Sellers – Renovate or Sell AS-IS?

renovate

Should you renovate to sell your home? We often get asked by our Sellers, is it worth making a ton of home improvements - other than the typical staging suggestions we’ve made in previous blogs - or should you sell “as-is”? Of course, it depends on what the Seller can afford to do, how much the Seller wants to make on the home, the particular improvements the home needs, the local … [Read more...]

“Broom-Clean” and what it means to sellers

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At Solutions, we’re often asked by our Sellers what it means to leave their home in “broom-clean” condition at closing. According to wording in a Virginia Association of Realtors® (VAR) residential contract, the Seller agrees to “deliver the Property to Purchaser at settlement, in its present physical condition, ordinary wear and tear excepted, but with such repairs and improvements as … [Read more...]

Sellers – did you know this?

idx

SELLERS – THIS IS A MUST READ "NOTE: if you are currently listed with another broker, this is not intended for you” If you are going to list your home and hire a Broker, this is one question you need to ask! DO YOU USE IDX? When you are considering listing your home, or any Charlottesville Real Estate you need to be sure you understand what IDX is and if the company you are listing … [Read more...]

Call Agent X…what a waste of time… (Sellers pay attention)

phone

I am out showing Real Estate with out of town clients and all appointments are setup and everything seems fine. Then we drive in a neighborhood and see the perfect home (with a for sale sign in from of it) that was not on our tour. I check into the MLS (while in my vehicle) and get the price and stats on the home. Things are looking great! Then the showing says "Call Agent X" So of course … [Read more...]

Sellers Listen up!

sold

Seems that the inventory is increasing and the sales are slowing. In Charlottesville the real estate market is very seasonal. We start in March and Peak in Aug. Then we start to slow into Fall and Winter. Then the cycle starts over again.This cycle is repeated over and over again. This is partially (and mostly) do to the fact that we are a University town. The University of Virginia, founded … [Read more...]

Some sellers make me laugh

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I have been on a little trip and one of my associates and I were just talking on the cell phone about Buyer Agent Bonuses while I was driving through Tennessee... buy Wobble: The Weight of the Truth Old Joy dvdrip Frankie and Johnny We both agreed that it is rediculous to offer a "Bonus" to an agent that is already getting a commission. Why not just lower the price... House of the … [Read more...]

Sellers – did you know this?

100

SELLERS - THIS IS A MUST READ If you are going to list your home and hire a Broker, this is one question you need to ask! When you are considering listing your home, or any Charlottesville Real Estate you need to be sure you understand what IDX is and if the company you are listing with uses IDX. Ask this specific question! IDX - defined in Charlottesville stands for "Internet Data … [Read more...]

SELLERS: IDX (1 vs 100)

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SELLERS - THIS IS A MUST READ When you are considering listing your home, or any Charlottesville Real Estate you need to be sure you understand what IDX is and if the company you are listing with uses IDX. Ask this specific question! IDX - defined in Charlottesville stands for "Internet Data Exchange" commonly called Broker Reciprocity. What this means is that if you list your home with … [Read more...]

Sellers Listen up!

circle

Seems that the inventory is increasing and the sales are slowing. In Charlottesville the real estate market is very seasonal. We start in March and Peak in Aug. Then we start to slow into Fall and Winter. Then the cycle starts over again. This cycle is repeated over and over again. This is partially (and mostly) do to the fact that we are a University town. The University of Virginia, … [Read more...]

Staging Mistakes

stage-furniture

Staging Mistakes To Avoid So You Can Sell Your Home Faster When Sellers ask us here at Solutions for advice, it’s usually because they’ve read the latest magazines or watched HGTV and the many shows targeting fixer uppers or DIY projects, but just don’t know where to begin when it comes to listing their own home. The first thing to remember is that they’ll no longer be living there so … [Read more...]

Tips for a Smooth House Closing

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Tips for a Smooth House Closing When it comes to finding your dream home, there are many steps along the way to a smooth closing. After you’ve identified your perfect house - negotiated the contract, applied and approved for a loan, inspected and agreed to repairs and/or credits - the last step is the most important: the closing. By knowing what to expect and doing some legwork, you can … [Read more...]

Your Home Stinks

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How to eliminate odors in your home For Sellers, decluttering and staging a home are both incredibly important to presenting it in a flattering way, but it’s also important to make sure potential buyers don’t stop at the front door because of an unpleasant smell. We all have walked into homes that have the strong stench of something undefinable, whether it’s from pets, bad food or strong … [Read more...]

