Personal finance

Adding features, such as an outdoor TV or pizza oven, can help sell your home for over $10,000 more, research finds

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If your home boasts certain trendy outdoor features, you may be able to sell it for more in today’s market.

At the top of the list is outdoor TVs, which may help raise the home sale price to 3.1% more than expected, representing a $10,749 boost based on the average home, according to new research from Zillow.

These sets have weatherproofing features to help them withstand exposure to precipitation and extreme temperatures, and can cost significantly more than standard indoor sets.

Other backyard features that may push sale prices higher include having an outdoor shower, which may help push sales up 2.6%; a bluestone patio, which is tied to a 2.3% increase; she shed, 2%; pizza oven, 1.9%; and outdoor kitchen, 1.7%.

The results come from Zillow’s analysis of sale premiums for 359 features across one million home sales for 2023.

“This year was really all about the backyard features,” said Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton.

“It embodies this new lifestyle people want post-pandemic, where their social life is centered around their home, and specifically their yards,” she said.

Recent research from the National Association of Home Builders similarly found that outdoor features are at the top of buyers’ wish lists. That includes having a patio, exterior lighting, a front porch and landscaping.

The NAHB research also found having more space, such as by having a separate laundry room, walk-in pantry and a table area in the kitchen, were also ranked highly by the 3,000 U.S. homebuyers surveyed.

‘I wouldn’t go out of my way to install these features’

Zillow found other popular features that contributed to a higher sale price include preferred materials including soapstone, matte black and quartz, as well as beverage centers that serve as separate refrigerators to keep drinks cold.

“If you have these features already in your home, you want to make sure that you’re including them in your listing description,” Pendleton said.

“But I wouldn’t go out of my way to install these features and expect these kinds of sale premiums,” she cautioned.

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Today’s buyers are generally looking for smaller homes, around 2,070 square feet versus 2,260 square feet buyers sought 20 years ago, according to the NAHB.

Instead, today’s buyers are focusing on personalized features they prefer, according to Rose Quint, assistant vice president of survey research at the NAHB.

Due to a lack of inventory for existing homes, more homebuyers are turning to new construction. In 2023, 14% of home sales were for new homes, up from 7% a decade ago, Quint said.

Today’s homebuyers are emphasizing technology features for both safety and energy efficiency, she noted. That includes security cameras, video doorbells, programmable thermostats and multizone HVAC and energy management systems.

Trendy features can make a home sell faster

Zillow’s research pointed to home features that may help sell a home faster. The home details at the top of that list that have trended on social media — rounded corners and plant ledges — contributed to sales that were 6.2 days and 5.6 days faster, respectively.

“These types of features are really appealing to a younger buyer, a first-time buyer entering the market,” Pendleton said.

Other features that helped homes sell faster include having a frameless shower, terrazzo, picket fence, modern farmhouse, turf, fenced yard, Energy Star appliances and a saltwater pool, according to Zillow’s research.

“We are seeing more competition for homes that have these trendier features,” Pendleton said.

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