NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Nashville area has seen a drastic temperature drop in the housing market from being piping hot around this time last year to a cool breeze currently.

Senior real estate economist with Zillow, Jeff Tucker said last spring the market in Middle Tennessee was “overheating” last year.

“It has now cooled down pretty substantially thanks to rising mortgage rates, kind of discouraging a lot of buyers,” Tucker said.

Inventory has also been going up, which means prices are leveling off while houses stay on the market for longer.

“What that means for a home seller today is that you can’t really just count on your house to just sell itself anymore,” Tucker said.

With spring being a prime time to buy and sell, Tucker has advice to help sellers put their best foot forward.

“One thing you can do is highlight any unique features, upgrades that you’ve put into the house. And make you know, make sure that you note those things in the listing description. That’s your little blurb; your, you know, 50 words that you have to explain your house to someone who’s just viewing it on Zillow deciding whether or not to come out and check it out,” Tucker said.

Zillow recently released a study that highlighted home features that tend to entice buyers.

“What we found in this study was that many of these little items in a listing description were associated with homes selling for more than we expected or selling faster than we expected. And some of the types of those listing features that tended to help or tended to be associated with the home selling for more,” Tucker said.

If you’re a homeowner who is looking to sell your home at a premium price, then Zillow said the following features were associated with a price of 2.5% to 5% more.

FeaturePrice premium
Steam oven5.3%
Pizza oven3.7%
Professional appliances3.6%
She shed2.5%
Modern farmhouse2.4%
Hurricane shutters/storm shutters2.3%
(Top 10 features that sell for more than expected | Zillow)

“That doesn’t mean necessarily that that single item caused a 5% increase in the home value. But it does mean that’s a signal that buyers really associated with a nice house that’s up to date. And that has features that they’re really seeking out. So, a lot of people are kind of focusing on the kitchen as the heart of the home,” Tucker said.

If you’re a homeowner who is looking for speed, then Zillow said the following features can help you sell your home 3 to 5 days faster.

FeatureDays faster
Doorbell camera5.1
Open shelving3.5
Heat pump3.0
Fenced backyard2.9
Gas furnace2.3
(Top 10 features that sell faster than expected | Zillow)

| Check out more lists and rankings from across Tennessee

Tucker said they don’t recommend sellers making a bunch of changes to their homes before putting them on the market.

“I think the most important thing for sellers at the moment is to get out there because we are right in the heart of the spring selling season.” Tucker added. “Little upgrades like a ring doorbell camera could absolutely be done, you know, in an afternoon either by yourself or with a handyman. So, you could consider some of those, but I wouldn’t start tearing out your countertops if you’re planning to list your home for sale next weekend.”

In March of 2022, a median home went pending in four days in this area, according to Tucker.

For this spring season so far, he said the average is about 13 days.

“I think that’s a healthy development for the market, you know, that gives buyers actually some of that time to consider all their options and not rush into things,” he said.

Tucker also had some advice for homebuyers.

“They should keep in mind that you know if they are looking for all the latest kitchen upgrades and you know something that Chip and Joanna just put in a few weeks ago on the show that they’re going to face some more competition that those are hot commodities at the moment. And so, they should be prepared that they may have to pay a little bit extra for a home that’s like that. And on the flip side, if they’re looking for bargains, then you know, maybe keep an eye out for homes that maybe need a little updating. If this is your first home, that might be a great way to kind of get your foot in the market is plan on putting in a little sweat equity yourself.”

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For the survey, Zillow reviewed 271 features and design terms mentioned in listing descriptions across 2 million home sales in 2022. You can read more about the report at this link.