The following pages feature the return of a Ladue News original: The Real Home Critique. This year, we take you to two area homes in need of some expert advice.

First, we recently stepped inside the elegant walls of Brook Dubman’s estate in Ladue, where local realtors suggested ways to make the home move-in ready. While the Dubman home is not on the market, the Carol House Furniture president has some advice for those who are selling. “Homes display better fully furnished, with appropriately sized furniture—and not too much, or too little,” Dubman says. “And it’s important to stage in neutral colors and styles that will appeal to more people.” During a tour of his home, our realty experts had this to say:

Berkley Land, Land Litwack & Associates, Prudential Alliance

ON TREND. Stick with current trends when matching the style of furniture and accessories with the home.

CLEAN SWEEP. Make sure the fireplace is clean and filled with fresh firewood.

COLOR CHECK. Bold, dark paint colors work in bigger rooms, while more neutral, lighter tones are best for smaller spaces.

SLEEK LOOK. Remove clutter from counters and tabletops.

PARTY PREP. Once your home is move-in ready, hold a pre-market cocktail party to build interest among friends, neighbors and realtors.

Christine Chartrand, Janet McAfee Real Estate

• PICTURE PERFECT. Depersonalize your home of family photos and children’s artwork so buyers can see themselves living there.

• CRYSTAL CLEAR. De-clutter desks, countertops and floors of excess paperwork, toys and accessories.

• BRIGHT LIGHT. Minimize window treatments to let in more natural light.

• RIGHT FIT. Scale furniture to the size of the room: large furniture works for substantial spaces and vice versa.

• IN FOCUS. Simplify your design décor by eliminating any large light fixtures or furniture that may distract from the room’s spaciousness and overall appeal.

Beth Schenk, Laura McCarthy Real Estate

OUT WITH THE OLD. Remove any artificial plants or flowers, which can date the home.

IN WITH THE NEW. Update essential accents, including decorative lighting and mirrors, and granite countertops.

PRISTINE PATH. Clear hallways and stairways of any clutter.

FRESH PALATE. Replace themed design elements with neutral colors and accents that will appeal to a wider audience.

NICE & TIDY. Clear toys from children’s bedroom floors by placing them in decorative bins or bookshelves along the walls.