The Buzz at The Bartic Group

Check out our blog below to catch up on recent developments in Colorado's real estate world and other interesting news.

April 11, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: It is time to sell!

Denver, the most expensive housing market between two coasts, hit an important milestone in February. For the first time ever, the average sold price of a single-family, detached home topped $500,000, at a record breaking $502,986. The year-over-year appreciation was up 11.78% from February 2017. The dramatic price increase came as the total sales volume posted a double-digit drop. The 2,002 single-family homes sold in February marked a 10.59% reduction in closings from a year earlier, DMAR data shows. 

Home prices are rising while at the same time mortgage rates are rising. Rates are now averaging close to 4.45% for a 30-year mortgage, while rates below 4% were available not long ago. Part of the reason home prices are going up so quickly, especially so early in the year, is because some people are bidding up home prices before they rise even more. 

Historically, when single-family home prices shot up, more consumers - especially first-time buyers - chose less expensive condos and townhomes. With an average price of $345,632, attached homes are significantly less expensive than single-family homes. However, condo prices have risen even more than single-family homes jumping 16.95% from February 2017.

Interested in selling? Find out what your home is worth here

Article Credit: Denver Real Estate

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
March 23, 2018

15259 W La Salle Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
Feb. 1, 2018

Upgrade With Color

The easiest way to make a BIG impact in a room – paint! Color can impact the overall mood of your surroundings as well as what potential buyers immediately feel when they step inside your home. It can be challenging and stressful to choose the right combination for your particular space. Here are what the experts are predicting as the hottest colors of 2018:

 

Hues to Use

Experts from Pantone, Sherwin Williams and other companies make annual paint color predictions based on global themes. Hues such as BEHR’s color of the year, In The Moment, along with its peaceful palette, focus on people’s needs to unplug from an over connected world. I think we can all agree with this! Similar shades like Equilibrium and Off The Grid promote a sense of serenity. Paint can transform your unused home office into a personal oasis.

 

Light and Dark

Contrasting light and dark colors is a great way to create dynamism in your home décor. The lighter the shade, the more spacious the appearance. If your furniture and flooring are primarily neutral, adding dark colors can bring balance and help create attractive focal points.

 

Capitalizing on Color

Whether we notice or not, our mood is influenced by the colors around us. Soothing shades such as powdery blue Casual Day can help you unwind, similar to a relaxing day at the beach. While vibrant deep oranges like Civara invigorate the senses, and create an optimistic tone; has anyone ever been unhappy looking at a sunset?!

 

Pointers for Color Pops

Both fun and formal spaces are equally enhanced by accents. Whether you use them to highlight a unique architectural feature or tie an area together, the trick is to be strategic. In design, the 60-30-10 rule is a well-known way to bring balance to a room.

 

What is the 60-30-10 Rule?

You don’t need to be a mathematician to use the 60-30-10 rule in your décor, nor do you need a ruler or a calculator. The rule simply states that for the most balanced, appealing look, you should choose a three-color palette for decorating a room, and use it as follows: decorate 60% of the room with the dominate color, decorate 30% of the room with the secondary color, and use the remaining color as an accent in 10% of the space.

Happy painting!

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
Jan. 29, 2018

New Year, New Home.

New Year, New Home.

Thinking about buying or selling your home in 2018? Here are a few key points to help you get ready.

Sellers:

1.      Declutter and Organize

With the holiday whirlwind finally over, it is the perfect time to put everything back in its place. Spend a few extra minutes organizing your closets. Decide what you no longer need and clear it out! This will help showcase your storage space to potential buyers.

2.      Make Updates to Increase Your Home’s Value

Talk with your agent about small, low budget, changes you can make that will have a big impact on buyers. Updates like a kitchen backsplash or new hardware throughout are quick fixes that leave a lasting impression.

3.      Price Your Home to Sell

      Keep yourself up to date on market indicators such as recent sales, pricing trends, and inventory to guide you in getting the best listing price. Overpricing could scare off potential buyers while underpricing means that you as a seller could leave money on the table. Be sure to reach out to us to discuss the right pricing strategy. To keep yourself up to date on market indicators sign up for our Customized Market Reports.

 

Buyers: 

1.      Find Out How the New Tax Bill Affects You

      With the new 2017 tax bill that was signed into law, there are several financial changes that should be taken into considerations when buying a home, such as the conforming loan limit increasing. As a buyer it is important to acquaint yourself with these changes. 

