Search Results for: sellers

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...]

Charlottesville Real Estate – CAAR 2015 Second Quarter 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 pulled … [Read more...]

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

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?

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

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

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...]

Buyer Beware: Red Flags when Purchasing a Home

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?

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, and others when they’re either looking to purchase or sell a home. But, did you know that, 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...]

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

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?

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 listing agent … [Read more...]

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

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

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”

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 attorney’s … [Read more...]

Helping First-time Homebuyers Find What They Can They Afford

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 then … [Read more...]

Can I Cancel a Real Estate Contract?

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 recognize … [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...]

What’s a Kick-out clause anyway?

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 then … [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...]

The Perks of Being a Cash Buyer

Many Buyers these days want to find out how best to have an edge in the home buying process, especially during the hot spring market. Research by the National Association of Realtors on cash sales shows that about 30% of residential sales, in fact, are cash transactions, and, especially among investors and international buyers, more than 70% of properties are bought outright. If you can … [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...]

Charlottesville Home Appraisal

Understanding Why the Appraisal Process is So Important When you’ve found your dream home in the Charlottesville area, you and your Solutions agent will start to work on the purchase offer and discuss several items, including the home inspection, loan commit date and whether or not to add language that states the house must appraise for the purchase offer price. Charlottesville mortgage … [Read more...]

Five Signs Your House May Be Overpriced

Five Signs Your House May Be Overpriced As we head into the Charlottesville area 2014 Spring Market, buyers are paying attention to what inventory is available and which listings are truly making an effort vs. the ones that have been languishing for some time. Most sellers are anxious to make a good first impression and get their house sold quickly, but a few hold out as they may be … [Read more...]

How to Save Money on Your Next Home Purchase

Below are 3 Ways Home Buyers can Save Money on their Next Home Purchase 1. Understand that Everything is Negotiable To start with, the asking price is just that, an asking price. Some sellers price their homes to sell, but many price their home with emotion. What I mean by this is that they set the price at what they hope to get. So remember that the price is negotiable and your agent will … [Read more...]

About Charlottesville Solutions "Solutions" is a Boutique Firm, which means we do not work to support a large firm or franchise. This is a critical difference in how we operate and how we focus only on our clients needs. We only represent you as a Buyer or a Seller. Our Agents do not do "Dual Agency". This differentiates our firm from most firms and agents in our area. This … [Read more...]

James Friend Dickerson joins Charlottesville Solutions

Good news travels fast and having James Friend Dickerson join us at Charlottesville Solutions is certainly good news! Jim is a wonderful addition to Solutions as he brings years of experience and exceptional customer service. A native of Central Virginia, James lived in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and Louisa Counties before heading to Virginia Tech to study Forestry and Wildlife … [Read more...]

The Second Agent Dance

There is a saying, almost a joke, among many Realtors: "The second listing agent often wins" I have heard this from so many seasoned real estate agents who will tell you that the first agent will do most of the work and if the home does not sell, the next listing agent will benefit greatly. Here is how it works. The first listing agent will spend a great deal of time with the sellers of a … [Read more...]

Will an Open House sell my home?

This is a question we get all the time and we often have to be brutally honest with our Charlottesville home sellers. First lets define an open house. Wikipedia defines an open house as "a free, one-day event held by a real estate agent to show a listed residential property to any interested parties" and this is a good definition, but not complete enough. In real estate, there are two types of … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Solutions is expanding

Our clients, colleagues and fellow real estate agents in the area know that Charlottesville Solutions is a boutique firm that is technology driven to support both buyers and sellers in our local and surrounding areas. By definition "we do not work to support a large firm or franchise". This is what makes us unique and is a great strength in a volatile real estate market. Our standards put … [Read more...]

If you are a buyer and have a Buyer Broker Agreement with your agent, be sure your agent is scheduling and touring homes for you. This is a fundamental responsibility of your agent that is critical in not only finding the right home but in starting the negotiation of the purchase of that home. I can not stress enough to clients that the listing agent represents the sellers interest, especially in … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Home Buyer’s Guide to Lead Based Paint

Many buildings built before 1978 have paint that contains high levels of lead, AKA Lead based paint. Lead found in paint, chips, and dust can cause, if not properly taken care of, serious health problems. Because of the extreme health risk involving lead based paint, federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renting, buying, or renovating homes built before … [Read more...]

How to Sell your Charlottesville Real Estate

So, you've decided you want to sell your Charlottesville Home and now you want to start the process. Where do you begin? The first step in selling Charlottesville Real Estate, believe it or not, is not to call a Realtor. The first step should be to evaluate the current market conditions. It is best for you to do this without others influencing your evaluation. Current Market Are we in a … [Read more...]


