"Brenda was an excellent real estate agent and helped us find a house in Newton. From the start, she shared her deep knowledge of Newton with us. Beyond the ‘findable’ information (like neighborhood history, selling trends, example listings of recently sold or on-market homes), she also helped us understand things like sellers' tendencies and preferences, and work styles of people involved in the Newton real estate market.
“She also recommended quality people to work with for home inspection and financing. She's also incredibly responsive -- agree 100% with other reviewers that Brenda has almost inhuman speeds of responsiveness. Every question we sent was thoroughly and speedily answered. This was very helpful, especially during time-sensitive situations like our offer.
“We worked with Brenda over two home-buying seasons, and the second time around worked out for us largely due to Brenda's eagle eye in spotting the listing and connecting us very quickly with the seller. I can confidently say if we didn't have Brenda, there was no way we would have found this house or purchased it. And, she helped us buy this home literally a week after giving birth to a child! Highly recommend working with her!"
-- Kevin H. April 2022
“Words are not enough to express our admiration for the professional services Brenda van der Merwe provided to us and how satisfied we were with her being our agent. An outstanding professional service from beginning to end that we have rarely seen before.
“She is not only knowledgeable about real estate and everything related to it, but relentless in her objectives of promoting our property the right way, and properly managing the closing process, communicating with lawyers, inspectors, town authorities, etc. Can you think of an agent that you will text or email and you will get a response within minutes (day or night Monday through Sunday)? That’s how she operates.
“She was more than an agent, she was a top adviser/consultant (staging, advertising, promotions, statistical analysis), and any possible service required by the property. She had all the contacts and the knowledge. In addition, she knows about the legal aspects of real estate including but not limited to inspections, documents, and refinancing process.
“She has mastered every angle of the sales process. How to approach the sellers, buyers, and everyone in between. An impressive professional (actually it is Dr. van der Merwe, as she holds a Doctorate degree) that not even giving birth to a beautiful girl a week ago stopped her from being literally on top of everything a week after our closing.
“You will not be disappointed by working with her.”
-- Jorge R., February 2022
"Brenda was a fantastic broker for us. She was very responsive to our needs, easy to work with, and helped us secure a place we really love. We saw a few different places in Back Bay, the South End and Brookline, and she was very good at helping us navigate the competitive process, get inspections with quick turnarounds, and make the right offer. Not only that, but she helped us navigate some of the complicated aspects of our first purchase that were beyond the natural scope of her job -- like securing loans, hiring attorneys, and finding contractors-- and every person she pointed us to was excellent. Overall, we could not recommend Brenda highly enough and would gladly work with her again."
-- Jetson L., January 2022
"Brenda worked with me to purchase a new construction house. While there were challenges dealing with the seller's agent and the developer, Brenda was always professional and courteous. She was always quick to answer my texts, phone calls, and emails. I would certainly recommend Brenda to anyone looking to buy or sell a home."
-- Cindy S., January 2022
"Brenda helped us to buy our first home in the U. S. She accompanied us to many open houses and was very patient. She never pushed us to make a deal and always gave us the time to find a house that we love and suits our needs.
“She is very professional, kind, knowledgeable and always had time to answer our calls and questions, also during weekends and late hours. Brenda was active and involved during the buying process and tried to negotiate on our behalf when issues arose. After we bought the house she also directed us to many great professionals.
“We highly recommend Brenda as an exceptional real estate agent and would love to work with her again in the future."
-- Karin G., August 2021
"Brenda is fantastic and highly recommended. She knows the market exceptionally well, is extremely knowledgeable of the housing stock, local trends and quirks, and has a great network of resources to draw upon for expert advice/services as needed.
“Brenda guided our search for a new home in Newton. We were targeting a small geographic area with tight reins on the budget and some strong opinions on what we like and don’t like. With low inventory to choose from, our search was neither easy nor quick!
“Brenda was patient throughout, though, offering pragmatic advice as we navigated the market. Importantly, she probably knew what we wanted even before we did! The process from offer to close was just as seamless and well-supported. Kudos to a great guide and collaborator through the process."
--John B., August 2021
"We recently worked with Brenda from submitting an offer all the way to closing on a house and we cannot be happier with her. Even though we are first-time home buyers, we have worked with many real estate agents. Brenda was by far the best. In fact, on the surface she was responsive and informative. She got herself very familiar with the house and the area she's doing business with, from evaluating the property value, renting and parking situations nearby, to taking care of all the utility bill transfers. A lot of these are either overwhelming or easy to skip the mind of first-time homeowners.
“She is always on time for appointments. She answers or returns our calls and emails quickly even at off hours when we need urgent answers. (Yes, this happened more than we would like, probably because we've never gone through a property purchase process and can easily become anxious with all kinds of questions coming to mind). Deep down she is an honest and responsible person, always doing her best to bring up solutions and ideas to resolve any obstacles in closing the deal, no matter how tricky the issues or how unconventional the requests may be.
