Open Houses – How Effective are They Really?

When it comes to listing your home, the idea of an “Open House” will most likely come up in a conversation with your listing agent.  When the weather turns from Winter to Spring and Summer, newspapers and signs start appearing promoting the latest Open House opportunity - usually on a Sunday - but they’re not always the right choice when selling a home.  Here at Solutions, we don’t always … [Read more...]

Jumping into Early Possession can be Risky

Early Possession - Is It a Good or Bad Idea? In a perfect world, moving into a new home is seamless for both the Seller and Buyer, and possession of a home typically transfers from the Seller to Buyer at closing.  But, when you factor in such events as the Buyer also selling a home or ending a lease before the settlement date, or the Seller building a new home that isn’t quite ready, Early … [Read more...]

Drones and Real Estate

Drones and Real Estate More and more these days, if you’re outside in a lovely spot admiring the view you might notice a steady buzzing noise also accompanying the peace and quiet and wonder, “What the heck is that annoying sound?” Welcome to the age of the drone - now, more than ever, they’re being flown by hobbyists and professionals alike, especially in the field of real estate. Aerial … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Real Estate Market Timing

Charlottesville Real Estate Market - Hot or Cold? As many of you know, the Spring 2017 market here in the Charlottesville area was hopping! With low inventory, there were many occasions when a house would come on the market and have several offers within a few hours and go under contract not long after.  This can be frustrating for Buyers when they see their dream home disappear in a flash, … [Read more...]

Charlottesville 2017 1st Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2017 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, 2017 1st 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...]

Staging Mistakes

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 Sellers … [Read more...]

Tips for a Smooth House Closing

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

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 cooking … [Read more...]

Moving abroad?

Moving abroad - how complicated can it be? If you think moving across town or a few states over is hard, consider what’s involved with moving to another country. As exciting as a move abroad can be, it’s also complicated — with a seemingly endless number of issues thrown at you as you make your way from Point A to Point B across the globe.  You already know about the visas you need to arrange, … [Read more...]

Charlottesville 2016 4th Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2016 Fourth 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, 2016 4th 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...]

Tips For Keeping Your Home Safe

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, and … [Read more...]

Charlottesville 2016 3rd Quarter Market Report

Charlottesville Real Estate - CAAR 2016 Third 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, 2016 3rd 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...]

Moving Checklist

Moving Checklist It’s that time of year again - college students are heading back to school and anxious parents are trying not to forget anything along the way. Moving to your dorm room or apartment is the same as moving into a new house - just on a slightly smaller scale. We have some great tips to help your move go smoothly - regardless of whether it’s to a smaller or larger place … [Read more...]

FSBO Charlottesville

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” sign in the … [Read more...]

Clean Your Home Before AND After Selling

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 as … [Read more...]

Interview with a Professional Home Inspector

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

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 look out … [Read more...]

Will Bookcases Become Obsolete?

Will Bookcases Become Obsolete? With all the talk of technology, e-readers and cell phones, it appears likely for people to assume books will also go the way of the dodo - with bookcases not far behind, because, if you don’t need them for books, what use are they? To many, a house without books is a bit bare. Ask around and you might be surprised how many people will say they actually dream … [Read more...]

Pros & Cons of Removing Shoes Before Showing a House

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...]

Downsizing in Charlottesville

Downsizing in Charlottesville Whether you're an empty nester moving from a house into a condo, or a renter trading in a two-bedroom for a studio, downsizing is hard— a smaller place means you don’t have room for all of your current belongings. But downsizing is also an opportunity to refresh and start anew. If you get rid of the clutter, you can fill your new place with the things you really … [Read more...]

Should I Sell my Home As-Is?

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 “as-is,” … [Read more...]

How to Make a Small Room/Bathroom Appear Bigger

When it comes to listing a home it’s ideal to have professional photos done to show off every aspect of every room, but there are some rooms that are just so small they often get skipped in this process. But, there ARE ways to make these rooms - which are often bathrooms - stand out and shine. Taking a little bit of extra time and paying attention to detail can make these rooms pop and even … [Read more...]

Sellers – Renovate or Sell AS-IS?

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 market … [Read more...]

Median ​v​s Average ​Price

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 “mean.” This … [Read more...]

7 Signs That Your Home Is Over-Priced

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 factors … [Read more...]

Fall Cleaning Ideas

Fall Cleaning Ideas Now that Labor Day weekend has officially come and gone, it’s time to turn our thoughts towards fall projects as we get ready once again for the winter months here in Charlottesville. Below are some common projects for inside and outside a home that will help make it cozy as you start to spend more time indoors.   Wash all windows. This is an instant … [Read more...]

How do you break up with your listing agent

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 most … [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 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 are … [Read more...]

Spring Tips to Make Your Home Shine

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 your … [Read more...]

Make a Great First Impression – Agents call it ‘Curb Appeal’

Make a Great First Impression - Agents call it ‘Curb Appeal’ They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression - the same can be said when it comes to listing your home. Having great “curb appeal” has become the go-to way a great listing gets noticed over an okay listing, even if they’re in the same neighborhood, with the same amenities. Curb appeal is the initial appeal of a … [Read more...]

