Belinda Helps Home Buyers

Find Your Dream Home – Right Here!

Helping you buy a home

Finding and buying the ideal property can be a dream come true. There is something special about walking up to the front door on moving day, sliding in your key and entering the foyer of your beautiful new home.

However, getting to that point can be a nightmare unless you have the right real estate agent and team working with you throughout the buying process. As your real estate expert, Belinda ensures that she will do two important things for you:

  • Help you buy a home that matches your requirements;
  • Make the process simple and easy.

How does she work with clients?  To begin, she takes the time to learn what you really want in a home. She looks at your needs and desires, and helps you determine the price range within which you should shop. Then she shows you properties that meet that criteria – including new listings the moment they come on the market.

As your realtor, Belinda looks out for your best interests. For example, she will provide you with in-depth property details of each home you view, point out desirable features you may not notice and identify potential concerns you may have overlooked.

She’s by your side every step of the way. When you find a home you want, she will prepare and present the offer, and negotiate skillfully on your behalf, so you get that property at the lowest price possible.

Ready to Get Started?  This website is packed with information that will answer many of your questions, and make your home buying journey easy. When you’re ready to talk, please call Belinda at 250-710-6727, email or submit the form below. Let’s work together to find your dream home!

Selecting an Agent

Do You Have a Personal Real Estate Agent?

If you’re planning on buying a home, you may have already done some shopping around on your own. Perhaps you’ve checked out a few open houses or called the number on a For Sale sign to schedule a private viewing of that property.

Yes, you can do all of that on your own, if you have the time and expertise. However, statistics prove that you’ll be more successful in finding your dream home at the right price with your own personal real estate agent and team.

Your Real Estate Agent Works for You

A real estate agent and team, especially one who knows the local market well (like Belinda does), can help you find and buy your ideal home, quickly, and make the entire process go smoothly for you. During a viewing, your real estate agent will give you the inside scoop on that property, so you know the full story. Your real estate agent will also point out desirable features, and potential “issues”, that you might otherwise miss.

When it comes time to make an offer, your real estate agent will present and negotiate it on your behalf. If you don’t have your own real estate agent, you would have to deal directly with the seller’s agent, who is legally obliged to work in the seller’s best interests – not yours.

Bottom line: Your own personal real estate agent is there for you, every step of the way. At least, that’s how Belinda works with her clients.

What to Look for in a Real Estate Agent

When buying a home, you want a real estate agent and team who…

  • Takes the time to understand your needs and goals, so you have a true partner in your home buying journey.
  • Explains everything clearly and answers your questions, so you’re never in the dark.
  • Has expertise and a track record of success in the local market.
  • Knows how to find great properties in your price range.
  • Will alert you to new listings, quickly, so you get the jump on those opportunities.
  • Will advise you on the best price to offer for the home you want.
  • Will prepare and present the offer, and skillfully negotiate such things as price, conditions, closing dates, etc. so you get the best deal.
  • Will save you potentially thousands of dollars by ensuring you don’t overpay for the property you want.
  • Will recommend reputable home inspectors, movers and other professionals you may need.

Not every real estate agent and team offers all of these services. Belinda’s clients say that she does. They also tell her how much they appreciate her professionalism, expertise and accessibility.

Buyer Qualification

As you may or may not be aware, currently the real estate market is in flux. Searching for a home will be quite a bit different than what you may have been used to in the past.

It is very common for a listing to go live and then hold offers for 3 to 5 days. This generally means that offers are held until a certain meeting date. There are different strategies that can be used to make your offer the best one. In order for Belinda to work for you and put your best offer forward, she needs to have a few things in place before we can look at properties.

She will have a brief general conversation with you and ask if you have met with a mortgage broker. If you haven’t done this step first, she will ask that you connect with a mortgage specialist or mortgage broker first and supply them with all of the paperwork they require. It is important that you give authorization for the lender to speak with her so that she can give all of the property details that are required to fund the purchase. If you do not require a mortgage, this step can be skipped.

