This week in keeping with the theme of “Pets” I was able to have Niki Hatampa of “Niki’s Pet Service” come to my home to talk about what her local business does for our Ascension Parish pets.

Niki is a personalized pet sitter, she lovingly takes them in, creating a warm friendly home away from home for your special fur babies. I could tell after the first phone conversation I had with her that she really loves her career and take care of all the animals as if they were her own. She doesn’t just play with them or take them for walks, she also will give your furry friend his/her medications including ones that need daily shots.

There are also many ways you can reach her if you want to have your animals taken care of when you’re out of the in Ascension Parish. You can visit her website @, Instagram@ Nikis.Pet.Services, Facebook @ Niki’s Pet Services or you can find her on the ROVER app/website.

I know for many residents of Ascension Parish it can be hard to know what to do with your animals when your home is on the market, “Niki’s Pet Services” is just another option I wanted you to know about, “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

**** The background music came from, Make sure to mention this website if you plan on using the music for projects on social media unless you buy a license****

What Should I Do With My Pet’s When I Have A Showing?

What Should I Do With My Pet’s When I Have A Showing?

Let me start off by saying I LOVE animals. It doesn’t matter to me, from reptile to bird, dog or cat all of them I think of as a friend some of these animals don’t look at me in the same way. Over the years I have encountered some not so friendly animals. Most recently I tried to enter a home to be greeted by a mid-size mixed breed hound that was showing his teeth as the key slipped into the tumbler. The buyers and I agreed that we wouldn’t be taking a tour of that home that day. Too bad the sellers missed out on an opportunity to sell their home. So that brings me to my point of this blog post. What do you do with your beloved pets in Ascension Parish when you have a showing?

Pet Sitter? Is That Even A Thing?

Yes, Its is. Many veterinarian offices board your animals for the day and some dog grooming places as well. You can also ask around you’d be surprised at how many people know of someone who does this. The best reference to get is from someone who’s used them before.

To Crate or Not To Crate


If you have an old cat or dog that lazily walks around the house and really doesn’t bother you, you may think it’s ridiculous to put them in a crate but some people are truly frightened by animals and may just walk out of the home as soon as the see your precious fur baby. My best advice if you can’t really shell out the money to board your animal is to crate them during a showing. Most people put the crate in a laundry room or utility room so it doesn’t distract from the showing.

***Keep in mind if your animals are aggressive and can pose a danger to anyone you can be liable if your animal attacks anyone during the showing. It’s up to you the seller to handle your animals prior to confirmed showings.***



Many of your friends love your animals as much as you do. You can always ask a friend to pick up your pets for the times of the showing. You can always ask your agent for a window of time before the showing so either you or your friend can take care of the animals prior to the showing.

On A Side Note- The Nose Knows Everything

You may not think your home has a pet odor but people who do not like animals or do not have them can smell them immediately. Please clean your cat’s little box daily, the same goes for birdcage liners and the doggy dropping in the yard. Nobody even animal lovers likes having your pet poop on their foot after taking in your large backyard.



One Last Thing


Before you list your home you may want to check all to see if your fur babies have chewed or scratched any wood or painted areas. Nothing screams deferred maintenance like a backdoor that the door has ruined by an animal that includes the weather stripping as well. (I don’t know why animals love chewing and scratching at it)

Hopefully, these tips will help you out on deciding what to do with your animals.

“Because YOU matter

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

41493 Creekstone Ave. Prairieville LA Has Been Re-Listed!


I take a new client, Kobra the Doga instructor, to my newest listing in Prairieville Louisiana, 41493 Creekstone Ave. MLS #2017009659.

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To view more details and schedule a showing of this home visit this link,


“Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

5 Tips For The Day You Close On Your Ascension Parish Home.

When waiting for your home to close, it can be a crazy time. The list of things “to-do” is lengthy. Packing, deciding what items to sell, changing your utilities, switching children’s schools, finding local shopping and last but not least, where the heck is the post office? These activities can often make you lose focus on the details of your closing and easy to forget things. Here are 5 tips to remember for your day of closing your home.