2.      Get Pre-approved

      Be ahead of the game and ensure you are able to submit a competitive offer. Most agents require it and many sellers won’t even entertain an offer without a pre-approval letter. Don’t have a lender? We would be more than happy to connect you with one our highly-regarded lenders. 

3.      Set Up a Saved Search

Once you establish your general purchase price range, head to The Bartic Group website to start searching for properties to make your buying process quick and easy. The Bartic Group website is directly updated from the MLS for the most accurate and current listings! Our website makes your home search a breeze by helping you narrow your search based on your desired specifics, such as location, price point, and bedrooms/bathrooms.

Give us a call at 720-208-7200 for more information before listing your home or purchasing a home! 

 

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
Sept. 19, 2017

Last weeks for Farmers Markets

Fresh produce, outdoor setting, and a chance to try great local food! Most Farmers Markets only have a month or two left, a couple end this weekend. Check them out while you still can this season! 

 

 

 

CHERRY CREEK FRESH MARKET

E. 1ST AVE. AND UNIVERSITY BLVD.

The award-winning Cherry Creek Fresh Market is the largest farmers' market in Denver. Touted as the “Cadillac of farmers markets,” you’ll find a high-quality mix of Colorado growers and unique local gourmet food vendors representing the best of the Rocky Mountain region. Also enjoy chef events, gardening tips from Master Gardeners and Master Composters, live music and more in a fun and festive outdoor shopping environment. Parking is free during the market.

WHEN: Saturdays, May 6–Oct. 28, 2017, 8 a.m.–1 p.m.; Wednesdays, June 14–Sept. 27, 2016, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

CITY PARK ESPLANADE FRESH MARKET

E. COLFAX AVE. AND COLUMBINE ST.

Now in its 20th season, the City Park Esplanade Fresh Market sets up around historic Sullivan Fountain among the majestic statues and architecture of City Park. A strong agricultural market, you’ll find the best selection of local growers on a Sunday complemented by a fun mix of fresh food vendors in an urban park setting. There's plenty of free parking, so if you miss the Cherry Creek Fresh Market on Saturday, visit your favorite market vendors on Sunday!

WHEN: Sundays, June 4–Oct. 29, 2017, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

THE FARMERS' MARKET AT HIGHLANDS SQUARE

32ND AVE. AND LOWELL BLVD. 

Beginning June 11 and every Sunday through September, HighlandsSquare will bring you The Farmers' Market at Highlands Square. Going on its fourth year, this market has a charming location, flanked by local boutiques and eateries. In addition to the farm-fresh food, expect live music and beverages, including local craft beer, mimosas and Bloody Marys. 

WHEN: Sundays, June 11–Sept. 24, 2017, 9 a.m–1 p.m.

STAPLETON FRESH MARKET

E. 29TH AVE. AND ROSLYN ST.

The Stapleton Fresh Market takes place from June to October on the Founders' Green. Don't miss freshly popped kettle corn and other tasty snacks while you browse for healthy produce. This year's kickoff is on Father's Day, making it the perfect way to spend the morning with Dad. 

WHEN: Sundays, June 18–October 15, 2017, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

UNION STATION FARMERS' MARKET

DENVER UNION STATION PLAZA 

The Union Station Farmers' Market takes place right in the heart of The Mile High City and is a beautiful sight to behold on sunny Saturdays, with gleaming produce on display in the impressive plaza of historic Union Station. The market boasts an impressive list of local producers and vendors, selling farm-fresh fruits and veggies, meat and dairy, and prepared goods like coffee, sauces and baked goods. 

WHEN: Saturdays, June 3–Oct. 28, 2017, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

OLD SOUTH PEARL STREET FARMERS' MARKET

ON THE 1500 BLOCK OF OLD SOUTH PEARL ST., BETWEEN FLORIDA AVE. AND IOWA AVE.

Super-fresh produce, ready-to-eat treats, artisan cheeses and just-out-of-oven baked goods — this is what a farmers' market is all about! The quaint South Pearl neighborhood hosts the splendid Old South Pearl Street Farmers' Market every Sunday in the summertime. The irresistible smell of freshly roasted chilies will lead you over to Pope Farms' booth. And keep an eye out for juicy, fresh Colorado peaches at the Ela Family Farms stand.

