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

eXp Realty LLC.new cover EXP

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.

Why Photos Are SO Important When Listing Your Ascension Parish Home.

Not too long ago, we as real estate agents would tell our sellers that curb appeal was the most important thing when putting your Ascension Parish home on the market. When the sign went up, we wanted the people who drove by to be sufficiently enticed to want to see inside.  Now, photos are the new curb appeal!  If you have photos taken with a cell phone camera that are blurry and too small for the MLS, they immediately turn off potential buyers.

Photos are the single most effective way to feature your Ascension Parish home in the best light to buyers, but you will need to work with your Ascension Parish listing agent to prepare your home for the photo shoot so you can capitalize on its features.

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(As nice as picture two may be, with a clear sky, Picture one takes away all the shadows and show the home in the correct way for listing your home in Ascension Parish)

NEVER List Your Home Without Professional Photographs.

I don’t care how good the market is right now; I don’t care what your home’s value is; there is no excuse for poor, sloppy photographs of your Ascension Parish home or piece of land. In today’s world of text messaging, email and social media, your Ascension Parish home or Land can be shared very quickly, and the photographs make your home appeal to buyers.  Bad photos will not be shared except between people telling each other how bad the pictures look!

I know the market is extremely HOT right now but in order to sell your home quickly and for the best price, your Ascension Parish Realtor® MUST take professional photographs!

Prepare Your Home Prior to The Shoot.

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The simplest way to make your photographs turn out their best is to declutter by removing all extra items from the countertops in bathrooms and kitchens, and making sure to put away your coffee pot and toiletries. These items in photographs can make your spaces appear to be smaller than they actually are.  As a rule of thumb, if you don’t really need it, pack it away.  A clean field of vision for your photographer makes for better pictures, which will stimulate your future buyer’s imagination of making it their next home.

The Number Of Photos Counts.

Statistics have proven that the more photos you have, the more likely your Ascension Parish home will sell faster. Don’t think a good picture of the front and back of your home is enough. You should have an ample number of pictures starting at the front of your home, then going into the foyer and through the entire home, ending in the backyard making buyers get a good feel of how the home flows. I believe a minimum of 8 photos should be used for a home and a minimum of 4 photos for a piece of land. As a side note, the MLS allows for many more than 8 photos, so please take as many pictures as necessary to capture all the features of your home.

There is no excuse for not hiring a professional photographer for your Ascension Parish home, and the cost to have them done should not be paid by you, the seller. This should be a part of selling your home and paid for by the agent or broker.  If your Ascension Parish realtor refuses to hire a professional photographer, then I personally would find that unacceptable.  It is not a rule or a law but just something that is not difficult to have done, and the expense should never be a factor.  This is YOUR home and you want it sold fast, and for the MOST money.

If you would like to see some homes with professional photographs that I have listed in the past, please feel free to call me at 225-246-1812.

“Because YOU Matter”


Kristina Smallhorn (Your Real Estate Whisperer)

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.

So…The Sellers Of An Ascension Parish Home, Not That Into You?

It happens from time to time. Buyers here in Ascension Parish find the home of their dreams, put in an offer they believe is fair and the sellers won’t budge.  It doesn’t seem fair to you
and your Ascension Parish Realtor® have gone over comps and studied the area thoroughly.  It happens, so what are you to do when the house of your dreams seems to be slipping from your fingers?

Try your MAX!

Discuss this with your Ascension Parish Realtor® and see if they agree with your plan to go to the maximum offer.  It can’t hurt to try this tactic if it looks like the comps can support the offer. You don’t want to be in a predicament where you make an offer, but it doesn’t appraise. If a seller isn’t that into you, they could just put the house back on the market and not negotiate the appraised price. Maybe it’s simply time to move on!

This could be tough if you are absolutely in love with a home but some relationships do need to be broken at times, even with a dream home.  To stand back pouting, crying and wasting energy on a house that’s wasn’t meant to be could make you miss out some great properties that come on the market, especially in our current market when houses go FAST! You just never know, sellers at times do come to their senses and revisit old offers. Yours might be one of them.

