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Why Your Real Estate Agent Is So Important & How Making The Wrong Selection Can Cost You Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars!

Your choice of realtor can and will impact how long your home sits on the market & why you shouldn’t choose a realtor solely based on suggested listing price & commission fee charged alone.

There’s a right buyer out there for every home. Whether it’s a penthouse condo or a starter home, your property is a good fit for someone. So how do you make sure that it sells for a price that you are happy with and doesn’t take months or longer to sell?

Answering this question isn’t as simple as a single factor like choosing the right price. It comes down to the right approach at addressing factors like presentation, price, extensive marketing, knowing where to find the right buyer plus much more.

Your choice of which Toronto & GTA realtor to work with to sell your house is instrumental in helping your home sell quickly and for the most money. As the point-person of the home selling process, the best realtor for you will have both the experience, knowledge and marketing sytem to get your home sold fast and for top dollar value.

Choosing The Best Toronto & GTA Real Estate Agent For You

Many people selling homes in Toronto & The GTA face the question of whether it makes sense to sell privately or with a discount company.

Studies show that only a very few actually end up selling independently. Also unfortunately the vast majority end up selling for less. Statistics show us that the vast majority of Toronto & GTA home sellers will benefit from selling with an experienced real agent. Sure, the agent takes is paid a fee, but in the end you will net more money with less stress and aggravation. Also those same studies show that properties sell faster and the extra dollar value an agent will be able to attract and negotiate for the property is well worth it.  

The home-selling process is a big undertaking and be complicated. Doing it right is a full-time job, so trusting a professional with what may be your largest financial asset is a prudent decision..

Before you list your home, be sure to vet your top choices of realtor thoroughly. Making sure your home won’t be sitting on the market comes down to your agent’s expertise with:

  • Evaluating your home’s value and setting a price
  • Setting the right selling strategy to attract the right buyer
  • Preparing the home for sale
  • Advertising and marketing the home to qualified buyers
  • Expert negotiating for the sale to get you the best price
  • Closing the deal and making sure the paperwork is done properly

You can review our post about choosing the best Toronto & GTA for you to get all the details about what to look for in an agent.

The Buyers’ Psychology Regarding A House That Sits On The Market

When a house isn’t selling it can seem like it’s been sitting on the market forever. And that’s just the problem from the buyer’s point of view.  What’s wrong with the property.

A house can seem stagnant and unwanted quite quickly when it goes unsold for months or even weeks. The buyers will begin to perceive the house as less valuable since others don’t want it, even if it might be a good fit for them.

The psychological principle for this perception is the same one that’s behind why people follow the crowd. It’s faster and more simple to trust what others are doing than taking the risk of finding out for yourself, especially if the risk you run could be ending up with a house that’s not right for you.

The best Toronto realtors will be able to avoid your home from sliding down this slippery slope of sitting on the market. In the event that your home hasn’t sold and you are beginning to worry that it will never sell, you should defer to your realtor to revise the selling strategy to get the home sold.

If My House Has Been Sitting On The Market Does That Mean It Is Priced Too High?

If your home has been sitting on the market and your agent is revising the home-selling strategy it doesn’t necessarily mean your home isn’t priced properly. A home could even be priced too low and still not sell.

For example, a nice house that is priced low could make potential buyers think that there is some hidden problem with the house and turn them off from buying it.

It’s not about one factor, like the price, but a whole myriad of factors together that impact why your home hasn’t sold. That’s why you need a real estate agent to make a professional analysis of each aspect of your house in order to sell it for the right price.

Should I Reduce The Selling Price Of My House If It’s Been Sitting On The Market?

That what Sellers would do if they were selling privately or even some agents may suggest a price reduction. I reality you shouldn’t necessarily reduce the price of your home just because it isn’t selling.

If you started your home selling journey with a free and accurate home evaluation from a top Toronto & GTA real estate agent the listing price you agreed to set with your agents is quite likely to attract a buyer and your realtor is likely to close the sale.

However, if you find yourself concerned about your home sale it’s necessary to talk with a qualified realtor to get a realistic answer since there is no “one size fits all” approach.

If you need a free home evaluation and don’t want to worry that your home may be sitting on the market for weeks to come as you consider selling, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions or concerns. Our team has been selling homes in Toronto & The GTA for over 3 decades and we have helped thousands of sellers successfully sell their homes in that time.

How Realtors Sell Properties Without Reducing The Listing Price

Experienced real estate agents take into account factors like the home’s condition, its location, and the market to arrive at a figure that will attract buyers but also net you money on the final sale. Remember that negotiations also typically take place before a sale closes, so the listing price is often different from the final sale price.

Frank Leo & Associates, for example, recently sold a property in Toronto for twice the asking price at $1 million over asking. You can read more about selling your property over asking in our post about how Frank Leo sold this particular house in Toronto.

Let’s assume you and your agent arrived at a good listing price that will attract buyers but also leave you satisfied with the sale price. The best Toronto & GTA real estate agents will use a dynamic marketing strategy that doesn’t depend on a single strategy to sell the home. A more one-dimensional home-selling approach that just depends on holding ineffective open houses, for example, doesn’t take into account that every home and every buyer is different.

Matching up interested buyers with your particular home requires more thought, strategy, and experience. If you did a good job of picking a real estate agent, chances are that your agent has been adapting his or her marketing strategy behind and will be able to address your concerns.

At Frank Leo & Associates we don’t depend on outdated selling tactics like open houses, instead opting for a more sophisticated Guaranteed Home Selling System which leverages the strengths of each property to find an ideal buyer.

If you’re are looking for insights about how to sell your home for top dollar in a timeframe that works for you don’t hesitate to contact us.