#1.Bring Your Drivers License.#1 Passport

Not just any form of ID will do, It must be a military ID, Passport or drivers license. Make sure your ID is still valid and not expired or you won’t be able to close.

#2. Call Ahead of Time.

two checks

Make sure you call the title office to verify the office address and the dollar amount you will need to bring to the closing table. You CAN NOT bring a personal check to closing over $2500.00, be sure it is a cashier check made out to the title attorney’s office. Luckily, you have hired an Ascension Parish local realtor to handle the hiring of a closing attorney to help with the Ascension Parish title process; review the closing documents and calculate the amount of money you may have to bring to closing. Your loan officer will also be there to explain what some of those closing costs will add up to. A few days before closing (as many as 5 days) your Ascension Parish Realtor® will do a final walk-through of your new home to go over the items on the repair list to make sure they have been completed and the home is in the same if not better condition as at the time of the initial sales contract. (to read more about what buyer need to know click here ( )

#3. Switch Utilities-

3 utilities

Make sure you have switch ALL the utilities in your name on the date of closing. You don’t want to be left in the dark minutes after you’ve closed on your new home.

#4 (My Favorite) Take the day off!

#4 day off

Closings get delayed often or yours can take longer than anticipated. You don’t want to make your employer angry because you’ve missed half the day to close on your home.

#5 Keep Those Closing Docs. Close In Hand!


After you’ve closed you are going to want to go to the local courthouse and file your homestead exemption. If this home is your primary residence you will get this state tax credit saving you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

So What Does A Closing Look Like in Ascension Parish?
The closing is defined as a performance of all agreements made by you, the lender and the seller, a means to an end of the purchase of a home. If you are buying your home with all cash, you will not have lender requirements, but if you are financing your home with a loan, the financial arrangements will close at the same time.
A closing involves the simultaneous exchange of document and monies required to complete the transaction. You, as a buyer, pay the purchase price of the home to the seller and in exchange, the seller gives you the title and transferred documents to the home; simple as that.
(Both buyer and seller pay their respective fees and costs to the various parties who contributed funds, services, or documents to the closing.)
****A side note: Closings can take as little as a few minutes if buying cash, or take over an hour or more for financed homes, so don’t make firm plans and allow plenty of time for your closing.****
So Where Do You Go For Your Closing Of Your Ascension Parish Home?
Your closing of your home doesn’t have to be in the Parish you are buying in, although it definitely makes it more convenient, sometimes it could be a few Parish’s away! You can request a preferred title company from your lender unless the seller is paying closing costs, then the sellers make that choice. This can be part of your negotiations if you are adamant on a particular closing attorney.
Not all closings are the same, that’s a given. Some closings do not require a closing attorney for signatures and may only require a notary. The difference between the two is that notaries can only provide legal advice or services on very specific types of matters. Another difference between attorneys and notaries is that attorneys generally must obtain two university degrees in order to be certified to practice law; an undergraduate degree plus a law degree.
If you’d like to know more about the closing of a home in Ascension Parish, I’ve done a YouTube Video with a Title Attorney from Commerce Title on my weekly show, “Ascension Parish Coffee Talk.” ( )

“Because YOU Matter”
Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

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Are You An Ascension Parish First Time Home Seller? 5 BIG TIPS!



Are You An Ascension Parish First Time Home Seller? 5 BIG TIPS!

Below I’ve listed five things to keep in mind.



What About Price?

One of the most important factors when listing your home is pricing the home correctly. You want to make sure you are not overpriced. If you go too high with your price and keep dropping after being on the market for weeks, buyers believe there is something wrong with your home, or worse they don’t even consider your home because it was priced too high. Make sure to discuss with your Ascension Parish REALTOR® what the comparable sales for a home like yours sold for in the last year, so you can be confident in the price. You and your Ascension Parish agent need to be in agreement as to price.

Time To Prepare!