“She is good and clear in communication between all parties involved. She understands peoples’ concerns and always finds the best angle to solve problems and conflicts. She attends to everyone's interests and strikes a good balance to make everyone happy enough to close the deal which, after all, is the most important thing!"
-- Zhenyu Q., June 2021
"Brenda van der Merwe was our broker for selling our home and purchasing a new home, and we give her 5 GOLD STARS!! We have bought/sold ~10 properties in our lifetime and have dealt with many real estate agents over the years - and Brenda stands out as an agent that we trust, highly recommend and would absolutely use again!
“Brenda is not only experienced and professional (which is essential), but more importantly, she makes it a priority to get to know you, her clients, and understand your goals and objectives so she can develop a plan for selling or buying a home that is right for you. She always made herself available anytime and was immediately responsive to any questions or concerns. She had her finger on the pulse of what was going on in the market, and provided us with timely information and showings.
“Buying and/or selling a home (and we did both at the same time during the pandemic) is STRESSFUL - yet Brenda always remains ‘calm, cool and collected’ - she is no-drama, and is always ready to respond in any crisis or challenge (and we all know this happens when selling or purchasing a home)! Bottom line -- you will absolutely love having Brenda as an agent! She’s who you need and who you will be glad is working for you -- so give her a call!"
-- David S. and John D., April 2021
“We recently bought a condo in Newtonville that we stumbled upon, so we didn’t have our own Realtor. Brenda was the listing agent for the property, but went above and beyond to advise and guide us through the process. There were multiple delays and at times this was challenging, but she persisted and stayed on top of every detail and continued to push the process forward. She’s incredibly knowledgeable of the local real estate market as well as the process and paperwork.
“From inspections, permits to city hall, Brenda has it covered. I’d highly recommend her to any seller or buyer.”
-- Tricia C., March 2021
"Meeting Brenda was the best thing that happened to us during the search for our new home. As first-time buyers, we required a lot of guidance during the process, and Brenda walked us through every step of the way. We had very limited availability to view homes and were immediately impressed by her efficiency (we saw 6 homes in one morning) and how responsive she was to our needs.
“She is exceptionally knowledgeable and pays attention to important details of a home. During the whole home search we really felt that she was advocating for us and our needs. She helped us strategize to put down exactly enough to win our first offer, and we couldn't be more pleased with our new home.
“From a professionalism standpoint, there is no one better than Brenda. She is super organized - she helped us stay on top of deadlines amidst our hectic schedules. She also always responds to emails and texts right away. We cannot give Brenda a stronger endorsement!"
-- Ted G., March 2021
"We can't say enough about Brenda. We wanted to buy a new house and then sell our old house which seemed like a risky endeavor. Brenda was confident our house would sell and had a calming influence when we brought up our various concerns. Brenda's orchestration of the entire process of preparing and selling our house was very impressive, including outdoor and indoor fix-ups, recommendations to make the house shine, drone video/photos of the house and yard, lovely staging, etc. We took advantage of Brenda's connections with excellent tradespeople to do the work. Anytime there was an issue she was there in person to make sure it was resolved.
“Brenda's strategy for putting the house on the market was ingenious. She showed the house to about 100 people in 10 days, we received 15 offers and the house sold well above asking price. Brenda made a spreadsheet of all of the offers and helped us evaluate the merits of each one. When we found a house we wanted to purchase, Brenda's experience and attention to detail made the entire process run smoothly for us. She knew how to craft an offer that was attractive beyond the price."
-- Sue C., February 2021
"Brenda was extremely competent, knowledgeable, and very helpful during the whole process -- from P&S, inspection, and getting information about the mortgage and having the right attorney! Buying a property is a major transaction and Brenda was always there for me during this journey Thank you for everything! I have and will continue to recommend Brenda to anyone looking to buy or sell.”
-- Aza R., November 2020
"We would absolutely recommend Brenda to anyone thinking of buying or selling a property. Throughout the whole process she instilled a sense of confidence. She priced the place we were selling correctly and arranged everything for the sale with care and precision. It was the same with the purchase. She was tenacious when necessary and reassuring as needed. She was extremely responsive to all our requests and anticipated in advance questions and issues that might arise. She followed up quickly on all queries and worked well to coordinate with all those involved in the purchase, including the local town authorities. She did not let anything slip and kept the whole process on track even when we encountered unexpected problems. Not only is she a first-rate professional but also a warm hearted, considerate person to work with. We cannot recommend her any more highly."
-- Anthony S., October 2020
"My partner and I worked with Brenda to purchase our first home (2-bed, 1 bath condo in Jamaica Plain), and we are so grateful that we connected with Brenda. Brenda was incredibly responsive and available throughout the process and made the search incredibly easy. She led us through a challenging Covid environment (summer 2020) and persevered through rain, sleet, and hail (literally) during one of our several touring sessions. In addition, we are incredibly thankful for Brenda's cool-headed advice on buying / bidding strategy. We were eager to win on our current apartment after losing a bidding war on our first offer and were prepared to go well above ask in order to be successful. Brenda, however, gave us good counsel and helped us figure out exactly what it would take to win, saving us ~$30k-$40k.
