I Create Happy New Beginnings!

Catherine and her family along with their two dogs live in the Short Pump area of Richmond. She has a daughter in high school who is also a figure skater and a son. Her husband, Jim, is all about golf and works for a major golf manufacturer. Catherine was born and raised in Delaware and moved to Richmond in 1983 to attend the University of Richmond. She graduated as a double major with Honors in both English and Psychology and a concentration in French. She worked in advertising for 10+ years most notably at The Martin Agency where she started as a receptionist and worked her way up to Associate Director of the Traffic (Project Management) Department overseeing 30+ employees in that department. She left Martin to become the Assistant Director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter where she worked for three years and helped create and implement a variety of programs – the highlights of which include the mentor program, job placement, speaker series, internships and international admissions. After the birth of her son, Catherine worked part-time at a variety of companies in a variety of positions – everything from teaching nursery school to working at a wine and beer shop to being an administrator for a local non-profit. Catherine’s volunteer resume also covers a wide range of jobs. She was PTA President at her children’s elementary school, was the General Manager of Richmond Synchro (synchronized skating) for five years, was the team manager for various soccer, skating and t-ball teams over the years, was the “Cookie Mom” for her daughter’s Brownie troop for years and has also volunteered for Meals on Wheels and Caritas. She is currently the Chair of a local synchronized skating competition. Catherine and her family have lived in almost every area of Richmond – the Fan, Church Hill, Southside, Bellevue, the West End and Short Pump so she has a terrific working knowledge of homes in the Richmond area. In her spare time, Catherine loves to travel (especially if there is a beach involved), read, garden and catch up with friends. Catherine is excited to bring these diverse experiences to the table in her real estate career. She is detail oriented, focused and works hard to get a “win-win” outcome for all of her clients. Catherine looks forward to helping your family find their best life by assisting you in your next real estate transaction.

So, what is the the Happy New Beginnings Experience?

family standing in front of their home

The Happy New Beginning Experience begins when you entrust us with your real estate transaction, but it doesn’t end there!

We enjoy cultivating relationships with our clients and earning your trust so that by the end of the process, we are honored to call

you a friend. You will receive an invitation to join The Happy New Beginnings Club on Facebook, where we announce fun events, occasional giveaways like our Thanksgiving Holiday Pie Pick-Up and the Magical Holiday Party in December

Fun Client Appreciation Parties and Events

Giveaways including sporting events, art gallery tickets, museums and more

Holiday Pie Pick Up– free delicious holiday desserts from the best gourmet RVA bakeries

Housewarming Parties

¨ Annual Magical Holiday Party

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Jennifer Galvis

My husband and I got married this past October, and our wedding florist recommended and introduced us to Bernice as the person to work with in finding our first home. She immediately connected with us and even told us about a Newlywed Promotion that she had running. Anyone who's just been married knows that every little bit helps, and she and her lender gifted us $1000 – which was huge! The Happy New Beginnings team couldn’t have been more wonderful. We absolutely loved working with Steve - he was super knowledgeable about the areas we were interested in and VERY quickly helped us find our dream home! We 100% feel we made the right decision in working with Bernice and Steve, and couldn't be happier. If you're looking for your first home (or second or third), this team will help you get there and have fun along the way. What a way to start 2019! It's a Happy New Beginning and a Happy New Year for us!

Nitin Mehta

A friend recommended Bernice to me. I am glad that she was my relator!!! Having relocated to another state for a job, I really needed a realtor, I could trust and rely upon and this person was Bernice. She sold my house in Short Pump and helped me in so many ways. Due to being out of state, I had to ask her to make multiple trips to meet contractors, take photos, check on things... We had over 50 showings. Bernice worked very hard to market and sell my home - she helped advise on repairs and paint colors, staged the home so it looked amazing, got a professional photographer, used social media, open houses, and more to get my home maximum exposure. She helped navigate a great contract on the home - the pricing was on point - almost exactly what she predicted it would sell at the very first day we met! I'm really glad I had someone so responsive, reliable, and kind to help me close this chapter of my life in Richmond. Thanks, Bernice, for helping me with my Happy New Beginning! Oh, and she even went back to the home to mail me some items that I had accidentally left behind. Thanks for everything. And I highly recommend Bernice!!

