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Jennifer Riner is a real estate, finance, lifestyle, and home improvement writer for Trulia and other partners.

5 Home Upgrades to Tempt Buyers

A look at the home features and styles that matter most to homebuyers

February 10, 2017

Renovations help create more comfortable, stylish, and functional homes. Guiding your clients toward the upgrades that help them increase their home’s value is part of being an effective and successful remodeler.

A Zillow Digs analysis of listings descriptions for more than 2 million homes sold nationwide gives a clear picture of which home features and styles matter to buyers. Trending home features such as “subway tiles” help properties sell for as much as 13 percent more than expected. And these homes come off the market an average of almost 60 days faster than those without trendy features.  

Sharing these five home upgrades that benefit home sellers may help guide your clients to choose interior modifications wisely.

1. Shaker Cabinets

Shaker cabinets are timeless, yet simple enough to have mass appeal. Homes with “shaker cabinets” in the listing description sell 45 days faster than projected and earn 9.6 percent more than the expected sale price. Of all major metros, shaker cabinets are most often featured in Los Angeles listings.

Photo: Flickr user Steve Larkin (CC by 2.0)

2. Subway Tile

Like shaker cabinets, subway tile is a classic. Prior to the last few years, subway tile was earmarked for traditional interiors. Today, subway tile pops up in contemporary condos, vintage farmhouses, and new construction. Homes with subway tile in their listings sell for 7 percent above the expected price and up to 63 days faster than estimated. Of the five upgrades listed here, subway tile moves homes off the market the quickest. Philadelphia’s for-sale inventory uses “subway tile” in listing descriptions most frequently.

Photo: Flickr user Emily May (CC by 2.0)

3. Barn Doors

They may not match every style of home, but barn doors entice home buyers. Buyers like their design—functional but not obtrusive—and cozy feel. Homes with barn doors sell 13.4 percent above anticipated price, which is the steepest return on investment of these home features. Barn doors also lead the pack of home features that move a home off the market quickly (57 days faster). Barn doors are seen predominately as closet and pantry partitions within the Phoenix real estate market.

Photo: courtesy Baldur by Krown Lab

4. Quartz

Countertop material usually boils down to personal preference, but one stone stands out to buyers nationwide: quartz. Listings with quartz saw a 6 percent sales premium, while granite only funneled a 4 percent price boost. Quartz, most often seen in Los Angeles homes for sale, also helped reduce on-market time by 50 days.

Photo: Flickr user felth (CC by 2.0)

6. Farmhouse Sink

Homes with farmhouse kitchen sinks see an 8 percent sales premium compared to those without them. These timeless sinks provide deeper than typical basins and fashion-forward front panels. Once traditional, these sinks now suit most décor styles. Los Angeles listings favor farmhouse sinks the most. In addition, farmhouse sinks cut time on the market by 58 days.

Photo: Pixabay

If you want to establish trust with your remodeling clients, give them the information to help them maximize the return on their renovation investments. Check out the full list of home features that help sell homes faster and for more money. 

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