“Ultimately, the best testament to Brenda's value is that we viewed Brenda as an advisor and consultant. She listened to our needs and provided helpful advice and guidance throughout the process. I have worked with other Realtors on investment properties and Brenda is the first agent I've worked with who takes an advisory role rather than transactional one. We recommend her unreservedly and will be passing her information along to friends and family in the future."
-- Michael M., September 2020
"We were so fortunate to have found Brenda van der Merwe when we moved to Newton. As our Realtor, she helped us find the right house in the right neighborhood for the right price. The best part about working with Brenda was that she was always giving us good advice and finding homes that met our needs. We would highly recommend her to anyone."
-- Ruby K., September 2020
"Our experience with Brenda was the best possible. From the very beginning she was very helpful in every step of the process, including helping us connect with the right people to understand the process of buying a house in Massachusetts. From understanding the pros and cons of every town, to the differences between one house to the other, she helped us look for things we didn't even know about and that were crucial in our search.
“As foreigners to the U.S., the whole process was very new for us, but she understood from the very beginning our needs, and adapted to what we were discovering on the way that could be the best match for us. She wasn't only a key part the search of our new home, and a key negotiator and guide through the whole process, but also a very kind and resourceful person to have along our side in this important moment of our lives. I would recommend her 1000% to anyone looking to buy a place in Massachusetts."
-- Nicolas E. September 2020
“We had a positive experience with Brenda. This was our first time buying a home, and Brenda patiently guided us through the entire process! Brenda was extremely responsive – even on holidays and in the evenings – and was patient with all of our questions. We felt confident that Brenda had everything under control as we moved from the offer to closing. Thank you, Brenda!”
-- Megan Z., July 2020
“It was fantastic working with Brenda. She was very knowledgeable about the area and gave options and objective recommendations which were very sound – made the process of buying a home in a competitive market very smooth. She was quick to respond to questions and accommodating with our schedules.”
--Sarah Chu, July 2020
“We are first-time home buyers and Brenda was incredibly thorough, informative, and, most importantly, patient throughout the whole process! Brenda is very responsive and always provided answers in a timely manner. We toured multiple condos with her in Boston and finally settled on a place we love! We will definitely recommend her to friends.”
-- Gwen N., July 2020
"This is my second time working with Brenda as she had initially helped with finding a rental. We enjoyed working with her so much we engaged with her to purchase a house in the same area. It was a pleasure to work through this process with Brenda and she made it much easier than it otherwise would have been. Her knowledge, not only from a Realtor perspective, but also about Massachusetts law was immeasurably helpful. Brenda proactively managed the relationship with the seller and helped us with the mortgage broker. She caught things that we would have glanced over and pointed out items that would have been missed by all parties involved. Brenda was able to refer all the specialists we needed for the inspection and even a contractor for a subsequent renovation. If you choose Brenda, you won’t regret it."
-- Christopher W., December 2019
"Brenda is a consummate professional. She rightly prides herself on basing her approach to evaluating property on data. She remained calm when we were stressed out - and helped us navigate through to a positive conclusion. We wouldn’t have made it without her!"
-- Ann B., December 2019
"We recently purchased our first condo in Newton, and it was a wonderful experience thanks to Brenda. She understood our needs perfectly and showed us selected properties. Furthermore, she was kind and prompt to answer our questions. If we have a chance to sell or buy a property in the future, we would like to ask her to support us again."
-- Masa W., September 2019
"Brenda is a superstar! I used her as a buyer's agent. The seller's agent was unprofessional (tried to contact me directly, etc.). The sellers had some odd requests (wanted to postpone the closing date so that a relative could visit). She handled it all flawlessly. She was on the ball in regards to making sure that everything stayed on track such as the fire department smoke detector inspection, etc."
-- Darrell S., August 2019
"Brenda, her support team and infrastructure were instrumental in the complex sale of 2 condo units simultaneously as one transaction. She has a tremendous knowledge of the market and industry and is extremely responsive to all matters. We highly recommend her for anyone who is looking to buy or sell a home."
-- Bob P., July 2019
"I really hit the jackpot when Zillow paired me up with Brenda. She is smart, savvy, patient, efficient, and honest. As a long-time renter, I went into this process knowing nothing and unaware if buying was even feasible. Brenda guided me through everything and recommended a great lawyer and mortgage broker. She spent the time necessary to understand what I wanted and how that aligned with my budget and the market. Brenda was very direct in telling me why properties were priced a certain way and whether they were worthwhile for my particular needs. It's easy for first-time buyers like me with modest income to feel crowded out by the investors and 1%-ers who drop half a million in cash without batting an eye. Brenda treated me with respect and helped me get a beautiful condo in the town I wanted. It was also a huge bonus that Brenda is a professional musician like me!"