Tips For Keeping Your Home Safe

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Protecting your home and family go hand in hand. With the help of a little research, finding the right home security tools will prepare a homeowner, whether they’re just moving in, are already living in or are in the process of selling a house, for whatever may happen. Most burglaries occur on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Homes that appear unoccupied during the day, are dark at night, … [Read more...]

Shopping for a Home in January

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Shopping for a Home in January With the start of any new year, buying a new home might be the furthest resolution on people’s minds. But it might, in fact, be a very smart way to start off the year right. For one thing, as a Buyer, you will have little to no competition for houses on the market, even though the inventory will be lower than the most popular time - spring. Another reason to … [Read more...]

Why buy a Charlottesville Home in the Winter

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Why Buy A Charlottesville Home in Fall/Winter? In a place where spring is one of the most beautiful seasons of all, it makes sense that our Charlottesville real estate market is also incredibly busy during that time  - with homes often selling within hours or days of coming on the market after fielding several contracts at a time. In spring, people who have been cooped up over the winter are … [Read more...]

What to do with a Low Home Appraisal

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What to do with a Low Home Appraisal In the home-buying process, there are several crucial steps along the way that Sellers and Buyers alike will have to navigate: the home inspection, radon test, title issues, getting a survey and negotiating when an appraisal comes in significantly lower than the accepted offer. When this happens both sides can go through many different … [Read more...]

FSBO Charlottesville

House for sale

FSBO - Is It Really Better To Sell A Home Yourself? Here at Solutions we’ve touched on the issue of FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) quite often as we’re frequently asked by potential Sellers why they should consider having an agent versus selling their home themselves. Selling a Charlottesville home is easy, at least that’s what some people say. All you have to do is put a “For Sale” … [Read more...]

REALTOR vs AGENT?

realtor

What’s the difference between a REALTOR® vs an Agent? Many people interested in buying a home often ask us, “What’s the difference between a Realtor® and a real estate agent, and, where does a broker fit in the equation?” We hear the terms real estate agent and Realtor® bandied about quite often, and many people think they’re referring to the same thing. Before the Multiple … [Read more...]

Clean Your Home Before AND After Selling

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The importance of Cleaning Your Home Before AND After Selling  In previous blogs, we’ve discussed the important of decluttering a house before listing it, and also about what the term “broom clean” means as you’re getting ready to close, but what about the importance of having a clean home before and during listing, and then again right before you close? Getting your home as clean … [Read more...]

Why your Home Appraisal is Low

Appraisal

Why your Home Appraisal is Low Many Sellers have been faced with this problem - after going through contract and home inspection negotiations, everything is waiting on the appraisal report, and then it comes back lower than the sales price - what to do next? First, don’t panic - this happens more frequently than you know and your Solutions agent will be able to talk you through the next … [Read more...]

Interview with a Professional Home Inspector

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Interview with a Professional Home Inspector Having an inspection done is the only way for Sellers and Buyers to know the state of a house, at a given point in time, and have a general understanding of what to look out for in the way of potential upcoming repairs. Your home inspector wants the process to yield a comprehensive to-do list and not to unduly stress out either the Seller or … [Read more...]

Ways to Prepare for Your Home Inspection

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Ways to Prepare for Your Home Inspection After you’ve fallen in love with your dream home, ratified the contract and contacted your lender, the next vital step in the buying process – for both Sellers and Buyers – is the home inspection. Having an inspection done is the only way for Sellers and Buyers to know the exact state of the house, and have a general understanding of what to … [Read more...]

House Hunting – Dos and Don’ts

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House Hunting - Dos and Don’ts Searching for a house can be challenging and time-consuming, and most won't be “the one.” It's tempting to dive right in and start looking at every open house listed in the paper or online. But before you dedicate your weekends, you need to know what you're looking for. In order to prioritize your wants and needs versus seeing everything in case … [Read more...]

Pros & Cons of Removing Shoes Before Showing a House

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Pros & Cons of Removing Shoes Before Showing a House Sellers want their houses shown in the best light, and many think that asking potential Buyers and their agents to remove their shoes is the perfect solution - thereby keeping their houses clean and dirt-free. Some Sellers, for example, may have severe asthma - so tracking in pollen/dirt/mold spores is a very real concern. But what do … [Read more...]

Should I Sell my Home As-Is?

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Pros and Cons of Advertising a Home “As-Is” Sometimes people find themselves in a situation where they need to sell their house “as-is.” Perhaps they've already moved and can't be there to arrange for repairs, or maybe they don't have the money that improvements will cost, are dealing with complications to their health or are going through a divorce. When a Buyer sees the words … [Read more...]

Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

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Many first time homebuyers have in mind that they need at least a 20% down payment and a monthly check for the mortgage. But that’s not the entire story when it comes to buying a home. There are a mountain of “hidden” costs — from closing fees to taxes — that can add up to more than $9,000 each year — and that number will only jump if you live in a major U.S. city. Three … [Read more...]

