Apparently, it is all about what you say.

By Marisa Spyker
May 15, 2018
Photo: Annie Schlechter

If you’ve lived in a home for any significant period of time, chances are you’ve grown attached to many of its fabulous parts, from the kitchen you remodeled yourself to the outdoor pizza oven you’ve spent many late Friday nights crowded around with friends. And — when it comes time to sell — while it might be tempting to write a novella on its greatness in your listing description, in reality, you only have approximately eight seconds to grab a prospective buyer’s attention.

Thankfully, Zillow recently released a report that could help you whittle down your words. The real estate site examined listing descriptions from more than 3.6 million home sales between 2016 and 2017 to identify key terms that are most often shared among homes sold for premiums. (Hint: You might want to talk about your kitchen and baths.)

Photo: Rick Lew; Stylist: Loren Simons

Of 100 listing terms Zillow studied, the phrase that earned the most bucks was “steam shower,” with homes advertising this feature selling for 29 percent more than homes without it. (Perhaps not all that surprising, considering that Pinterest touted resort-inspired style like “spa baths” among their top home trends this year.)

Coming in just behind steam showers are qualities geared toward home chefs, with listings touting “professional appliances” and “pizza ovens” earning 29 percent and 25 percent more, respectively.

The cooking fireplace discovered behind a wall now functions as the family's pizza oven.
Photographer: Annie Schlechter

But what interests a buyer — and could make them willing to shell out a little more dough — also depends on the approximate price they’re willing to spend on a home. Homes within the bottom-third price point of all homes, for instance, sold for 40 percent more than comparable entry-level listings when advertised as having “solar panels.” On the other end of the spectrum, the highest-priced homes sold for 38 percent more of a premium when advertising a “Sub-Zero fridge.”

Of course, advertising these features requires actually having them in your home. If that’s the case — or if you’re contemplating adding one or more anyway — it’s helpful to know your investment just might come with a return. Besides, is a pizza oven ever a bad idea?

Related: 7 Projects That Will Help Sell Your Home Faster: