Real Estate Information

Hickinbotham Real Estate Blog

Hickinbotham Real Estate Team


Displaying blog entries 41-50 of 90

Home Buying Checklist

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Once you've made the decision to buy a home, it's time to start thinking about what comes next. every buyer needs a checklist that will guide them through the process of searching for the perfect home, evaluating their choices and making a purchase.



When you set out to buy a new home, you will need to familiarize yourself with various real estate terms, conduct research on the market value of homes in the area in which you intend to shop and learn the art of negotiation. This information will help as you browse homes, talk with REALTORS® and get further into the buying process.


Every 12 months, you are entitled to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You should make this request before you begin looking at homes in order to allow yourself enough time to identify and dispute any inaccuracies in your credit file(s). When you approach a lender, you will need to make sure that everything is correct and up-to-date.


Pre-qualification is different than pre-approval in that it gives you a possible price range that you can afford, but does not guarantee you the loan. Pre-qualification is important because it will help you narrow your search to include only homes that you can afford. Knowing what you can pay beforehand will save you both time and disappointment in looking at homes that do not fit your budget. In today’s real estate market you should not begin your search before you have been pre-qualified.


Nobody knows the real estate business like a REALTOR®, so let them help you to find your new home. Based on your specific requirements, a REALTOR® can locate a home that will suit you at a price that’s within your budget. When he/she finds one or more possible candidates, you will be invited to tour the home. At this point, you should take a camera for the purpose of later reviewing each house with visuals instead of relying solely on memory.


Once you find the perfect home, make an offer that’s less than you are actually willing to pay. This way, the seller can make a counteroffer that would hopefully still be within your budget. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the art of negotiation so that can learn how to get the best deal without insulting the seller. If you have not yet been pre-approved, make sure that your offer is contingent upon your being able to obtain the necessary financing.


Once you and the seller agree on a purchase price, you may be required to provide an earnest money deposit that will secure the home as you obtain a loan (if applicable). A lender will require a home inspection and appraisal for the property in connection with your loan application. In most cases, you will know within a few weeks whether or not your application is approved, but the actual closing will not occur until the inspection and appraisal are complete.


Now that the papers are signed and you have the keys to your new home, it’s time to get moving – literally. Remember to decorate your new home and add all of those special touches that reflect your personality. After all, a house is only a house until you make it a home.

How to Survive A Heart Attack When Alone

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

In case you didn't know this could save your life!!

Let's say it's 6.15pm and you're going home (alone of course),
...after an unusually hard day on the job. You're reall......y tired, upset and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles (8kms) from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself..!!


Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.
However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.

A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.
The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.



Have A Fun and Safe Holidays!!

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team
  • Lock all doors and windows when you leave your home
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • Keep presents out of view
  • Don't drink to excess
  • Do as much shopping as possible in advance of crowds
  • Park in well-lighted areas
Have a fun and safe Holiday!!
Hickinbotham Real Estate Team
"Serving all your Realtor needs since 1976

How to be safe on the job

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

In Real Estate it can be easy for a realtor to let their guard down. This business can very easily put realtors in dangerous situations no matter what area they are in. Never ignore your instincts. There are many precautions a realtor should take.

One way to be safe and be knowledgeable about who you are meeting would be to go online. These days you can find out pretty much everything about a person by just searching their name on the internet. ZabaSearch,com is a recommended site to find information on clients. Another good idea to stay safe would be to investigate unfamiliar neighborhoods by looking them up on Google Maps to see if there are any other homes near by. It would also be smart to searching the neighborhood's crime rate.

To find more important information, tips and strategies for staying safe on the job visit

Opportunities for those who are NOT delinquent on their mortgage to obtain a Short Sale

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Revised rules from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac may assist homeowners who are NOT delinquent on their mortgages to become eligible for Short Sales.  Read more from Realtor Magazine at:

Hickinbotham Real Estate has a proven track record of success with short sale listings, and we would love the opportunity to assist you with your home!  Call us today!  636-629-3419 or by email -



Our congratulations goes out to Lindsay Bauer, Robert Wright and Blake Womble, recipients of the 2012-2013 Floyd C. Hickinbotham Memorial, Clarence & Gladine Laubinger and St. Clair Rotary Scholarships.    "These young recipients show much promise in their future studies and career pursuits and we are happy to be a part of helping them achieve their life goals", said Scott Hickinbotham, Hickinbotham Real Estate, Inc.  "Our family is very proud to be able to assist these young people."  For more information on these scholarships, or East Central College Foundation - you may call Alice Whalen, Development Specialist at 636-584-6505. 

Elite Credit Services

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Scott Hickinbotham Real Estate has teamed up with Elite Credit Services, a local leading credit restoration company to benefit your future. We know that cleaning your credit will not only improve your chances of obtaining financing for your home, but it will also decrease the amount you pay in interest on your mortgage, car loans, and credit cards. Your credit can also affect what you pay in insurance as well as what job you get.


Elite Credit Services uses the law in your favor to get any information on your credit report that is inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable removed from your credit report which improves your credit score. In addition to credit repair, a 24 four week education email course on credit and a dvd money smart training system is included in the program to educate clients on how the credit system works and how to maximize credit scores by adding positive information to their credit profiles.


We are requesting that all current clients in lease options call to schedule an appointment for a free credit repair consultation. Our lease option program is truly designed to help you become a homeowner and cleaning your credit will help you get pre-approved and on the road to home ownership.


Please call Elite Credit Services for your FREE credit consultation today 314-322-8740!


Missouri Mortgage Settlement

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Some updated information is available to those who have been foreclosed upon, and for those who are 30 days late (or more) behind in their mortgage.  Go to  This is Attorney General Chris Koster's website and it outlines the National Settlement (that Missouri is a part of), and options that may be available to you.  There is also special assistance available for Military Service Members.  You may get more information by calling the Missouri Attorney General's Office Toll Free at 1-855-870-7676.

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.

Displaying blog entries 41-50 of 90

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