Questions your Realtor may not legally be able to answer

As REALTORS®, we get asked many questions by Buyers. We’re happy to help answer as many as we can, ones like: how old is the roof on a house, or does it use gas or electrical heat?  Your Solutions agent can tell you pretty much anything you need to know about a home you’re hoping to buy (or at least find answers for you). But there are several questions that we (any REALTOR®) aren’t legally … [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...]

Questions Buyers should be asking their Agents

What questions should Buyers ask before putting an offer on a home? Here at Solutions, we get asked lots of questions by clients in their search for their dream home. Because of Equal Housing Laws, there are some we’re prevented by law from answering, but there are a number of answers we can find out or sources we can point you towards to look up the info you seek.Below are a few common … [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...]

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...]

The Dos and Don’ts of calling the listing agent

The Dos and Don’ts of calling the listing agent Here at Solutions we get a lot of questions from potential buyers about the proper protocol for seeing a listing - should they go to see it with a buyer’s agent or simply call the listing agent? Buyers might wonder if only the listing agent should show a home. Yes, an agent is obligated to show his or her client's homes, but, if you’re working with … [Read more...]

Buying New Construction? An Experienced Real Estate Agent is a Must on Your Side

When a Charlottesville area buyer wants to go the new construction route there are several factors to consider. While an existing house can be inspected and everything is already in view, it can be difficult to picture exactly what you think you’re going to get with a brand new home. Sometimes, what you see in the builder’s furnished model is not what you get for the advertised base price. A … [Read more...]

What is an “Escalation Clause” and when would a Buyer want to use it?

As the Charlottesville Spring 2014 market starts to get busy, Buyers who have been waiting for more houses to come on the market are poised and ready to “jump on” a newly listed house that looks just right. Here at Solutions, we recommend that our Buyers get pre-qualified with a local Charlottesville lender so they can be ready to move quickly as soon as that “just right” house hits the … [Read more...]

Looking for a Charlottesville Home during Christmas

Most agents and people will report that the real estate market is slow during the holidays. This is generally true, but what I do find is that people who are looking are serious. This is because people spending their limited time, during Christmas, to shop for homes are typically not just browsing. So what is a good game plan if you are looking for a Charlottesville home during the … [Read more...]

The listing agent did not tell me that

A very simple comment from a buyer client who was talking directly with the listing agent. The client said to me "The listing agent did not tell me that..." This is a recent comment from a client and the reason is simple... The listing agent represents the best interests of the seller (not you)... Think about this for a minute. Virginia is a caveat emptor state (buyer beware) and that is … [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...]

Match Day 2013 UVA, Charlottesville Virginia

Match Day 2013 at UVA What is Match Day 2013? This is the day when over a hundred medical students at the University of Virginia will find if they are accepted! It is truly a fantastic day for these hard working students who have spent 8 years getting to this moment. Several months ago students picked their top choices of hospitals and many picked the University of Virginia Medical Center. … [Read more...]

Becky Crowe and Gibson Homes join Solutions

I promised you a surprise from Solutions and we are very excited to announce that Becky Crowe has joined Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions. Many people know Becky as not only an exceptional agent and advocate for her clients, but also as the representative for Gibson Homes in Charlottesville. Having a background in new construction gives Becky a unique perspective on the real estate … [Read more...]

Explaining Virginia’s new Buyer Brokerage Agreement law

New Virginia Buyer Brokerage Agreement law What you need to know as of July 1, 2012 If you're thinking of purchasing a home in Virginia, you'll want to know that there's a new Agency law that will take effect on July 1 that will change the way you can see houses no matter where you are in the state. A great many of our clients already use our Solutions website to look up houses in our local … [Read more...]

First meeting with Charles in Charlottesville

  As my clients know I love the Charlottesville area and I love showing Charlottesville Real Estate and Homes to my clients. A lot of factors go into the decision to relocate to a new area and one thing I have learned is that no two clients are alike in this regard. If time permits, we will often tour specific areas while discussing your needs and I will actually explain why I choose … [Read more...]

Use a local Charlottesville Buyers Agent

When looking to buy a home in Charlottesville, or any area for that matter, logic dictates that you use a highly skilled local Charlottesville buyers agent. However, I see so many people go against this logic. So let's look at why. A Local Charlottesville Buyers Agent Knows The Market This just makes good sense. Most Buyers Agents specialize in a particular location. We know the Charlottesville … [Read more...]

Coffee and your Charlottesville-Real-Estate-Agent

Looking for Home in the Charlottesville Real Estate area is always exciting but can also be a little challenging to find just the right property. This morning I am off to meet clients for coffee who are moving from the Bay Area. Yes, my old stomping grounds. In fact they currently live a few blocks from where I once rented my first apartment (many years ago). It is exciting to meet new people … [Read more...]

Solutions will be at the Broker Forum

Today we are having a Broker Forum at our local Charlottesville Area Associations of Realtors - CAAR. It is tough to break away from my clients for an afternoon, but there are times when it helps to meet with other Brokers to discuss the current market and local issues. If there is any exciting news you can be sure, I will inform my colleagues and clients. Have a wonderful Tuesday in … [Read more...]

The Charlottesville Real Estate Handoff…

 Solutions for Clients Why did I refer you to another agent? (The Real Estate Handoff) When you contacted me you were looking for a specific type of property in a certain area. Well I want you to know that that is not my expertise. However I know the agent you need to work with.   I am looking out for your best interests. I have learned over the years that clients will respect … [Read more...]

