How To Not Be A Loser In A Bidding War.

Nobody wants to be a bidding war loser. When making bidding war offers you want to come on top. The best offers during a home bidding war are the ones that don’t ask for extra items like, refrigerator, washer, and dryer. The trick to winning a bidding war on a home isn’t just asking for the “extras”, it’s also what loan you chose, how long will it be until you close and the way you construct your purchase offer in a way that is the strongest to the seller’s eyes but not breaking your budget for a home. This article will show you 5 tips to making your bidding war offer stronger so you won’t end up being a bidding war loser.

Tip 1
Do not ask for extras like refrigerator, washer, dryer and silly items that are cosmetic like asking for the home to be painted. Nothing will make a seller pass over your offer like asking for extras that have nothing to do with the value of the home.laptop-3196481_1920


Tip 2
Up the amount of your deposit, normally in the state of Louisiana, the deposit amount is pretty minimal to the amount of the home. The typical amount is as little as 250-2500 depending on the price of the home. If you’re in a bidding war you may want to consider upping that amount to 2500-5000 so the sellers know you are a serious buyer that has skin in the game.

Tip 3
Decrease the number of days for inspection. When you write a purchase offer most ask for a 10 day inspection period. If you reduce the number of days for inspection to 5 days your offer may look stronger to the seller due to the fact it will be fewer days off the market if the buyer will be removing the offer after the inspections are completed. With that said many realtors may suggest a pre-inspection prior to writing an offer if you use this tactic you may lose precious days that someone else can beat you to the punch to make an accepted offer and you will never get a chance to make yours.calendar-3045825_1920

Tip 4
Consider a different loan type. If you are not paying cash and you have not chosen a loan package you will need to discuss with your lender the best option for you to get the loan closed fast but still has your best interests.

Tip 5
Go with your highest and best offer with the first offer you come in with. This is not the time to test the seller on there willingness to come down in price. If you are serious make your strongest offer the first offer you make.document-428338_1920

Bonus Tip
It doesn’t hurt to add a little human emotion to your offer, sometimes we forget that families are involved so if you add a letter stating why this home is so important to you, this may be the deciding factor when it comes to a bidding war.


To look for properties in the Baton Rouge and Ascension Parish area click here:

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Your Real Estate Whisperer Kristina Smallhorn "Because YOU Matter"
Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, Kristina Smallhorn.

Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer,
eXp Realty LLC,2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401, Baton Rouge LA 70817
225-246-1812,Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana, License #0912122918

Why You Don’t Always See A Sale Pending Sign.


It’s Take A Tip Tuesday, Do you Know Why you don’t see “Sale Pending Signs”? You may have driven up to a home recently only to find out the sale of the home is “pending”. What is a pending sale sign anyway? It just means the home has a contract that is waiting to close on the purchase. So why don’t realtors put the sale pending sign up? You want to know is the sale pending, right? The reason why most realtors don’t put the sale pending sign up is to capture possible leads in case the home sale falls through. There are many reasons why a pending home sale could fall through as an example, credit check comes back off from the application, the buyer has been let go of their job, one of the buyers on the loan has passed away or taxes were filed incorrectly, these are just some of the ways that a pending home sale could fall through. there are many other ways this was just an example. I know it can be frustrating for you as a possible buyer to be looking in a neighborhood and find the home of your dreams only to see the home with the for sale sign now has a pending contract. You may feel like the agents are just wasting their time not putting up the sign but we are trying to represent our sellers in the best way possible. If the pending sale sign goes up and the pending contract happens to fall through we have missed out on all those possible leads that could put in a contract or even a backup offer.

*I hope you found this tip useful if you’d like some more tips you can always visit my website at 

*To View Properties For Sale, Click Here

*To Get My FREE EBook On Buying Homes In Ascension Parish, Click Here

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Your Real Estate Whisperer Kristina Smallhorn "Because YOU Matter"
Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, Kristina Smallhorn., eXp Realty LLC,2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401,Baton Rouge LA 70817 225-246-1812,Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149 Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana

5 Homeownership Mistakes.


There are many homeownership mistakes that happen when you buy a house. Often people unknowingly do more damage to their home when they believe they are doing the right thing after they buy a house. In this video, I show some of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make.

