Location, location, location.  When it comes to the desirability to real estate, we’ve always known location to the most important element.  But, times are changing.  Thanks to HGTV, Instagram, Pinterest and, well, the Internet, key home features are becoming just as important as location.

Close your eyes.  Imagine a quaint home, with a rustic barn door, white shaker cabinets and a big farmhouse sink.  Chances are, you’ve already imagined it yourself, or are even seeking it out.

In a study of more than 2 million listings across the US between January of 2014 and March of 2016 by Zillow, homes with listings including keywords like “barn door”, “shaker cabinets” and “subway tiles” sell for a price 13% higher than expected.

Among other terms analyzed, quartz, craftsman and exposed brick came in behind shaker, farmhouse sink and barn doors in those terms associated with not only the highest sale premium, but also a significantly faster sale.  “Barn doors”, for instance, helped listings move 57 days faster than expected, according to the study.

We hear it all the time, “We’ll replace these french doors with barn doors, paint the cabinets white and put in quartz countertops.” These now classic design elements add charm and character, so it’s no wonder these are in demand.

If you’re planning on putting your home on the market, looking to add value, or looking to appeal to potential homebuyers, try these GT Tips:

  1. The appeal of barn doors, aside from the actual intended use, stems from the rustic and reclaimed element.  Try reclaimed adhesive wood paneling to give your home a rustic, reclaimed vibe, without the commitment of a large barn door.
  2. Many potential homebuyers are going to be looking for white, shaker style cabinets.  If your cabinets aren’t shaker,   try a fresh coat of paint.  Our current favorites are Benjamin Moore’s Simply White and White Dove, for a cleaner or warmer white.
  3. If you currently have an overmount, or undermount sink, installing a farmhouse could be tricky.  You’ll want to ensure that the base cabinet underneath has low enough framing to support the front apron, as you’ll need to cut into it.  Hiding and stacking dishes is easier in a deeper sink, too!