Researchers at RealEstate.com — a new brand within Zillow aimed at attracting first-time buyers to the site — have released an analysis of listing terms that result in home sale premiums among entry-level properties. They found that first-time buyers are enticed by features described as “craftsman”-related (think: arts and crafts architecture and bungalows) or by features that will likely save them money on energy (think: solar panels). The report attributes the rise in craftsman finishes to the enduring popularity of HGTV’s Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines. Shockingly, “shiplap” didn’t make the finishes list.
The study considers homes priced in the bottom third of the market to be entry level. According to the research, analysts found that homes in that demographic were sold at a 40 percent premium if they mentioned solar panels in the listing and a 34 percent premium if they mentioned the word craftsman. Coffered ceilings and claw-foot tubs will both command a 29 percent bonus. Other HGTV-friendly terms that result in sales premiums in the entry-level market include barn door (23 percent), farmhouse sink (26 percent) and shaker cabinet (23 percent).
Interestingly, the study indicates that the premium on solar panels is really most lucrative for first-time buyers. Mention of the energy savers in home listings outside the entry-level tier results in a lower premium. First-time buyers will pay a 40 percent premium for them, but homes in higher pricing tiers only saw a 13-percent boost in price. Draw whatever conclusions you like about generational commitment to energy efficiency.