Do you think Realtors are greedy & lazy?

Are you like most buyers? If you are, you think that we're a greedy lot that has conspired to drive prices sky high.  That we rig bidding wars & have unethical ways of getting people to pay top dollar for inferior properties.   That we just stick a sign on the lawn and count our money....What really happens couldn't be further from the truth! 

What the public thinks Realtors do  least for what I do to prepare homes for sale in Toronto.  So I created this series to show you that it's not cute insta reels that get the job done, it's experience, knowledge, skills & some sweat equity!  

What I really do to get my clients the top price for their house in Toronto is spend a lot of time analyzing the market and helping sellers prepare a house or condo for sale.  Whether it's a House in Toronto, a House in Pickering or a Scarborough Condo, here’s a glimpse behind the scenes to show you some of the work that goes into putting a Toronto Home for Sale:

  1. Consultation with sellers – CMA
  2. Home preparation:  Quotes, supervising trades, coordinating trades like painters, handyman, 
  3. Landscape touch up
  4. De-cluttering – helping with donations to various organizations
  5. Previewing like properties to evaluate the competition
  6. Staging consultation, planning & final staging                      
  7. Photography
  8. Video

First, I wanted to share my top 3 craziest things I've done in this business!!

1.  I boarded a clients son for a couple of months (he was starting last year of high school in a new school & the house closing to get in the area was not until end of October)

2. We moved fish. Not just any kind of fish, special African fish. The fishes' owners were not allowed on the property, and luckily my husband and stepson knew how to help, having raised this type of fish.  They also had the equipment to make the job faster - as it had to be supervised by the authorities (I can't make this stuff up!) 

3. I was yelled at by a YaYa - In the days of presenting offers in person, my clients offer was lower than this Greek Grandma liked.  I guess she got insulted.  The listing agent, who was in the room was so embarrased! 

Now, my behind the scenes stories! 

Here are a couple of short video clips followed by some before and after photos

1.  The homeowners were on a limited budget for updates, and had furniture stored by a family member in the house.  I co-ordinated movers to remove items to a storage facility, booked the storage facility, cleaned, the homeowner decluttered further then we staged the house with their own furniture, converting the basement from a storage room to a functional play area. 

Staged and ready to show! 


Before staging

2.  Again, these homeowners had been using the basement as a storage room.  We decluttered, helped them shred important documents, helped donate unwanted items to various charities, then coordinated trades to: add new carpet, replace light fixtures & paint the dated panelling

Before Staging - basement was used as a store room


The staging was used to show the space is bright and cheerful

3.  This before and after shows you how the power of paint can transform a front entrance - and this is before it's 'staged' with some decor!

Front Door After - The front entrance on this Pickering home for sale was painted a color to compliment the brickwork & new brass kick plates installed

Front Entrance before:  The door was not a focal point and the kick plates were old and tarnished






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Explore this incredible opportunity in the heart of Markham's housing market! This centrally located 4-bedroom Markham home is now for sale!  It sits on a deep private lot with an expansive backyard – perfect for family living. Recently renovated with brand-new flooring and a fresh coat of paint throughout, this residence boasts an inviting eat-in kitchen equipped with stainless steel appliances. The spacious bedrooms and separate side entrance offer versatility and comfort. Enjoy the bright, airy atmosphere thanks to ample natural light streaming through the large windows in the generous basement, ideal for relaxation and gatherings. Situated on a serene, low-traffic street, this home epitomizes convenience. 

It's a short walk to schools, parks, public transit, Centennial GO station, Markville Mall, and the vibrant shopping district along Highway 7.  You can even walk to grocery stores! This is great for commuters – an almost unheard of walking proximity to everything you need that’s rarely found outside the city core. Don't miss this opportunity to make this fantastic home in one of Markham's prime locations yours!


A disturbing trend I've come across recently is the fraud in the rental space.   As an agent who handles a fair share of rentals; these issues have shown up over several ways this year.   I'll tell you about 3 instances I've had and the red flags that appeared with each! 

When I'm representing a landlord and an application comes in, I spend a lot of time going through an applicants documentation and getting references and looking through their background.  Here's what I do:

  • Call their employer by finding the employer's website and calling through their office to confirm employment.  I don't just call the supervisor on the application
  • Look carefully at the documents to see if they are real; company letterhead & credit reports can be faked or bought
  • Check social media & linked in
  • Call past landlords
  • Make sure there is a building at the address they're currently renting
  • Check that the landlords name and property owners names match.   If it's an apartment building call through the property management company if it's an apartment rather than calling the number provided.
  • Look at the credit report for signs of altering

With those things in mind, let's look at 3 things that have happened to me this year!

1.  Student rental Scam - fake rental and landlord

First of all, you should never have to pay to submit a rental application, or be asked for a deposit before you get a chance to see the place.   These scams are generally ads on sites like Kijijii and Facebook for rentals that look too good to be true.  They also steal MLS listings for homes and advertise them at lower rates.  I came across one recently through a family friend desperate for some student housing.  It was a big scam; and when I called them out they 'protested too much'.    Here's how to spot these scammers:

  • They demand payment to submit a rental application
  • They demand a deposit before you see the unit
  • Makes excuses why they are not available to speak to on the phone 
  • Will only communicate through messenger, text or email
  • The advertised price is way lower than other rentals
  • Their Facebook profile was just created
  • Their Facebook name does not match their user name ID (see the URL) 

2. Fake Rental Applications   

There are some very good forged documents out there.  I had some people submit an application on a lease I was advertising and here's what I found during the checks, among the other checks I did as above :

  • Inconsistencies in addresses on the application
  • Employment letter does not look real - no header or footer with information on the company letterhead

3. Forged Tenacy Papers

I had a call from a gal who had a great story, good employment, good credit, moving to Toronto from outside the city for work, can't come in to look for a place so needed virtual showings.  Could I help her find a place.  Sounds great right?  

Now I don't usually check tenants out before I help them (and I'd helped out a client with an out of town move this year already in a similar situation)  But with everything going on right now, I felt it couldn't hurt to see what her references would say.   So she sent in her application & 

then came the paperwork - the address of her job didn't match up with her story.  The company had never heard of her or her supervisor.  There was even no property listed at the home she had put for her address!  Other red flags for scammers include what she did:

  • get overly upset when called out 
  • provide complicated excuses for 'mistakes' on application forms
  • call the fact checker a liar, unprofessional, etc.

So be careful out there folks! 


A big thank you to the communities of Guildwood, West Rouge & Port Union for the terrific support last Saturday for my Community Shredding Event.  About 30 families participated - and their generous food donations filled our Jeep to the brim!   The food donations were taken straight to Feed Scarborough - the Scarborough Food Security initiative and will be distributed to local satellite food banks in the area.   Judging from the huge line up outside the Manse Rd. food bank Saturday, it's much needed. 

Chartwell Guildwood was my partner for this event and provided the venue and great snacks.  Thank you Kelly & Dianne for your wonderful support.  As always, Papersavers was gracious, friendly, professional and helpful!  

One interesting sideline - My husband, myself, Dianne and Alex from papersavers all grew up within the same area!   Such a big city/small world!