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.

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.

June 12, 2017

Testimonial from Arati

Thank you so much Brendan and The Bartic Group, you are beyond amazing! I really appreciate your help and effort. I was very nervous initially because it was my first home selling experience. Brendan guided me through and kept me informed every step of the process. My condo was under contract in three days for $10,000 over asking price! You are the best real estate team I've ever approached! Brendan is very knowledgable, transparent, and a smart professional. I highly recommend Brendan for anyone looking to sell or buy a home and for any real estate needs - he is the only realtor to use! 

- Arati - 

Posted in Testimonials
June 12, 2017

Testimonial from Shereen and Patrick

As first time buyers, we did not know what to expect and we feel so grateful to have had Jordan's guidance through this process. He made a point to get to know us and what we wanted, helping us really figure out what we valued in our first home. He responded very quickly when we wanted to see a house and was so happy to accommodate our busy schedules. He is very honest and never tried to sell us on a property that wasn't right for us. When it came to placing an offer, he was confident, savvy, and helped us secure a wonderful new home! We have since recommended him to friends without reservation. 

Thank you Jordan and The Bartic Group

- Shereen and Patrick -

Posted in Testimonials
May 26, 2017

Unique Things to do this Weekend - Memorial Day Edition

With Memorial Day this weekend, May is winding down! If you are still looking for plans, explore 303 Magazine's suggestions for what the last weekend in May has to offer!

Friday, May 26th

'80s Summer Kickoff Rooftop Party

When: Friday, May 26, 5-8PM

Where: Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar - 650 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver 

Cost: Free Admission 

The Lowdown: Summer is coming and that means patio and rooftop season! Get in the spirit at Jax Fish House & Oyster Far this Friday for the '80s Summer Kickoff Rooftop Party and enjoy some delicious cocktails and seafood from Jax. The '80s dedicated band, The Goonies, will perform! If you dress in your best '80s styles, as a winner you will get the chance to win free crab for a year. 

Untitled: True Grit

When: Friday, May 26, 6-10PM

Where: Denver Art Museum (DAM) - 100 W. 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver

Cost: $10

The Lowdown: Saddle up cowboys and cowgirls, DAM's end of the month event is here to bring you back to the wild west days. Untitled: True Grit, a part of DAM's monthly late-night experience, will feature workshops, performances and tours to bring you back into the world where laws didn't exist and tumbleweeds roamed the vast emptiness before the development of the west. 

Ballet5280 performs Vivaldi's Four Seasons

When: Friday & Saturday, May 26-27 starting at 7:30PM

Where: 3 Community Park Rd., Broomfield 

Cost: $15. Get tickets here. 

The Lowdown: Experience one of Antonio Vivaldi's most famous works, Four Seasons this Friday and Saturday. The event comes from Ballet5280 and it will be the company's debut performance. Watch as spring, summer, winter and fall are demonstrated through movement and music. 

Saturday, May 27th

The Pressed Conference

When: Saturday, May 27, 2-5pm 

Where: Highlands Masonic Lodge - 3220 Federal Blvd., Denver

Cost: $45, get tickets here

The Lowdown: Cider lovers, believe it or not, but there's a festival just for you. Hosted by Two Parts and the Rocky Mountain Cider Association, this event will bring together dozens of delicious ciders for a sweet afternoon. Your ticket gets you unlimited tastings. 

Denver Arts Festival

When: Saturday, May 27,10am-6pm and Sunday, May 28, 10am-5pm

Where: Stapleton Conservatory Green - 8304 E. 49th Pl., Denver

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Artists from Denver and around the country, as well as lovers of art, will head to the 19th annual Denver Arts Festival this Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy the works of over 140 unique artists, and even bring some work home with you too. There will be live music and kid activities, so you can bring the whole family. 

Veteran's Memorial Day Tribute 

When: Saturday, May 27, 10am-12pm

Where: POF Hall - 1340 Sherman St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: It's important to remember the reason behind Memorial Day - beyond a three day weekend. Honor our fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country at POF Hall this Saturday. The Veteran's Memorial Day Tribute will honor Colorado's own fallen soldiers of all wars, including the War on Terror. There will be name-reading ceremonies, family flag banner and pin presentations as well as Remembrance Wreath laying. 

Denver Day of Rock

When: Saturday, May 27, 2:30-9pm

Where: 16th St. Mall, Denver

Cost: Free, with option of a VIP Pass. Get pass here.

