Although other factors including timing and location are important, analysis shows that simple keywords used in a listing description can also have a big impact on its final selling price.
According to Zillow’s 2018 Home Features that Sell report, keywords such as “steam shower”, “professional appliances”, and “heated floors” can help bump up the selling price by up to 29 percent in some cases.
The study saw Zillow analyze the listing descriptions of almost 4 million homes that were sold in the U.S. between January 2016 and December 2017. The idea was to see if certain keywords that refer to home design styles, features and amenities had any impact on the sales price.
According to Zillow’s findings, listings that mention the word “steam showers”, which are enclosed showers that can also be used as a steam room (such as the one pictured), sold at an average of 29 percent above the expected value. Other spa-related words such as “meditation room” and “free-standing tub” also helped to boost sales prices, Zillow found.
On the appliance side, those that used the word “professional appliances” and other modern kitchen terms such as “pizza oven”, “prep sink”, and “Outdoor kitchen” also sold for a premium.
"While everyone has different style preferences, when it's time to sell, being specific and strategic with your home's listing description can have a big financial payoff," said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow's chief marketing officer. "Homes with spa-inspired bathrooms, chef-like kitchen amenities and certain craftsman or farmhouse features are very popular among today's buyers. If you have these features in your home, try to highlight them in listing photos and descriptions as it may help catch a future buyer's eye."
While there are a variety of reasons a home may sell faster or for more money than expected, understanding what's popular among buyers can also help homeowners thinking about remodeling. For example, for-sale listings touting "new carpets" saw no boost in sale price, but listings mentioning "hardwood floors" sold for a 10 percent premium while those with "herringbone patterned floors" sold for as much as 21 percent more than expected.