Category Archives: Ask Betsy

Q. I have a room by my master that I use as a nursery for my granddaughter. I’m selling my house and my Realtor says I cannot count that as a bedroom. Why not?

A. To be considered a bedroom, a room should have at least one exterior window, a closet and one door exit. Ideally, it should have access to a full bath and if it’s not the master bedroom, it should have
access to a full bathroom that is not the master bathroom. The one door exit feature is also important because if the room has two door exits for example, a room with a door leading to a hallway and another door leading to another “bedroom,” one of these rooms is generally not counted as a bedroom
but rather a sitting room for the main room. Often you will see rooms being advertised as bedrooms that are really over sized closets, an office in the front of the house or a bonus room in the back of the house. Sellers do this because they believe the more bedrooms they have, the more the house is worth.
Ideally, there would be a standard definition that everyone adheres to so that it is clear what a house has.

Q. I am currently considering buying a new house, and I heard about the Pepine Parade: Tour of Homes today. Can you tell more about this?

A. Today from noon to 5:00pm, we will be hosting the Pepine Parade: Tour of Homes. The Tour of Homes will feature more than 28 houses of various prices, sizes, and design. Share the event to anyone looking for a home. View our for a complete list of homes and the Pepine Parade map at

Q. What is the typical commission charged by real estate agents? Who pays it and what does it include?

A. There is no set real estate professional fee. Each brokerage sets their own fees. In Gainesville, I have
seen agents charge as little as nothing to as much as eight percent of the sale price of the home. It is
customary in our county for sellers to pay the professional fee. The listing agent offers out a fee to the
brokerage who brings the buyer. The services provided for the professional fee vary immensely. Some
brokerages offer limited services such as putting your house in the multiple listing service and a sign in
the yard. Other brokerages offer a full range of services including Internet , TV, print advertising and
then complete support once the house goes under contract. To get a better understanding of what you
get, I recommend you interview each brokerage that you are considering.