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 https://goo.gl/ux3mYz. 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



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”