Home Consumer What Do ‘Subway Tiles,’ ‘Barn Doors’ or ‘Farmhouse Sinks’ Have in Common?

What Do ‘Subway Tiles,’ ‘Barn Doors’ or ‘Farmhouse Sinks’ Have in Common?

barn doors
Photo courtesy Kerrie Kelly Design Lab (Zillow.com)

What do ‘Subway Tiles,’ ‘Barn Doors’ or ‘Farmhouse Sinks’ Have in Common?

According to Zillow Digs, homes with these features can sell for up to 13% more and 60 days faster than homes without these trendy updates

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 Zillow

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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.



Terri Lynn has earned a reputation as a dynamo in the fast-past world of high profile public relations. Her blue chip press contacts, dazzling creativity and unstoppable determination, combined with superb writing skills, consistently produces extensive media coverage for her clients. She’s regarded as tenacious, persuasive and always gets the job done!