As soon as summer starts, home buyers get serious. New listings pop up, people take vacations, they're out and about, and the mood is upbeat.

For families with school-age children, the hunt is even more serious, since they want to move before school starts up again.

Most people would rather move during the summer than when the weather isn't so iffy, and they may have vacation days to use for moving.

It's a great time to have your home on the market. But it's also a  time that your home needs to be "summer-ized." The summer buyer has special needs, and the sooner and more closely you match those needs, the sooner you'll see a purchase offer.

But how to deliver a savory summer home on the market?  What's important? And how much money and effort will this take?

Let's take it one step at a time.

Go breezy

Forget the warm and cozy vibes your property exuded all winter. A fresh, colorful look will lure in more of summer's house hunters.

Inside, stage your home's interior with warmer weather in mind. Switch out your accessories. If you haven't already, put away the animal print and earth-tone pillows and bring on the pastel ones. If your window treatments are a dark color, replace them with sheers. Use white when in doubt. It's your default color whether you're painting furniture or adding slipcovers.

Even if your home isn't in a perfect summer destination, like the mountains, lake, or seaside, ask yourself if you can play up the way your home is a treat to live in during the summer. If it's close to any summer attractions, make sure buyers know. Don't assume everyone knows your town and its amenities, and you can't assume the real estate agent will think to talk up all that your surroundings have to offer.

Keep the house cool so folks on tour feel refreshed when they enter. It doesn't have to be ultra chilly, but you can't underestimate the impact the immediate impression of comfort has on someone entering from the toasty outside.

Outside has to shine

The best exterior home staging for summer advice I can give is to dress up those outside living areas. 

Make them look like the perfect places for relaxing, entertaining, and playing. If you don't have a patio or deck or porch, chances are you can still imitate the experience no matter what your property is like.

Put a bistro table and chairs on the balcony if that's your outdoor space. Add some comfy seats if you have a front or back porch. Make a simple, economical firepit, or add a hammock out on the lawn if space allows.

Colorful plants in containers create killer curb appeal. Bright colors are the rule here. Cash outlay is minimal for the ROI.

Make sure your lawn is tidy, and areas around shrubs are mulched. This project should not cost you much either.

Of course, your home's basic exterior maintenance needs to impress buyers. Check for red flags that might worry them  -- things like paint that is faded, peeling, or mildewed, windows that are cracked or fogged, gutters that are clogged, or walkways that are uneven.

Does your siding, driveway or any other surfaces need pressure washing? Power washers are rentable for a low fee and are easy to use. Has your driveway been patched? It can be painted with a good quality paint used for concrete. Do you have a pool? Make sure it's in great condition, clean and staged with some tempting lounge chairs.

Elbow grease is free and bleach is economical.

Add seasonal touches inside

The thought of summer calls up happy images for most of us -- road trips, pools, beaches, picnics, baseball games, outdoor meals, light reading, sleeping late, and a relaxed state of mind (unless you're a mom of little ones).

I like to let people on a house tour reflect, even momentarily, of what kind of life they will live once they move into a house. For that reason, I like to add some thrifty items that will trigger those thoughts -- furniture that looks relaxing instead of just impressive, sports equipment that anyone could love, lots of refreshingly cool colors, entertaining essentials that look like fun, and props that capture the spirit of the season.

Even if you don't own furniture that itself speaks to 
casual comfort,you can still stage it to say, 
"Relax! It's summer!" Rattan, bamboo, 
wicker, metal, pine, teak,and painted furniture
are some  of the most  
common materials for leisure furnishings. 
Let's not forget slipcovers for converting 
formal space to look more relaxed and
low maintenance. Photo: Sunbrella on Coastal Living.

Okay, maybe your family doesn't play baseball, 
hockey, football, basketball,
and volleyball, but if you can show the 

possibilities for local recreation in your area,
 it is going to impress some people. 

If there is a pool nearby, have noodles 
in your garage . If there is a tennis court in your 
complex, display rackets in your hall closet.
Photo: The Land of Nod

The coastal decor pillow is the icing on the cake here,
surrounded by bright whites and colors of the beach and water.
Doesn't everyone wish for a house at the shore? You can stage
to create the illusion of that fantasy come true. Photo: Completely Coastal

This collection of summery hats and bags, all in one place,
function like a piece of wall art. It's an easy look to engineer with
a visit to a second-hand shop and maybe your closet.
The plant also lends a seasonal touch. Photo: One Kings Lane  

When in doubt, go white. Get out the paint and give furniture,
fixtures, frames and other accessories a fresh, new look.
The white treatment is especially appealing to buyers in spaces that
call for cleanliness, the kitchen and baths. Photo: Jules Duffy 

If you need more tips on how to get your home ready for market, download my home staging eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. I guarantee you'll get staging ideas. And results that matter to buyers.