WHEN: Sundays, May 21–Nov. 19, 2017, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

HIGHLANDS RANCH FARMERS' AND STREET MARKET

9288 DORCHESTER ST., HIGHLANDS RANCH

Made up almost entirely of farmers and producers from the areas surrounding Denver, this is a fun, fresh market that is worth the drive to Highlands Ranch. Fill all of your fruit and veggie needs and then explore some of the other, more unique booths of the Highlands Ranch Farmers' and Street Market, offering everything from handbags to cooking utensils to garden adornments.

WHEN: Sundays, May 7–Oct. 29, 2017, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

LITTLETON FARMERS' MARKET

7301 S. SANTA FE DR., LITTLETON

Venture outside of the city to the Littleton Farmers' Market at the Aspen Grove Lifestyle Center. If you want to be even more eco-friendly, take the light rail to Aspen Grove to reduce your carbon footprint.

WHEN: Wednesdays, June 14–October 11, 2017, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. 

FOUR SEASONS FARMERS AND ARTISANS MARKET

7043 W. 38TH AVE., WHEAT RIDGE

The year-round, indoor Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market offers an open-air option in summertime. The market is a great source for local, farm-fresh vegetables and fruit, raw goat milk, cheeses, sauces, preserves, baked goods, free-range chicken and duck eggs, flowers, organic grains, and local meats. The market places an emphasis on healthy, high-quality local foods. Photographers, jewelers, painters and other artists also display their work during the market.

WHEN: Saturdays, May 13–Oct. 28, 2017, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

SOUTHWEST PLAZA FARMERS' MARKET

SOUTHEAST PARKING LOT AT WADSWORTH AND BOWLES AVE.

Local suppliers come to the Southwest Plaza Farmers' Market with their fresh peaches, plums, apricots and cherries mid-season, and you'll also find fresh baked goods, honey and greens.

WHEN: Saturdays, May 6–Oct. 28, 2017, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

LAKEWOOD FARMERS' MARKET

MILE HI CHURCH, ALAMEDA AVE. AND GARRISON ST., LAKEWOOD

At the Lakewood Farmers' Market, a large lineup of vendors will tempt you with beautiful leafy greens, glistening grape tomatoes, fragrant green chili and shiny string beans. And you'll also have the chance to munch on kettle corn and cheese samples while you browse knitted shawls and handmade soaps.

WHEN: Saturdays, June 17–Oct. 28, 2017, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

WHEAT RIDGE FARMERS' MARKET

8235 W. 44TH AVE., WHEAT RIDGE

Choose from a ripe selection of produce from well-respected farmers who participate at the Wheat Ridge Farmers' Market, including Forte and Galicia Farms, plus some niche sellers offer up their finest mushrooms, jams, pastries, rice and nuts.

WHEN: Thursdays, July 6–Sept. 28 2017, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

 

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
Sept. 18, 2017

So your information may have been breached, what to do now

 

 

What to Do About the Equifax Security Breach

 

Quick Background:

 

Between mid-May and July of 2017 cybercriminals stole the personal data of 143 million U.S. consumers by hacking into Equifax, one of the three major U.S. credit bureaus.

Equifax discovered the hack on July 29 and disclosed it publicly on September 7, at which time newspapers started exploding with all kinds of information about what consumers should do to protect themselves. After a review of many articles, here's a shortlist of experts' top recommendations:

1. Assume your data was affected.


Equifax offers an online tool for you to check whether or not your data was stolen, but people have reported getting different results when they entered their information more than once.

2. Be careful of what you sign up for.


Equifax is offering a free year of their TrustedID credit monitoring service to affected consumers, but initially the language in the agreement appeared to require people to give up their right to sue Equifax. They have now added an opt-out provision, and some attorneys believe the language applied to suing TrustedID and not Equifax - but when attorneys don't all agree it's a sign that consumers should be especially cautious.

3. Consider locking your credit with a security freeze.


All three credit bureaus allow you to prevent access to your credit by "freezing" it.

The upside:

A security freeze makes it much harder for thieves to open up new accounts in your name.

The downside:
It typically costs between $5 to $10 to freeze your account with each credit bureau (although read below to find out how to avoid the TransUnion fee), and it can be inconvenient if you need credit checks when you're doing something like applying for a loan or changing cell phone providers. There's a small fee to temporarily unlock your account with each credit bureau.

One of the most helpful articles on this topic is by Michael Roub on the DoughRoller website - click here to read it. He is a big fan of security freezes.

