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How to be a Smart St. Clair Buyer or Seller

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Do you want to be a smart St. Clair buyer or seller?  I'm sure you do.  No one wants to make dumb buyer or seller mistakes.  Here are a few mistakes that sellers and buyers should try their best to avoid, thus also avoiding being a not-so-smart-and-savvy buyer or seller.

Dumb Buyer Mistakes:                                                                         

  • This is not a set-in-stone mistake, but more a lack of planning that could haunt you later--not buying now when prices and interest rates are so low.
  • Don't shop without a firm financing commitment from your lender.  Before you start your house hunting, go to your lender and get pre-approved so you'll know how much you will be able to borrow; therefore, you’ll know how much house you can afford.
  • Be careful of low-ball offers.  Offers that are very low may be considered an insult by the seller, who then refuses to work with you.
  • Don't bad-mouth a St. Clair house in front of the owner.  You'll want to have a home inspection for sure, so let the inspector tell the homeowner/seller what is wrong with their house.  This can make them more ready to negotiate the price or fix the problems.

Buyers, don't think you're the only one making mistakes.  Here are some mistakes that sellers also need to avoid:

Dumb Seller Mistakes:

  • Be careful when selecting your real estate agent.  Be sure your agent has experience and a broad knowledge of the area.  They should be able to give you sage advice on the right price to ask for your home as well as a knowledgeable estimate on when you can expect your home will sell if priced properly.
  • Stage your home.  This doesn't mean you have to spend thousands of dollars updating your home.  There are simple and inexpensive ways to stage your home to help it sell faster.  For example, painting (a gallon of paint can be purchased for as low as $18), de-cluttering (free!), and fixing small issues such as leaks, doors that squeak, window screens with holes, mold on vinyl siding, and untrimmed bushes, won't take long to do and won't cost much either.
  • Don't price yourself out of the ballpark.  Setting a selling price for your home is definitely where your Realtor® will be a valuable asset to you.  A price too high may scare off potential buyers and a price too low will make people wonder if something is wrong with the home.  Listen to your agent and set the price right to begin with.
  • Watch who you commit to.  Don't take your home off the market for any Tom, Dick, or Harry that makes an offer, because an offer doesn't always mean that they have the means to actually purchase your home.  You don't want to lose other potential buyers while waiting for someone to find financing.  Just as I mentioned to buyers that getting pre-approved is the way to go, dealing with pre-approved buyers is the way for a seller to go as well.

To help you avoid these and other potential buyer and seller mistakes, find a good Realtor® and let them help you sell your home quickly and for the best price.  Give me a call today at 636-629-3419 or contact me online.  I'm ready and able to help you buy or sell your St. Clair area home while avoiding all those "dumb" mistakes

Get a POD for Your Move to St. Clair

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

You've just closed on the sale of your home, but your new house in St. Clair isn't quite ready for you to move into yet. What to do? You might consider getting a POD or two!      

A POD is a movable storage unit that will be brought to your front door by truck, where it will be unloaded onto your driveway or any nearby area where you and your friends and family can load it with all your household items -- furniture, boxes of "stuff", lawn equipment, bikes, etc. Friends and family don't care to participate? No problem, the POD company will help you find local movers to load your POD for you.

Once the POD is loaded -- and you can take your time -- you lock it with your own lock and keep the key. Movers will never enter your POD! What they will do is come to your home when you let them know that it's all packed and ready to go and pick up your POD – carefully -- and haul it either to your new home, or if that isn't quite ready for you yet, they can store it in their warehouse.

Then, when your new home is ready, the POD will be moved to your location where it can be unloaded by your family, friends or local professional movers. POD companies not only offer the ability to move yourself, with almost no work, and store your belongings until you're ready to put them into your new home, but they can also store your belongings while you're remodeling your home or if disaster should strike your home and you need a place to put your possessions until the damage is repaired.

Most companies offer three sizes of PODS to fit different-sized loads. To keep your property from moving around inside the POD, grommets in the walls allow you to secure everything with bungee cords. The PODs are weather and water resistant to keep things dry, and to make it easier to load and unload, the POD is only a small step above the ground. 

So when you're ready to move to St. Clair, call the POD people to bring you a POD to load. Still need to find a new home? Give me, Scott Hickinbotham, a call at 636-629-3419 or contact me online today! We're ready to help you buy or sell in the St. Clair area.

Selling Your St. Clair Home for the Best Price in the Shortest Time

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Want to sell your St. Clair home for the best price possible and in a timely manner? Of course you do, or you wouldn't have listed it in the first place.

Here are 10 great tips for today's home sellers:    
                                                                                                                                               

1. Hire a Realtor® - Especially in today's market, you need someone who can help you set the best price for your home. You also need someone who will be able to bring in potential buyers, handle contracts, and market to a large audience. A Realtor® can do all these things for you.

2. Tell it Like it Is - Don't try to hide the facts. If your home needs a lot more work than you're willing or able to give it and you'd rather sell, let your agent know. If there's a pest problem, again you have to disclose such things or you could find yourself in trouble when a buyer finds out he's been duped.

3. Price Your Home Realistically - Of course you want to sell for the best price possible, but it doesn't help to price the home too high and have it languish on the market for months. To sell, you'll eventually have to reduce the price anyway, but by then, the rush of lookers that show up when a house is first listed will have died down, so it's better to price right from the start and cash in on that early higher traffic.

4. Put Your Emotions Away - Don't attach a large emotional value to the home you're selling. Yes, you've spent a lot of time getting it to where it is today, but potential buyers aren't really interested in your emotional attachment, so don't try to add it to the price.

5. Stay Involved in the Sale - Even though you've hired a Realtor® to sell your home, that doesn't mean you shouldn't speak with him or her on a regular basis. You need to understand where you and your home stand at all times during the sales process.

6. Stage Your Home - Take the time to clean, declutter, paint, and fix up your home so buyers can see the potential in your home. Arrange furniture to create great living spaces, add splashes of color to neutral rooms, and create some instant curb appeal with blooming plants.

7. Get Out of the Way - Whether your agent is showing the home to a couple or throwing an open house, leave the area so the agent can do his or her work. Hovering when your home is being shown makes buyers feel like they're intruding and can't look at the home thoroughly.

8. Where Will You Go - Sometimes you can sell your house and have ample time to move, but if it should happen that a great sale depends on your being able to vacate the premises in a hurry, be sure you have planned where you will go when the house sells. If you have to find a new home, get an idea of the neighborhood where you'll eventually want to buy. Consider renting or living with relatives for a short time after the sale if this is what it takes to close the deal.

9. Be Flexible - Decide on your bottom line selling price, but be willing to negotiate. Oftentimes there are other ways besides just lowering the price to make a sale happen. Your Realtor® should be able to help with such negotiations.

10. Keep a Positive Attitude - Listen to all the feedback you can get, whether from your agent or prospective buyers, to help you fix any problems that may be keeping your house from selling. Don't get discouraged--your house will eventually sell and you can move on to your new life.

A Realtor® is the best person you can have to help you sell your St. Clair home quickly and for the best price. Contact me, Scott Hickinbotham, online today or give me a call at 636-629-3419.  We're ready, willing, and able to help you sell your home or buy a new one in the St. Clair area.

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Contact Information

Photo of Hickinbotham Real Estate Team Real Estate
Hickinbotham Real Estate Team
Scott Hickinbotham
862 S. Outer Rd.
St. Clair MO 63077
Scott: (636) 399-2296
Office: (636) 629-3419
Fax: 636-629-4462