Learn About Real Estate

If you did not find your “Dream Property” listed within our site, please give us an opportunity to look for exactly what you would like and contact you. We will be happy to contact other Realtors and find the property you are looking for.


Do not make any major credit purchases prior to buying a home

Don’t go on a spending spree using credit if you are thinking about buying a home, or in the process of buying a new home. Remember…your mortgage pre-approval is subject to a final evaluation of your financial situation.

Every $100 you pay per month on a credit payment could cost you about $10,000 in home eligibility. For example a car payment of $300 per month could mean that you qualify for $30,000 less in a mortgage.

Even if you have accumulated enough savings, you should consider not making any large purchases until after you close on your house. The last thing you want is to know that you could have purchased a new home had you curbed the urge to spend.

Getting a Legitimate Lender and Getting Pre-Approved

It used to be that buyers could go house shopping and when they found their dream home, they would then get pre-approved. Not any longer!

In the market today, that’s the least effective method of landing the dream home.
Most lenders can pre-qualify you for a mortgage over the phone. Based on general questions about your income, debt, assets, and credit history, lenders can estimate how much mortgage you qualify for. However, being pre-qualified and pre-approved have different meanings. Being pre-approved means that you have applied for a mortgage, filled out the mortgage application, received your credit report, verified your employment, assets, etc… When you are pre-approved, you know exactly what the maximum loan amount will be.

A pre-qualified letter is not verified and in essence, does not count for much if you are competing with other buyers who are pre-approved. When you are pre-approved, you and the seller know exactly how much house you can afford. It gives you credibility as an interested buyer and lets the seller know immediately that you will qualify for a loan to buy their property.

In addition to being pre-approved, it’s important to be pre-approved with a legitimate lender. Legitimate lenders include banks, mortgage bankers, credit unions, savings and loan associations, mortgage brokers, and online lenders.

Some lenders to avoid are those who lose a form or misplace a file, those who gather information from you in an unorganized manner, those who are not informed about interest rates, points or costs, and those who cannot provide you with the right information.

Finding the Right Seller

The best seller is one who is highly motivated. A highly motivated seller is more likely to sell for less than his or her house is worth. And it does matter that you find out why; learning the reason why can help you get the price you want and help the seller get what they want: a timely sale.

There are also some sellers that you should avoid. Not every seller is as genuinely motivated as they make themselves out to be. Some possible hints are as follows:

  • They stall on having the home appraised or inspected
  • They are unable to clear up liens against their property
  • Does not own 100% of their property
  • They push back the move-out-date
  • Does not have a replacement property or back up plan

It is impossible to find the perfect seller. But it is possible to find out which sellers are legit and which ones aren’t.

At Bolivar Insurance & Real Estate, we try and find out everything about the properties we list. Most of the time, we already know the answers to these and other questions. We know why our sellers are moving, and we try and make sure they are motivated, and that the property is listed at a fair price for both the buyer and the seller. We want both parties to be happy with the sale, and only then do we feel comfortable with the transaction.

Build a Plan of Action and Get Ready

Buying a home will probably rank as one of the biggest personal investments one can make. Being organized and in control will contribute significantly to getting the best home deal possible with the lease amount of stress. It’s important to anticipate the steps required to successfully achieve your housing goal and to build a plan of action that gets you there.

Before you can build a plan of action, take the time to lay the groundwork for your decision-making process.

First, ask yourself how much can you afford to pay for a home. If you’re not sure on the price range, we’ll find a lender and get you pre-approved. Pre-approval will let you know how much you can afford so that you can look for homes in your price range. Getting pre-approved helps you to alleviate some of the anxieties that come with home buying. You know exactly what you qualify for and at what rate. You will know how much your monthly mortgage payments will be and how much you will have to pay down. Once we have you pre-approved, you avoid the frustration of finding homes you think are perfect, but are not in your price range. You might also be able to afford more home than you thought. We will walk you through the whole process … we consider it our job!

Second, ask yourself where you want to live and what is the best location for you and your family. Here are some things to consider:

  • Convenience for all family members
  • Proximity to work or to schools
  • Crime rate of neighborhood
  • Local transportation
  • Types of homes in neighborhood, for example condos, town homes, co-ops, newly constructed homes, etc…

Importance of an Inspection

As a buyer, you are entitled to know exactly what you are getting. Don’t take for granted what you see and what the seller or the listing agent says. A professional home inspection is something you should consider, whether you are buying an existing home or a new one. An inspection is an opportunity to have an expert look closely at the property you are considering purchasing and getting both an oral and written opinion as to its condition.

We also recommend a Home Warranty Plan. This plan offers protection from problems arising after the sale such as if a heating unit goes out, or plumbing problems occur after the sale. These items could costs the buyer money they haven’t budgeted for and cause financial problems during the first year of purchase. Many times, things go bad after the sale when the seller had no knowledge of any problems. The Home Warranty will take care of these unforeseen problems and pay for repairs regardless if the seller was aware of the problem or not.

Getting the Highest Price for your Home in the Shortest Time

In order to get the highest price in the shortest time, you need to know how to market your home. The better you market your home, the more offers you will get. And the more offers you get, the more choices you have to get the price and terms you want.