Here's how to avoid the security freeze fee at TransUnion:

Roub's article explains that TransUnion's TrueIdentity free (yes, actually free) base level plan allows you to lock and unlock your account online without being charged. It also provides you with access to your TransUnion credit report.

Tip: Security freeze fees are often waived for seniors.

4. If a credit freeze sounds like too much, place a fraud alert.


Anyone who believes their information has been compromised can place a 90-day fraud alert on their credit files for free. The first credit bureau agency you do this with is required to contact the other two bureaus on your behalf. The fraud alert means that any company opening up credit in your name needs to contact you first.

The upside:
There's no charge, and it's relatively easy to grant access to companies that legitimately need to see your credit history.

The downside:
It needs to be renewed every 90 days, which most people are unlikely to do. Also, there's some disagreement as to the standard of verification that companies are legally required to follow.

5. Be clear on what various resources do and don't do.


- Credit freezes and fraud alerts are preventative. They help stop criminals from opening up new accounts, but do nothing to protect the accounts you already have.

- Credit monitoring detects suspicious activity that has already taken place. (This can be done via a service, or you can check your own reports regularly.)

- Identity theft protection tells you if personal information such as your Social Security or driver's license number is being used in ways that don't show up on your credit history, for example, to open up new utility or medical accounts.

- Checking your own financial statements regularly is the only way to make sure you'll detect any suspicious bank withdrawals or card transactions.


 

The Bottom Line:


The Equifax event was basically the Hurricane Irma of data breaches, affecting 44% of Americans. Fortunately, by acting now we can ward off a lot of trouble.

The following steps taken together provide a strong combination of prevention and detection:

1. Credit Security Freeze:
Use the links below to set them up.

- Equifax Security Freeze
- Experian Security Freeze
- TransUnion TrueIdentity Service (A free service that includes freezes.)

2. Identity Theft Monitoring: Reviews.com has what appears to be a well-researched review of identity services.

- Click here to read the review.

3. Credit Monitoring: Keep an eye on your credit history, or use an identity theft protection service that includes credit monitoring.

- The official place to get your annual free credit report with no strings attached is AnnualCreditReport.com.

4. Track Financial Transactions: Review financial activity regularly, and set automated alerts for withdrawals.

5. Think Long Term: The stolen data will probably be as relevant in ten years as it is today, so keeping on top of things is important.

 


Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
Sept. 1, 2017

What to do in Colorado this Labor Day weekend

Many stores might be selling Halloween costumes and serving out pumpkin spice lattes but this weekend is still the unofficial last weekend of summer. With the long weekend upon us I am sure we are tall wondering "what should we do?"

Check out some of the great activities going on around our beautiful state!

 

 

 

Rocky Mountain Showdown – Sept. 1 – Sports Authority Field at Mile High

The University of Colorado Buffalos are taking on the Colorado State University Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Friday night, and unlike last year, this game might actually be a good one.

 

There are still some tickets available on StubHub and through Ticketmaster, and you might as well enjoy the game while you can. Only two more Rocky Mountain Showdown games are scheduled after this year.  For more information on the game and how to watch/get tickets, get out this link: http://noconow.co/2ep8hve

Tour De Fat – Sept . 2 – New Belgium Brewing Company, Fort Collins

The bike parade starts at 10 a.m. and the All American Rejects go on at 7:40 a.m. Tickets are $25 and New Belgium donates a big chunk to nonprofits. You can find out more about everything going down at the Tour de Fat here: http://bit.ly/2wmVYrk

First Free Saturday – Sept. 2 – Denver Art Museum

Take a walk around the area and have lunch then head over for a free day of art! Great chance to check out the art museum and all it has to offer! To see exactly what the Denver Art Museum has to offer, go to: http://bit.ly/1HIaoVH

Brews and Views Beer Fest – Sept. 2 – Hudson Gardens, Littleton

Designated drivers get in for $5. Tasting level $25. Connoisseur lever $50

 to see a list of the breweries and to buy tickets, go to: http://bit.ly/2goXcuD

Wild West Air Fest – Sept. 2 – Steamboat Airport

Among the highlights of this air show (in a scenic mountain setting) are: a WWII Navy Torpedo Bomber TBM-3 Avenger performing a bombing simulation, the Rocky Mountain Renegades and a meet-and-greet with Astronaut Steve Swanson. Learn more by checking out: http://bit.ly/2eKHZEf

Cumbia Festival – Sept. 3 – Levitt Pavilion, Denver

Love to dance? Check iyt tge Levitt Pavilion in Denver bringing Cumbia music to life! 