You know your home is clean and well kept, but what you don’t realize is what buyers do and do not want to see! In order to appeal to the masses, you’re going to want to take the advice of your Ascension Parish REALTOR® or a home stager when getting your home prepared to list. All those personal items that you walk past daily without much notice, can be a glaring eyesore to a potential buyer! As much as you love the pictures from your bachelor days, many buyers will not.

It’s Show Time!


In order to get your home sold in the fastest amount of time (other than price) is showings. I know from personal experience that showing your home during dinner time hours, especially with young children, can be a real hassle. But the sale of your home depends on how many showings you get! Most people work until 5 pm generally, and they like previewing homes after work. I suggest making a picnic for nights like this; it can be fun for small children when you have to leave your home during these evenings when you have showings.

Open House In Ascension Parish Is On Sunday.


Every Sunday between the hours of 2-4pm, Ascension Parish REALTOS® typically showcase their newest listings for the public to view. This is a great way for you as a new home seller to give your home a preview to the public without the pressure of a potential buyer to make a decision immediately. Generally, from my experience with open houses, many people are what I call “Tire Kickers,” which means they really aren’t sure if they want to buy at this time. Often when those same “tire kickers” really likes a home, they LOVE to tell their friends and co-workers about it. So don’t dismiss an “Open House” when it’s suggested! You just never know who’s going to be speaking great things about your home.

Homework ??


Now that your home is on the market and has hit all the online sites, it’s time for you to do a little homework. Yes, I said “Homework!” With the internet the way it is, information gets sent out so quickly that small mistakes can be made when data goes from website to website. Make sure your home listing has the correct data on the major websites and tell your Ascension Parish REALTOR® if you find any mistakes or misinformation.

I trust you found this information helpful if you’d like some more tips on selling your home you can always visit my website at “Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

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MLS# 2017006243

Call For More Information

Kristina Smallhorn (Your Real Estate Whisperer)

Cell 225-246-1812


LAKE CHARLES, LA 70601 225-412-9982 ext 149

Top 5 Questions You Should Be Asking Your Ascension Parish Realtor When Listing Your Home.

Sellers in Ascension Parish can be nervous and/ or excited when listing their homes.  It’s no wonder many sellers have been disappointed with the sale of their home, and the disappointment might have been avoided if they had asked more key questions.  Below I’ve listed the top 5 that I believe will help you, the seller, in making the decision in selecting your realtor.

How’d Did You Come Up With That Price?


There are many ways that an agent comes up with a price. It’s not just the papers that say CMA (Cost Market Analysis). Time on the market, your neighbors next door, the condition of the home and how your exterior looks are all things that should be taken into consideration. The hard numbers are not the only way price should be established.

How Do You Plan To Market The Home?


If the Ascension Parish Realtor® that you are interviewing states that they plan to add a sign to your yard, put it on the MLS and hold a few open houses, then you may want to speak to some others.  In today’s market, it takes a lot more to get your listing in front of people.  If they don’t have a clear multi-faceted plan for marketing your home, or if you’re confused, it’s clearly time to seek another agent!  Don’t be fooled by old time marketing routines!  It just isn’t the way marketing works anymore, no matter how hot the seller’s market is currently.

What Are We Paying For?


You should really know where your money is going. You should also ask how much of the commission break down goes to the buyer’s agent.  A low commission split on the buyer’s agent side could make your listing sit a little longer.  It’s not supposed to be this way, I just know that it does happen.

Do You Have Any Reviews?


In years past, an Ascension Parish Realtor could easily hand you raving reviews of past clients leaving out the not so glowing reviews. Fast forward to current reviews online.  It’s very difficult to filter out the “bad” reviews.  I know, as a Realtor®, you can’t make every client happy, but if you recognize a negative pattern in online reviews or read the responses from agents, you will get a clearer picture of what the issue could have been.  I recently read a review of a brokerage and I was horrified of the response to the client!  It’s sitting out there on Google for the world to read, so definitely “Google” the Ascension Parish Realtor® and the brokerage before you make your final decision.