The Lowdown: Enjoy five stages of music around downtown Denver this Saturday at Denver Day of Rock. The Day, hosted by Amp the Cause, is full of live music from a variety of bands. It is also an event to raise funds and awareness for the non-profit community that exists within the city of Denver. Thinking about upgrading to VIP? You will get to see bands from a VIP lounge, enjoy catered food and an open bar. 

Rocky Mountain Brew Runs at Denver Beer Co.

When: Saturday, May 27 starting at 10am

Where: Denver Beer Co. - 1695 Platte St., Denver 

Cost: $35. Get tickets here. 

The Lowdown: A 5k that ends at a brewery with a yoga session and beer olympics happening afterwards? That sounds like a Colorado race. Enjoy the Rocky Mountain Brew Runs this Saturday as you jog down the Platte River Trail towards Denver Beer Co. After the run, there will be a mini yoga stretch session, as well as Beer Olympics. You will get some swag as well, such as "carb loading" pint glass. Don't forget to proudly wear your red, white, and blue color to support those in service! 

Sunday, May 28th

The Art of Brunch

When: Sunday, May 28, 11am-4pm 

Where: Art District on Santa Fe - Denver, CO 

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: Explore art galleries in the Art District on Santa Fe and enjoy some brunch bites this Sunday at The Art of Brunch. The events invites guests to enjoy over 30+ participating art galleries and local businesses in the art district, with each providing complimentary brunch bites. To learn about the participating businesses and galleries, go here. 

Shakesbeer's A Midsummer Night's Dram

When: Sunday, May 28, 7:30-9pm 

Where: Ratio Beerworks - 2920 Larimer St., Denver

Cost: Free

The Lowdown: We all know Shakespeare loved to drink. Hosted by the Wit Theatre Company, Shakesbeer is meant to "commemorate the longstanding tradition of drinking on, off and all around the stage." Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dram, invites you to enjoy some delicious craft brew from Ratio Beerworks and a fun rendition of Shakespeare. 

Drake Night Vol. 2 

When: Sunday, May 28, 9pm-2am 

Where: Ophelia's Electric Soapbox - 1215 20th St. Denver

Cost: $14 in advance, $20 at door. $25 for reserved seating. Get tickets here. 

The Lowdown: If you are a lover of Drake, then don't miss out on Sunday. Drake Night is returning after last year's success, and invites fans to enjoy an evening of, well, everything Drake. There will be four DJs spinning everything from Drake's humble beginnings to the present day.

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
May 16, 2017

Fannie Mae Eases Student Debt Policy

Great news for homebuyers and homeowners that have student loan debt! 

Fannie Mae has announced new policies to help borrowers with student debt qualify for a home purchase or refinance loan. 

The new rules provide three flexible solutions to current and future homeowners, while allowing lenders to serve more borrowers. The solutions include: 

  • Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance: Offers homeowners the opportunity to pay off high interest rate student loan debt while potentially refinancing to a lower home loan rate. 
  • Debt Paid by Others: Excludes non-mortgage debt (such as credit cards, auto loans and student loans) paid by someone else from the borrower's debt-to-income ratio, expanding borrower eligibility to qualify for a home loan.
  • Student Debt Repayment Calculation: Allows lenders to accept student loan payment information on credit reports, increasing the likelihood that borrowers with student debt could qualify for a loan. 

The bottom line is that if you currently carry student loan debt, buying a home or refinancing has just gotten easier! 

Call me today at (303) 898-5244 for more information! 

Posted in Featured news
April 14, 2017

Preparing for a Home Sale or Purchase

Essential Checklists for Home Buying and Selling!

Spring has sprung, which means the housing market is in full bloom. Each year, roughly 40 percent of real estate transactions occur between the months of May and August. if you're feeling inspired to buy or sell a home soon, make sure you're prepared. Use these checklists to catch anything you may have missed. 

When You're Ready to Buy a Home 

Purchasing a house is one of the biggest transactions you'll ever make. Whether it's your first time or the fifth, tackle the following prep work: 

  • Calculate what you can afford. Use a home affordability calculator to make sure you're ready for the mortgage payments. 
  • Check your credit score, and fix any inaccuracies you discover ASAP. Errors can impact your ability to get a good interest rate. 
  • Save up for a down payment. Most lenders require 5 to 20 percent, and larger down payments can lower the amount you pay each month. 
  • Be ready for additional closing costs. Plan to have approximately 4 percent of the home's purchase price on hand to cover taxes, fees and other necessary charges. 
  • Re-evaluate your insurance coverage and update all of your policies, including life and car insurance. 