-- Sara W., June 2019
"Brenda helped us buy our first house, so we were confident in her professionalism and knowledge of purchasing our second house. She is very responsive and reliable, and she was able to get us the best offer. At the time, we were only casually looking at homes, but once we found one we fell in love with, we contacted Brenda last minute. She responded within minutes and was able to help us during the entire process while working with our difficult schedules. Brenda is amazing to work with, and not only did we recommend her to our other friends, we would definitely recommend Brenda to anyone else looking for an agent."
-- Sherry C., April 2019
"Brenda was highly effective in helping us complete an out-of-state move on a compressed timeline. She was extremely responsive from the start, and her local knowledge combined with thoughtfulness about our particular circumstances (work locations, commute timing, kids' needs, etc.) resulted in an efficient and successful weekend of showings. Once we were ready to make an offer, it was especially helpful that Brenda is well-connected within the Newton market: we had the information we needed to make a reasonable offer to win the deal. I will recommend her to others, and I'll be thrilled to work with her again down the road!"
-- Kendal C., January 2019
"Brenda went above and beyond to find me the perfect home. I never expected such professional, attentive and efficient service. Even AFTER the successful purchase Brenda went out of her way to help with finishing details. She is assertive, compassionate and puts her clients first! Highly recommend. Thank you, Brenda!"
-- David D., December 2018
“We found out about Brenda reading reviews online like this one as we started the house search on our own through Zillow.com. We decided to work with her based on all of the prior stellar reviews, and looking back, this is probably one of the best decisions we could have made in this housing search process. Having an amazing Realtor to work with makes a huge difference. She guided us all the way through a season of exploring different houses, finding the ones we liked, ultimately making an offer, inspection, and finally closing (and also beyond closing).
“We were always impressed with her fund of knowledge, her communication skills, professionalism, patience, and accessibility. She was really a guide for us in the complete sense of the word and helped us every step of the way. We learned a lot from her as she helped us figure out what we were interested in and protected us while navigating several hiccups along the road to closing.
“We have interacted with several brokers in Newton/Brookline through this process, and the best endorsement we can give is that we would undoubtedly seek Brenda out again if we ever need to buy or sell another home. We place a lot of emphasis on professionalism and consider ourselves pretty picky on a lot of aspects, and we have to say that Brenda always exceeded our expectations in ways that we could not have anticipated. It is further testament to her, though, that she is so good at her job and matching families and homes, that we don't see ourselves moving anytime soon!”
-- William L., November 2018
"We really appreciated her insights in the neighborhoods we were looking at and her grasp of what we were looking for (pretty unusual condo with no stairs but not in a large complex). She helped us look at things that were close-but-no-cigar but never tried to push us to buy, and eventually helped negotiate a price drop on the perfect place to get it just into our price range. She's an expert and easy to talk to talk to."
-- Myra F., October 2018
"My husband and I were buying a small house for our daughter. Brenda showed us the perfect home for our daughter one morning. We went for lunch and put it an offer that day! Sadly, we were overbid on that one, but within 3 weeks we found another perfect fit for our daughter and her dog and we were successful. Brenda responded Immediately to every call we made, guided us through the P&S, and tended to the closing with a recommendation of a reputable lawyer. Very professional and efficient plus knowledge of locales."
-- Laura L., October 2018
"Brenda is an exceptionally professional broker. She has a tremendous knowledge of the market and the industry. She has a network of tradesmen--such as plumbers, contractors and moving/downsizing experts--that helped us. She has a very calm demeanor, she never exerts undue pressure, and is highly honest and ethical. Working with her was a pleasure."
-- Al G., October 2018
"I had the great pleasure to work with Brenda in selling our family home. Brenda is very professional and knowledgeable and took us through the whole process with care and confidence. I highly recommend her to others who are in need of an excellent agent. I am looking forward to working with her again, when my son is looking for property in the near future."
-- Karen B., September 2018
"This is the second time we worked with Brenda to buy a property. This time, we were simultaneously selling a property. There’s no way we could have done this without her. She arranged and prepared us for meetings with inspectors, attorneys and handymen. She asked the questions that needed to be asked and advocated for us at every stop of the way. On top of professionalism, her warmth and friendly nature endear her to us. She’s the best."
-- Lisa and T.J. K., August 2018
"Brenda was fantastic to work with. She was extremely knowledgeable about the Boston neighborhoods down to the zip code. We were first-time home buyers and Brenda was extremely helpful in answering all questions and walking us through the complicated and sometimes overwhelming steps of purchasing our first home."
