Success Story: Port Union Beauty!

I thought I  would write a quick article on how we sold this home.  To give you some background,  the Toronto housing market in November 2022 is challenging.  

Interest rate hikes - meant to bring inflation back to 2% - have cooled the market, and prices have dropped since spring.  Consumer confidence is low.  News articles predicting home prices will drop between 14 - 30% in the next year creating uncertainty. 

The problem - "market value' pricing failed to move buyers off the fence

Many buyers dislike bidding wars, so you would think that pricing a home around market value would be effective.  Unfortunately,  this is not the case!  Even with many showings and over 800 video views, this home didn't get any offers.   Buyers were taking a wait and see attitude - with homes taking longer to sell there was no urgency.  

What worked to move buyers into action?

Pricing at an 'uncomfortably' low price point to bring as many buyers as possible through the house in a week.  We reviewed offers from buyers at a specific date & time.   In a hot market like this spring, this is how most homes were sold.  And it worked here.  The difference?  It requires a lower starting price than in the spring.  

The result

Over 80 showings, 1000 views of the virtual video tour & 12 offers on offers night resulted in a successful sale (in the range of our original price, too!)   The video is linked above. 

What the sellers said in their 5 star review:

"We interviewed 3 agents explaining what we wanted (i.e. buy a condo, sell our house).  Sue acted immediately.  Whereas the other agents waited for a listing to be posted on the MLS site, Sue found a listing and emailed us right away.  We asked for various analysis, and Sue produced listings of similar houses sold in our area, a comparison of the condo price to our house price, and many more.  We told Sue we needed hand-holding throughout the process, and she delivered!  She arranged for a handyman to do some minor repairs, and arranged staging.  As part of the selling process, she produced a beautiful brochure, and mailing cards.  She hand-delivered cards a as well as going door-to-door  in the local area, since residents often know friends/family who would like to move here.  She also prepared a high-energy video highlighting the features of our home.   

Sue handled a large number of showings (>80) which resulted in multiple offers in what is probably one of the worst markets in recent memory.  Real estate transactions can be stressful, but Sue kept us calm by explaining what was happening at each stage of the process.  Sue helped us buy the specific condo we wanted, and sell our home in what what may be considered an unknown market.  If you need a knowledgeable, intelligent, hard-working real estate agent that will keep you calm during the process, Sue is the one!"

What sellers can learn from this:

  • there are a lot of buyers looking for properties in the GTA as I write this 
  • many of those buyers are looking for properties in the $950,000 range (due to their financing approvals)
  • exposure to as many buyers as possible is key:  pricing properly, tons of marketing & a beautiful presentation are keys to the game

What buyers can learn from this:

  • attractively presented homes are still selling in competition 
  • if you're pre-approved to $950 or less, you will be in competition
  • reverse-engineer your search to find out what list price properties in your price range begins at and start there
  • look at homes that have sold recently in your price range to see what they look like so you can double check you're realistic with your needs/wants
  • work with a realtor who understands this
  • work with a skilled negotiator who can establish trust & a collaborative relationship with the sellers realtor to get the job done
  • try and focus your search on homes other buyers may have passed over, not ones that other buyers are attracted to! 

Recent Blog Posts

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!