The concert features La Tropa Vallenata, Tropical Kaoba and Los Chavos Dun Dun. To learn more, check out: http://bit.ly/2iM9Zf0

Taste of Colorado – Sept. 1 to Sept. 4 – Civic Center Park

A Labor day tradition for the whole family! Shopping, food from around the state, designated kids play area, and more! For more information and the line up, check out: http://bit.ly/1fWcMuZ

Colorado State Fair – Until Sept. 4 – Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo

This is the last weekend of the Colorado State Fair, and there’s a lot going on here, from rides to a rodeo to concerts. ZZ Top is slated to play Friday evening, and Skillet is on Saturday followed by Hunter Hayes on Sunday. See a list of everything that’s at the fair here: http://bit.ly/1rSxegE

Last weekend at Water World, the Elitch Gardens Water Park – Until Sept. 4 – Denver

Cool off at these great theme parks! Both Water Water and the water park at Elitch Gardens are shutting down after this weekend.

 For information on Elitch Gardens, go to: http://bit.ly/1P0JXhX

 For more information on Water World, go to: http://bit.ly/2euMjKG

 

Enjoy!!!

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
Aug. 21, 2017

Testimonial from Jim

I chose the Bartic Group to sell my condominium. My choice was based on their proven record and market knowledge. Brendan met with me and we quickly developed a plan to list my property at a price that was quite a bit more than I was expecting to receive. Brendan's research and analysis of the market was spot on, as my property was listed in less than 12 hours and I received an over asking price offer within 24 hours of having it listed. I was very impressed with Brendan and his competent, professional staff who were on top of the process from beginning to end. I would highly recommend the Bartic Group to any homeowner looking for a consummate professional organization to handle their real estate transactions.

- Jim -

Posted in Testimonials
June 28, 2017

Staging Tips to Help Your Home Sell

In real estate, staging a home and selling a home often go hand in hand. Though the process can be involved, the results are indisputable. Need some help executing an effective home staging? Browse this list of resources to help you dazzle prospective buyers and increase your chances of a quick home sale. 

Clear Clutter 
Not only will decluttering your property make moving day easier, but clearing space also gives viewers room to visualize themselves living in your space. Some items you can sell or donate outright. What about the housewares or sentimental objects you want to hold on to but need to remove to optimize showings? Give them a temporary home in a storage unit or portable moving container. 

Set Up Your Space 
Focus on staging the rooms that see the most action: the living room, kitchen and master bedroom. If reinventing multiple rooms in your home is too expensive, you do have the option of renting furniture and accessories. It's a quick way to supply art for the walls, lamps to improve lighting or even an entire suite of furniture. Just be sure to sign with a furniture rental company that offers delivery and pickup as part of their packages. When you're getting ready to move, the last thing you want is to ferry furniture between multiple locations. 

Hire Help
Some homeowners aren't up to the task of a full home staging, and that's OK. Some selling agents offer the service as part of their contract, or you can hire an independent home stager to complete the job. The latter provide a valuable service, though it's important to carefully assess their qualifications before bringing them on. Review their certifications, testimonials and portfolio to ensure they can help you achieve the aesthetic your home needs for a faster sale.

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
June 21, 2017

How to Sell a House That Needs Work

When your house needs work, and a lot of it, it can be intimidating to put it on the market without investing in a bunch of fancy upgrades. When it’s time to sell for one reason or another, it’s easy to feel like the ugly duckling on the block – the old house with the old floors, the bad yard, the broken this and the broken that. But let’s face it, not everyone has the time or the money to fix up their fixer upper.

We can’t all be Chip and Joanna Gaines.

The good news is, it’s far from impossible to sell a house that needs work for a decent price — and you don’t have to make major renovations to do it. In fact, it’s not always smart to do a ton of overhaul work on a property. You might not even need to put in that new flooring or upgrade the countertops and cabinets. “I personally discourage it at this point in the market,” says Katrina Diest, a top realtor in Arizona with Realty One Group who ranks #15 out of over 9,000 agents out there. “The odds are the new buyer is going to come in and change it. You put carpet in there, and they’re going to want hardwood.”

When it comes to selling a fixer upper, it’s not about trying to make it look perfect.