-- Zeba J. and Lenin L., July 2018
"My husband and I live in England and were looking for a property in a specific area of Boston. We had never bought property in the U. S. A. prior to this so felt nervous about the process and speed at which the market moves. I had been in contact with other agents but did not feel confident in the feedback I was getting. I stumbled across Brenda by replying to a property online. From the first communication I could tell Brenda was professional and knowledgeable. She patiently and professionally answered my many questions before we committed to flying to Boston to view properties. Our time was limited but with Brenda's dedication and excellent organization skills we were able to find and complete the various stages of the sale within a few weeks. My husband and I felt fortunate to have met Brenda and would highly recommend her."
-- Linda and Peter T., June 2018
"It was a real pleasure working with Brenda. She knows the market very well. It's pretty incredible how good she is with digging into the details while also being very responsive. If you are thinking about buying a place in the Greater Boston area, trust us, you want to work with Brenda."
-- Amit D., June 2018
“My husband and I worked with Brenda on our first home purchase. From the start, Brenda was extremely responsive, knowledgeable and professional. She knows so much about the neighborhoods, which was invaluable to us as we were moving from another state. We could not be happier that we chose Brenda as our real estate agent -- She truly went above and beyond to make sure not only that all of our questions and concerns were addressed, but also pointed out considerations that would never have occurred to us. We definitely highly recommend her!”
-- Bryan and Heejin, May 2018
"We had a great experience with Brenda. She was hardworking and extremely responsive. It was enjoyable to work with her. We are happy with our condo. Thanks!"
-- Philip L., April 2018
"Brenda was a consummate professional in every aspect of our home-buying experience. Brenda's responsiveness, in particular, was much appreciated and assisted us greatly, as my wife and I needed to move very quickly. When we identified the home we really wanted, Brenda provided expert guidance as to the offer price and various closing contingencies. Further, Brenda's recommendations for counsel, home inspector, etc. were spot-on. We could not be happier with how everything turned out, and highly recommend Brenda!"
-- Patrick C., March 2018
"Brenda is THE best real estate agent I know. With her great knowledge and patience, Brenda helped me find my ideal condo and guided me through the whole process of buying. She knows exactly what is going on in the market and always meets my needs responsively, many times even without me saying it. I have pretty high standards and I can safely say she totally exceeds my expectations. She is also my agent for finding tenants. I trust her in all aspects of real estate transactions and I will not hesitate to have her as my agent in the future. I highly recommend Brenda to anyone who wants to know what a Five-Star real estate professional should be like."
-- Biao L., December 2017
"Our first move in 47 years was further complicated by my heart attack on the eve of moving date, and my wife had a stent. After open heart bypass I was in rehab and Brenda van der Merwe then assumed our seller’s tasks and guided us along the process with professional expertise and personal sensitivity. She always apprised us of problems and solutions. She allayed our fears by keeping us informed all along the process. We are grateful to our son who recommended Brenda after she assisted them in the purchase of their condominium."
-- Tom K., November 2017
“Brenda is an excellent Realtor. Her professionalism and hard work along the entire process highly contributed to the successful closing. We hired her after thorough research. We surveyed the local market and had interviews with several agents. Right from the first interaction, Brenda surpassed all of her rivals. Her marketing presentation was impressive, both in depth and width, she put a lot of work on getting all her facts straight. I remember our first conversation. It struck me how accurate her prediction of the trends for the market had turned out to be. She had invested her time, money and effort with enormous generosity. She is an extremely pleasant person to deal with, very responsive and always on top of every detail. I have no doubt we will work with her again.”
-- Belinda A., November 2017
"We used Brenda to both purchase and sell our first house in Arlington. She displayed intimate knowledge of the process and educated us on what the necessary steps were to have a successful transaction. Especially since we sold our house and were living in NYC and had to rely on her for quite a bit. She didn't disappoint as she was effective at pricing the house right so that it went quite a bit above asking, putting it on the market at the right time and the whole strategy surrounding it. We would definitely use her again. Plus, she has a PhD. in music."
-- Toby W., October 2017
"I sincerely want to thank Brenda for her support through the process of buying my first home. She is very responsive and her patience is exemplary. It took me a while to find the property which would suit my budget and needs and -- all through the process -- Brenda has been very helpful, supportive and motivational. She knows the area very well and has a network of people to help homebuyers at all the stages. I highly recommended her to anyone who is looking to purchase their home. Thank you, Brenda."
-- Cherry H., September 2017
“Brenda is awesome! With her remarkable knowledge and skills, she helped us make our offer really strong, and we eventually got the house we love. She is professional, practical, and helpful, always sincere and candid. We're so lucky to have her as our agent, and will recommend her without any hesitation!"
-- Wendy W., July 2017
"Brenda did an incredible job selling our Brookline condo and helping us find a new home. She proved she has a great deal of industry knowledge and experience and this made the process far simpler. She also did a great job coming up with a strategy to get us the very best offer for our condo. And lastly, it was a pleasure to work with her - great listener and communicator. We highly recommend her for anyone who is looking to buy or sell a home."