Have you ever been in a bathroom that had a weird black line around the bottom edge of the mirror? There is a reason for that, it’s from an overuse of cleaning products and moisture getting behind the mirror allowing it to lose its reflection and cause that yucky black clouds. The solution, just be aware when you are spraying your mirror to not use too much product and when getting out off the shower make sure to wipe down the mirror so no moisture gets trapped.

Another mistake in home ownership is using bleach on everything. I know I love bleach but it can really do damage on some of the most expensive things in your home like granite countertop (did you know that it will strip the sealant right off of stone?) Also, never use bleach products on vinyl it could possibly yellow or stain it. Another area to avoid bleach is wood flooring, it too can strip the finish off the flooring making it pretty expensive to restore down the road.

I’ve been to enough home inspections to know that many homeowners make the mistake of using the wrong kind of caulk in certain areas of the home. They make different kinds a caulk for a reason and make sure you are buying the right kind for bathrooms and outside windows. Not all caulk is made the same.
Over sealing countertops is another costly mistake homeowners make. I know you think you’re doing the right thing by applying it often but if do it too much it will cause a milky white film that can be tough to remove and repair. To test to see if your countertops are ready for another spray of sealant, just drip a few drops of water on the countertop and see if it beads up if it doesn’t its ready for a treatment.
So when was the last time you had your HVAC system look at? So many homeowners ignore this maintenance requirement. When I represent the buyer I always ask for it to be done and inevitably the homeowner hadn’t had it done the whole time they had lived in the house. The cost of this is too inexpensive to ignore and can help stretch out the time for replacement.


I hope you found these tips useful if you’d like more tips please visit my website @

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My Name is Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, And I tell you all this “Because YOU Matter”


Your Real Estate Whisperer Kristina Smallhorn "Because YOU Matter"
Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, Kristina Smallhorn.

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana in The Greater Baton Rouge MLS, license # 0912122918,eXp Realty LLC,2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401
Baton Rouge LA 70817, Cell Number: 225-246-1812, Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

Wiring Fraud Alert For Home Buyers


Wiring Fraud Alert!!!!! Don’t Let These Hackers Steal Your Down Payment! Watch The Video To See How You Can Protect Your Money!

Wiring Fraud Alert For Home Buyers has become a real problem over the last couple of years. Imagine having your life saving for a down payment for your new home being stolen from you just days before the closing. It’s been happening all over the country even in Ascension Parish. The scam works like this, the hackers get a hold of either the title companies email account, the realtors’ email account or even the home buyers email account after one of these accounts are infiltrated the hackers sit and wait. They monitor the activities of all the parties involved in the transaction days beforehand they inform the buyer that wiring instructions have changed and they need confirmation they received the message so they can send the new instructions. These criminals are clever, by this time they have copied or even cloned the email addresses of the parties involved they really make these emails look very official. Buyers are of course in a panic and rush to there bank to give them the new wiring instructions, but the thing about it is, they just lost all their down payment and very little can be done to get that money back.

There are some ways to protect yourself. One is to change your email password often and have two code authentification. If you do get an email asking to change wiring instructions prior to closing make sure to call your REALTOR® to verify the title companies phone number. Never follow the phone number that is posted in the suspicious email.  Lastly, Instead of wiring the funds, if possible, just go down to your bank and get cashiers check, it may take a little more time but could save you tens of thousands of dollars.

To read my blog for more tips read this:

To Read More On Preparing Your Home To Sell, Click Here

To View Properties For Sale, Click Here

To Get My FREE EBook On Buying Homes In Ascension Parish, Click Here

Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer,

eXp Realty LLC 2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401 Baton Rouge LA 70817 225-246-1812 Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149 Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana

5 Tips When Buying A Home – Take A Tip Tuesday.

Take A Tip Tuesday! 5 Tips For Buying A Home.


It’s Take A Tip Tuesday and in this weeks video, I discuss 5 big things that people should know when buying a home.  Whether this is your first home or tenth home, these tips should always be helpful. In Ascension Parish, we have lots of people moving in and out an all around but people seem to forget what needs to be done when buying a home. Below I’ve listed 5 key tips to remember.

Get Approved!

I must say this about 1000 times in my past videos and I know if you have been following me for awhile I may sound like a broken record but I’m telling you, people jump the gun when home shopping and tend to forget all about being “pre-approved” prior to their home quest.

