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My Winter Newsletter

Seasonal Decorating
Ideas That Last!

Many of us love our festive (but short-lived) holiday-themed trimmings, only to remove them after New Year's Eve. Here are some tips on how to achieve a look that lasts!
After you've deflated your "blow-up" snowperson" on the lawn, what remains?
Before the winter festivities, add color to entryways with evergreen cuttings, branches with berries, birch tree clippings or red dogwood twigs.  Pine branches are remarkably resilient if you stick them in soil-filled pots or urns- they'll likely stay green until sprint!
Garnish the hearth too!   An empty fireplace filled with pillar candles of different sizes creates a cozy atmosphere even without a burning fire.  If you're concerned about open flames, use battery-operated candles.  A box of birch wood and greens displayed in front of the hearth will also brighten the room.
Prep your home for a spring sale!



If you're thinking about selling your home, ready it for the spring market by completing these tasks now:

Declutter/tidy. Begin packing up personal items. Buyers want to see themselves in the space and imagine their belongings in the rooms. By streamlining the number of photos or artwork on walls, you'll see areas


that might need cleaning, repair, or a fresh coat of paint.

Downsize. Let go of excessive furniture that doesn't serve a specific purpose. Garage sale apps can help you sell off any purged items.

Make room for storage. Create open areas so buyers can see where they can add shelving, cupboards, or bookshelves.

Build. If you have a wide hallway or large bathroom there might be space for new cabinets, if you have the budget and interest. Home improvements can add to the value of your property.

Give grout new life. When your bathroom looks a little worn, scour and apply fresh grout between tiles. Carefully caulk around the perimeter of your tub. It's an absolute must! Don't cover up dirt; give everything a thorough scrub before making these upgrades.

With a clean, open home you'll be ready to paint, stage, and show your house when the weather warms up!

Winter Home Safety
Snow and ice form hazards around your house. Avoid injury by taking precautions after storms arrive:
Protect your trees. Snowfall and windy weather may break tree limbs, causing damage to your home and possibly endangering people and pets. Use a broom to brush away snow after it falls. Don't shake trees; weak or frozen areas might break.
Be sure to trim back branches close to the house.
Use ice melt that is safe for plants and pets to provide traction, including the steps to your home. If you'll be out of town, arrange for someone to do this for you. Some municipalities may fine homeowners for unshoveled sidewalks. Look after neighbours and yourself.
Watch the roof. Clear icicles that might fall on anyone entering or exiting your home. Look out for potential rooftop "ice dams" holding snow and water, causing damage. Remove ice near eaves troughs and be careful not to harm shingles or drains. Better yet, hire an expert to do it.
Snowy scenes can be beautiful, but they're easier to enjoy when everyone's safe and sound.
Selling in Winter?
Here's what you need to know!

Clear a Path

Keep your front walkway (right to the street), porch and driveway clear! Periodically sprinkle a layer of sand or salt over them. Put a rubber mat by the front door or a container to hold wet umbrellas and shoes.

Let in the Light, especially on dull winter days

Open all blinds, shutters & drapes on every window (unless the view or outdoor scenery is particularly undesirable). Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. If your room is particularly dark, you can add some spot-lights behind chairs, directed into the room to brighten things up.

Sparkle isn't just for the holidays

Wash all windows.  Clean cobwebs and dust everything including ceiling fan blades, and light fixtures. Bleach or re-caulk dingy grout in tubs, showers, and sinks. Polish chrome faucets and clean mirrors - especially in bathrooms. Clean out the refrigerator; you know it needs it.  Make sure your floors are clean and vacuumed - if you have plush carpeting, vacuum in one direction. Empty trash and recycling bins every day, including bathrooms and under the sink.  

Heat things up

The temperature inside should be warm and cozy, so buyers will want to linger longer.  It's best to turn the heat up a degree or two warmer than usual and then set the temperature at normal to prevent the heat from kicking on when the buyer is present (some HVAC systems are loud).

Be Moody and set the stage!

Rooms should appear warm, cozy, and inviting.  Add a couple of wine glasses near a wine bottle on the coffee table; toss a throw blanket across the arm of your sofa. Set the dining room table for dinner with your best china.   Put a tray on the bed or bedside table with a couple coffee cups, napkin, and reading material. Turn your bathroom into a spa by hanging plush robes on the door, place washcloths and towels in baskets, arrange a grouping of soaps, lotions, and shampoo.

Evoke a sense of summer in winter!  Place vases filled with fresh flowers around the house. 
Soothing Music

Have soft music playing throughout; light jazz or classical music is always soothing. If it's the festive season, nonreligious holiday music is a nice touch.   Don't turn on a commercial radio station; instead stream your tunes from a computer or tablet, to have continuous music playing without talk/commercials. Mute the ringers on telephones and turn off answering machines.

No scents makes sense!

Many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers, so don't spray the air or plug-in air fresheners.  Don't spray perfume in the bedroom for the same reason.  It also makes people wonder what you're trying to cover up!

If you're going to bake cookies or simmer spices in water on the stove, make sure you are offering cookies as well.  You don't want to lure people into a room only to have them disappointed that there aren't any cookies!
Provide Information
If you have an antique chandelier that's staying with the house, put a note out that tells the age of it perhaps.  If your basement stairs are steep, attach a card to the railing that cautions buyers to watch their step or their heads.  
If there is something of value that is not included in the sale, but could be negotiable, placing a note saying "Not included in the sale" could makes a buyer want it and you can negotiate that later to your advantage.


Plug indoor lamps into a timer to automatically turn on at in the evenings as the sun is going down.  Make sure the outside of the house is well lit.  Consider using a motion detector to turn lights on when needed.

Either or...
Whether you're a buyer or a seller, I will help you through the process.  Both buying and selling can be challenging in their own ways but I like to take the stress out of the process for you. 

If you're selling, I'll guide you through getting your house ready to sell.  I'll help you determine the best price to list your house for in order to get it sold quickly and for the most money.  

If you're buying, I'll help find the perfect property for YOU!  
Sometimes buyers get frustrated looking at many homes and not feeling like they'll ever find 'the one'!  I always tell them that the right home will come along and I'm never wrong.  It always does!  New houses come on the market every day so don't get discouraged.   

I'm NEVER too busy for my clients or for their referrals.  Whether they have a million questions about selling their home, or they want to see MANY houses before buying....  that's all part of my job and I love my job.  If I can help you in any way, I will.  


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