-- Kai T., July 2017
“Brenda has earned our highest honors. She was the quintessential broker for us. We had already moved to another state when our house went up for sale. Between managing snow and ice removal and the oversight and accommodation of multiple workers who needed to enter and leave our home, Brenda did it all with the utmost efficiency, calm and professionalism. She attended every open house and communicated in detail about the multiple ongoing work projects and negotiations with prospective buyers. We could not have managed such a stressful process from such a great distance without Brenda's exceptional skill, energy and integrity. We could not recommend Brenda more highly."
-- Mona V., July 2017
"Brenda did a wonderful job selling our Cambridge condo in record time and trouble-free. She made the whole process easy and worked closely with us to get the best offer. We have worked with her twice, representing us when we were buying a condo from a long distance, and recently selling, and we would not hesitate to recommend her for either. She is a dedicated and hard-working professional who will look after your best interests."
-- Rosemary R., June 2017
"Our experience working with Brenda could not have been more positive. She made the process as stress-free as possible. Communication was great. I have never met a harder working Realtor! We recommend her without hesitation."
-- Walter and Brenda Y., April 2017
“Thank you very much for all you did to assist us in finding our investment property. We couldn’t have done it without you! Your expert advice and quick response to all of our questions were greatly appreciated. We couldn’t be more pleased with the end result! Also, thanks for the bottle of champagne, we love it!
"You also helped us find our first tenant. You worked extremely hard and were very friendly and we would recommend you to anyone."
“Thank you again for all your help!”
-- Noriko and Dee H., April 2017
“My husband and I are first time home buyers. Brenda really went through everything with us in details, and she is always on our side. She is very professional and knowledgeable about everything you need to know about buying a house, and she is very responsive! Also she has a lot of good connections with the lender, lawyer, home inspection, etc. We ended up working with everyone she recommends and it all ends up very well. I will highly recommend her as a Realtor."
--Xi W., March 2017
"Brenda was a great asset to us as we moved from Chicago to Boston. We needed to decide quickly where we would settle our family in the greater Boston area. Brenda was most knowledgeable, resourceful, and patient. She truly listened to our priorities and responded accordingly with the properties she showed us. Brenda goes the ‘extra mile’ to make it all happen. We are very grateful and would use her services again without a doubt!"
-- Yasmin D., February 2017
“Svetlana and I, along with my brothers, would like to thank you for acting as our agent in the successful sale of my mother’s house over the past year – a job which turned out to be more involved and undoubtedly more frustrating than any of us anticipated at the start.
“We were impressed by your dedication to achieving a sale, with at least 18 open houses and 32 private showings before a serious buyer was found. The intricacies and complexities of this transaction made us appreciate the value of a professional Realtor, and we feel that your commission was well-earned. We enjoyed working with you and are glad to have chosen you and Hammond for this mission. I believe my mother would have been very pleased with the result.”
-- Andrew L. and Svetlana N., January 2017
“My wife and I had the opportunity to work with Brenda on our search for a house in the Newton and Needham area for a pretty long time. Brenda understood our requirements and also made excellent professional suggestions that eventually helped us to find a house that we were looking for. Brenda is a real professional real estate agent who will help you with any questions related to property and purchase or sales. During all this period it was a real pleasure to work with her and I would definitely recommend her for anyone who is looking to buy or sell a house because she understood our needs and thanks to her professional and personal skills our house search was as pleasant as is possible.”
-- Stan C., December 2016
"Brenda has been a GREAT pleasure to work with! She is so professional and truly cares about her customers so much. Without her, we wouldn't have this chance to successfully purchase our house and enjoy it now. My whole family admired her professionalism and dedication in this process that made our dream quickly come true!
“In our house purchasing process, she tries her best efforts to understand our needs, brings new opportunities to us based on her knowledge and expertise. She is extremely responsive to our questions and requests, stands with us all the time until achieving the best result possible at the end. We greatly appreciate her help and feel so fortunate to have her as our agent! If you want to purchase (or sell) a property, please contact Brenda. Believe me, you will feel fortunate later.”
-- Tingliang H., November 2016
“As first-time home buyers, we were very nervous about the purchasing process and finding the right home for the right price in such a competitive market as Newton. Fortunately, we were able to find Brenda at an open house (she was representing the seller at the time). We could tell during the open house that Brenda was very professional, intelligent, and organized, which is what really attracted us to her. Unfortunately, our offer wasn't strong enough to land the house, however, we decided that Brenda was the agent we needed to find our perfect home. While working with Brenda, it was clear that she truly cares about her clients and is always open and honest. She was very responsive and knowledgeable to any questions we had. It was comforting to know that we were in such good hands during the purchasing process. We truly appreciate her help and feel so fortunate to have her as our agent! If you're looking for an agent who is knowledgeable and offers great advice, we strongly recommend Brenda!”
-- Sherry C., November 2016
"My husband and I have been looking for a house for 2 years. Once we met Brenda she made it happen in 2 days. Now we are happy owners of a beautiful house in Newton. Brenda is an intelligent, professional, detail-oriented broker. We are so fortunate to have found Brenda and strongly recommend her.”
