BAM Key Details: 

  • New Zillow research shows today’s buyers are willing to spend more on homes with particular features, with a preference for practical ones like steam ovens and doorbell cameras. 
  • Of the 271 home features and design terms researched, the top ten listed here added the highest sale premiums. 
  • While some of the top features also led to faster home sales, others contributed to longer days on market. 

New Zillow research shows buyers are willing to spend more on homes with particular features, with a preference for the practical. 

Based on Zillow’s study involving 271 home features and design terms used in listing descriptions for nearly 2 million home purchases in 2022, steam ovens added the top sale premium of 5.3%, amounting to $17,400 for a typical home. 

Pizza ovens and putting greens added as much as 3.7% to the sale price, while trendy extras like terrazzo and “she sheds” added 2.5% when included in a home’s listing description. 

Meanwhile, some features were more likely to hurt a home’s resale value. And one of them might surprise you. 

Not every buyer will appreciate a chef’s kitchen or a putting green in their backyard, but those who do are willing to pay more for these personalized amenities. Post-pandemic home buyers who had plenty of time for self-reflection now have a greater sense of what they want and need in a home.

Amanda Pendleton

Zillow's home trends expert

Top features that add to a home’s sale price

  1. Steam oven (with a price premium of 5.3%)
  2. Pizza oven (3.7%)
  3. Professional appliances (3.6%)
  4. Terrazzo (2.6%)
  5. She shed (2.5%)
  6. Soapstone (2.5%)
  7. Quartz (2.4%)
  8. Modern farmhouse (2.4%)
  9. Hurricane shutters/storm shutters (2.3%)
  10. Mid-century (2.3%)

Features that sell faster vs. those that take longer to sell

Buyers are spending more on practical features like doorbell cameras, heat pumps, and fenced backyards—features that also help a home sell faster than expected. 

Looking at it from the seller’s perspective, doorbell cameras and open shelving are both relatively affordable upgrades that can boost a home’s perceived value—contributing to a better ROI—while also speeding up the sale by five days or three days, respectively. 

Back to buyers, those who can afford today’s mortgage rates and who can also pay more than typical market value are showing their readiness to spend more on fun features that make a home stand out. 

Post-pandemic home buyers are looking for a home where they can work and play. Many are working remotely, so some features—like reliable, high-speed internet—are an absolute must, while more playful features—like a putting green or a saltwater pool—offset the practical and make home a more enjoyable place to be. 

That said, some features added days on market as well as a sale premium. Sellers who’ve invested in these features, which are more personalized than universal, may wait a little longer than average to find the right buyer. 

She sheds, for example—the female equivalent of the man cave—can help a home sell for 2.5% more, but it can also add an extra two days on market. 

Homes with wine cellars can command a sale premium of 1.2%, but they can also take five days longer to sell because the average buyer won’t prioritize that feature.

Top ten features that help a home sell faster than expected:

  1. Doorbell camera (5.1 days faster)
  2. Soapstone (3.8)
  3. Open shelving (3.5)
  4. Heat pump (3.0)
  5. Fenced (back)yard (2.9)
  6. Mid-century (2.8)
  7. Hardwood (2.4)
  8. Walkability/walkable neighborhood (2.4)
  9. Shiplap (2.3)
  10. Gas furnace (2.3)

Terrazzo, soapstone, and quartz outperform marble and granite

Today’s active buyers are willing to pay a bit more for textured soapstone and terrazzo. 

Terrazzo floors and surfaces can add 2.6% to a home’s sale price—which, for a typical house, amounts to an extra $8,511. Soapstone countertops can add 2.5% when added to the listing description. Homes with this feature can also sell four days faster than similar homes with different countertop materials. 

Soapstone is low-maintenance and lends a trendy rustic look to a home’s kitchen. 

Quartz, which has been the top-performing surface material for two consecutive years, came close to rivaling these newer materials. Homes with quartz countertops sold one day faster and for 2.4% more than expected. 

Home features that can hurt a home’s resale value

Zillow’s study also highlighted features that can actually hurt a home’s resale value by potentially communicating to the buyer that the homeowner uses low-quality or dated materials rather than investing in higher-quality updates. 

Most buyers know that laminate flooring is cheaper than real hardwood or ceramic tile. And poor quality materials in one part of the home reflects poorly on the rest of it. Homes with laminate flooring can sell for 0.6% less than homes with higher-quality flooring. 

Homes with tile countertops—which are more difficult to keep clean—can sell for 1.1% less than a home with countertops with newer and better-quality materials. 

Walk-in closets, which used to be a selling point, can actually hurt a home’s resale value by 0.7%. The reason is likely the higher cost of square footage. The homes buyers can afford in today’s market typically have less space to work with. And many buyers would rather see extra space in rooms they spend more time in—like the kitchen or a bedroom or home office. 

Top takeaways for real estate agents

Homeowners in your area who are looking to sell can attract higher offers or speed up the sale of their homes by highlighting any of the features listed above. 

Depending on where you are, some additional features like swimming pools can either boost a home’s value or work against it. And some of the top features can cost more to install than the seller would be likely to recover in a sale. 

Use (and continually develop) your market knowledge to help each seller highlight the right features to maximize their home’s sale price. 

As for buyers in your market, prepare them for the more intense competition for well-priced homes with these features.