Today’s homebuyers are looking for move-in ready houses, real estate experts say. Here, local agents take us inside a Ladue residence to demonstrate how a few affordable upgrades can go a long way in boosting a home's curb appeal.

Donna Auld, Janet McAfee Real Estate

FIRST IMPRESSION. Spruce up your home’s entrance with a fresh coat of paint on the front door, a beautiful wreath and a new welcome mat, along with well-maintained landscaping.

RIGHT FIT. Give the sense of more space by matching furniture sizes to the scale of each room, moving larger pieces to bigger rooms if needed.

DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL. Take down any kids' artwork and family photos so the homebuyers can envision themselves and their own belongings in the space.

• BACK IN STYLE. Showcase each room for what it was originally designed to be—for example, change the additional living room, office or kids' play area back to a traditional dining room. 

STAY NEUTRAL. Use a neutral paint color to brighten any dull or dark rooms.

Ted Wight, Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty

BREATHING ROOM. Remove excess furniture and clutter, such as chairs, tables, storage boxes, paperwork and kids' toys, to create more open space in each room of the home.

• EVER GREEN. Replace overgrown or dying indoor plants.

CLEAN SLATE. Clean flooring, from carpets to wood or tile, especially in high-traffic areas.

PET PROJECT. Pets are welcome during home showings, but litter boxes should be cleaned and out of plain sight.

FINISHING TOUCH. For unfinished basements, use a shade of gray to paint the flooring and add white to the walls for a more welcoming atmosphere downstairs.

Mark Gellman, The Gellman Team, CB Premier Group

SPRING CLEANING. Ensure all rooms are cleaned from top to bottom—from dusting ceiling fans to shampooing carpets.

• TIMELESS ACCENTS. Avoid a house that appears dated by taking down any wallpaper or borders and replacing old light fixtures.

PICTURE PERFECT. Use earth tones to paint over any imperfections on the walls, baseboards and ceilings.

PRESERVING HISTORY. Caulk cracks that have resulted from settling in older homes.

UPSCALE UPDATES. For bathrooms, particularly in master suites, upgrade to marble countertops and add new sink bowls and fixtures.

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