Mike Brumagin

"Bernice helped me find and purchase a few parcels of land in the country... What would have probably been a very straightforward transaction ended up being extremely complex and involving. There were numerous "obstacles" to overcome... and a few trips to courthouses and numerous inquiries. There were challenges on a few different fronts. But challenges allow us to really observe some of the strengths and qualities of the professionals we rely on... As a very busy person who travels a lot, I had to lean heavily upon the expertise and professionalism of my realtor. She really proved herself. I said it before, but "You done good, B. Done did some real good on this here deal."

Tricia Wherry & Tony Wilkerson

"As repeat client in a crazy market we couldn’t be more pleased with Bernice Sims and her Happy New Beginnings Team!!! What a crazy market, homes are flying off the shelves in this seller's market and you need an experienced realtor who was by our side. Bernice took the time for us and has the skills that won our home. We totally fell in love with a cute cape cod house with mature gardening in the neighborhood that was just perfect for us. It was extremely stressful fight between multiple offers on the home we absolutely loved but Bernice stayed on top of top every detail through-out negotiations. She pulled out all her "secret strategies" that made the absolute difference in beating out the competition. It wasn't easy and we were on the edge of our seats to the final hour. We are sooo glad that we have not only a realtor we can trust on our side, but also a friend. She just "gets us" and really is here to help. The inspection process was pretty rigorous, being an old home. Thankfully with her guidance, calmness, and support we were able to find an amicable way through that process. There was never any pressure from Bernice on our decisions and we always knew she wanted whatever was best for us. Bernice also helped sell our home which is another hard-fought battle. Don't go to anyone else - she and the Happy New Beginnings Team were a tremendous! Even if it's stressful at times, it also was a fun experience and we have shared many laughs along the way too. We can't wait to start making memories in our beautiful new home. Thank Bernice for EVERYTHING!!!"

Avis Richardson

"I was tasked with helping my brother sell his home in the West End. I did not like the comps the first realtor brought me so I decided to interview different realtors. I mention that I was looking to interview to the man that take care of my brother’s lawn and he recommended that I call Bernice. When she sat down with me she was very thorough and obviously did a lot of research on our home. She was able to point out what we could do to improve its marketability yet not "break the bank." She even recommended some GREAT contractors to help us with the floors and the painting. She has a valuable network of awesome folks to help get a house ready for market... She was very hardworking and dedicated to our success and kept in constant communication with 3 people from 2 different states! We got three strong offers in only 4 days on the market! Wow! Impressive! Thanks, Bernice... (you are a real estate rockstar!"


"Steve was fabulous, very patient, knowledgeable, and savvy about market appeal. He really helped me to what was needed to make the house sell-able. Would highly recommend him."

Deanna Davis

"I recently (June 2019) sold a home in the city of Richmond with Steve's help and he made the whole process a lot less stressful! This is a home that he helped me find in 2017 and I was worried about having to sell after such a short ownership. Steve was on it from the minute I first contacted him  about needing to sell!"

charles swinford

"Steve worked hard for us, helping us find the perfect home for our family and helping us work with a difficult seller. I strongly recommend getting him on your team!"

tara b friel

<span style="font-size: 16px;">"Steve helped us buy the perfect home! Difficult seller, difficult financing, problems with the property after the offer was made—it was an ordeal all around, but Steve was always patient and had the right answers. We hope we will never move again, but if we do, we'll be calling Steve to help with  our next purchase.</span>

Alexandra Vlk

"Steve is the best! We were newbies to home buying and Steve was very patient with us, promptly answering all of our questions. He seems to work at all hours of the day/night so he always responded super quick to our messages. Since he did work at all hours he was able to get us into house viewings  right away landing us in our dream home. Steve made the home buying process easy and not stressful at all, which was great because we had so much other stuff going on! Highly recommend Steve!"



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