It’s about selling on the features it does have, the floor plan, and the potential dream home hidden behind the flaws. As long as there are no structural or safety issues to worry about, you’re in good shape.

How to Sell a House That Needs Work: Learn More About Your Buyer Pool

Unlike buyers who just want something turn key, people who buy fixer-upper homes see potential over perfection. They’re willing to put work into a property either to make money, build equity, or for the opportunity to design exactly what they want. We won’t try to fool you and say that everyone loves a fixer upper. They certainly aren’t for everyone. However, there are three types of buyers willing to take the leap and roll up their sleeves to upgrade and renovate.

Your Buyer Pool: Flippers

The most obvious are flippers. Their driving force is to make a profit. They buy homes at low prices (often at auctions), renovate them, and then aim to sell them at a high prices. If a flipper is interested in your property, make sure you sync up with realtor to know exactly what your home is worth. Flippers like things cheap, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle if they don’t make an offer at true value. Remember, your house needs work, but that doesn’t make you desperate.

Your Buyer Pool: Deal Hunters

Next, is the buyer who wants to live in a specific location, neighborhood, or part of town but can’t afford the average list prices in those areas. For them, buying a fixer upper is their ticket into those prime neighborhoods. They’re willing to invest in a property that needs renovating just because of where it sits on a map.

While some people just want turn-key homes, end of story, the deal hunter is willing to buy the ugly-duckling home for two reasons. First, they’re happy to find something they can afford in the area they want. Second, by purchasing a fixer upper, they understand they can make upgrades over time and build equity along the way.

Your Buyer Pool: Remodelers

The third type of homebuyer is the one who does have the money but hasn’t been able to land a home in the area they want with the features they want. And it’s not because they haven’t found it. They’ve probably found their dream home several times over, only to have it to snagged from underneath them every time.

In coveted neighborhoods, there is also a lot of competition. “People are waiting months for a house to come up in a subdivision that goes under contract within hours,” says Diest. “To be able to get out of that box where everybody is waiting for a listing to pop is to be able to drive your own destiny.” She has a point. Purchasing a fixer upper gives buyers a clean slate and an invitation to design the home haven’t been able to find, or have found but keep getting outbid on.

Here's a step by step guide on how to sell a house that needs work.
Image via Dennis

Here’s How to Sell a House That Needs Work

Now that you understand a little more about your potential buyers, there are some simple strategies you can use to make your property more attractive to them. If you learn what tends to intrigue them and what turns them off it’ll go a long way towards selling your property.

Start with a few simple projects that are also affordable.

1. Clean Up the Yard and Clear Out Clutter

Diest names landscaping as one of the best things you can do to make a good first impression. “Not adding landscaping, but getting it cleaned up,” she clarifies. You don’t have to fork over the big bucks for expensive landscape design; simply cleaning up weeds, mowing grass, and planting a few flower pots can work wonders.

One study out of Texas Tech University concluded that landscaping and curb appeal can directly impact the value of your house by as much 12 percent.So, a day’s worth of yard work can mean more money in your pocket before you even deal with the inside. If your front yard is just dirt, adding gravel is an affordable way to boost curb appeal. You’ll spend roughly $100 per ton of gravel but if it adds another 12 percent to the value of your home, it’s well worth it.

Clutter inside of your home has a similar impact. Cleaning specialist Vileda wanted to learn about where potential buyers spend the most time looking inside homes and found that 95 percent of potential buyers go straight to the windows to look at the view. That means dirty windows and window sills could give buyers a bad impression right off the bat.

Meanwhile, only 15 percent of people gave the floors more than a quick glance. So, your house doesn’t need brand spankin’ new amenities, but it does need to be clean. Dirt and clutter may prevent buyers from making an offer long before something like imperfect flooring or outdated countertops. In Diest’s experience, “Clean sells extremely well.”

2. Pay Attention to Small Details that Make a Big Difference

Whether it’s because you can’t afford to make major renovations or don’t have the time, you don’t really have to in a saturated market. But the smaller fixes? Diest recommends that sellers put the time and effort in. “It’s definitely worth the seller’s time and money to make the smaller [updates] if they can.”

“I’ve always told my clients is it takes a buyer twice as much money to make the same repairs the seller could make,” says Diest.