When it's Time to Sell

Putting your home on the market is a process that can take months. Before you do, complete this home seller to-do list: 

  • Declutter, clean and get your home ready to show. You only have one chance to make a first impression. 
  • Take inventory of what needs to be fixed and make a schedule to complete any updates, such as roof work, new paint or landscaping. 
  • Decide on an appropriate selling price. Pulling comps in your area can give you a better idea of your home's value. 

If you would like additional information about preparing for a home sale or purchase, please give me a call at (303) 898-5244. 

Posted in Featured news
April 13, 2017

Testimonial from Chuck

Brendan and The Bartic Team were excellent in advising, listing and closing my tiny condo bringing me two over asking offers and one significantly all cash offer in just hours. They were spectacular with excellent updates, market information and flawless closing. I am thrilled to have found such a warm friendly group of true professionals and highly recommend them to anyone buying or selling a property. Thanks for a wonderful experience and job well done!

- Chuck - 

Posted in Testimonials
April 13, 2017

Testimonial from Chris and Whitney

 

Brendan and The Bartic Group is a great real estate team. Brendan was always in town and reachable, we were never passed off to a "team-mate" agent to help us with the selling of our home.  At each step Brendan provided honest, reliable answers.  Brendan did so much of the leg-work; making it so easy for us to prep our home for sale!  Once under contract The Bartic Group helped us through the next steps.  Brendan was amazing and kept us informed of each step and set up the inspection resolution items so wonderfully, making our lives so much easier!  Any questions we had were quickly and accurately answered. The Bartic Group made sure everything was in place for a smooth slide to the finish line.  Should the need arise we will absolutely be using Brendan and his team again.  We definitely recommend Brendan and The Bartic Group!

- Chris and Whitney - 

Posted in Testimonials
April 5, 2017

Beaux Arts Cheesman Park mansion listed for $5.75M

A Jacques Benedict designed home, built in the Beaux Arts tradition, which sits on a stunning half-acre lot bordering the Denver Botanic Gardens was just listed for $5,750,000! 

Jacques Benedict is the architect behind the boathouse at Washington Park and Littleton's town hall. Benedict's Paris education in the Beaux Arts architectural style comes out in the home's design, including detailed ceilings and arched windows and entryways. 

Walking up the home's circular staircase, visitors enter the master suite, which features a bathtub surrounded by Mediterranean-style blue tile, dressing room and sitting area. Down the hall are three additional bedrooms, as well as a family room and three studies. 

The outside grounds include a patio, fruit orchard, porch and barbecue. The property is two blocks from Cheesman park, with the Denver Botanic Gardens bordering to the north and east! 

This once-in-a-lifetime home is too gorgeous not to share! 

Click here for additional pictures and information.

March 29, 2017

The Ramble Hotel

The Ramble Hotel is a new independent hotel that is coming to the corner of 25th and Larimer in Denver's River North district. The hotel will be among the first to open in the RiNo neighborhood, which is known for its blend of urban grit and industrial revival. RiNo's historic warehouses and factories now house jazz bars, restaurants, brewpubs, art galleries and working studios.

 Aerial Photograph of Development

Ramble Hotel is developed by Gravitas Development Group, which will feature 50 rooms in a three-story building designed by Jonson Nathan Strohe that recalls a 20th century industrial style with intricate metal and brick detailing. 

TheRambleHotel.com

The ground floor lobby will have 20-foot ceilings and include a marquee cocktail bar, Death & Company Denver, which will also operate a reservations-only bar on the mezzanine level. Death & Company originally opened in Manhattan's East Village in 2006 and won Best American Cocktail Bar and World's Best Cocktail Menu at Tales of the Cocktail Spirited awards.

Rendering of Death & Co. in the Ramble Hotel

Other hotel amenities include an intimate theater, an independent restaurant, a small retail outlet, flexible meeting space, and an outdoor courtyard.

Right across 25th Street from the hotel is another Gravitas development, a mixed-use retail and office project made out of 29 reclaimed shipping containers. 25th and Larimer is home to some top destinations, such as: Work & Class, Cart Driver, Huckleberry Roasters, and Topo Designs. 

Gravitas Development is taking over RiNo and bringing even more business to the area. Ramble Hotel is expected to be finished in late 2017!