After you have the mortgage information, she will ask you to sign in to an Ap that collects your identification information. This Ap is called “Really Trusted” and is the preferred method of collecting identification information. This is the safest way to share your identification.

Belinda will ask you to read over and sign forms that are required by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia. There is a disclosure of representation in trading services, privacy notice and consent, and a buyer agency agreement. Having this paperwork done ahead of time is required.

When the lender has done their preapproval and connected with us, we have the identification, and the forms are completed, Belinda will have a longer conversation about your needs. She is really asking the who, what, when, where, why and how.

Who is going to be living at the home? – ages, pets, tenants, future rental required.

What type of home are you looking for? single family dwelling, condo, townhome, manufactured home

When do you need to be in your new home? Have you just started the process of looking for a home and would like to take your time browsing or have you sold your home and in need of a place right away?

Where would you like to live geographically? Anywhere in the Cowichan Valley, somewhere between Langford and Nanaimo? Where do you work or what types of recreation do you want to be close to? If you are looking outside of Belinda’s trading area, we are connected with excellent agents across Canada and can refer you to someone who specializes in the specific area.

Why are you moving? There are lots of reasons and its a good idea to discuss the why’s to make sure the Cowichan Valley is the place for you.

How are you going to make this purchase? How much of a down payment do you have saved up? Will you be borrowing money from a bank or family? Have you considered the size of mortgage payments, utilities, and taxes?

Once we have a good sense of all of these factors, Belinda can set up a search that will auto email you properties as soon as they hit the market. The multiple listing service is really the best place to find newly listed properties. All other websites are syndicated from this original source. The only problem with any of these web systems is that there is a delay showing if there is an accepted offer on the property. For this reason, we will be in regular communication to discuss which properties are available and we can send you the additional documents that are relevant to the properties that interest you.

Phew! We know its a lot of information and preparation work, but the more work we put into the front end of your search the more satisfied you will be with your new purchase!

Arrange Financing

Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval

An important ingredient in a successful home search is knowing how much you can afford. You don’t want to fall in love with a property only to find out it’s outside your price range.

That’s why we recommend getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval. This is a document from your bank or other lender stating how much of a mortgage they are willing to give you. There are two advantages to getting this pre-approval:

  • It gives you the peace of mind of knowing you can afford homes you view on the market, and won’t have problems arranging to finance.
  • It’s a sign to sellers that you are a serious, prepared buyer – which gives you the edge when making an offer.

You can arrange for a Mortgage Pre-Approval with your bank or another lender, or by working with a good mortgage broker. Belinda is well-connected in the local real estate scene, so if you want her to recommend a reputable broker or lender, please contact Belinda.

How Much Home Can You Afford?

Banks and lenders use specific criteria to determine how much of a mortgage they’re willing to offer you. They look at your income, expenses, credit history and employment status, as well as the down payment you plan to make on a home. It may seem like a scary process, but it is actually straightforward. You can usually get a Mortgage Pre-Approval in a day. You’ll be glad that you did.

By knowing what you can afford, you can confidently shop within that price range. For example, if you qualify for a $250,000 mortgage, and you have another $100,000 available as a down payment, you can look for homes in the $350,000 range.

Viewing Homes

The Home Shopping Process

As your real estate agent, Belinda’s most important job is to make the home shopping process pleasant and rewarding for you.  She does that in a number of ways.

  • She regularly recommends properties for viewing that closely match your needs and wants, and are within your price range. That spares you the frustration of visiting homes that aren’t suitable.
  • She makes sure you don’t miss opportunities. When a desirable property suddenly comes on the market, you’re alerted.
  • She helps you schedule viewings that fit your schedule, so there’s little if any inconvenience for you.
  • Before you view a property, she provides you with in-depth details on the home, so you can make an informed decision. This includes closing dates, market value, and more. Later, if you have questions, she gets the answers for you.
  • Belinda also gives you the scoop on the neighbourhood, so you get a clear sense of what an area is like in terms of lifestyle, safety, schools, etc.
  • When you find a property you like, she gives you our honest, professional recommendation as to how well the home meets your needs and wants. You won’t have to make such an important decision without her expert advice.

