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.


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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

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:

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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



S&B Construction In Oakland Crossing-Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #34


Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #34 S&B ConstructionFacebook Thumb


Ascension Parish Coffee Talk is a weekly show featuring nothing but the people and businesses here in Ascension Parish. This week I thought it would be a great idea to meet up with one of the many great builders here in Ascension. Mike Smith of S&B Construction tells us a little about his company and all the subdivisions he has been building in. Some of them I’m sure you have driven past, like Oakland Crossing, Maplewood Estates, and Oak Alley Estates to name a few.

S&B Construction-Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #34
Some Of The Subdivisions In Ascension Parish Where S&B Construction Build.

I met up with Mike at his newest fully constructed home that happened to be in the Parade of homes this year, Oakland Crossing in Prairieville. Mike takes the time to give us a small tour of the home showing the features that his company S&B Construction offers as a standard. Many builders would consider these items as an upgrade but S&B Construction likes to go above what others call “standard”. Each room in this spec home looks anything but spec, from the high-end appliances with standard wine chiller to the extra care to add detailed herringbone accents in the flooring, more details flow throughout the home including tongue and groove ceilings under the porches, with their signature outdoor kitchen. You can see why people would want to see more of this home in Ascension Parish.

S&B Construction Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #34, Amenities
Some Of The Standard Amenities From S&B Construction.

If you’d Like more information to S&B Construction you can visit there website they are also on Houzz: To Visit Their Houzz Page Click Here

If you are more a social media person they have Facebook (Click Here To “Like” Their Page) and Instagram as well.

If you are looking for information on buying a home here in Ascension Parish, be sure to download my  FREE E-Book Click Here>> Free Buyers E-Book To Ascension Parish

If you like to do a full home search of Ascension Parish you can visit: “Full Home Search Here

To read my weekly blogs with videos you can visit: My Weekly Blogs

My name is Kristina Smallhorn, Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, And I Tell You All This “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn
(Your Real Estate Whisperer)
Cell 225-246-1812
Office 2254129982 ext#149
eXp Realty LLC.
2900 Westfork Dr.
Baton Rouge LA 70817
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR with the state of Louisiana, USA.
Your Real Estate Whisperer Kristina Smallhorn "Because YOU Matter"
Your Real Estate Whisperer For Ascension Parish, Kristina Smallhorn.

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 


Gorman Bros.-Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #27


Have You Been To Gorman Bros.?,  Yet In Ascension Parish?

Gorman Bros. In Ascension Parish is a local appliance store that has been in business for the last 21 years. Originally in the city of Gonzales on Burnside Rd., but eventually moving its location to Prairieville. I was able to meet up with the owner Doug Gorman and he gave us a tour of his awesome facility.

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Inside the large showroom, you’ll see beautiful lighting fixtures for an Ascension Parish resident to pick from, along with many refrigerators, ranges, cooktop stoves, washers, dryers, microwaves, countertops, and outdoor kitchen appliances, this truly is a one-stop shop for your home decorating ideas. If you haven’t stopped by in a while you have to see their selection of home decor, there are so many cute options for you. If you are not sure what will work in your home the have specialist who will work with you so all of your lighting and decor flows from room to room and they are super friendly too.

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When you stop by to see Doug Gorman don’t forget to mention that “Your Real Estate Whisperer” sent ya! Why? “Because YOU Matter”

***Oh Just For FYI! Gorman Bros. in upping to usually 12-month financing to now 24 months and all of their pricing is competitive with all the box stores**

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Be Sure To Share This Post AND LIKE My Page!

“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 

3 Myths About Home Inspections In Ascension Parish.


The Home Inspection in Ascension Parish- What you need to know.

Anytime you purchase a home in Ascension Parish you have the right to get a home inspection. There is no “Pass or Fail” to a home inspection. It just helps the buyers make a clear, knowledgeable decision to what problems, if any, may be wrong with the home. Some sellers have a pre-inspection done on the home so they can know of any unseen problems and make the repairs prior to listing. I’d still strongly advise getting your own inspector to look over the home when you have your inspection time. I’m listing some things you should know about the inspection period of a signed purchase agreement.


Time Frame-

Most purchase offers state a ten day inspection period, but that time frame can be negotiated. During this time the buyers have the right to have the home inspected at their expense. This means they can hire or not hire anyone to go over the home to detect problems that may not be known to the seller.


Who gets to inspect the home?-

Like I said before, anyone can inspect the home for the buyers. A licensed inspector holds more weight than let’s say your cousin who does home improvements for a living. The buyer can also have a structural engineer inspect the foundation, have another inspector check for mold, and another to take soil samples for various reasons. They can hire whomever they want during this ten day period to look over the home. These inspections are always approved by the sellers to allow the buyers to do this prior to the appointment. They can’t just show up during this time unannounced.

Does the seller have to do all the items the inspectors find?

The best answer for this is NO! Inspectors can find major problems and not so major problems. An A/C not working properly is an issue for concern. Chipped paint from a weed whacker along the hardy board on the side of the house – not so major.

How long do the sellers and buyers have to respond to the request?

In the state of Louisiana, they have 72 hours after receipt of inspection request to respond to the repair request. This time frame is for the sellers to make calls and get quotes for costs to them for the requested repairs. In turn, the buyers’ get 72 hours to respond to the sellers’ response to the report. This means that if the seller chooses to only make half of the repairs requested, then the buyer has the same amount of time to get quotes and make decisions to the items that were declined from repair.

Do I still have to buy the home if the seller doesn’t want to make repairs?

Unless stated in the agreement prior, the buyer does not have to buy the home if the seller is unwilling or incapable of making repairs as long as the inspections were done within the time frame allotted for inspection.


Can the sellers negotiate the price if repairs aren’t going to be made?

Yes, the buyer can request, instead of the seller, to make the repairs so that either the sales price can be reduced or the buyer can receive closing costs. This part is something you can negotiate after you have determined the costs of the requested repairs.
Many things can and will happen during the inspection period. At a more recent inspection, I was in the kitchen as the inspector was checking the bathroom plumbing. As I sat, I began to feel water dripping on my head. I looked up, and the A/C drip pan was leaking from the ceiling. The inspection ended right there. The sellers had no idea that there was a problem, but the buyers didn’t want the home when they saw this. They thought the sellers were trying to dump their problems on an unsuspecting buyer. This wasn’t the case, but you can see how the buyers would feel like this.


It’s important for buyers to hire a professional inspector since this example was more obvious than other problems that could come up. If you are concerned about issues with your home prior to listing you may want to consider a pre-inspection. I tell you all of this “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn

Your Real Estate Whisperer


eXp Realty LLC, 2900 Westfork Dr. Baton Rouge LA 70827

Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

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