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).