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The Foundation

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WHEN SHE’S NOT DESIGNING, RENOVATING, OR PURCHASING PROPERTIES IN PHILADELPHIA, RACHEL STREET ENJOYS SHARING HER TOOLBOX OF KNOW-HOW WITH HOMEOWNERS. As the star of her new DIY Network series Philly Revival, Street resuscitates historic homes and shares her expertise along the way. The show follows her as she buys, renovates, and then sells unique homes in the city.

We caught up with Street and asked her to share her tips to help a homeowner increase a home’s market appeal.

1. First impressions count. Buyers look at the space and the light, and they want to imagine themselves living in the house, and not focus on the imperfections.

2. Little things mean a lot. Your real estate agent will walk through your home with a different eye, so before you agree to show your home, try to take care of the things that require TLC—the little ones and the big ones.  

3. Don’t forget the front of the house. The front is the first thing that house hunters see, so make sure it looks great. The first photo on any listing is the exterior of the property. Flourishing flowers or lush plants help with the feel that the entire house is cared for. If the front door is very attractive, it  will make someone look further. 

4. Don’t rush to put your home on the market. Sometimes people want to sell their home and get it over and done with, but they overlook the fact that spending a few hundred dollars on repairs can get you more money. Even if there is a small piece of trim that stands out, buyers may ask themselves, “What else is wrong?” Spending that little bit of money up front is worth it.  

5. Try lower-cost options to get your home ready to sell. Do a general cleaning and painting. Clean the house—including the carpet—cut the grass, and trim the bushes. When it comes to painting, steer clear of bold colors, which can be distracting for buyers. Light paint colors in gray, white, beige, or even a pale dusty rose, are better choices.  

6. Big budgets are not always necessary. The first house I bought had a nice layout with high ceilings, but I had a small renovation budget, so I made some small changes. I had a bland kitchen with very little personality, so I bought cabinets ... painted them, and added new hardware. Voilà! It completely transformed the look of the kitchen.  

7. Declutter before you put your home on the market. Do a deep purge to free up space. Empty half of what is in your closets, so prospective buyers see plenty of storage space. You want them to imagine where to put their furniture, and not be thinking that the first thing they must do is repaint that problem wall, or worry that there isn’t enough room for their favorite items.

Photography courtesy of DIY Network

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 19, Issue 11 (May 2019). 
For more info on House & Home magazine, click here
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