Median ​v​s Average ​Price

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We recently released the 2015 3rd Quarter Charlottesville Market Report and sometimes it helps to define how numbers are determined. Many Buyer clients ask us: “What’s the difference between median and average values?” And many of our Sellers want to know: “How does this affect my listing pricing strategy?” Let’s start with defining the term “average”, also known as the … [Read more...]

7 Signs That Your Home Is Over-Priced

over priced home

We get asked lots of questions about when the best time to list a home is - we’re heading into a traditionally quiet time of year - but there are other ways to make sure your listing gets noticed. We’ve talked about ways to spruce up your home so it stands out, from curb appeal to a sparkling decluttered interior, but we also want to emphasize that pricing is one of THE most important … [Read more...]

How do you break up with your listing agent

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How do you break up with your listing agent if you decide it's not working? Here at Solutions, we’ve talked in earlier blogs about ways for a Seller to prepare their home for sale in the Charlottesville area, what to look for in a Listing Agent and what factors come into play in a Buyer’s mind when they see your home for the first time - curb appeal, location, price and condition. The … [Read more...]

How to Get your House SOLD

We often get asked by Sellers, when the inventory is as low as it has been recently, about pricing strategy. After all, Charlottesville has captured national attention because of its desirability as THE place to live - whether you work or retire here - and so Sellers can pretty much ask any price they want, right? Not so fast. It’s true that location is a good indicator for what price a … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Solutions Moving Checklist

The questionnaire

The arrival of summer at Solutions also heralds the sight of moving trucks in many neighborhoods across the area. In fact, this year, the weekend of June 27 & 28 was recently named the “busiest weekend of the year” by several local moving companies. Many people take advantage of this time of year, when school is officially out, to move their households. In order to get organized below … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Real Estate – CAAR 2015 Second Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2015 Second Quarter Market Report   Our Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors has just released the latest real estate market report showing stats for sales in our area, 2015 Second Quarter. This report comes out Quarterly and gives us a good idea of the current Real Estate Market in the greater Charlottesville Area. The specifics are … [Read more...]

What is the Title Insurance, and Why is it Important?

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Here at Solutions, we are often asked by our Buyer clients why they need title insurance and, when they order it, what’s involved in the process. Buying a home is a long, complex transaction. Title insurance is an important part since it insures and assures the Buyer that all liens placed against the prior owners of the property, or documents that will restrict their use of the property, have … [Read more...]

Do I Need a Home Inspection?

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Here at Solutions, we often get asked by our new clients if they really need a home inspection when buying a home. As Virginia is a “Caveat Emptor,” or “Buyer Beware,” state, it’s really the only way to see if the home has any defects or hidden issues as most Buyers don’t have the necessary training to look for these. A home inspection is one of the best consumer protection services … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Real Estate – CAAR 2015 First Quarter Market Report

Cville Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2015 First Quarter Market Report Our Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors has just released the latest real estate market report showing stats for sales in our area, 2015 First Quarter. This report comes out Quarterly and gives us a good idea of the current Real Estate Market in the greater Charlottesville Area. The specifics are pulled from our … [Read more...]

Spring Tips to Make Your Home Shine

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Spring is the ideal time for Buyers to find their dream home, so Sellers can take advantage of this by getting their homes ready with these seasonal staging tips: Start with a Spring Cleaning Clean until your home sparkles - and don’t forget the windows, blinds, gutters, molding and ceiling fans! Then, turn your attention to getting rid of winter clutter - you don’t want to weigh down … [Read more...]

Buyer Beware: Red Flags when Purchasing a Home

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Top Things to Watch For When Buying a Home  Virginia is a “Buyer Beware” state when it comes to purchasing a home. While there are lead based paint and the standard seller disclosures included in most active area listings, Sellers don't always disclose the whole truth to potential Buyers, especially if they're motivated to sell. Having a home inspection done is a must when it comes to … [Read more...]

Who Really Represents the Client in a Real Estate Transaction?

Agent

So, Who Really Does Represent the Client in a Real Estate Transaction? We know many of our Solutions clients are tech savvy, and they’ve become familiar with such websites as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and others when they’re either looking to purchase or sell a home. But, did you know that Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and even our Local MLS' website, promote something called “Dual … [Read more...]

Best Month and Day to Buy or Sell a Home?

Time

Is there a Best Time to Make an Offer on a House? We recently posted about the best time of year to list your home - spring - and best day of the week to list - Thursday - but is there a best month to buy? Although many experts say the best month to make an offer on a house is January (and we’re almost at the end of that month), there’s also a best day of the month to make an offer on … [Read more...]