Many sellers like having their agent represent both sides, knowing they have one point of contact on the transaction of their home.  Some seller’s don’t like that idea at all.  Be sure to discuss this prior to signing any listing agreement.  You don’t want to be surprised after the fact or feel deceived in any way.

If you like to discuss with me about marketing your home here in Ascension Parish, please feel free to reach out to me @ 225-246-1812.  I look forward to speaking with you and answering any questions you may have on listing your Ascension Parish home.

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn


eXp Realty llc.

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Why Your Ascension Parish Home Didn’t Appraise.

We all believe our home is the best and is worth every penny of the asking price.  You’ve done all the right things to upgrade, in your opinion. Your home looks the best in the neighborhood and you want to get all you believe your home is worth.  Nothing is more gut-wrenching than to find out that your Ascension Parish home may not be worth what you originally thought.  Below, I’ve listed several reasons why your home didn’t appraise.

All Those Amazing Upgrades!


You know that you’ve done everything to upgrade your home to the highest end.  Extra thick granite, high-end appliances, and an energy efficient water heater have cost you a pretty penny. All these upgrades have attracted buyers, but appraisers may see them differently. You may have over upgraded your home. If there have been several homes in your neighborhood that have sold, and they didn’t have those type of upgrades, the appraiser will not give you the same kind of value that you paid for them, making your home appraise for less than you thought.

Where’d He Get those Comparables?


If a home in hasn’t sold in your neighborhood in some time, the appraiser may have had to pull comparable sales from outside your neighborhood.  This could possibly hurt your appraised value. Also, the appraiser could have been “comparable challenged,” meaning they didn’t use a comparable that best suited your home’s value.

Changing Property Values.


We, in Ascension Parish, have seen home’s values fluctuate dramatically since the Great Flood of 2016.  Some homes have gone up thousands of dollars while in other areas they have dropped thousands of dollars.  With this sudden shift, appraisers have had to really do their homework to get the value right.  Be sure you have consulted with an Ascension Parish REALTOR® prior to listing so you know your home’s proper value due to the shift in the market.


It is unfortunate when you and your Ascension Parish Realtor® have worked together to have the home priced where they believe the home should be priced, only to find out during the appraisal process that the home appraised for less.  There are many great appraisers but sometimes an appraiser’s inexperience or knowledge for an area can affect your home’s appraised value.  You as a seller have options!  Please make sure you discuss these options with your Ascension Parish Realtor®. 

I tell you all this “Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

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How To Make The Most Out Of An Open House In Ascension Parish.

Open House tours have been around forever. Even with virtual tours, splashy professional photos, and interest marketing, nothing can beat the feel of a home like walking through it.   Open houses are here to stay for the long term which you will need to know so you can get the most from them when you tour on a Sunday afternoon.

Take This Time To Learn


When going out looking at open houses it is the perfect time to take some notes. You can see features that stand out and quickly after seeing a few, you’ll know when one feels overpriced or one is updated correctly. You will be able to compare home to home and be in a better position to gauge the local Ascension Parish market.

Best Way To Interview For A Possible Buyers Agent.


If you haven’t picked a REALTOR® yet, what better way to meet potential buyers agents than at open houses. You can shake hands, talk and get a feel of how your potential Ascension Parish REALTOR® will work with you. You will not connect well with all REALTOR®n and this is one way you can interview them before you take the leap to hire one to represent you.

If you are not feeling right about signing in at an open house here in Ascension Parish, there is nothing saying you have to. You can just fill out the seller feedback form as a courtesy to the seller and never give your name and information to the Ascension Parish REALTOR®.

Fallen In Love With A Home At An Open House?


If you walk into an Ascension Parish home and it’s checked off all your boxes, it’s best to stick around and watch the other potential buyers. Look for body language; see if they are just as smitten. This is a good way to size up your competition.  You can learn a lot just by hanging around admiring all the details of the home and take note of others who may be interested.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions.


