It's one of the (many) high-stakes gambles of homeownership: that awesome new feature or design improvement you've been wishin' and hopin' (and of course savin' for) to add for your family might ultimately hurt, not help, your place's resale value. After all, times and tastes change, and eventually most homeowners will become home sellers. So how do you know that today's sleek, new quartz countertop won't become tomorrow's eye-scorching popcorn ceiling on the open market?

“Anytime a buyer can walk into a house and see it already has the features they want, that's a huge bonus for the seller,' says Anna Maria Mannarino, who runs her eponymous interior design firm in Holmdel, NJ. 'If buyers feel they need to add key features or designs, they're going to calculate how much it will cost and then lower their bid.'

To figure out the top home features, we dug through more than a million single-family home listings on realtor.com in February. We calculated a median price and days on market for each abode with one or more of the 70 popular features we evaluated for this ranking. Features in homes that took longer than 84 days to sell, the national median, were cut from our list. We also eliminated amenities, such as high ceilings, that are difficult—and expensive—remodels.

So what are the most profitable home features for sellers hoping to close quickly? Here are the big 15:

  1. Chef's kitchen/gourmet kitchen 
  2. Theater room
  3. Home gym
  4. Three-car garage
  5. Solar panels
  6. Quartz counters
  7. Exterior lighting
  8. Tennis court
  9. Home office
  10. In-ground pool
  11. Mudroom
  12. Security system
  13. Fireplace
  14. Smart home features
  15. Walk-in closet

OK, let's take a closer look at trends that could help you make bank when it comes time to cash in and sell your home.

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