Don’t Try To Figure Out A Sellers Motives.

This just a waste of your energy and can drive you crazy adding unneeded stress.  Only the seller knows why they turned down your offer. You can ask your Ascension Parish Realtor® for more insight into the matter,  but if the seller is unwilling to cooperate, don’t get too emotionally annoyed.   

A Learning Lesson.

Take your experience from this seller as a learning experience when negotiating on your next home using it as a litmus test of the current market. Your knowledge can make your next offer stronger and less likely for a stubborn seller to walk away.  Ask yourself some questions before you go into your next deal.

Analyze what you could have done differently.  Could you have gone your maximum at the beginning? Did you take too long to respond to a counter? Did you ask for too much in extras like closing costs or furnishings? Just take your time, sit back and think what you would have done differently.

Losing a home of your dreams, to put it mildly, really sucks but I promise there are other houses out there that are just as nice if not better. I have seen it time and time again when a buyer loses a home only to find one that was much better at a later date making them feel like they dodged a bullet from a bad home buying experience with stubborn sellers.  I tell you all of this “Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

“You’re Not From Here, Are You?!”

Throughout Louisiana, nothing makes you sound like an “outsider” than the mispronunciation of people’s last names, road names, town names and your inability to understand all the sayings you’ve never heard before!  You might as well wear a sign that states “You’re not from around here.”  Over the years there are some sayings and names I’ve learned that I would like to share with my fellow transplants.

What’s in a Name?

When meeting people of our awesome Parish, you’ll meet many with last names you’ve never seen before and the pronunciation will really trip you up. (Hooked on phonics rules defiantly do not apply)

Robert- Pronounced Row-BEAR this one is tricky only because if you are referring to the town of Robert it’s still said the way we foreigners know.

St. Amant- San-AmA

Robicheaux- Robe-a-shay I’ve seen this spelled a few different ways.

Aucoin- Oak-wan, This one really throws me for a loop.  I still can’t figure out how those combination of letters make that pronunciation.

Hebert- A-Bear-  Yep, the “H and T” aren’t even used when saying this name.

Thibodeaux- TIB-A-Dough

Boudreaux- BOOD-Dro

LeBlanc’s- La-BLAWNS

Richard- REECH-ard This one always throws me for a loop.

Melancon- MEL-AWN-sawn

These are just a few that have tripped me up, and I wanted my fellow transplants to make notes so you don’t get the hairy eyeball when you go and try to say one’s last name.

Louisiana saying’s I had never heard before I moved here.

I can’t call it”  example- “How’s your day man?” “I can’t call it”

Make Groceries“- Going to the store and get food to fill your pantry and refrigerator.

Lagniappe“- Pronounced, LAN-Yap..It means anything


Come See“- Which means come over here and do this thing for me that I either don’t know how to do or don’t want to do.

Sha“- I’ve heard this from mostly women.   It’s a term of endearment for something precious and adorably cute.

Catch a beating“- “I’d rather catch a beating than clean out my garage again” (This is a personal favorite of mine, it always makes me laugh”

Icebox“- It’s a refrigerator! I thought for a long time it was just a separate freezer, but it refers to the whole refrigerator not just the freezer part.

Dressed“- If you want to order a sandwich they are going to ask you “How do you want it dressed?” meaning, what extras do you want on your sandwich?

Pirogues- Pronounced PEE-Rows. It’s a type of flat-bed fishing boat that many Louisiana natives have.

Boudin- Pronounced Boo-DAN.  A Cajun sausage made with pork, rice and spices. 

This just touches on some of the funny words, names and expressions you will come across when moving here.  It’s what makes our area so rich with interesting people and dialect. Everyday I’m thankful to be here and enjoy all these little idiosyncrasies, and I know that I have  more to learn from the local natives.

Just know one more thing!   People around here love their football, and whenever they are rooting for a team they spell “Go” as “Geaux,” and when they are speaking of the LSU Tigers they say “L. S. SHOE” I got this wrong for years and was teased by my coworkers for my pronunciation.

