From television trend to real estate spend – homes with shiplap, barndoors and farmhouse sinks sell for more and sell faster than expected.
New Zillow research suggests buyers aren't over the farmhouse fad and they're willing to pay a significant premium for features popularized by reality renovation TV shows.
A "modern farmhouse style", when mentioned in a for-sale listing, was associated with a 10.3% sale premium, the largest price premium of any home feature or style Zillow looked at. That adds up to about $25,000 on a typical American home.
"Some design trends look great in a photograph, but don't reflect the way most Americans live," said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow Lifestyle Expert. "The modern farmhouse trend seems to be enduring because of its livability. It has a more casual, rustic aesthetic that is meant to be lived in; nothing is precious and the more wear and patina, the better, which makes it so appealing to buyers with children or pets."
High-end, custom features earned significant sale premiums, too. Homes with waterfall countertops, which fall vertically down the side of a kitchen island or peninsula, earned 9.4% more than the expected sale price. Homes with Moroccan tile, characterized by high-contrast geometric patterns, commanded a 7.3% sale premium.
"This analysis didn't look at return on investment, so don't rush out to install a waterfall countertop in your kitchen and assume you'll earn your money back in a sale," said Zillow economist Jeff Tucker. "However, if you have these features in your home, make sure to flaunt them in your listing description during the competitive spring home shopping season. We can't prove these features directly cause the price premiums we found, but the positive correlation is a clear sign that today's home shoppers associate these features with high-quality homes."
Keywords associated with smart homes, such as "smart sprinkler system" and "smart light," and keywords associated with sustainability and energy-efficiency, such as "drought-resistant" and "double-pane windows," contributed to a faster than expected sale. Homes with rattan elements, a hot design trend, sold nearly 13 days faster than expected.
There are many factors that contribute to a home's final sale price, including when a home is listed for sale. In this analysis, Zillow looked at more than 170 features or design elements that were mentioned in the listing descriptions of millions of homes sold in 2018 and 2019.