Home buyers are willing to pay a premium for these backyard amenities.

By Jessica Bennett
June 09, 2021
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Having a backyard equipped with areas for outdoor living and cooking is a huge advantage when warm weather rolls around. And if you're trying to sell your house, those features could add major value. According to new research from Zillow, certain outdoor amenities could help sell your home faster and for more than expected.

outdoor kitchen and entertaining
Credit: Ed Gohlich

In an analysis of listing descriptions from 1.4 million homes sold in 2020, the real estate marketplace identified the features most commonly associated with homes that sold for higher than the Zestimate, or Zillow's estimate of the market value. At the top of the list, homes that mentioned a pizza oven in the listing sold for 3.4% higher than expected. On a $250,000 home, for example, that's a difference of $8,500, which could make this outdoor renovation well worth the cost. Similarly, mentions of an outdoor kitchen contributed to a 2.2% increase over the expected sale price.

Having a spot for the family pet to play outdoors also proved lucrative, as homes with dog houses sold for 3.2% more than expected. Other value-boosting features included sheds and garage studios (2.3% increase), treehouses (2.2% increase), hot tubs and spas (1.7% increase), and outdoor fireplaces or firepits (1.6% increase).

"Buyers appear to value function over size when it comes to outdoor space," says Zillow home trends expert Amanda Pendleton. "They're willing to pay a premium for features that allow them to better enjoy the outdoor space they have-whether that's a patio, a pergola, or outdoor lighting."

Zillow also looked at characteristics that contributed to faster home sales, and overall, sustainable yard features led to the biggest boosts to sale speed. Homes with drought-resistant landscaping sold an average of 13 days faster than expected, while those with turf yards sold about 11 days faster. Having a smart sprinkler system helped speed up sales by nearly 8 days faster than expected.

If your home is about to hit the market, be sure to flaunt these outdoor features in the listing description if you've got them. And if you're not planning on selling your home for another few years, consider taking the plunge on those backyard amenities you've been dreaming about. They might prove to be even more rewarding than you thought.

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