-- Sophie V., November 2016
“I have worked with Ms. van der Merwe for the past four months on the sale of my home in Newton Center. I can tell you that she is the most professional and thorough person in any profession or capacity that I have worked with. How can I say this after only four months? She sold my home within the first two weeks of having the listing and I was an out-of-town owner! In addition to this, after the sale she either helped me directly, or she actually oversaw the details of the buyer’s having access to see the house for details having to do with their future plans, helping me to bring the house up to state fire-code laws which were required for the closing, assisting me with finding someone to help with the sale of the contents of the house, going to the house when there was confusion about who was supposed to be doing what and when and I was in a state over a 3 hour flight away.
“Anytime I needed something I did not hesitate to call Ms. van der Merwe because I knew that she would not hesitate to assist in any way that she could and with the best attitude and capability with which I have rarely had the opportunity to work.”
-- Carol W., November 2016?
"If you are looking for a wonderful real estate agent, stop looking - you found her! I cannot say enough about Brenda's professionalism, responsiveness and great advice. She was tremendously helpful in all aspects of this experience, from getting the property ready for sale through closing. Our property sold very quickly (within days) at a great price and I had multiple choices of good buyers. Brenda gave very sage advice as to how to navigate them all. Plus, she is just so nice that she's always a pleasure to work with!! In short, she converted a potentially very difficult time into a seamless, painless experience. I highly recommend her.”
-- Jamie K., October 2016
“Brenda has been a joy and pleasure to work with from beginning to end. She turned a difficult situation into an easy one. Her immediate response to any situation proved her excellent professional skills. Thank you, Brenda, for ALL that you did. We highly recommend Brenda if you need a real estate agent!”
-- Laina L, October 2016
“I had the pleasure of working with Brenda for the sale of my condo in Brookline. At the time of the sale I was not living in Massachusetts. Brenda helped with many of the details that I was not able to deal with because of the distance. The sale was fast and smooth. She did a great job and I would highly recommend Brenda to help you sell or buy a condo or house in the Boston area.”
-- Donna E., August 2016
“Brenda was very focused on finding the right house for us. Her analytical skills were very helpful in determining offer price and if a given house was a good value relative to the neighborhood, market, etc. She never hesitated to make herself available for visits, inspections, and the like. She is a good listener, and approaches her role with great intelligence.”
-- Bill B., August 2016
“Brenda always conducts business in an extremely professional manner. I have had three different real estate transactions with Brenda. She was my Realtor in selling my two-family home in 2015. She gave us great advice about how to prepare the home so it showed its best assets and she was spot-on with respect to the asking price. The open house was widely advertised and hugely attended. I then rented a ‘transition’ home through Brenda and she negotiated with the owner to allow me to be a tenant at will. This was helpful as I just purchased a new home, with Brenda as my Realtor. She knows all the right questions to ask and her guidance during the whole process was invaluable, making an extremely stressful process less so.”
-- Paul N., August 2016
"Buying a home for the first time is not simple, but from the very first time we met Brenda we understood that she had the expertise and the resources to guide us through this first acquisition. Brenda is available virtually anytime. We cannot recall a time where we had to wait for replies or feedback. Her knowledge of the market made us very confident about buying the property at the right price. But most impressive is her ability to understand our needs and walk us through the entire process from visits to closing. Brenda is a pleasure to work with. We would definitely recommend Brenda.”
-- Ben and Denise, August 2016
"Brenda was a pleasure to work with. She has her hand on the pulse of the market in Newton, she is a great advocate for her clients, she works 24/7 for her clients, and she is always available via phone, text, or email throughout the selling process. Brenda made the selling process very easy for us, and helped us maximize our home value.”
-- Gregory L., June 2016
“The highest compliment I could give Brenda would be to recommend her to a friend who really needs the skills and abilities that Brenda has and this is exactly what I did. I would also highly recommend her to anyone who is selling their home. I'm sure that Brenda has not had many sellers as nervous and insecure as I was and I can only say that she has enough great reserves of patience that she kept me from having daily meltdowns throughout the entire process. Brenda also had the resources and knowledge to wade through the ridiculous amount of red tape that Newton throws a seller up against and to reduce them to manageable proportions. She knows the markets; she understands the buyers and she's unflappable. Brava, Brenda!”
-- Paula C., June 2016
“I cannot recommend Brenda enough. Firstly, she was pretty much the key reason we were able to make a winning offer. Not only did she understand all the nuances of the offer strategy (down payment, time commitment, contingencies, etc.), but she also had a good instinct about the target price range. This is crucial and was missing in a few other brokers I worked with. Brenda demonstrated a good sense of the home value and communicated it with her rationale while at the same time never being pushy. For me this was a critical asset of Brenda and is only possible in a complex neighborhood like Newton if the broker has real local expertise -- which Brenda did.
