Category Archives: Ask Betsy

Q: I heard you are having a home selling seminar on Thursday at 6pm. Can you tell me how to register and what to expect?

A: That’s correct, on Thursday, February 21st we are hosting a home selling seminar at our Gainesville office at 6pm. You will learn the importance of pricing, how your home should be marketed, how to get a full market response with limited days on the market, simple home fixes, dynamic online marketing strategies, and staging to sell. Come learn helpful tips and strategies from top producers to maximize your sales price in this competitive market! To register for the free seminar, visit

Q. I’m new to the area and want to buy a house soon. Other than pictures on the Internet and asking my co-workers about certain areas, how would you suggest I find out if a certain neighborhood is for me?

A. Great question.  I counsel my buyers to do a few things.  Drive through appealing neighborhoods at various times of the day and night, weekdays and weekend to see who lives there and what is happening.  Is this a social community or do people stay to themselves?  Get out of the car and walk or jog different areas to get a feel for what they are like.  While out, use the Zillow app on your smartphone to see what homes are going for in areas in which you are not familiar.  Once you have decided on a few areas, call the school board and see what time the school bus picks up/drops off.  Chat with the parents waiting for the kids and see what age groups are represented if this is important to you.  With regards to crime, call the Sheriff’s office and ask to ride with the police officer that patrols that area.  You can spend a half day riding with a law enforcement person and find out more about an area than most any other source.  Finally, check out to see if the neighborhood is in an airport’s flight path.

Q. My agent is asking me to electronically sign the offer. Is this okay?

A. Electronic signatures are being used more and more in place of hand-written signatures.  You don’t even have to be very computer savvy to do this as the program walks you through the few simple steps to sign.  Most businesses accept electronic signatures as a viable signature although, on occasion, some banks request additional hand-written ones. Generally, if you can provide the certificate of authenticity (which your agent can provide), the bank will agree to accepting it.  Electronic signatures are environmentally friendly and reduce the transaction time as they eliminate the need to print, sign, scan and email/fax back to the recipient.  Go ahead and sign it.