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The Features That Sell Homes

housing optimismWhen Americans buy a house, how homey it looks at a showing can have a huge effect on the sale price. That's down to the color of the kitchen cabinets and the presence of outdoor showers, according to reports by Zillow and Realtor.com.

According to Zillow's 2018 Paint Color Analysis, the very color of the paint on the features in a house can add significantly to the final sale price. The analysis measured photos from 135,000 home sales to see how colors affected the price.

The verdict: “Homes with black front doors, tuxedo kitchen cabinets, and periwinkle blue bathrooms sell for as much as a $6,000 premium,” Zillow reported. “Tuxedo kitchens, or kitchens where the upper and lower cabinets are painted in two different colors, sell for a $1,547 premium. White cabinets contrasted by a dark navy blue or black kitchen island were some of the most common tuxedo kitchens in top-performing listings.”

“For a seller, painting a front door is one of the least expensive home prep projects, but also one that can have a powerful impact on a home's sale price,” said Kerrie Kelly, a Zillow home designer. "While cool, neutral wall colors like tan and light blue are still popular, we're seeing a notable shift in home design where pops of color—particularly in darker hues of blue and gray to even black—are becoming increasingly popular. Contrasting colors, especially in kitchens and home exteriors add interest and dimension to a room that plays very well in listing photos and videos.”

On the other end of this dynamic, properties with more “style-specific colors,” like brick or raspberry red, tend to sell for $2,300 less than expected. Homes with yellow exteriors also sell for less, the report said.

Moving outside the house, Realtor.com studied what terms buyers use when searching for homes online. That study found that fire pits, pools, outdoor barbecues, and even outdoor showers are major attractants. Properties featuring terms like these translated into real numbers in May. According to the report, such terms added an average of nearly $60 per square foot to the value of a property in the states where they most appeared.

The term “outdoor shower” had an even larger impact. While only 3.5 percent of listings have the term, the price per square foot, on average, doubled. In New York, listings featuring outdoor showers increased per-square-foot-prices by 256 percent in May.

Less tangible, but enormously telling, listings using terms like “summer fun” and “summer days” were most common in cooler states in the Northeast and northern Midwest. But those terms there often translated into real money. In May, Michigan listings highlighting summer activities added 36 percent to the sale price per foot, according to the report.

About Author: Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan is a multi-award-winning journalist and editor based out of Texas. During his 11 years as a newspaper journalist, he wrote more than 4,000 published pieces. He's been recognized for his work since 2001, and his creative writing continues to win acclaim from readers and fellow writers alike. He is also a creative writing teacher and the author of several books, from short fiction to written works about writing.

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