Make no mistake about it: The right renovations can help you sell your home faster and for more money. "There are certain home improvements sellers can make on a small investment that bring outsized returns," says Leslie Bandy, a real estate agent at Red Oak Realty in Oakland, California.
While there's no guarantee that a particular renovation will drive up the sale price of your home, a report from Zillow suggests that certain upgrades come at a higher premium, which can result in your home selling for more moolah than you might have expected.
Curious what distinct home features command the highest premiums? From steam ovens to smart appliances and more, here are six home upgrades that could up the market value of your home, and help it sell for above the asking price.
1. Steam Ovens
Designed with a built-in water canister that allows you to cook food using hot steam (rather than hot air), steam ovens reduce the need for oils and seasoning so you can cook food more healthily and effectively. No surprise then that Zillow's research suggests that steam ovens command the highest premium of all kitchen upgrades: a whopping 4.9%.
"Foodies will certainly appreciate this feature, and could potentially spend more on a home that comes equipped with an appliance that helps them create their own culinary masterpieces," Jen Montague Clark, founder of The Home Co., explains.
2. Curbless Showers
Sleek and easy-to-clean, curbless showers — aka ones without surface joints that lay flush with the bathroom floor — allow the floor to flow from wall to wall, creating the illusion of a larger space (while providing fewer places for mildew and grime to build up). That may be why, according to Zillow's research, curbless showers come with a 3.6% price premium. "People love the feeling of a large, open shower," Bandy says. "Most households have a bath that feels somewhat utilitarian, but a curbless shower feels adult, luxurious, and has the look of an upscale spa."
No barriers also mean that curbless showers are more accessible than standard showers, which agent George Case of Warburg Realty says can make a home more enticing to a wide range of buyers. "A curbless shower can appeal to empty nesters and the younger generation alike," he explains. "The former is looking toward decreased mobility, while the latter is looking for style and convenience."
3. Pizza Ovens
Zillow's report found that kitchens designed with a pizza oven command a 3.4% premium. "We all expect a home to come equipped with a dishwasher, range, and refrigerator, but a pizza oven is definitely a notch above," Clark says. "This is a memorable and unique offering to home-buyers, and foodies will fall in love!"
4. Radiant Heated Floors
Along with keeping your tootsies nice and toasty, radiant heated floors — which radiate heat from the floor up to help warm the entire room — are more energy-efficient, which means they're better for the environment and your bank account. Unsurprisingly, Zillow's research found that radiant heated floors also command a 3.2% price premium. "Heated floors scream luxury and warm feet on chilly winter days," Case explains. "They're also great for pets that like to curl up on a warm floor."
5. Dog Houses
A rise in pet adoptions means that more and more homebuyers are house hunting with their four-legged family members in mind. Perhaps that explains why Zillow found that properties that feature a dog house come with a 3.2% premium. "If you're a dog person, you understand why a property with a dog house can be worth more," Clark says. "When a home buyer sees a spot already dedicated to their best friend, that tugs at their heart strings."
6. Smart Appliances
Not only do smart kitchen appliances help conserve energy and as a result, lower the costs of your utility bills, Zillow's report found that they command a 3% premium, thereby increasing the market value of your home whenever you decide to sell. "Who doesn't want to save money and save the planet at the same time? Smart appliances are a win-win," Clark says.