Size Doesn’t Matter!

This is another thing that some people can get hung up on. They want a HUGE home but did you know that if you have the largest home in a neighborhood you will get a lot less per square foot than your surrounding neighbors. Bigger doesn’t mean better and maybe an unwise investment.

Shiny New Toy Syndrome.

Imagine walking into a home that has all the bells and whistles, super thick granite, custom cabinets and all upgraded modern appliances. It’s your dream home but it’s over the budget you set for yourself. Delayed gratification can be better in the long run, especially for your wallet as well. Don’t get stuck with a home that you can barely furnish because you had to have the newest, latest and greatest.

Budget For Other Costs.

When you go on sites like Realtor dot com, Trulia, and Zillow, they will give you an estimated mortgage payment. Many of these sites do not factor in the other costs, like escrows, insurance, and taxes. Make sure you have more money set aside for these items.

Hire An Inspector.

I can’t say this enough, even if you are buying a brand new home you should have it inspected by a professional. Even though the new home has to pass building code inspections things get missed and the inspector you hire is looking out for your best interest. (To Read More About Inspections Click Here  3 Myths About Home Inspections)

I hope you found these tips useful If you’d like to read more about buying homes in the Ascension Parish Area, please download my free e-book If you like to search for homes in the Ascension Parish Area Click Here. To watch all my tip videos please subscribe to my YouTube Channel by Clicking HERE!


Your Real Estate Whisperer Kristina Smallhorn "Because YOU Matter"
Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, Kristina Smallhorn.

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401
Baton Rouge LA 70817
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana



New Construction In Ascension Parish By LEVEL HOMES, Germany Oaks Subdivision, Gonzales Louisiana


Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #36, A weekly show where I talk about nothing but the people and businesses here in Ascension Parish. This week I talk with Alicia Wilson a new sales counselor for LEVEL Homes in Germany Oaks Subdivision in Gonzales. We meet at one of the model homes on 15133 Germany Oaks Blvd. A 4 bedroom 3 bath home.

Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #36
Alicia Wilson With LEVEL Construction

Alicia takes the time to take us on a tour and discuss all the amenities LEVEL Homes has to offer. We begin in the kitchen where you’ll see that the standard home is above most standard homes in this price range, she tells us that you are able to choose the type of granite a buyer may want and appliance packages that are available. The tour continues with Alicia telling the Ascension Parish Coffee Talk viewers that granite in the master bath is standard as well even around the oversized garden tub. We then enter the Open floor plan living room area that boasts high ceilings and standard surround sound speakers. This particular floor plan has a massive dining room that is great for large groups, for entertaining. Off to the upstairs we go, the real wood stairs make it more durable over time. At the top of the stairs, Alicia shows a second living space or bonus room as some see it. Off from the bonus room area is two more large bedrooms and separate bath.

When we head back downstairs, Alicia explains LH Lending and how they can help finance your home and help assist in closing costs when using them to purchase your home. Along with LEVEL Homes preferred title companies as well.

Level Homes Website
LEVEL Homes Website

Level Homes, also known as Level Construction and Development, was established in 2000 to bring high-quality homes and neighborhoods to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and other leading Louisiana markets. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Level Homes was founded by a visionary real estate developer, Todd Waguespack. Principals include John Engquist, Chairman; Todd Waguespack, Managing Partner; Ric Rojas, President; Ryan Engquist, Vice President and Charles Landry, Chief Legal Counsel.

Level Homes expanded to the Raleigh – Durham area of North Carolina in 2013, with homesites and well-located neighborhoods in the economically resilient Research Triangle Park region. The builder continued to grow in the North Carolina and Louisiana markets and was named to Business Report’s 2015 and 2016 Edition of Best Places to Work in Baton Rouge. In the summer of 2016, Level Homes was proudly recognized as both a Top 200 Builder in the nation and named to the coveted list of “Next 100 Fastest Growing Builders in the United States” by Builder Magazine. In the fall of 2016, Level Homes was named in the Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) Fast 50 List, recognizing the company as one of the fastest growing private companies in the Raleigh – Durham North Carolina area based on a revenue growth and profitability formula analyzed by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Developing communities and building a wide array of homes ranging in price from $169,900 to $600,000, Level Homes exceeds customer expectations in all phases of the home buying lifecycle, from first-time buyers to those moving up, to empty nesters. The award-winning company employs a knowledgeable and friendly team to assist in the home buying process from beginning to end, instilling a culture with its associates that promote’s homebuilding as a high-level customer service industry. From the day customers first walk into a model home or sales center to the day new home buyers receive the keys to their new home, the Level Homes’ team strives to make the experience seamless and enjoyable.


