AUSTIN (KXAN) — Homes in the Austin area are taking a lot longer to sell these days. Back in May 2022, the average home for sale in the metro area spent just 15 days on the market.
In February 2023, that figure had jumped to 84 days, according to the latest housing report from the Austin Board of Realtors. That’s the longest average in 11 years.
But new insight from Zillow might be able to help some homeowners find a buyer faster. The property website looked at features in homes nationwide to determine what additions can cut time spent on the market and rake in more money.
Zillow says it looked at 271 features and design terms in listing descriptions from nearly 2 million sales last year.
Features that can make your home sell faster
Homes that sell faster than expected often boast practical features which attract competing buyers, Zillow says. Features like this include doorbell cameras and fenced backyards.
Here are the top 10 features that can help you find a buyer quicker:
Features that can get you more money
“Not every buyer will appreciate a chef’s kitchen or a putting green in their backyard, but those who do are willing to pay more for these personalized amenities,” said Amanda Pendleton, home trends expert at Zillow. “Post-pandemic home buyers who had plenty of time for self-reflection now have a greater sense of what they want and need in a home.”
Homes with some chef-friendly amenities, like steam ovens, can sell for as much as 5.3% more than similar homes without them, according to the Zillow research. That can get sellers of typical homes as much as $17,400 more.
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Here are the top 10 features that can add more value to your property:
A word of caution, though: homes with personalized features may take longer to sell, as sellers try to find buyers with similar tastes. She sheds, for example, can bump up the value by 2.5% but can make a home spend an extra two days on the market.
And don’t expect that adding a steam oven to your home will automatically get you more money. Zillow says buyers associate features like that with “nice houses,” meaning they might expect other high-end features to go along with it.
Features that don’t do you any favors
There are some features that can signal to buyers that your home is dated and might need some work. Homes with tile countertops can sell for 1.1% less than similar homes with more updated countertops, according to Zillow. Laminate floors or countertops can also lower the dollar amount, by 0.6%.
Walk-in closets can also drop the value, surprisingly, by about 0.7%. Zillow says it may be because buyers no longer see walk-in closets as a selling point, or they may prefer the space be used for something other than storing clothes.