When we list a home with a client the process of Pricing Your Home is one of the most important things in our marketing plan. Pricing Your Charlottesville Home If a seller prices their home too high, many buyers will not even look at or find it in their search results. If a seller prices their home too low, buyers will think there is something wrong with the home, area or worse - you may be … [Read more...]


Staging your Charlottesville home is a critical part of the home sale process. Many people feel that their home is ready to show and that the idea of “staging” is a bad reflection on their home or their personal taste. Nothing could be further from the truth. Statistics show that a home sells best when it appeals to the widest array of buyers and this is where staging can help. Why Stage … [Read more...]

When you are going on a trip you need to have a plan for getting there. Getting to the closing table in as short a time as possible, at the right price, is no different than traveling. When you are Selling Your Charlottesville Home, you will get there sooner and with fewer surprises if you have a good strategy. The tips below will help you make the process much easier. One of the first and most … [Read more...]


When you are buying a new home it is a important decision. It can be a wonderful experience or it can be extremely difficult. This is a serious investment and for many the largest investment of their lives. I understand there are a lot of emotions and I want you to know that I am your advocate to purchase your next home. Whether it is a grand estate in Albemarle county or an investment … [Read more...]

About Charles McDonald

To my Clients: Many of my clients know that I moved to Charlottesville about 19 years ago from the Bay Area. I searched for a place to raise my children in an area that has the values of a small town and the excitement of a big city. In a nutshell, I was searching for the quality of life we all deserve. After extensive research I found Charlottesville. I made the move to Charlottesville from … [Read more...]

Selling A Charlottesville Home Is Easy

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 yard and 30 days later you're at the closing table. Yeah, right :) Let's look at the choices that sellers have: Charlottesville For Sale By Owner I still see some owners trying to sell a home without a Charlottesville Agent. Some people are placing their … [Read more...]

My Charlottesville Home is not listed?

This story is so important that I decided to repost it as I have recently seen the same issue again in the Charlottesville Real Estate Market Charlottesville Listing Appointment A while ago I went on a listing appointment. Long story Short… the seller decided to use another agent (her mom’s recommendation). No problem… Well I later got an email from the seller that said: Hi Charles I … [Read more...]

Charlottesville Homes and Multiple offers

I was recently asked about multiple offers that seem to be going on in the Charlottesville area. Over the last few weeks I have seen or been involved in several multiple offer Real Estate deals. I think the answer(s), at least for Charlottesville area, are simple.... BUYERS: Are taking advantage of low rates and lower priced homes (getting off the fence). SELLERS: The ones that are … [Read more...]

Discussing the walk through-Charlottesville Real Estate

An important part of the process of buying a home is the walk though (just before closing). When we do a walk-though there are a few things we want to focus on: 1. Are all the repairs completed and documented? 2. Is the home in "Broom Swept" condition? (a term used in Virginia) 3. Is the home in the same condition as when we wrote the offer? 4. Did the sellers do any damage when moving … [Read more...]

About Charlottesville Real Estate

What makes Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions unique is that we are a technology driven company that specializes in Charlottesville Real Estate web based Solutions. We build and maintain our websites and get input from our clients to add features, like map search and "one-click just-listed" Charlottesville homes. Working with buyers and sellers to solve the complexities of purchasing homes … [Read more...]

Problems – Solutions!

I was recently sent this photo from a friend and it reminds me of Real Estate. We all know dealing in the Real Estate market these days presents many problems. At Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions we deal with these problems but focus on the "Solutions". This is why our name is now "Charlottesville Solutions" Our group of highly experienced agents focus on the needs of our clients. We … [Read more...]

Solutions Expands in a tough market

Please welcome our 2 newest Agents to Solutions. Rick Dreher and Steve Grannis Rick Dreher Real Estate Agent Cell: 434-953-8582 Rick has been in the Real Estate business for over 12 years and prides himself on customer service. Specializing in buyer brokerage, Rick has helped many of his first time buyer clients achieve their dream of home ownership. He has experience in short sales and … [Read more...]

Your new Key comes with a warning

OK, so I am using the title of this post to make a point. I just closed on a Charlottesville Home and one of the first things that I discuss with my clients is the locks. You see a person who buys a home is always excited to get the keys to their new home but they come with a warning…. You never know who has had the keys to your new home and one of the first things you should do is contact … [Read more...]

Solutions – a sign on the times?

Under Contract in 6 days, is this a sign of the times for the Charlottesville Real Estate market? Short answer is no. But we are seeing good activity and this sellers home was in good shape, clean and priced well. This is what it takes to get your home sold in today's market. Many sellers are still stuck in the past and have unreal expectations regarding price. Use a professional to give … [Read more...]

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Charles McDonald
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Solutions
2013 Woodbrook Court, Charlottesville VA 22901
REALTOR® - Licensed to sell Real Estate in Virginia
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