I hope this helps you when you are out in our fine Parish, and perhaps you won’t hear “You ain’t from around here, are you?”

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

Thinking of Flipping A Prairieville Home? 5 Things to Consider.

With the recent Flood of 2016 in August many people have been considering taking on a home flip. A home flip is defined by www.investopedia.com/terms/f/flipping.asp as a type of real estate investment strategy in which an investor purchases properties with the goal of reselling them for a profit. Profit is generated either through the price appreciation that occurs as a result of a hot housing market and/or from renovations and capital improvements. In short, most people believe what they see on T.V.,i.e.,  buy a crummy house, for super cheap, in a decent area and within a few weeks  sell it for a HUGE profits making them tens of thousands of dollars within a 30 minute show.  As you can image television reality isn’t reality.  I’ve listed some pitfalls of doing your own flip so you can be better prepared before taking it on for yourself.

Cost of repairs.

Many people underestimate how much things cost.  My best advice is to make a list of all the visible items, and plan ahead for the unexpected. Make a list of each item, get online and shop prices and have a side budget for things that come up as you are doing your flip. Try to estimate cost of repairs for items you are not 100% sure will need to be replaced so you can remain within budget.

Make a proper plan.

You can’t just go for the deal of the century without having a proper plan of action. You need to plan for ups and downs in the market. You need to plan for the time of year the home will be complete; to list it and lastly you need to realistically evaluate  how much you can really handle.

Pricing your flip.

Every investor wants to get the most bang for their buck, but if you list your Prairieville home too high you may have priced yourself out of the market. If you are not seeing offers in a busy market within the first two weeks, the market has rejected your price and you have lost valuable time getting your flip home sold quickly.

“I’m Going To Be a MILLIONAIRE!

Slow down there! Just like most anything, this will not make you Donald Trump over night. For newer investors the dreams of making it big and doing it easily can be too much,

and they get in way over their heads. This is not a get rich quick kind of thing.  Take your time in a well coordinated pace, dedicate yourself to lots of hard work and you’ll do well.

But I can do it all by myself.

This is the biggest mistake most new investors make. They know how to lay tile, and had seen several YouTube videos on how to do some plumbing and now they feel like this will save them tons of money. This actually could be a very costly mistake which may delay your completion. It is best to call in experts to do these things and  get as many quotes as you can before settling on a particular tradesman.

A final thought…you CAN make money flipping houses in Prairieville. Many investors do and profit handsomely from it. Those that do, have made a budget, scouted the neighborhood, determined a level of profit, made a plan and had great contractors who will work with them on timing and prices. All of these things will help you.

If you’d like help finding homes to flip and personalized advice on our market in Ascension Parish please do not hesitate to call so we can talk about your investing goals. Why?

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

How Social Media Can Help Sell Your Prairieville Home.

How Social Media can help sell your Prairieville home.

You are hard pressed to meet anyone who isn’t on some kind of social media platform. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, GooglePlus, Flicker and Pinterest are just a few that are being used daily by millions of users. This is a great opportunity to get your home in front of those millions of users, in turn selling your home quicker than traditional methods. Traditional methods do work but have shown to take much longer to sell.

Why Traditional methods take longer?

Not too long ago a Realtor® would list a home, put a sign in the yard, take several pictures with a regular camera, put it on the MLS and host an open house by advertising in a local paper, Hoping to God that someone saw the Sunday mornings paper, If the listing didn’t sell after a while,  they would market in local home magazines found at the grocery store or in bins outside of restaurants. Did this work? YES! Here in Prairieville this had been the recipe for success for many, many years. 

So whats changed about marketing my Prairieville home?

Before I answer that question,  I want to pose a question for you. When was the last time you bought a Sunday news paper? Better yet, Do you have a newspaper delivered to your home anymore? Many of us do not, I haven’t ordered a news paper in 8 years. News happens so quickly now that by the time it has been printed its already old news.

