See which home updates and add-ons will help your house get off the market sooner. The top-ranking appliance might surprise you.


Do you ever wonder why some homes are on the market for just a few days while others take months, even years, to sell? Some homes just have that special something. And thanks to Zillow, we now know exactly which features make a home sell faster.

arcese farmhouse kitchen island with stools
Credit: Kritsada Panichgul

The real estate source recently released its "2019 Home Features That Sell" analysis, which found that certain appliances and amenities make buyers more inclined to commit to an offer—sometimes even higher than the expected sale price.

The study analyzed listings for 4.6 million homes across the U.S. sold in 2017-2018. Researchers looked for common features among homes that sold above expected values. It captured several emerging trends, including entertainer-friendly kitchen appliances, which accounted for six of the top 10 most-desired home features. The study also noted the top features in starter homes, which could predict what millennials are looking for when entering the housing market.

Top 10 Most-Desired Features for All Homes on the Market

Topping the list of most-wanted home items is a steam oven, which cooks food using steam and helps vegetables retain more nutrients. The recent push for healthy eating could be a major factor when choosing a home with a kitchen fit for your dietary needs.

  • Steam oven
  • Professional appliance
  • Wine cellar
  • Steam shower
  • Pot filler
  • Shed/Garage studio
  • Heated floor
  • Waterfall countertop
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Prep sink

Interestingly, the high-end features on the list (steam ovens, professional appliances, wine cellars, garage studio, waterfall countertop, and prep sink) are most commonly sought out in Los Angeles. In a housing market known for skyrocketing prices, home buyers are willing to pay even more for premium features.

“Having a steam oven, a heated floor, or other luxury features in the home is a signal that there is more than the home’s basic features at play,” said Skylar Olsen, director of economic research at Zillow, in a press release. “These homes are special.  They likely come with an elevated design sense and the extra touches valued by home shoppers who can afford the best.”

Top 10 Most-Wanted Features for Starter Homes

Starter homes, on the other hand, come with a different list of favorites. First-time buyers do prefer some high-end amenities, such as wine cellars and pizza ovens, but they also seek out home features that align with other millennial trends. Solar panels promise a smaller carbon footprint and mid-century modern design is right on track with today’s most-loved design aesthetic. Meanwhile, homes with exposed brick sold nine days faster than expected.

  • Free-standing bathtub
  • Pot filler
  • Wine cellar
  • Pizza oven
  • Solar panel
  • Prep sink
  • Craftsman
  • Dual range oven
  • Coffered ceiling
  • Mid-century

“While it’s important to understand what’s popular with buyers, ultimately your home is a reflection of your personal style and how you want to live,” said Kerrie Kelly, Zillow design expert and founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, in a press release.  “You should design a home that makes you happy every day with features you love, knowing that future buyers may want to adapt it to create their own dream home.”

Of course, in addition to fancy kitchen appliances and luxury features, there are other factors that play into real estate. Knowing the best staging tricks could make a huge difference in how fast your home sells, as can low-cost upgrades.

The bottom line is that it pays to invest in your home, but you don't need buy an expensive pizza oven if you’re only going to use it once. Invest in things you love and want, and it will likely pay off down the road when you’re looking to sell.


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