Archive November 2014

Holiday Staging Tips

You may be trying to sell your home during the festival holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo the holiday decorations completely. Just don’t overdo it, say the staging experts at Instead, stick to a few simple decorative touches, such as a pinecone centerpiece or an evergreen wreath.

Avoid religious themed decorations, which may turn off potential buyers. Avoid using decorations that might clash with your current color scheme. For example, if the décor in the living room is blue, silver and white, choose accessories that complement that color scheme, such as blue glass ornaments and silver or white candles.

Use accessories to draw attention to the home’s best features. Hang a few tasteful ornaments from the mantel to showcase an elegant fireplace or hang an evergreen garland around the bay window.

Keep inflatable characters in storage while your home is on the market. Instead, use simple string lighting to showcase a fir tree in your front yard.

Make your home extra inviting by lighting a fire in the fireplace or turning up the heat a couple of degrees on chilly days. Offer tasty treats like hot apple cider and fresh-baked cookies to create a welcoming environment.

With a little creativity and common sense, you can enjoy the holidays while trying to sell your home.

CRS Your Home Newsletter November/December, 2014

Out Cold

Before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season sets in, add winter-proofing chores to your home to-do list. Protect your home from winter’s woes with these tips from

Heating Basics Replace old thermostats with programmable ones that allow you to lower the temperature when you’re away from home. Turn on your furnace to ensure it works (run it the full cycle from warm-up to blowing heat to shut- ting back off again). Peek into your ducts and clean away the mold, pests and debris.

Winter Windows Inspect your windows and doorframes for gaps that would allow water or snow to seep in. Use low-expan- sion spray foam to fill any you find. Storm windows and well- hung plastic sheeting can provide an extra layer of insulation.

On the Inside Seal and insulate the wall around electrical outlets and pipes that connect to the exterior of your home. Check that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors are working in case a heater or fireplace malfunctions.

On the Outside Clear out debris around windows. Fill cracks in your pipes with expanding foam insulation or caulk. Dis- connect and drain your garden hose to prevent it from burst- ing. You’ll also want to clip tree branches that are close to your house or car in case of a snow or rainstorm.

CRS Your Home Newsletter November 2013

Clean Sweep

You want to roll out of the red carpet for potential buyers — not a dirty one. Consider these tips from Martha Stewart for keeping your carpets in tiptop shape this season and every season.

*Shoes track in most of the dust and dirt. This buildup can create foul odors and trigger asthma attacks. For starters, position doormats at entrances, ask visitors to take off their shoes and make vacuuming part of your weekly routine.

*Invest in a quality vacuum that has a green label called High-Efficiency Particular Air, which keeps all dirt in the bag. Add baking soda to the bag to make carpet odors less noticeable. Switch the bag when it is half-full.

*When liquids or other messes hit the carpet, act quickly with a solution of clear hand soap or white vinegar and water. Gently blot the spill from the edge to the center with a towel. Rubbing cements a stain and causes matting. Blot until the carpet is completely dry.

*Professional cleaning will extend the life of carpets. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a professional cleaning at least twice a year and even more frequently if you have pets or small children.

CRS “Your Home” Newsletter – September 2013