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10 surprising home features that sell for more than you'd expect

10 surprising home features that sell for more than you'd expect
Ally Gong
Content Specialist

If you're planning on selling your home soon, you'll want to highlight notable or desirable features that today's buyers value. Zillow recently analyzed over 3.1 million home sales from 2020 and 2021 and looked at how much more money or faster a deal went when a house had a specific feature. The features on this list may surprise you, but they can all add emotional and monetary value to your home.

A home's well-designed ambiance and overall convenience can generate a cumulative value greater than the value of its individual components.

 In this blog post, we will discuss ten unexpected home features that recently sold for more than expected, according to the Zillow analysis. Consider these when considering value-adding remodels or preparing your home for sale!

Steam oven 3.7%

Steam ovens are rising in popularity as a home feature and come with a healthy price premium. Cooking with steam has become increasingly popular because it's a fast and easy way to make healthy meals. A steam oven uses hot vapor to cook food, saving time in the kitchen. Further, this cooking method doesn't strip away essential moisture and nutrients from your dishes like other methods might, so you can be sure that you're enjoying all of the flavor and health benefits your meal offers. Listings that mention the presence of a steam oven sell for an average of 3.7% more than those that don't.

Modern farmhouse 3.0%

Move over, mid-century modern – the rustic, homey style of the contemporary farmhouse is having a moment. In response to the stark, minimalist style popular in the 1990s and early 2000, a cozier interior design trend arose: modern farmhouse. This look combines classic comfort with rustic features like reclaimed wood. Modern-day farmhouses usually consist of newer homes that builders have designed to look like older country houses. These new construction homes include focused contemporary elements such as light and neutral color schemes, smooth lines, and modern appliances. In addition, they often feature exposed beams, large porches, and a rustic feel. And apparently, buyers are willing to pay up for that chic country vibe: Listings that mention a modern farmhouse style sell for an average of 3.0% more than those that don't.

New appliances 2.6%

Nothing says "move-in ready," like a home with brand-new appliances. New appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and washers and dryers can add value to a home. They can make a home feel more luxurious and comfortable, with a corresponding elevated price tag. Listings mentioning new appliances sell for an average of 2.6% more than those with older appliances.

Shiplap 2.6%

The fixer-upper trend popularized by HGTV shows like Joanna and Chip Gaines' "Fixer Upper" has led to a renewed interest in affordable reclaimed materials like shiplap. Shiplap is a versatile wooden board used for wall coverings and ceilings. Homes across the country have adopted and adapted on top of shiplap material. It's no secret that shiplap is one of the most versatile and popular materials today. Due to its durability, buyers can find it in homes across America. That's good news for sellers, as listings mentioning shiplap sell for an average of 2.6% more.

High-speed WiFi 2.5%

In today's world, high-speed WiFi is a must – and buyers are willing to pay for it. Broadband or high-speed WiFi is an essential feature for many homebuyers, as it allows them to work from home, stream movies and TV shows, play games, and stay connected. Although a broadband connection costs $100–500 more per year than a dial-up service, it is estimated to be five to 50 times faster than traditional dial-up services. Broadband and high-speed WiFi are becoming increasingly important for people who work from home or need to be constantly connected. The advantages and speed of broadband make it worth the price for most consumers. Listings mentioning high-speed WiFi sell for an average of 2.5% more.

Nautical 2.4%

A nautical theme is a way to go for buyers who want to feel like they're on vacation all year round. Nautical-themed homes often have coastal or maritime-inspired design elements like ship wheels and blue and white shades to evoke feelings of relaxation and leisure. A nautical-themed interior design can make you feel like you're living right by the ocean. This theme in your living areas instantly creates a sense of comfort. With its connotations of tranquility, this design trend is common in bathrooms but is also easily incorporated in other areas. Listings mentioning a nautical theme sell for an average of 2.4% more than those without.

Seismic retrofit 2.4%

In earthquake-prone areas, a home with a seismic retrofit is a hot commodity. A seismic retrofit strengthens a house or building to make it more resistant to earthquakes.

A seismic retrofit is an important feature for buyers in earthquake-prone areas, as it can help protect their home and their family in the event of an earthquake. Safety comes at a price: Listings mentioning a seismic retrofit sell for an average of 2.4% more.

Metal roof 2.2%

A metal roof isn't just for barns anymore – and apparently, buyers are willing to pay a premium for the durability and style that a metal roof can offer. Although metal roofs cost more upfront than cheaper options like asphalt composite shingles, there are several compelling reasons to switch. Metal roofing is much more durable and can last two to three times longer than a traditional roof, so you'll save money in the long run. Metal roofs are becoming increasingly popular for their durability, energy efficiency, and aesthetic appeal. Listings mentioning a metal roof sell for an average of 2.2% more than those without.

Heated floor 2.4%

For buyers who want to feel like they're living in the lap of luxury, a heated floor is a way to go. This feature is becoming increasingly popular in high-end homes, offering comfort and style. Heated floors are also energy efficient so buyers can save money on their energy bills. Radiant floor heating systems heat the floor directly with thermal radiation and electromagnetic waves. The heat from the bottom rises and disperses throughout the room, warming up the entire room more efficiently than traditional bulkier methods that only heat the air. Heated floors are popular for people who want warmth and comfort incorporated directly into their homes. Listings mentioning heated floors sell for an average of 2.4% more.

Dog and pet houses 2.3%

68% of pet owners said that they prioritize their pet's needs when choosing a house, according to Homes.com. Furthermore, a 2020 Zillow report found that homes with animal-inclusive additions sell quicker and for more money. Dog houses and pet houses are becoming popular for buyers who want to ensure their animal friends have a comfortable place to call home. And like dog houses, listings mentioning pet houses sell for an average of 2.3% more than those without.

While these ten home features can help increase the sale price of your home, it's important to remember that not all buyers are looking for the same things. Adding these design features to a home, or just adding these words to a for-sale listing description, does not always cause the final sale price to increase in the exact percentages listed. Some buyers may be willing to pay more for a feature vital to them, while others may care less. Homes with these kinds of features in their descriptions may be of generally higher quality all around (or are at least perceived to be) in ways that are difficult to observe or quantify but which tend to lead to a higher final sale price ultimately.

Homebuyers tend to see these features and updated design choices as modern and valuable, so if your home has any move-in-ready qualities, promote these features. If you want to definitively increase the value of your home or property, here are seven value-adding remodels you can consider. If you're looking to remodel your space and keep it up to date, check out nine trending home improvements for 2023 and beyond.

*The percentages listed are the amount of extra upsell you can expect to get for your house if it has that feature after considering how popular that feature is among buyers. For more details or to check out their methodology, read their full report on modern home features that sell. 

Did you find this article surprising or helpful? If so, please share it! And if you're looking for more helpful tips and resources on property management and home improvement, visit the Doorstead blog.

Ally Gong
Ally Gong
Content Specialist

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