Buyers need to ask the tough questions

Looking at number is amazing. It appears that 10% of agents in our MLS sell close to 50% of all transactions in our counties. Looking at the stats closer you would see that the majority of agent in our MLS have 1 to zero transactions for the previous 12 months. Many people choose an agent because they are a relative or a friend. The odds are not good that you are working with a top agent. As a … [Read more...]

So much to do in Charlottesville

A Busy Day of Charlottesville Real Estate Off to a walk-though and then a closing. After that I am meeting one of my home inspectors for an inspection on a new contract we wrote last week. Then I have a hour window (maybe I will have lunch) and then another closing at the end of the day... It is a Busy Monday … [Read more...]

A Charlottesville Home Buyer speaks out

Feedback! Charles, Just wanted to let you know that we finally have a contract on our Fairfax house. Rob and I were really missing your technical expertise throughout the contract process -- our realtor e-mailed me the contract, then I had to print it out to sign and scan it to e-mail it back, and every time I sent it, her mailbox was full so I had to call her to have her clear it out. … [Read more...]

One of those days in Charlottesville :)

Charlottesville Broker Today is Wednesday and after several days of showing homes in Charlottesville, writing a couple offers and looking at 2 new listing, I need to take a little break! This morning I have been working on paperwork and setting appointments for more showings this afternoon and Friday. With so much business I feel as though I have pulled all my hair out (see photo)... I … [Read more...]

Where is Charles?

You may have noticed an uncharacteristic lack of blogging on my part over the last week ... there is a good reason for that. I am dictating this post for my wife to type from my hospital bed at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville Virginia, where I am recovering from an unexpected surgery. Last Monday in the middle of the night (of course) my wife rushed me to the emergency room … [Read more...]

I just ran the latest numbers and the #1 selling office for Charlottesville Real Estate is…….

Our Office with 380 transactions so far this year! (and well over 100 million in sales to date in 2009) Outstanding!!! … [Read more...]

So why is my Agent so Vague???

It seems like my agent is dancing around my questions. Why is this? Schools – It may sound vague when an agent talks about schools but Buyer and Listing agents can not “steer” a client to or from a school. Crime – I hear it all the time, how is the crime in this area. Again an agent will be vague and refer you to a website or the police dept. Race and Religion - Who lives in … [Read more...]

Ask if you are working with a top Charlottesville Real Estate agent…

Do not be afraid to ask the tough question We have around 1300 agents in our local MLS (about 10% or 130 agents are selling 10 or more homes this year) We are now seeing agents from outside the area coming to Charlottesville to sell homes (are they experienced in this area?) Looking at the stats closer you would see that the majority of agent in our MLS have 1 to zero transactions for … [Read more...]

I want a Paperless Real Estate Office

Working with Real Estate Contracts can often lead to an overwhelming amount of paper. I try to go paperless as much as possible. This week I sent an HOA package that was 160 pages with a simple link to the PDF file. My home inspectors now do their reports totally on-line (or I would consider not using them). We even transfer plats, surveys and contracts by email. Yes we are close but I … [Read more...]

I will not swing at a low ball offer…

Well that is what my seller has said. Do you swing at low ball offers?   … [Read more...]

My clients speak out…

Redline rip Cheech & Chong's Next Movie hd Aquamania download National Treasure: Book of Secrets ipod I just received this note below from my clients, This is why I am a REALTOR: Dear Charles, Paths of Glory movie Now that our beautiful new home is complete and we are about to move in, we wanted to take the time to thank you for everything you have done to help make this possible. … [Read more...]

Charles, where are you?

Tideland movie I have received 2 messages this past week asking this question. Well the simple truth is that My group of agents and I are spending so much time with clients that blogging has taken a back seat. I hope to fit more time in soon, but I am really not complaining. Nuit américaine, La movie download You see, I get to meet some wonderful people and showing Charlottesville Real … [Read more...]

One of those days…

In Too Deep movie download   Bowfinger film Today is Monday and after a long weekend of showing homes in Charlottesville, writing an offer and looking at a new listing, I need to take a little break! This morning I have been working on paperwork and setting appointments for three closings this week. With so much business I feel as though I have pulled all my hair out (see … [Read more...]

Are you "working with Clients" or "working your Clients"?

Let me start by saying I am not pointing fingers at anyone here... Recently I have seen a couple of incidents in talking with fellow Charlottesville Real Estate Agents where it appears that the agents are not "Working with Clients". Let me explain what I mean. Agents need to always, ALWAYS work with their clients best interests in mind. This means showing them every property that fits their … [Read more...]


 A REALTOR®'s HORROR STORY!   It all started earlier this year. I decided to go to a full featured phone.... I started with the TREO "WINDOWS" version because it looked great, had all the features I wanted, calendar, contact sync, and most important (I thought) it worked with our Lockbox system. After I went to the 2nd home and it took 5-7 minutes to sync the lockbox... It struck … [Read more...]

Focus, Focus, Focus!!!

My Buyers are #1 As agents we all strive to do the best for our Buyers. In Charlottesville I work about 95% with Buyers. This is not because of the market or because there are so many listings. Check my record, ask my clients. I work with buyers because I enjoy it. I like meeting new people, I like looking at homes, land, farms and estates. I even wrote this on my truck! In my opinion, many … [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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