Staging to Sell or Stay in Spring

The promise of a fresh start makes spring an ideal time for buyers to hone in on a home. Get your property ready to sell this spring with these 10 seasonal staging tips from professionals.
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Photo By: Martin Klimek

Photo By: Martin Klimek

Photo By: ©

Start Spring Staging With a Spring Cleaning

Scrub your home until it sparkles – and don't forget the windows, says Ilaria Barion, founder of Virtual Staging by Ilaria Barion. Then, get out of winter "nesting" mode and declutter, declutter, declutter until your space is light, airy and spacious. "Don't stuff junk into closets," she says. "You want them to be neat and organized, or potential buyers will think your home doesn't have enough storage."

Buff the Floors and Wash the Walls

Floors take a lot of abuse over the winter from wet boots, snow and dirt. Give your carpets a thorough cleaning, and buff worn spots on wood floors with a little polyurethane, says John McAuliffe, owner of Admiral Floors in Washington, D.C. A bucket of warm water with a few drops of mild soap and a sponge will clean off most wall marks; eliminate the tough ones with an eraser-style cleaning pad.

Swap Dark and Cozy for Bright and Cheery

Put away your snug winter blankets, throws and dark-colored accessories, and bring in the spring with bright shawl throws, flower-printed pillows and bright cloths for dark wood tables, says Gina Martelli, an ASID interior designer in Los Angeles. Andrew Schrage, the home expert at Money Crashers, recommends inexpensive staging items like towels and washcloths, throw pillows, candles and table settings in lavender, yellow, sage green and pale blue colors.

Let the Sun Shine In

Nothing says spring like sun-drenched rooms. Pull back curtains and drapes and raise blinds and shades for instant brightness, Gina says. Rainy day? Turn on all the lights before a showing.

Ac-scent With Spring-Like Aromas

Traditional real estate advice says to bake some cookies or spritz spiced scents around the house for a "homey" smell. In spring, says Sheryl Boltze, creative director of Sure Fit slipcovers, try a scent that evokes fresh and clean feelings. Think cotton, sand and beach-scented candles or aromatherapy diffusers.

Bring Blooms Indoors

Botanical colors and prints in light green and yellow shades give bedrooms a spring-like, peaceful feel. Here, Larry Taylor, a San Francisco Bay Area home stager, replaced a brown color scheme and white walls with a pale yellow-green wall, a white duvet with subtle green accents, botanical prints on the wall and a knot of flowers on the nightstand.

Clear Off the Counters

You like the convenience of the toaster, mixer, spices and coffeemaker on the counter, but to a buyer, it just looks cluttered. Stash counter items in the cupboard (if there's no room, stick them in a box and take it with you during showings) and decorate the counter simply with a bowl of fresh seasonal fruit. Here, Larry Taylor, a San Francisco Bay Area home stager, created a spacious, fresh feel in the kitchen with artichokes and Swiss chard. 

Don't Forget the Front Door

You may go in and out through the garage, but buyers will enter your home through the front door. Take down the circular wreath, says home stager DesAnn Collins, which reminds buyers of the holidays and implies you're not on top of things. Instead, say Veronica Pirone and MaryJane Rossi of Vignettes Room Redesign, hang a spring-themed welcome sign and put down a cheery welcome mat and an umbrella stand for those spring rains.

... Or the Back Door

Especially in early spring, when many backyards are still sporting bare branches and spotty grass, you want to give buyers the same cheery feeling when exiting your home as when they entered. Put containers of potted bulbs on a deck table or the back steps to add color to spaces that haven't fully grown in, says Amy Dube, a flower bulb and gardening expert.

Invest in a Landscaper

If you plan to move out immediately, hire a landscaper from spring through fall (or whenever the home sells) to keep the lawn in pristine condition for showings, advises Jim Lowenstern, president of Newton's Castles Unlimited.