With social media become progressively the way most people look for news, it is also the best way to present your home to prospective buyers. I’m not talking about taking a picture with your cell phone and throwing it on Facebook wishing for the best. What I’m talking about is a Realtor® who knows how to get to as many users as possible and have your home in front a thousands of potential buyers. A tech savvy Realtor® understands how to do this. They understand how social media works and know that it takes more than a photo with a cell phone to do the trick.

How I can help you.

I use several social media platforms to sell your home, I can discuss with you my plan on how I use social media to make your home go “viral” putting it in front of as many users in your area as possible. I do use some traditional methods as well.  The combination of the two is a great marriage of the old way and the new way, appealing too many different kinds of buyers. The end result, your home sells faster. 

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

There is nothing SHORT about a Short-Sale.

The verbiage alone makes it sound simple and easy. I assure you that they are labor intensive transactions. Many people ask, when searching for a home and come across the listing that say’s “Short-Sale” what exactly it is. In the simplest terms in just means the sellers are going to sell the home for less than they owe to the lender. This sounds like a great buy for the presumed buyers of these homes, but here some things you should know about them from my personal experience as well as questions that should be answered before you dive into purchasing a short-sale home.

Has the short-sale been approved?

In our area of Ascension Parish we don’t see too many short-sales any longer since the housing bubble fizzled a bit in 2008-2009. Many agents who are not experienced with a short sale get a surprising education pretty quickly. If your sellers have to “short-sale” their home the sellers agent must fill out the proper paperwork with the sellers approval to speak with the lender about short selling the home. Comparable homes in the area must show the home is worth less than what is owed and the lender must “approve” the asking price for the home in its current condition. This can take weeks, even months.

If you find a “short-sale” make sure to ask if the home was “approved” for the asking price on the MLS.

You got an accepted offer from the sellers? Not a time to relax, not just yet….

Even though you have negotiated a price with the sellers, it still needs to be accepted by the lender. The seller’s agent has to put together a settlement statement to the lender that is then “approved” or “declined” by the bank. (I have even seen a lender turn down a full asking price short-sale). This approval can take weeks even months to come through. The agents working on this call, fax, email, and use sites to upload documents to make the sale go through.

Got acceptance from the sellers and lender, what now?

This is the time you want to do your inspections, and I STRONGLY suggest you hire a professional inspector. You are going to want to keep a running total of cost of repairs. In many cases the sellers are not in the position to make costly repairs or even minor ones so this is on you, the buyer. You really need to weigh out how much these things will cost you to do. Is the amount more than the reduction you got on the home? Then you may want to find another home.

Hurry up and wait!

You have sent everything 4 times to your agent that’s been required. The sellers have too but 10 times. What could possibly be taking so long? Nobody really knows why these take so long to get approved.  The theory is that only one person at each lending institute is doing these short-sale approvals, and they get a 3 hour lunch and several paid days off. (sarcasm). Kidding aside, this can take several months to get the rubber stamp that its cleared to close.

The patient will prevail.

The process can be long and exhausting but you can really get a great home for way less than the comparable’s in the neighborhood. If you have patience you can win out. It’s important you have an agent that is informed of the process and can explain the up and downs as they come along during purchasing a short-sale. There are many other things that can happen during the waiting period for approvals. I just touched on a few of the big ones. I’d love to be the one to help you with your short-sale purchase, Why?

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

The 6 main reasons your Ascension Parish home isn't selling.

The 6 main reasons your Ascension Parish home isn’t selling.

We all have seen homes that have had a “For Sale” sign sitting in the lawn for way longer than it should. It makes you wonder what has happened to make this home sit on the market so much longer than other homes in the same neighborhood. Our minds swim with the idea that there may be something wrong with the home. We can sometimes even create some kind of scandalous scenario as to why the home listing gets as stale as last month’s news.

1. Price-

Most of the time when a home has been properly marketed, the main sticking point is the price. Sellers are often unwilling to come down to the price that market dictates. Everyone wants the best price for their home, but if the market rejects that price it can be hard for some sellers to drop the price. Some agents may say “I can get you top dollar,” but “top dollar” is only the top that the market and buyers are willing to pay for your home. If you only have a few showings and no offers, its simple math -you are priced too high.


