Redefining Your Home Buying Process To Meet Todays Marketplace

The Comox Valley remains a popular Real estate Hotspot for people coming from all over Canada. Whether it be to escape City life, participate in the flexibility of remote workspaces, invest, retire or simpy relocate to embrace the beauty & climate of Vancouver Island they are coming!  As we move into 2022 there is uncertainty for how the market will react to increasing interest rates, inflation, war in the Ukraine, government intervention and overall uncertainty of coming out of COVID mandates. No one has a crystal ball and no one could have expected Real estate prices to escalate as they have during a Pandemic. Personally I am a strong believer in the #1 Rule of Real estate... Location! Location! Location!  The Comox Valley will continue to be a popular location and the high demand for properties will be reflected in the price point. As inventory remains tight and the shortage of lots, new developments, labour & supplies persists  Buyers can expect to have to be aggressive with offers having to compete in multiple offers. 

I have put together this 30 minute video to recap the local market conditions, discuss the driving factors, suggestions for preparing yourself for the best success in this market and my predictions for 2022.  I encourage you to reach out to meet with me in person or through ZOOM as I am happy to answer your questions, offer advise and under no pressure.

Watch: Home Buyers Video March 2022

2021 was an exceptional year with the average house prices increasing almost 26%  ($797,678 12 months to date December 2021  from $631,705 the previous 12 months). Condos, 12.9% ($379,852 12 months to date from December 2021 from $336,448 the previous 12 months) and townhouses 12.10% ($374,267 12 months to date from December 2021 from $333,873 the previous 12 months) 

Visit my regularly updated Market Snapshot page for more detailed information. 

As a seasoned Realtor of over 16 years I have my finger on the pulse of the market.  My aim is to Redefine your Home Buying Experience through providing; 

  • an honest and educated assessment of the properties that may be best suited to your needs. 
  • education and tools to build your confidence and understanding of the Market, Value, Location and future Resale.
  • my time~ never any pressure to purchase
  • to skiillfully negotiate on your behalf. I have developed strong working relationships with local colleagues at Royal LePage, Remax and Engles Volkers. My reputation is of integrity, straight-forwardness and clean well written offers. 
  • Most importantly... your HONEST ADVOCATE.

I am passionate about meeting these expectations to provide a seamless, stress free and profitable home Buying Experience. Whether a first time home Buyer, Investor, Military Buyer or you are looking to upsize or downsize it all starts with communication....

Understanding YOUR needs and a relationship based on trust & partnership.- Philippa Berg 

Step 1: First Date... Let's Meet!

How much you enjoy your Real Estate experience can often be measured by the professionalism, proficiency & personality of the Agent you choose to work with. Let's take 30 minutes to have a coffee consult to discuss your home ownership goals, the current market conditions, what you can expect during the entire buying process and to see if we are a good fit to work together. I am dedicated and passionate and count many clients as friends as we journey through the home buying process together.  If you are out of town... No Problem... Lets have a face time chat...

Step 2: Get Your Funds Lined Up To Purchase

Next, you will need to get pre-approved by your Bank or Mortgage Broker to determine your buying power & comfort zone. Obtaining a letter of pre-approval is a valuable resource to submit with an offer IF you require a "subject to FIRM FINANCING". There are many cash buyers out there and having your financing together is crucial. I am happy to provide you with a few names that come highly recommended through past clients. Once you are pre-approved/ Approved you are ready to start your search.

Step 3: Starting Your Property Search

Based on your wishlist and affordability I will set you up on my Preferred Client Services Program (MATRIX). You will then be emailed directly all new listings within your search criteria- often days before they appear on It is this program that provides you a competitive edge of knowing and looking at new listings before they appear on the MLS. You will also be notified of sales so you can track what properties are listed at versus the selling price. We will discuss extending the search to hip pocket listings and private sales. I will prepare you so that Sellers perceive you as a Preferred Buyer, help you locate and assess properties for sale that match your specifications, and help you through the myriad of details attending the actual purchase.

Step 4: Let's Get Looking

This is the fun & stressful part... you are now confident in your purchasing power, you have narrowed down your non negotiables, you understand the home buying process and have a clear understanding of the contract of purchase & sale and addendums...Now it's time to go look at properties. Keeping in mind that your flexibility to view at short notice is imperative in this market. Understandably your schedule may not always be able to accommodate short notice showings. I will preview properties on your behalf and provide feedback as to suitability. My style is always to provide honest straight-forward feedback as to market value, resale, property features and property shortcomings.... I call a spade a spade. * NOTE that in this market I direct you to spending 5-10 minutes on the overall aesthetics of the property "Do you like it?" and then we collect as much information as possible should you decide NOT to do a building inspection. ie. age of hotwater tank, type of plumbing, photo of electrical panel, look in the crawl space, attic space, age of windows, age of roof, walk the perimeter of the home, condition of the appliances....  You want to be prepared as best as possible.

Step 5: Writing, Presenting & Offer Negotiations

We have found the property you are happy with and you are ready to make an offer. We find out when the Seller will be looking at offers and we plan our due diligence accordingly. It is a fine balance of writing a competitive offer and your tolerance for risk. I will prepare a CMA to advise you on a snapshot of market value & provide advice as to an appropriate offer and terms. Remember- in this market a property is worth what a buyer is willing to pay and new price points are set every day. We will then review the purchase of sales agreement and addendums & I will advise you how to strengthen your offer should we be faced with a multiple offer situation. I will then present your offer to the listing agent and Seller and negotiate favourably on your terms.

Step 6: Your Offer Is Accepted

Once Buyer and Seller agree to the terms of the contract we have an "accepted offer". It is now the responsibility of the Buyer to complete their due diligence (with my assistance of course) Pre-COVID this was a 7-14 day window... now it is imperative yor lender understands the pace of this market & importace with providing "firm financing approval" within the shortest time period.

During this period of time it is only the Buyer that can collapse the offer if unsatisfied with their due diligence. Once conditions to purchase are removed the property is considered "Sold", the sign can go up and the champagne can be opened. All documents are then forwarded to your Notary or Lawyer to complete the sale. I will be there to facilitate, provide a checklist for you for moving and to ensure all goes smoothly.

***Some offers will NOT have conditions to purchase which means once accepted the SOLD sign can go up once the deposit is received.

Step 7: Closing

On possession I will meet you at your new HOME with your keys!

Step 8: Your Advocate, Resource And Friend

Our relationship does not come to an end once your keys are handed over. I love being part of every client's story and count it as a real privelege to be involved in such an important decision for you and your family. I am here as your Advocate should you have any concerns with your purchase, your Resource with any future real estate advise-whether its referrals for contractors, home renovation tips, landscaping suggestions, where to invest in your home or simply curiosity for a current market evaluation. I count many clients as Friends after we journey through the home buying process together. Your referrals to friends and family are greatly appreciated.

"In real estate, it's location, location, location. In Realtors, it's fact-based details, details, details, and Philippa rules the roost! She gave us impeccable service, honest assessments of our circumstances and market realities, and a total "got your back" experience through multiple transactions. We would hire her again in a heartbeat"

-Kathy Schmidt

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.