How to Prevent Freezing Pipes

How to Prevent Freezing Pipes With the recent bone-chilling temps here in Central Virginia, many homeowners are understandably concerned about the possibility of frozen or burst pipes. In fact, every winter season, pipes in a home are at risk of damage from freezing conditions. Pipes most at risk for freezing include: exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home; pipes located in exterior … [Read more...]

Top Reasons Your Home Might Not Sell Quickly

Here are the Top reasons your house might not be selling as quickly as you would like: Here at Solutions we often get asked by both our listing and purchasing clients why a house isn’t selling. Selling a home in today’s market may turn out to be more than a real challenge. In order to best position yourself, why not ask the following questions. (These are important, because a Buyer will also be … [Read more...]

Who Really Represents the Client in a Real Estate Transaction?

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 Agency”, … [Read more...]

Best Month and Day to Buy or Sell a Home?

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 a … [Read more...]

Spring is the Best Time to Sell Your Charlottesville Home

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

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 your … [Read more...]

How To Ease the Moving Out & to Another House Process

    Here in the Charlottesville area many residents often remark that we have a transient population as people move here for either work or schooling at UVA for several years and then move on, or come to work for many local businesses and then get transferred to another area in Virginia or out of state.     The same reasons that make Charlottesville so attractive for people moving here for the … [Read more...]

5029 Scuffletown Road – MLS 523726

5029 Scuffletown Road  - MLS 523726 - $350,000  Hidden Gem and Exceptional Value in Barboursville - just 30 minutes north of town - VERY close to the Greene County line and not far from Albemarle County. Address is in the Barboursville zip code.  5029 Scuffletown Road is located just east of Rt. 29 N, north of Rt. 33. A short 20-minute drive away from the Hollymead Town Center, Martha Jefferson … [Read more...]

10 DIY Home Maintenance Tips

We’ve all watched those Do-It-Yourself Home Repair Shows and thought that the repairs seemed too complicated and that it might be better to hire a professional contractor. This can get expensive, however, so it might be a great idea to look again at those DIY projects and see if you can handle some yourself. Having a home maintenance plan in place throughout the year can make a huge difference … [Read more...]

5 Pet Problems to Fix Before Listing Your House

As many of our Solutions listing clients know, selling their house is hard enough, but trying to do so when you have pets is even more difficult. We all know pets add so much to our daily lives, but, did you know that owning a pet can significantly reduce your home's value? When left to their own devices, curious cats, dogs and other pets can cause serious damage to a house. Although you may … [Read more...]

Why use a Solutions agent to help sell your home?

When it comes to selling a home - whether it be because you are moving for a job, downsizing or have finally found your perfect dream home and you need to sell the one you’re in to make it work - having your Solutions agent by your side to help you through the process can make all the difference between an easy vs. a difficult transaction and transition. Pricing and selling a home  There are … [Read more...]

Can Your Garage be a Major Selling Point?

Garages aren't typically known for more than a place to store your car and any extra stuff that won’t fit in the house, or didn’t make it past being unloaded from your car. Would you believe that, when it comes to preparing your house for sale, that an organized and sparkling clean garage just might be its best selling point? Garages are among the most hardworking spaces in your home, so taking a … [Read more...]

How to handle Purchaser repair requests

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 can … [Read more...]

“Broom-Clean” and what it means to sellers

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 the … [Read more...]

“Get Around To-It” Projects to Help Sell Your House

The Spring/Summer Market Season is upon us and many sellers around the Charlottesville area may also be wondering how to make their houses stand out above the rest. They may have done the staging and mowed the lawn, but what about the “Get Around To-It” projects that may not have bugged them while they lived in the house, but now could very easily turn off potential buyers? Here are some … [Read more...]

How to Juggle Selling Your Home & Buying Another in the Same Time Frame

This situation happens more often than anyone realizes - and, especially, if you are selling a house in one city and buying in another, it can get even trickier trying to make sure everyone who needs the proper paperwork and funds does, in fact, receive everything in a timely fashion. Although lenders are hard at work and deals are closing rapidly, there’s no guarantee that your new home will … [Read more...]

20 Tips On How to Have a Successful Yard Sale

With the start of spring comes the onset of the Yard Sale. A few days before any given weekend you will start to see the familiar neon colored signs posted on street signs and stuck into the ground with directions to a nearby yard or garage sale.  A yard sale, for those who are moving, is an easy way to get rid of any excess items that haven’t been used in over a year or two. The more you sell, … [Read more...]

Minimize the stress of moving – 20 tips

Minimize the stress of moving day with these plan-ahead ideas. You’ve decided on a house and everything is moving smoothly towards settlement, so the next logical step is to break all of the moving parts into easy to follow steps to make it a success. Here are some tips to help you avoid, or minimize, moving day stress: 1 Organize early Try not to leave anything until the last … [Read more...]

When to list your Charlottesville Home

This is a question that a client recently asked me. The answer is, well, it depends. It depends quite often on what your circumstance are. If you are relocating, then your timing will certainly be different than if you are just looking to downsize. So let us put the reason aside and ask, when is the best time of year to list your home. Many agents will say that anytime is a good time. Well … [Read more...]

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Charles McDonaldBy Charles McDonald - Charles, and his firm, Charlottesville Solutions, are known locally and around the world for helping people relocate to 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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