2. Your home is taste specific-

I’ll give you a perfect example. You and your neighbor have the exact same floor plan. Your neighbor and you list your homes for the exact same price with the identical listing broker. Two weeks pass and your neighbor gets two offers, and you haven’t got a single one. It’s time to re-evaluate what was the difference. The neighbor’s house has neutral paint color throughout the home that compliments many peoples’ tastes. Your home has dark colors making it feel cold and uninviting. Your neighbor’s counter tops are light simple patterned granite. You chose the darker more interesting granite with loud gold flecks. The neighbor’s carpet is in fairly good shape that is in a neutral shag style. You also have carpet that is slightly worn, but you choose the less expensive carpet showing a worn treaded path and stains. You thought having a big storage unit in the back yard would be a good selling point, but it doesn’t match the home’s exterior and takes up half the yard. All of these things you love about your home, but buyers’ like what the masses like – decluttered, neutral and clean.


3. Deferred Maintenance-

This is my favorite verbiage to use when telling someone that they need to fix everything in the house that has been put off for years. For instance, gutters that are overfilled with leaves and debris, chipped paint in and outside the home, broken and fogged windows. This one is the most common one I see here. (Never pressure wash your double pane windows. It breaks the seal and causes moisture to fill the space making that foggy look). A good rule to follow before you put your home on the market is “If you can see it, they can see it.” You can save yourself a laundry list of repair request from buyers if you just get all those repairs done prior to putting your home on the market.


4. The area-

Your house is in pristine shape. You have taken meticulous care to ensure that when you go to sell your home, everything is in tip top shape. Your lawn is always the greenest. You always maintain the outside just as much as the inside; but your neighbors…… not so much. Before any buyer even sees your home, everything comes in to play prior to the showing. If your home is in an area that has been decreasing in value, it can make the most beautiful of home seem less desirable. Nothing is worse than having a neighborhood that has given up on caring for their homes. There really isn’t much you as a seller can do, but this could be a reason why your home isn’t selling.

5. Marketing-

This one is a touchy subject. Some agents love to throw stones at how the last agent marketed your home, but sometimes it’s the sellers that crush the marketing plan from the beginning. If you will not allow your home to be put out in every media outlet available, you are limiting its chance of exposure. I know some people have special cases and reasons for this, but you have to weigh the pros and cons of limiting your agent.
On the other hand if your agent only puts your home on the MLS for 6 months never to be heard from until your listing is about to expire, you should think about interviewing a new agent. The MLS alone doesn’t sell a home.

6. Timing-

Spring time is the best time to put your home on the market, traditionally. This is true of the Ascension Parish area as well. If you list your home starting in Mid-October through the month of May, your home will take a little longer to sell.

Some listings can be more difficult than others for reasons listed above and for various others. If your agent is truly working with you, you will be aware of how the market is working as your home is for sale. Your REALTOR® should be available for you to ask questions and get updates of showings along with feedback of those showings.
***BONUS**** A little known fact to sellers is “Open houses don’t sell your home.” We have all seen on TV that the agent gets a listing, has one open house where numerous couples walk through the home, and by the end of the day they have 3 offers. But that is Hollywood’s smoke and mirrors. In our area an open house does get potential buyers to preview your home freely on a Sunday afternoon, but in my experience, rarely at the end of the day do you end up with an offer in hand.

If you are having trouble with your listing and like would some expert advice please feel free to call me, I’d love to be a service to you and selling your home.

“Because YOU matter”
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Why Not go FSBO in Ascension Parish?

Of course me being a REALTOR® I am going to tell you why “For Sale By Owner” doesn’t really work out in everyone’s best interest. That’s my job right? Well, I am going to be honest, it does workout for some people. They sell their home fast for the price they want, but could they have avoided the paperwork and aggressive marketing stress? Could they have put themselves in danger because they hadn’t properly vetted the possible buyers? Could they have gotten it sold faster? Could they have not wasted their precious time with unqualified buyers? The answer to all those question is without a doubt YES!!!!!!! Let me explain.

