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Homes with 'Subway Tiles,' 'Barn Doors' or 'Farmhouse Sinks' Can Sell for Up to 13 Percent More and 60 Days Faster

For-sale listings touting craftsman or farmhouse-style design features sell faster and for more money than expected, according to Zillow Digs analysis

Apr 12, 2016

SEATTLE, April 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Why do some homes sell for a premium? In addition to timing, a home's listing description can have a significant impact on its final sale price. Listings mentioning keywords like "barn door," "shaker cabinets" or "subway tiles," sell faster and for up to 13 percent more than expected, according to a Zillow Digs® analysisi.

Zillow Digs analyzed listing descriptions from over 2 million homes nationwide sold between January 2014 and March 2016 to see how certain keywords referring to home features, amenities and design styles impacted their sale price.

Of the 60 keywords analyzed, listings mentioning "barn doors," a rustic sliding door often used on bedroom closets and kitchen pantries, saw the highest sale premium (13 percent above expected values). Other common craftsman-style keywords like "farmhouse sink" were also found in top-performing listings. Furthermore, homes described as "craftsman" performed better than any other design style analyzed. While people may think the rustic mason jar-vibe is out, it is still very popular with today's buyers.  

"When it comes to real estate listing descriptions – words matter," says Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist. "Your listing description is an opportunity to highlight specific details and finishes that might not be visible in photos. Craftsman-style homes and amenities resonate incredibly well with today's buyers – so if you've got them, flaunt them! Meanwhile, not only are subway tiles and shaker cabinets popular with home buyers, they may also signal that the home has other desirable features like an open floor plan or a well-appointed kitchen."

Understanding what's popular among buyers can also help homeowners who are considering remodeling. For example, listings descriptions that included "new carpets" had no effect on the home's sale price, but listings mentioning "hardwood floors" sold for two percent more than expected. While everyone has different preferences, when it's time to sell, a listing mentioning hardwood floors may be more likely to catch a future buyer's eye.

This report stems from an analysis in the New York Times best-seller, "Zillow Talk: Rewriting the Rules of Real Estate," which looks at how certain listing descriptors like "unique" or "captivating" can impact final sale prices. More information can be found at  

Home Feature Keyword

Effect (percent

homes sells for

above expected


Effect (how

many days

faster than

expected the

home sells)

Most Common


Barn Door



Phoenix, AZ

Shaker Cabinet



Los Angeles, CA

Farmhouse Sink



Los Angeles, CA

Subway Tile



Philadelphia, PA




Los Angeles, CA




Seattle, WA





New York, NY

Pendant Light



Phoenix, AZ

Frameless Shower



Dallas, TX

Heated Floors



Seattle, WA

Stainless Steel



Chicago, IL




Dallas, TX




Philadelphia, PA

Tankless Water Heater



Los Angeles, CA

Outdoor Kitchen



Tampa, FL

Zillow Digs

Zillow Digs® is a hub for home improvement and design inspiration. Users can browse more than three million photos of interiors and exteriors of real homes, organized by space, style, cost and color. Product tags allow users to easily locate similar products and accessories as seen in their favorite photos, and patent-pending Digs® Estimates help people understand what it would cost to recreate the actual bathrooms and kitchens they are viewing. In addition, Zillow Digs users can collect images, share favorites and follow others for inspiration, from the Zillow Digs App for iPhone® and iPad®, or on the Web.


Zillow® is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help. Zillow serves the full lifecycle of owning and living in a home: buying, selling, renting, financing, remodeling and more. In addition to®, Zillow operates the most popular suite of mobile real estate apps, with more than two dozen apps across all major platforms. Launched in 2006, Zillow is owned and operated by Zillow Group (NASDAQ:Z and ZG) and headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow and are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

i The Zillow Digs Listing Feature Analysis measured how listing keywords associated with different home features, amenities and design styles can impact the sale price of a home. Zillow Digs looked at 2.8 million home sales from around the country that sold between January 2014 thru March 2016 to identify what home attributes found in listings lead to a faster sale on Zillow, and sell for more than the home's Zestimate. The analysis controlled for the age and size of the property, as well as the year and quarter in which the sale took place. Samples were also designed so that premiums associated with a given home feature do not simply reflect their greater prevalence in higher-end markets.



For further information: Alexa Fiander, Zillow,