Surprising home features giving sellers a boost in Puget Sound

SEATTLE - The housing market in Puget Sound is lighting up now with the spring season underway. A dip in interest rates recently is also fueling more buyers to take interest in the market.

“A well priced home is still going off the market in 20 days,” Broker George Moorhead of Bentley Properties said.

Most home sellers know you need an inviting entrance and clean landscaping, but Zillow has some surprising data that highlights some features getting sellers the best value.

“The word craftsman rises to the top in Seattle more than any other place,” Skylar Olsen of Zillow said

Olsen says craftsman style houses in the Seattle metro area sold for 38% above expected value when compared to other similar homes in the same zip code.

“Craftsman is near and dear to this city’s heart,” OIsen said.

Other features buyers love around Puget Sound is stand alone tubs in bathrooms, mid-century style and coffered ceilings.

“Listings flagged with coffered ceilings will sell for 32% more, other surprises are bamboo floors and hot tubs” Olsen said.

Both Olsen and Moorhead say don’t worry if you don’t have any of those luxury features, every home can benefit with some mid-range upgrades. The first place to start is the bathroom.

“You will get a dollar to dollar return on those investments when we meet with people that’s the biggest thing we talk about: What will give you the return that you want,” Moorhead said.

Many of us know that a kitchen is important, but experts say you don’t have to get crazy with the upgrades. For example, the biggest misconception people have is that you have to have high end appliances but experts say that is not going to give you the best return.

Also consider resurfacing your countertops and cabinets that you already have because that’s cheaper and kitchen fixtures and faucets are easy swaps.

Moorhead says another misconception is the value of a fireplace, you don't need the newest or best.

But if you do have some money to splurge, consider tearing down some walls.

"Allowing a greater space, the perception, that will pay $2 for every $1 that you put into it,” Moorhead said.

An open concept is tried and true, giving your listing an edge over the competition.

Zillow says as of January, the typical Seattle home sold after 84 days that is including the bank process of closing on the house.

That's about 3 weeks slower than a year ago, but homes in Puget Sound are still selling a lot faster than the nation as a whole.