“Once the offer process was over, Brenda was with us every step of the way and was patient with (my million) questions. She was extremely professional, e.g., she would come to meetings with a summary of the last 10 emails I sent her to discuss everything item by item! After the home closed I had another 10 questions! I was not sure if Brenda would be as responsive -- but her professionalism was still quite there even after the closing date. Brenda brings a touch of personal care and concern that is genuine and it’s hard to miss. Overall, she had everything I wanted from a real estate broker, local knowledge, commercial knowledge, process understanding, honesty, responsiveness and a genuine care and empathy that is hard to find. Thanks, Brenda!”
-- Sidhant J., February 2016
“Brenda van der Merwe is the real estate agent you have been looking for! It is our pleasure to write this review on her behalf. We have been working with Brenda for more than 6 years now. Brenda helped us purchase our first home and now we are in the process of working together again in the search for another one. During all these years, Brenda has developed even more skills, knowledge and professionalism in her area of expertise. We are always impressed with her quick responses and updates about neighborhoods and properties. Brenda is a great advocate for her customers and works in their best interest. If you are a first-time home buyer she would walk you through the whole process of loan approval to closing on your dream home. We highly recommend Brenda to anyone there who is looking for a real estate professional!”
-- Krasimira P., January 2016
“I worked with Brenda van der Merwe on completing the purchase of my condo in Newton. It was a very complicated transaction and not very high dollars. Brenda was fantastic to turn every obstacle that I had to get to closure. She is efficient, skillful in her negotiations and, most importantly, thorough during the whole process. She anticipated obstacles and was able to guide me in the process. I would not have gotten to closure without her help and professionalism. This is the only broker I will use on any future real estate transaction.”
-- Siobhean F., December 2015
“Brenda was great! She was constantly trying to meet the requirements we put to here even when they seemed contradictory or vague. She also seemed to really know the areas she works with and had lots of info about the communities we looked in. She was always so prompt and respectful with responses as well.”
--Sally S., September 2015
“Brenda recently assisted me in buying my current home as well as selling my first home (which she had assisted me in buying seven and half years ago). All three transactions went smoothly. The sale of my first home and purchase of my current home closed on the same day and at each step of the way Brenda kept the process moving forward by making sure that all parties had completed the necessary steps on time. It is because of this that come closing day everything went very smoothly and we were able to move into our new home that we love. I would highly recommend Brenda to anyone seeking a real estate broker in the Boston area.”
--Adam P., September 2015
“I and my husband unexpectedly found ourselves relocating to Boston for work and quickly were overwhelmed by the complexity (and cost) of the housing market. Brenda was our ambassador and coached us through the maze, educating us, supporting us and guiding us... but always with what we wanted in mind. Not only was Brenda knowledgeable and skillful, she was patient, kind and respectful. And she was a great advocate on our behalf when it came down to negotiating and sealing a deal. Within two weeks we closed on a house. We recommend Brenda wholeheartedly.”
-- Susan A., June 2015
"Brenda is very knowledgeable about the ins and outs of real estate. She is a good listener, and very responsive. She is happy to let the client take the lead or suggest properties herself. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a home in the Boston area.”
-- Glenna C., April 2014
“Brenda is a lovely person, very helpful, very knowledgeable and familiar with her area! She has very good negotiation skills, too. I was a first-time buyer and she gave me advice, reminded me of important dates, and recommended two great people as my mortgage broker and attorney. Brenda always replied to questions as soon as possible -- on working time, vacation and weekends as well. She even brought a gift for me at closing. Highly, highly recommended.”
-- Ding W., April 2014
“Brenda is a fantastic real estate agent who works very hard to help her clients find their dream home. We had worked with a number of realtors before committing to Brenda and found her knowledge and expertise to be superior. She truly loves her work and it shows!”
-- Daniel B., January 2014
“Brenda is one of the most thorough, honest and loyal service providers we have met. She helped us buy a house in Arlington, MA in 2013. Her ongoing and prompt guidance was crucial in making the deal and us finding a place we could call ‘home.’ Even after the deal was made, she was always eager to help us with follow-up questions, which underscored her commitment to her clients and not to that one business opportunity. Buying a house could be an overwhelming experience, so many a times she was confronted with frantic calls from us, but she always responded with calmness and logic. We are looking forward to engaging her in the future, and highly recommend her to anyone who is looking to buy/sell a property in Boston and the Metro area.”
-- Ashka N., November 2013
“I would unconditionally recommend Brenda van der Merwe. I've known her for 6 years and would not consider working with anyone else.
“I've worked with Brenda since buying my first property -- she was very professional, had answers to all my questions, was extraordinarily patient and really impressed me with her calm personality, and thorough knowledge of the business. I really felt at all times that she had my best interests at heart.
“Since that first property, Brenda has helped me buy my second (both residential / investment properties in Cambridge) as well as helped me find and qualify tenants.
“She's great at her job, and is always available to answer my questions. I feel very lucky to have found her!”
--Neil H.. October 2012