On the first point it is my job to educate buyers and sellers to why “For Sale By Owner” is not always the best idea. We in the industry know our market better than anyone. We know what’s selling. We know the best marketing plan. We know when a home is overpriced and isn’t worth what the “For Sale By Owner” is asking. Most of all we know how to put together a contract that protects the buyer and the seller. We know our profession. So much goes into buying and selling a home. It isn’t just the contract. You have to understand and know the right people. For instance, do you know the closing attorneys in your area that specialize in your type of sale? A REALTOR® does. You have to know the right inspectors to inspect the home for buyers – a REALTOR® does and for less money than finding one on your own. Not to mention any addenda to the contract if something during the transaction comes up. Most “For Sale By Owners” do not protect themselves using the right verbiage or addenda from negotiated terms after the contract is signed. In the end, this costs them money and possible litigation.

Onto my second point – pricing the home. Most sellers are trying to sell the home for what their neighbors got down the street. So if the home down the street sold for $200,000. They want the same thing. Guess what? The appraisers know that the sellers are not paying a commission to the agents and may give you less value to your home because of it. Also, both pricing and values fluctuate and decrease, so in order to have your home priced in line with the rest of the comparable homes, you need to know the market. A REALTOR® does and can give you the best competitive price for your home.


When I began working in Ascension Parish as a REALTOR® the sales contract was 3 pages. Now its 7 pages. When I put in an offer to send to the listing agent I have a minimum of 15 pages to send. All of these pages are to protect the buyer and the seller. I add addendums and disclosures, so everyone in the process is aware of the “in’s and out’s” of the transaction. These forms wouldn’t be used in most cases when you are buyer or selling a “For Sale By Owner”. Furthermore, I know what the sales contract means – every single line – something that only an experienced REALTOR® or an attorney would know.


We live in a day an age where we don’t really know everyone in Ascension Parish. At one time we knew someone in your family. Whether it be your momma or your sister’s cousin, somehow we could figure out who you belonged to. It’s not that way anymore. Our Parish has grown in leaps and bounds, but with that we need to be careful who we allow in our homes when we are trying to sell a property. Our safety, even as a REALTOR®, when we show homes to prospective clients is forefront. Not too long ago an agent was kidnapped and killed, because she showed a home to a prospect that she hadn’t vetted first. It can happen to anyone, and you have to know what questions to ask to know if they are serious or just want to stake out your home to rob you blind at a later date.

I make sure that ALL of my listings have a SUPRA® lockbox on them. I know who’s come to your home and at what time. These are “smart” lockboxes and I receive a text message letting me know anyone who come into your home using the keys from this lockbox.

Sold faster? Really?

This is statistically true, You can just do a quick Google search in your area and you will see that not only does a REALTOR® sell it faster, they get more money for your home. When you list on your local MLS you are presenting your home to ALL the agents in the area that are members of the MLS. This means that if they have a client that’s been waiting for a home in your price range, they will be sending that client the home the minute it hits that market. Generally most agents don’t even look at the “For Sale By Owner” website since many will not pay the buyer’s broker a commission, or the website isn’t updated regularly and the home had been sold months ago. A REALTOR® knows how to market your home with professional photographs, the right kind of marketing, and how to showcase your home in the best light with staging and decluttering.

In closing I’d like to say this. I personally handhold each one of my clients. It’s just the level of service I like to provide. Some people have had great success selling their home themselves, but more than many have not. Wasting many weekends hoping someone would call to see their home, I take personal pride in helping sellers not waste their precious time or their safety with unqualified buyers. I make sure buyers do not waste their time with homes that are over-priced when listed “For sale by Owner”, as do many agents. That’s why “For Sale By Owner” isn’t the best way to go when you want your home sold fast. It doesn’t save you money, because you had to pay all those mortgage payments waiting for a buyer. In the long run it cost you.

I tell you all of this “Because YOU matter”