If you like to know more about LEVEL Homes you can visit their website and if you like to know more about Germany Oaks, you can visit their Facebook page with the same name “Germany Oaks”

To know more about buying homes here in Ascension Parish download my FREE Ebook @

To look at all the homes available here in Ascension Parish visit my website @ or

And I Tell You All This, “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401
Baton Rouge LA 70817
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149
Your Real Estate Whisperer Kristina Smallhorn "Because YOU Matter"
Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, Kristina Smallhorn.

Do You Have That Weird Toilet Ring In Your Ascension Parish Home?


The Royal Flush. 

Watch The Video Of My Toilet Ring Cleaning


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I don’t know about you and your home here in Ascension Parish but for the past two homes I have owned I have had nothing but issues with this weird ring in my toilet. I am a clean person, and this ring makes me feel gross. I have tried all the “do it yourself” products which include a pumicing stick, vinegar with baking soda, green scratch pads, you name it. I have also tried every blue, green and purple cleaning product with no resolution for this stubborn brown ring that haunts my toilet bowls. 

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Until last week!,  when by chance I saw a post on Facebook about a product at Goodwood Hardware on 7539 Jefferson Hwy, Baton Rouge, LA 70806 called Ring King. I normally hate driving out of Ascension Parish to buy things but I really really hate these rings in my toilet. So off I went, brought the stuff home, followed the directions to the letter and VOILA! The ring is FINALLY gone. This find was too good not to share. I found out later you can order online from them as well, Here is the link, 

I have been in several homes throughout  Ascension Parish and have seen these pesky rings of grime in many of them. So I thought I really needed to share my wonderful find.  The bottle runs just under $10.00 and if you are like me you’ll be willing to make the trek to Baton Rouge to go get it or you can order it online with the link I provided above. Why? “Because YOU Matter”

PS- I am in no way getting paid as a sponsor for this product, I just know this stuff works!


Be Sure To Like, Share And Subscribe To My YouTube Channel!

Kristina Smallhorn

Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLC

2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401

Baton Rouge LA 70817


Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana 

Did You Know You Could FREEZE Your Property Taxes In Ascension Parish?

Do You Know You Could  Freeze Your Ascension Parish Property Tax Assessment?

A few weeks back I was sitting in a closing with an older couple who were selling their home here in Ascension Parish and moving closer to their children. When the closing attorney was getting to the part about property taxes, he said something about their frozen property taxes.


I had never heard of this before and was a little disappointed with myself being a REALTOR® in Ascension Parish I should know something about it. I leaned into the table and asked the listing agent across from me “Did you know about this, frozen taxes?” She shrugged and said “No”. After that, I felt a little better but wanted to know more so I can tell the people of Ascension Parish about how they could save money.

So what is “Freezing Your Taxes?”

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Homeowners who become 65 can permanently freeze their assessments if they have an adjusted gross income below the scheduled amount. How much is that amount? When my parents went to the tax assessors office in Ascension Parish it was $72,000.00. The woman at the office was extremely friendly and was really willing to answer all my parent’s questions about their property taxes.

So How Do I Go About “Freezing Them?


It is simple to apply. You must go in person to the Ascension Parish Tax Assessors office with a copy of your latest tax return and your driver’s license. You only need apply once, as you do not have to reapply every year.

The special assessment is permanent as long as you continue to qualify: That means you continue to own and reside in your home. In addition, your adjusted gross income cannot exceed the scheduled amount and the value of your house does not increase more than 25% due to any new construction.

If the owner dies, the special assessment passes to the surviving spouse who has minor children or who is 55 or older and meets the other qualifications. Veterans who are at least 50% permanently disabled also qualify to for the special assessment freeze.

In Louisiana, a property is reassessed every 4 years, so don’t wait to freeze your tax assessment.