Think of it this way: the less you repair, the more equity you might have to give away in order to make the house worth it. Small repairs include but aren’t limited to:

  • Landscaping
  • Patching holes
  • Deep cleaning stained tubs and toilets
  • Fixing broken doors and hinges
  • Fixing leaky pipes
  • Adding new caulking where it’s worn out

Specifically, these small projects can really up the eye-candy factor:

  • Clean or replace grout
  • Replace knobs on cabinets (which can go for a little as a dollar per knob)
  • Treat stains in your carpet
These small fixes make a big impact on selling a house that needs work.
One small fix that has a huge impact on your home is a green, freshly mowed lawn.

3. Make Sure Buyers Know About Renovation Loans

Renovation loans may be one of the most useful tools when it comes to selling your fixer upper. If buyers go this route, they factor the projected renovation costs into their total loan amount. Rather than buying a fixer upper and then paying to make upgrades separately, buyers are able to get approved for a higher loan amount and receive that money in phases to pay for larger renovations.

There are a caveats. Their credit score has to check out and depending on the program, they have to put a certain amount of money down. Their renovations typically have to be approved by a consultant of the mortgage company who makes sure they make financial sense based on the projected value of the home (i.e. they won’t loan $250,000 for a house that will only be valued at $200,000). Buyers will also have to show proof that they’ve completed the renovations.

But how does this benefit the seller exactly? Work with your realtor to make sure your listing includes language about renovation loans. This way, potential buyers know to discuss it with their realtor and other realtors know to make their buyers aware.

Include phrases like: Fixer upper in a great location. Could be your dream home with just a few upgrades. Easy renovation loans available. You’ll create equity right away. Remember that even though people are looking for a home, they also want to be able to make money from it one day. Upgrading a fixer-upper is an investment in themselves and renovation loans help make that possible.

If your realtor holds an open house, he/she should also spread the “R” word then. When people comment on the old floors or the dated cabinets, knowing they can make those upgrades in one fell swoop may stop them from crossing your house off their list. The more resources buyers know are available to them, the more willing they may be to plunge hammer first into buying your fixer upper.

“Loans can go up to $50,000 so we’re talking carpet, paint, possibly a new kitchen,” explains Diest.

Highlight features like big closets if your house needs work. 4. Highlight Your Home’s Features

When it comes to clearing out clutter, throwing it into closets and cupboards isn’t the answer because storage space is a selling feature. The same Vileda study found that 80 percent of buyers look in these storage spaces. They probably don’t care to see what trinkets you’ve accumulated over the years. But a decently sized hallway closet? That’s something they can get on board with.

The reality is, buyers can change flooring and other stylistic details down the road. If they love the floor plan and love the house for what it is, they’re more likely to take that leap.

So, market your house based its best features. That means your listing should describe things like closet size, the master suite, a fireplace, a patio, storage, an open floor plan, great views, a home office, big windows for natural light, and garage space. Make sure to mention neighborhood features like parks and good school districts as well. And then, Diest says, “If they know they could go in and have 30,000 dollars [from a renovation loan] to do all the floor and paint, update the fixtures, and be able to do a lot?” Well, that could make all the difference in pushing the sale through.

Diest reminds me that sweat equity is always a play when it comes to selling a fixer upper. “Because we do have a lot of buyers that come in and say ‘well I can do this, we can change this, we can put tile in here’ — they’re already creating sweat equity and planning it prior to purchasing it.”

5. The Best Way to Sell a Home That Needs Work is to Price it Right

Once again, selling a fixer upper isn’t about trying to make the house look perfect and sell it as something it isn’t. So, even once it’s cleaned up and ready to list, don’t over price it. “If the money’s not there, it’s not there,” explains Diest. However, while you’ll have to give away some equity, you don’t want to under price your home either.

With the help of your realtor, calculate what the value of your home would be if it were remodeled. Your agent can asses comps nearby to help figure this out. Then list out and calculate the cost of the upgrades needed to get your house in that condition. Which upgrades are necessary? Which of those can you afford to do yourself? Which will you leave to the buyer? Whatever the buyer will need to absorb should be subtracted from the value of the home.

Diest has a fixer upper property she’s working on now that received multiple offers without a single renovation. “We’ve sold this property as is. [And there were] multiple offers. We are at the actual true value,” she explains.

So, don’t count your fixer upper out just yet. With a little TLC, some cleaning supplies, and a great real estate agent who will make sure buyers know their options, your house will probably sell faster than you expect, even though it needs a little extra work.