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Photo by Brian Babb on Unsplash
Deliver great results to your clients by recommending a few features proven to increase a home’s sale price and lower its time on the market before a sale.  A recent study by Zillow analyzed over three million home sales on its platform to uncover listing terms that have produced premium returns.   The analysis measured how listing keywords associated with different home features can impact the sale price and time on market of a home, holding constant other factors. Zillow crunched the numbers on 3.6 million home sales between 2016 and 2017 to identify which home attributes found in listing descriptions are associated with a higher sale price and less time on market.  Armed with this information, there are some features that your sellers can install to bolster their sales.

Of course there are different home amenities that are attractive to different segments of the market.  The research includes findings for features in the lower, middle and higher thirds of home values.  Bearing in mind that the median home sale price in Hudson County through March 2018 is $431,000 let’s take a look at how certain features in a property which are then highlighted in a listing description can translate to significant financial return.

There were a number of terms found to enhance value and speed of sale regardless of market segment.  For example, the term “steam shower” was shown to earn sellers a premium of 29 percent over homes that didn’t include the feature.  In Hudson County, that would translate to a staggering $124,000 increase in value.  What is a steam shower?   In many ways, a steam shower looks like any other traditional shower, but a tight seal and a vapor generator create a steamy, luxurious environment for the homeowner. A steam shower combines the function of a shower, with the benefits and comfort of a sauna. Although costs will vary depending on a home’s current bathroom and shower, it appears that $12,000 in labor and materials is a conservative estimate.  

For the lower third of homes, the term “solar panels” was found to lead to a 40% premium over other entry-level listings that did not include the feature.  The median sale price of a single family home in Kearny, NJ is $338,500.  The solar panel premium of 40% would net an additional $135,000 according to Zillow’s research.  For an average of $15,000 investment to install a solar system, homeowners would see a very lucrative return.  If your sellers are looking to minimize their listing time on the market, Zillow found that “open shelving” led to 14 day decrease in the number of days on the market.  Built-in shelves can be installed by a carpenter in a short amount of time.

For the high-end of the market, features such as “Sub-Zero Fridge” and “professional appliances” were found to be luxury items that were coveted by home buyers.  Consider spending $5,000 - $10,000 on a Sub-Zero refrigerator to garner a premium sale price over other high end homes with less attractive appliances.  According to Zillow’s research, high-end home sellers received a 38% premium when “Sub-Zero Refrigerator” was highlighted in the listing description.  Other value appliances are items like Wolf stove tops and ranges.

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