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Between preparing to host family and friends for Thanksgiving and making gift lists and checking them twice, the whirlwind of activities during the busy holiday season can feel more like a blast of arctic air than a hint of festive cheer.

Kitchens are put through the ultimate stress test on Thanksgiving, with every appliance and inch of countertop space pushed to the limit. However, certain kitchen features are not only better equipped to handle the pressures of entertaining a crowd, they could increase a home’s sale price when it comes time to move.

“The kitchen has long been the heart of the home and it’s become even more important this past year,” says Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert. “As a result, pandemic-era home buyers appear willing to pay a premium for high-end kitchen amenities. Homeowners who plan to put their home on the market would be wise to flaunt these features if they’ve got them. But resale aside, these value-boosting features also increase a kitchen’s functionality, especially during the holidays.”

Steam oven: Of the more than 220 features or design elements Zillow researched, steam ovens topped the 2021 list of home features that sell. When this trendy appliance is mentioned in listing descriptions, those homes can sell for 4.9% more than similar homes without one.

“Steam — usually combined with convection — fuels a powerful cooking appliance that can enhance a kitchen designed for wellness,” says Jamie Gold, author of Wellness by Design. “A combi-steam oven offers health benefits and functionality. It cooks food with reduced fat and better-preserved nutrients, and allows home cooks to multitask and get food on the table quickly. This popular appliance type will perfectly cook protein, vegetable sides and pie at the same time.”

Butcher block: This is the only countertop material that can also serve as a cutting surface, which comes in handy when cooking for a crowd. Buyers snap up homes that include butcher block in their listing descriptions nearly four days faster and for 2.7% more than expected.

Smart appliances: Tech-connected kitchen appliances allow cooks to control everything from their grocery list to a dish’s cooking time, all from their phone or tablet. Smart refrigerators can send homeowners a text message to let them know they have run out of milk, while smart ovens can monitor how the turkey is cooking and automatically shift to warming mode when it's done.

When it’s time to move, homes with smart appliances can sell for 3% more than expected.

Quartz: Homes with this durable countertop material can sell for 3.2% more than expected, and for good reason, according to Gold.

“Quartz, also called engineered stone, offers a low-maintenance kitchen work surface ideal for busy households and Thanksgiving meal prep,” Gold explained. “This countertop material has grown in popularity for its heat, stain and scratch resistance, and for increasingly realistic stone looks. Quartz’s nonporous properties make it an ideal surface when handling raw turkey or eggs, because it won’t harbor bacteria.”

Dual-fuel range: This stove offers the best of both worlds for home cooks with a gas cooktop and an electric oven. Electric ovens can offer more consistent results for baking, ensuring the Thanksgiving mac and cheese or pumpkin pie is evenly browned. A gas cooktop heats quickly and offers more precise temperature control for cooking cranberry sauce and gravy.

Homebuyers also eat up this feature and can spend 2.2% more on properties that include mention of a dual-fuel range in their listing descriptions.

Wine fridge: Extra beverage storage is always helpful when serving a crowd, and a wine fridge can chill much more than just wine. Plus, homes with this useful feature can sell for 1.7% more and nearly two days faster than expected.

Pot filler: A pot filler installed over a cooktop or range swings out from the wall and extends over a pot, making it easy to fill when preparing to cook pasta or boil potatoes, saving cooks the trouble of carrying a heavy pot of water from the sink to the stove. Plus, Zillow research finds this faucet can contribute to homes selling for 1.5% more.

Touchless faucet: With health and safety top of mind for today’s buyers, homes with touchless faucets can sell nearly two days faster than expected and for 0.6% more. Motion-activated technology turns on the kitchen faucet, making for easier Thanksgiving cleanup and preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses.

There are many factors that contribute to the speed of a home’s sale and to its sale price, and installing these kitchen amenities does not guarantee or definitively cause a home’s ultimate sale price to rise. Instead, these features contribute to a buyer’s overall positive impression of a home, and in turn, the buyer’s willingness to pay more for that home.

And one more note: If these features just happen to deliver a dry turkey and burned pumpkin pie, consider a pizza oven, which can contribute to a 3.4% sale premium.


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