The Ascension Parish Agent’s job during an open house is to answer any questions, within reason. They can’t tell you how much the last offer was that wasn’t accepted. But they can tell you if the seller is negotiable. The REALTOR® can’t tell you how much the seller is willing to come down but they can tell you what other homes in the neighborhood sold for. Be sure to have your questions ready prior. It’s always good to ask how long the home has been for sale or why the seller may be wanting to sell. Knowledge is power when negotiating an offer.

When Is Open House Ascension Parish?


I’ve seen open houses happen every day of the week at virtually any time of the day. Generally, for the most part, Sunday between 1-6 you can find many listed homes have the Open House flags flying in the yard. Don’t be afraid to walk in and say “Hello” and take a peek around. Even if you are not in the market currently, it’s always a good idea to see what your neighbors are selling their house for.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the pending sign and/or sold sign to gauge how quickly housing is moving.  It may be the best time to list your home if the market is HOT!.

If you are currently interested in listing and want to know more about your home’s value, comment below, or better yet just call me and I can show you what homes are selling for in your neighborhood. The market is very good for sellers; the volume of homes is low, and the demand is super high.  Now could be your best opportunity to get the most money out of your home.

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

eXp Realty LLC

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Is Your Neighbor Killing The Sale Of Your Ascension Parish Home?

If you have lived in a house or an apartment here in Ascension Parish, you may have had some neighbors. Some neighbors are awesome; some, well, not so much. If you have the latter of the two described neighbors, and you are looking to sell, it may be the perfect time to bury the hatchet. So how do you go about that?  Below I’m listing a few tips to help you with the selling of your Ascension Parish home.

It’s Time To Talk


So you have lived in your Ascension Parish home for the last 8 years and you have only spoken to your neighbor to ask for him to stop letting his dog poop in your flower bed.  Unfortunately, the response wasn’t exactly the best reaction you had hoped for.  Since then, you haven’t said two words to one another.  Well, this is a perfect time, before you throw the sign in the yard, to make peace.  Let bygones be bygones, as they say!  Just walk over and let them know your plans and how this may be the perfect opportunity for them to get a new (and better?)neighbor.

But The Neighbors Yard Looks Like H#$% !


I know, I have had one myself, and it could be a deal killer for sellers. My best advice for this, since you have now buried the hatchet, you could suggest, at your own expense, for a lawn company to freshen up the yard. I would do this tactfully just by saying, “Hey Neighbor, I was just about to call the landscaping company to spruce up my yard. I’ll pay for your’s to be done too as a courtesy if you would like?”  Many people will take you up on the offer, especially since time and money will not be an issue on their end of the deal. If they refuse and the yard is really that bad, you could amp things up by getting your homeowners association involved, but I would strongly suggest you go the civilized route.

The Fence On Their Side Is Rotting.


I had a listing several years back where the neighbors shared a fence. The sellers were not on speaking terms with the next door neighbors.  I wasn’t completely sure of the reason, but I did know something needed to be done about that rotting, panels missing, eyesore of a fence. According to the sellers, they had made several attempts to remedy the fence issue to no avail, including offering to repair it themselves. So I went over to the neighbors home and asked if it was possible to get the fence repaired, They grumbled for a minute but before they said a flat out NO, I said: “You can pick the fencing company and we will foot the bill!” This seemed to satisfy the neighbor and within a week new panels were being put up and the sellers were able to move on with their lives.

What If This Doesn’t Work?


Some people are just not happy unless they are making others miserable, I get it.  So, I understand sometimes you can’t just change a bad relationship overnight. If you have exhausted all your resources, and you really need to move, you can always add an incentive to the buyer to sweeten the pot. What I mean is, buyers can often overlook a sour neighbor if they feel like the deal benefits them, so simply add incentives into the listing such as, some additional closing costs or lawn care for a year or even possibly a reduced price for a serious buyer.

Your best approach is to try your best to improve the relationship with the neighbors for the sake of getting your home sold for the most money.

“Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn

(Your Real Estate Whisperer)

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Cell 225-246-1812 Office 225-744-2610 Fax 225-744-2910
Villar & Company Real Estate,37283 Swamp Rd.,Suite 102 Prairieville LA, 70769
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR with the state of Louisiana, USA.