Spring is the Best Time to Sell Your Charlottesville Home

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Now that we’ve passed the holiday season, our thoughts are already turning to when the weather will start warming up as we all want to skip right over winter, right? Here at Solutions, we know that spring is the ideal time to show off a house to its best advantage, and many of our listing clients are already getting their houses ready to list in the next few months. Buyers come out of the … [Read more...]

9 Listing Tips During the Holidays

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9 Listing Tips During the Holidays Although many market experts point to the spring as the best time to list your home, we’ve found the period from November to January is still an active real estate market because competition is slim. Here at Solutions, we know serious Buyers will view homes and negotiate contracts right up until Christmas Eve. If there’s no way you can avoid listing … [Read more...]

What’s the Difference between a Pre-Qualification Letter and a Pre-Approval for a Loan?

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Here at Solutions we get many questions from our Buyers about how to best prepare ahead of time for purchasing their dream house. Our local housing market has very low inventory right now, so, when a great listing comes on the market that is in the right location and is priced well, you can almost guarantee that you will have to compete with other Buyers for the home. At Solutions, we typically … [Read more...]

How Are Buyer’s Agents Paid Anyway?

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Here at Solutions, we often get asked many questions by prospective Buyers, but one in particular tends to stand out - “How do we, when we work as Buyer’s Agents, get paid?”Our answer is very simple - as Buyer’s Agents, we don’t work for free, but it’s the Seller who pays our fee, not the Buyers themselves.The Seller, who has already entered into a listing agreement, pays both their … [Read more...]

Why use a Buyer’s Agent to Help With Your Home Purchase?

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For most Americans, a home is the most significant and costly purchase they’ll make in their lifetime, with significant financial and emotional ramifications for the parties involved. Having proper representation, therefore, is critical. In this economy, and with ever greater access to the Internet, it’s easy to see why many people are looking to cut costs any way they can when it comes to … [Read more...]

How to Give a Neighborhood a “Test Drive” Before taking the Purchase Plunge

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While your Solutions agent is going to provide you with all the available details on the home you are purchasing, there are a few items that cannot be shared as there are Fair Housing laws that any agent must respect. We talked about checking out a neighborhood in a previous blog, but now is the time to dig a little deeper if you want to find out answers to questions your Solutions agent is not … [Read more...]

Tips for a Successful “Walk-Through”

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You’ve made it through the home inspection process, have your loan commit letter and approval in hand, placed your calls to the utility companies to transfer the accounts into your name, so, what’s left to do now before you close?One of the most important steps - the “walk-through” - is the next to last thing to check off your “to-do” list before you head into your closing company or … [Read more...]

Helping First-time Homebuyers Find What They Can They Afford

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What do you think of when you hear the phrase “first-time homebuyer?”  Chances are you think of a couple fresh out of college and starting new jobs. Did you know that a first-time homebuyer means anyone who has not bought a home in three years? Yes, you heard that right. This can apply to anyone, whether they had to go through a short sale or foreclosed on a home. If it has been three years … [Read more...]

Can I Cancel a Real Estate Contract?

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How Easy is it to Cancel a Real Estate Contract? Even though this isn’t an ideal situation, every Purchaser and Seller in the Charlottesville area has to be prepared for a contract being released, or cancelled, at any stage of the process. It’s important for either side to go over the contract with their Solutions agent to understand the details before it’s signed and, in particular, to … [Read more...]

How to handle Purchaser repair requests

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If you’re selling your home and have gotten an offer, you may be concerned about the Purchasers asking you to make costly repairs that potentially could cut into your profit Repair requests can be negotiated under most circumstances, but it’s important to recognize that a Seller’s ability to negotiate depends on the contract proposed by the Purchasers. This is where your Solutions agent … [Read more...]

What’s a Kick-out clause anyway?

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You may have seen the phrase “kick-out clause” and wondered what it meant. As used in a real estate contract, it allows a Seller to accept a Purchaser’s contingent offer to purchase his/her property, while allowing the Seller to continue to market the property. The length of time can be for 24-, 48- or 72 (or more) hours depending upon what the Seller and Purchaser agree to. If a Seller … [Read more...]

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Charles McDonaldBy Charles McDonald - Charles, and his firm, Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions, are known locally and around the world for helping people move in and out of the Charlottesville area. His background (running his own engineering firm for 20+ years in the Silicon Valley) has given him the skills to not only develop this site but also to manage a stellar group of agents!
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Charles McDonald, REALTOR® and Principal Broker, is Licensed to sell Real Estate in Virginia. 434-515-1585
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