If you do qualify this could save you money in the future. Please share this information with anyone you know that could possibly qualify. I want everyone in Ascension Parish to save money, Why? “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn

Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLC

2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401

Baton Rouge LA 70817


Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana 


Do You Have Deferred Maintenance Issues When Selling Your Ascension Parish Home?

Do You Have Deferred Maintenance Issues When Selling Your Ascension Parish Home?


When I complete a “feedback sheet” after previewing a home, my favorite words to use when describing perceived problems are,  “Deferred Maintenance.”  Deferred Maintenance means the practice of postponing maintenance activities such as repairs on both real property (i.e. infrastructure) and personal property (i.e. machinery) in order to save costs, meet budget funding levels, or realign available budget monies. In Ascension Parish, most sellers will repair obvious issues while others will not and this may cause their home to stay on the market much longer than the typical home in their Ascension Parish neighborhood.


When I refer to “Deferred Maintenance” I’m talking about things like; hanging unattached gutters, weeds in flower beds, overgrown grass, fencing that is rotten and carpet that is frayed at the thresholds of doorways. Others may include, paint that is chipped on walls with numerous areas of visible dirt, missing appliances, damaged, chipped or cracked tile. Basically, those things that are very obvious, and could be easily repaired at the sellers’ expense. If your home is in a great neighborhood, in a great school district and in a seller’s market, these items, if not addressed, will clearly reduce the value of your home.


If you are unsure if you have “deferred maintenance” issues, you can always take the advice of an Ascension Parish REALTOR®. We as agents know what items need to be addressed immediately before listing your home so you can get your home sold faster and at the best price. I know it can be tempting to say “I’ll leave it for the buyer to do,” but you may be eating those words after you’ve lost a lot of money and time for something could have been addressed beforehand. The payoff is much greater when you do these repairs prior to listing.

I’m telling you this as a possible seller “Because You Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn – Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLC., 2900 Westfork Dr. Suite 401, Baton Rouge LA 70817


Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana 

I’m Not Buying A Home “As-Is” In Ascension Parish! FORGET IT!!!


I’m Not Buying A Home “As-Is” In Ascension Parish! FORGET IT!!!

So you’ve gotten to the point you and your Ascension Parish Realtor are writing up your first offer and when they get to line 222 you notice they have checked “As-Is” your mind begins to race of buying a home that is nothing but a nightmare and you’re stuck with a lemon of a home, being forced to own it because this has been checked. Well, that’s not really the case.


There are many aspects to the Louisiana residential sales contract that can sound one way but mean something completely different. One thing that comes up often during discussions when preparing an offer for the buyer and seller is the “AS-IS” clause. Most people think it means that the condition of the home currently is how you buy it, no matter what’s wrong with it. In the state of Louisiana, it doesn’t mean that at all. In the simplest terms, the “AS-IS” clause means, after you have had inspections and the sellers have remedied repair issues. At the time of closing, the home is sold to you “AS-IS”. There is a caveat to this as well. For example, if you buy a home “AS-IS,” and you’ve had your inspections, everything was repaired and on moving day you notice a stain on the ceiling in the kitchen. You don’t think much of it – nothing a little paint can’t fix. The next morning you walk into the kitchen and that stain looks a little bigger, even a little wetter than it did yesterday. You decide to go in the attic to check out the issue. Sure enough, the air conditioning pan is leaking water, the floater switch hadn’t been working properly, and the pan isn’t draining. You immediately call an A/C repairman out. The repairman gets there with speed. When he walks in the door he says “I know this house.  This is the third time I’ve been out here, I told the last owners they needed a new drain line, drip pan and floater switch but they never would listen to me. Bells and alarms are going off in your head.  The sellers never mentioned this in the property disclosure. You may be thinking now “but I bought the home AS-IS”. Guess What? You are protected by Louisiana law. The sellers knowingly withheld pertinent information about the home. You can take them to court for this and the cost of the repairs.



So the next time you purchase or sell your home here in Ascension Parish or anywhere in the state of Louisiana, don’t think you are stuck because the “AS-IS” box was checked on your contract. As a matter of fact, most resale property in Louisiana is sold “AS-IS” without warranty. You now know that you have rights after that box is checked, and nobody can pull the wool over your eyes because you bought a home “AS-IS”.


“Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLC

2900 Westfork Dr., Suite 401, Baton Rouge LA 70817


Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149





Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR® with the state of Louisiana