV, netting an extra 3.1% or $10,749. 

Meanwhile, homes with other attractive outdoor features mentioned in the listing description—like an outdoor shower, a pizza oven, or a bluestone patio—also bring in higher-than-expected sale prices. 

Six of the top 10 features that help homeowners sell for more are outdoor features, which suggests the pandemic era demand for functional outdoor spaces still has influence. 

Some trendy or viral features can also help homes sell faster by attracting more millennial and Gen Z buyers, many of whom are willing to pay more for features like— 

  • Rounded corners, which are popular in furniture design as well as architecture and can help a home sell six days faster
  • Plant ledges, if mentioned in the listing description, are a magnet for #plantparents and can help a home sell more than five days faster than expected
  • Statement terrazzo tile also helps a home stand out from the competition and sell almost four days faster

Top 10 features that help a home sell for more than expected:

  1. Outdoor TV (Price premium: 3.1%)
  2. Soapstone (3.0%)
  3. Matte-black finishes (2.9%)
  4. Outdoor shower (2.6%)
  5. Beverage center (2.4%)
  6. Bluestone (patio) (2.3%)
  7. She shed (2.0%)
  8. Pizza oven (1.9%)
  9. Quartz (countertops) (1.7%)
  10. Outdoor kitchen (1.7%)

Top 10 features that help a home sell more quickly than expected:

  1. Rounded corners (6.2 days faster)
  2. Plant ledge (5.6)
  3. Frameless shower (4.7)
  4. Terrazzo (3.7)
  5. Picket fence (3.2)
  6. Modern farmhouse (3.1)
  7. Turf (3.0)
  8. Fenced yard (2.8)
  9. Energy Star (2.6)
  10. Saltwater pool (2.6)

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. 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.

Amanda Pendleton

Zillow home trends expert

In with the new (and trending)

Across the board, more buyers are leaning toward homes with modern features, which signal the home is either brand new or recently remodeled. In either case, these homes attract buyers because, for one, they’re less likely to require expensive repairs or upgrades. The appliances are probably new or upgraded, saving the buyer thousands of dollars. 

And with new homes, there’s far less reason to worry about termites, mold/water damage, and asbestos (among other things). 

That alone can help a home sell more quickly—and at a higher sale price. 

Beyond that, newer and recently remodeled homes often incorporate trending design features like matte-black finishes and white oak flooring, which can net the owner an extra 2.9% and 1.6%, respectively, on the sale of their home. 

Newer materials are also outperforming older ones, with soapstone countertops linked to sale premiums of 3% versus 1.7% for quartz. 

Also, a “beverage center,” which is an undercounter refrigerator with variable temperature settings for different beverage types can net a 2.4% sale premium, compared to 0.9% for a wine fridge. 

A few caveats

Homeowners looking to sell their home at a premium this spring will want to make sure these features—and any others they know attract buyers in their market—are mentioned in the listing description. And you, as a real estate agent, can highlight features you know buyers in your market are looking for. 

That said, just installing an outdoor shower won’t guarantee the returns listed in Zillow’s study. For some, it’s not so much the feature itself as what it says about the property as a whole. 

An outdoor shower tells buyers your seller’s home has a pool or is located near a beach, either of which are selling points many buyers will pay extra for. A backyard equipped with a shower for no apparent reason won’t have the same appeal. 

Also, features that give homes an edge in one market may be more of a liability in another. An outdoor TV would need to be kept indoors for more than half the year in many northern markets. 

This is another way sellers benefit from working with an experienced local real estate agent with extensive knowledge of their market and local buyer preferences—someone who knows what features to highlight and leverage to maximize the sale price. 

Affordability still trumps special features for many homebuyers

For many homebuyers in today’s market, the high cost of homeownership means special features like the ones described here are “nice-to-haves” rather than “must-haves.”

That’s largely why price premiums for these features were lower in 2023 compared to previous years. As higher mortgage rates and rising home prices tightened buyers’ budgets, affordability became a higher priority and the “must-have” list of home features grew shorter. 

This spring’s home shopping season brings similar affordability challenges, along with more  competition for homes with sought-after features. 

With move-in-ready homes flying off the market in just 17 days, waiting around for the home that has all the bells and whistles just doesn’t make sense for most buyers.

Encourage your buyers to get pre-qualified for a mortgage before they start shopping, so they can act quickly when they find a home they love. The outdoor TV can come later.