The most important factor of marketing your home is pricing it right. Your price should be adjusted to reflect the market, and the property’s worth. The key is to get many people checking out your property at a fair price instead of having no buyers because your price is too high. At Bolivar Insurance & Real Estate, we have on staff a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser. We know the market in our area … and we know how to get the most dollars for your home while giving the buyer a fair deal as well. Remember, it’s our opinion …

”A good deal is one where the buyers and sellers are happy after the closing.”

Another important factor is the condition of your home. Make sure your home looks ready to be sold. Fix any defects (peeling paint, cracks, stains, etc…) Condition alone can sometimes prompt fast buying decisions. Not only should you fix any defects, but consider upgrading your home by making major repairs and cosmetic improvements before selling. A nice looking home triggers the emotional response that can lead to a financial response.

Learn how to negotiate the best terms for all parties involved. Terms are another factor which may be adjusted to attract buyers. If you insist on getting your asking price, think of what you can offer to the buyers, for example, improvements you’ve made.

Lastly, find a Real Estate Company that gets the buzz out about your home! List your house with a hot agent that ensures your house is listed on the Internet, in the paper, and gets the word out. It should be visible to passersby that your house is for sale, whether it be signs, local advertisements, or you telling your friends, family, and acquaintances. At Bolivar Insurance & Real Estate we’ll work hard for you and we’ll get the “word” out about your home being for sale.

Making a Good First Impression

If you want buyers to be interested in your home, you need to show it in its best light! A good first impression can influence a buyer into making an offer; it influences a buyer emotionally and visually. In addition, what the buyer first sees is what they think of when they consider the asking price.

A bad first impression can dissuade a potential buyer. Don’t show your property until it’s all fixed up. You do not want to give potential buyers the chance to use the negative first impression they have as a means of negotiation.

Ask around for the opinions others have of your home. Our agents who see houses everyday can give solid advice on what needs to be done. Consider what architects or landscape designers have to say. What you need are objective opinions, and it’s sometimes hard to separate the personal and emotional ties you have for the home from the property itself.

Typically, there are some general fix-ups that need to be done both outside and inside. As a seller, you should consider the following:

* Landscaping – Has the front yard been maintained? Are areas of the house visible to the street in good condition? * Cleaning or redoing the driveway – Is your driveway cluttered with toys, tools, trash, etc… * Painting – does both the exterior and the interior look like they have been well taken care of? * Carpeting – does the carpet have stains? Or does the carpet look old and dirty?

At Bolivar Insurance & Real Estate when we come to list your home, we will go over repairs needed, discuss items you need to consider repairing or replacing. We are not there to run your property down, but to help you sell the home within the shortest time possible. Does the truth hurt? Sometimes.

But we feel it’s better to tell you on the front end. We want a successful relationship with our clients.

We don’t want you calling us after an allotted time and wonder why your property hasn’t sold. Results: sometimes you have to make repairs and spend some money to get the best results for your property.

Setting the Price of Your Home

The price is the first thing buyers notice about your property. If you set your price too high, then the chance of alienating buyers is higher. You want your house to be taken seriously, and the asking price reflects how serious you are about selling your home.

At Bolivar Insurance & Real Estate, we will offer advice based on several factors. First, we will compare your house to others that are in the market. Here are several things we consider when offering advice on pricing your home:

  • Houses in your price range and area sold within the past 6-12 months
  • Asking and selling prices of houses which have closed within the past 6 months
  • Current inventory of houses on the market within your neighborhood
  • Features of each house on the market…(garages / pools / outbuilding or detached structures / land / age, etc…)

We recommend you always be realistic. You need to understand and set your price to reflect the current market situation.

Finding the Right Agent: Not all agents work the same way! The most important attribute of an agent is that he/she is well connected to the real estate industry. He/she should know the market and provide information on past sales, current listings, his or her marketing plan, and at least 4 solid references. In addition, you also want to look for an agent that is honest, assertive, and one who best understands your needs.

Another important factor is finding a local agent. They can better serve your needs; they are familiar with the local market conditions, local prices, and what’s hot or not in your community.

We feel our 45-year-old reputation as being an honest company has paid dividends many times. We are proud of our repeat business, and proud of our reputation throughout Bolivar and Hardeman County. We would love to have the opportunity to talk with you about your real estate needs. Whether you’re buying or selling, we know the market and are here to serve you.

Earnest Money

Remember, money talks when buying a property. Your earnest money deposit lets the seller know you are serious.

Always submit a written offer and when you do, put up earnest money. This deposit is usually in the form of a personal check, cashier’s check, or cash. The deposit signifies to the seller that you are ready and willing to purchase his or her property.

Typically earnest money is approximately 1% of the sales price. The listing broker will hold your money in a special trust account until the transaction closes, at which time it will be applied to your down payment. If the seller doesn’t accept your offer or if some condition of the contract is not satisfied, the listing broker will refund your money.

Remember, if you and the seller enter into a binding contract, you will be required to perform. Should you decide to walk away, you will lose your earnest money and could be subject to legal action.