As your real estate agent, Belinda is committed to getting you into the right home, and she is with you every step of the way.

What to Look for when Viewing a Property

Here are a few questions and ideas to consider when viewing homes to help make the process easier and more productive:

  • Does the home have your “needs” features (those features you must have)? (For example, number of bedrooms, closet space, kitchen size, etc.)
  • Does the home have any of your “wants” features (those features you’d like to have but would be willing to forgo)? (For example, large backyard deck, spacious family room, etc.)
  • What is the general condition of the home? (Are there signs that the owners have kept up with repairs and maintenance?)
  • Will the home need any major repairs, remodelling or renovations? Is there anything, such as the furnace, that may need to be replaced soon?
  • What do you like most about the home?
  • Is there anything about the home you don’t like? Can that be changed with a remodelling or renovation now or in the future?
  • Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Are the homes well-kept, indicating pride of ownership?
  • Do you like where the home is situated in the neighbourhood?
  • Does the neighbourhood have what you want? (For example, access to public transit, shopping, local parks, etc.)

Viewing properties should never be a frustrating ordeal. It’s her job to help make the process easy and productive for you, so you can find the home you want.

Making an Offer

Preparing the Offer

When you view a home on the market that you really want, you can hardly wait to be handed the keys. In fact, you may worry that the property will somehow slip through your fingers. Don’t be. You’ve got an expert by your side. Belinda’s job, as your real estate agent and team, is to ensure you get that home – and at a price that works for you.

The first step is preparing the Offer. This is the document she presents to the seller that basically states the price you’re offering, as well as any conditions.

The price we go in with is critical. You want it to reflect the true market value of the property so the seller will take your offer seriously. On the other hand, you don’t want to go in too high and risk overpaying for the home.

Don’t worry. Belinda knows how to prepare a winning offer and get you the property at the lowest possible price. In fact, she look after your interests throughout the entire process.

When you decide to make an offer on a home, here’s what typically happens:

  • Belinda will recommend a price that has the best chance of being accepted by the seller, without over-paying for the home.
  • Obviously, sellers prefer offers that have no conditions. However, she may suggest a condition, such as passing a professional home inspection, be included for your protection. We’ll talk about that.
  • She’ll prepare the necessary documents and present your offer to the seller and his or her real estate agent personally.
  • If the offer isn’t accepted, or if the seller makes a counter-offer, Belinda will work with the seller’s agent, skillfully negotiating on your behalf to make a deal.
  • She’ll communicate with you throughout the entire process. You’re never in the dark when you work with Belinda.
  • Once the seller agrees to a deal, she’ll help lead you through the removal of any conditions and closing the deal. Then, the home is yours. Congratulations!

Belinda realizes that making an offer can seem like the nail-biting part of the process. It doesn’t have to be. That’s the advantage of selecting a real estate agent who puts clients first. When you go after a property you really want, you can take comfort in knowing you have an expert on your side… someone who knows how to get that home for you.

Closing the Sale

Ensuring the Closing Goes Smoothly

There are few things Belinda enjoys more than saying to a client, “You’ve got the home!” That means that the seller has accepted your offer, conditions have been waived, the closing date has been set, and you’ll soon be preparing for moving day.

Just because the purchase has been made doesn’t mean her work for you stops. On the contrary. There is a myriad of other things she’ll do to ensure the process goes smoothly.

For example, Belinda will take care of many of the administrative details on your behalf. She’ll work with the seller’s agent, your lawyer, and your mortgage lender to ensure that all the necessary paperwork has been completed and submitted.

Don’t worry about finding a good real estate lawyer, insurance agent, moving company, etc; she is are well-connected in the local real estate scene and can personally recommend reputable professionals and companies to help you.

If at any time leading up to moving day you have a question, problem or concern, Belinda will be there to help. You can count on her to be your real estate agent before, during and after you cross the threshold into your beautiful new home.

MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.