Reasons Your House May Be Sitting on The Market When Selling Your House In Toronto & The GTA

As mentioned above, there are countless potential reasons a home might be sitting on the market for longer than a seller would like.

Knowing what’s keeping a house from selling is what makes the best real estate agents, well, the best. A good realtor doesn’t just make a home appealing to buyers. He or she makes it appealing to the type of buyer which will be interested in that particular home and therefore will be willing to pay top dollar value for it.

Below you’ll find some of the most common reasons a home isn’t selling in the expected time frame. If you’re thinking of selling your home you can go over a few of these issues before you sign a listing agreement to help you gauge your agent’s plan for selling your home.  

Evaluate Your Home’s Curb Appeal

You only get one shot to make a strong first impression. For most buyers, your home’s curb appeal will be that first impression whether they see it in a Toronto & GTA MLS listing, a photograph on social media, or on a real estate website.

Buyers won’t be too inclined to peruse your home interior if they don’t like the way it looks from

the outside. All of the home preparation and upgrades you can manage won’t do much if the first impression isn’t strong.

The main elements of curb appeal include the landscaping, the accents, the siding, and of course windows and doors. One of the major aspects of curb appeal which gets overlooked is the roof. It can be a major home sale deal breaker.

Repairing or replacing an old roof can cost buyers $1,000’s of dollars. That’s a cost not many buyers will want to swallow. Any issues with the roof will turn up in the pre-sale home inspection regardless, so there’s no sense trying to get around fixing a faulty roof.

You can learn more about improving your home’s curb appeal in our post about how to increase curb appeal when selling your home in Toronto & The GTA. We cover each element of curb appeal and provide all the details about how you can improve it.

Tenants Living In The Home You’re Selling in Toronto

The reason your home isn’t selling might not be the home at all. If you have tenants living at the place they could be preventing your agent from closing the sale.

Even if they are tidy and well-mannered tenants, the mere fact that someone is living in the home can be enough to turn some buyers off. When a home is staged well for a sale it looks ready to be lived in as opposed to occupied. That distinction makes a big difference.

Buyers want to see their future lives in the home, not imagine themselves in someone else home. The place needs to be inviting without having too much personality.

We’ll cover home staging in more detail later, but you and your realtor should make a decision about the tenants.

While you can’t simply evict tenants on a whim when you want to sell your home there are several options available to you – especially if you are willing to negotiate with the tenants. Having a tenant-free property isn’t only easier to sell for your realtor but it allows to show much better than a typical tenant living in the property. It simply gives your agent a blank canvas to implement their strategy.

Home Staging Needs To Be Immaculate

Home presentation is crucial. Just like curb appeal, the appearance of the home’s interior makes a strong impression that is tough to shake if it’s not positive.

If you are selling with a Toronto & GTA real estate agent they should guide you in how to create the best first impression.  The primary elements of staging to keep in mind are.

  • Interior design
  • Curb appeal
  • Eliminate clutter
  • Remove personal items
  • Leveraging a home’s best features
  • Ensure floors, walls, & windows are sparkling

Every element of home preparation is important because all elements work together in synergy to make your home look its best.

The basic idea behind home staging is to let the buyer’s imagination run wild when they see the place. It should look inviting, spacious and clean.

Each of these topics could have an article of its own to cover comprehensively, but if you’re interested in learning more you can read our post about how home staging can help you avoid costly mistakes when selling your home in Toronto & The GTA.

Following Your Real Estate Agent’s Recommendations

When faced with the choice between saving money bringing the home up to shape and selling fast, most Toronto & GTA home sellers are likely to spend bit of money.

Your real estate agent might recommend that you do a few things to the home after the home evaluation.

These items can range from major, like a new roof or flooring, to more minor changes like a different colour for the walls or new carpeting.

Higher end finishes and materials make a considerable difference when you put your home on the market, especially if you are selling your home in an area with high competition. If buyers see another comparable home in the area that they’re also interested in, a small difference like granite counters or hardwood flooring could be all they need to push them into a buying decision.

If you’ve followed your real estate agents advice and made the upgrades, that decision could work in your favour.

It can be hard to justify upgrade expenses, especially since you won’t around to enjoy the upgrades, but if you have a good real estate agent that can get you top dollar value for the home you will be able to recuperate your costs and even make a profit.

There’s no definitive answer regarding which upgrades to invest in. It depends on the conditions of the house, the market in which you’re selling , and the buyers you are trying to attract. Generally speaking though, one major upgrade won’t make up for many small details which are unattractive.

Buyers can feel exasperated if there are too many small elements they don’t like but one larger upgrade can seem more manageable.

Open Houses Or Showings Can’t Be Ignored

Inviting buyers to visit the home can get tiresome, especially if there are many coming to see the home. However, instead of seeing it as a bother, consider it a positive indicator of all the interest your home is generating.

Follow your real estate agent’s advice when it comes to showings and be as accommodating as you can. You can’t reasonably expect buyers to get serious about buying a home when most of what they have to go off is second-hand information and photographs or video tours.

Our recommendation for putting up with showings if they are inconvenient for you is avoiding open houses altogether. Showing the home to buyers who have expressed interest is one thing, but there’s no need to hold public open houses.

At Frank Leo & Associates we never conduct open houses. Over nearly 30 years of selling homes in Toronto & The GTA, we have found that they are simply less effective when it comes to getting homes sold. Not doing open houses hasn’t stopped us from becoming the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada led by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World.

The best Toronto & GTA real estate agents will be able to sell your home for top dollar even without the use of open houses.

Selling A Home Comes Down To Having The Best Toronto & GTA Real Estate Agent Possible

For all of the trouble of getting stressed out, expending energy selling your home, or wondering if it will sit on the market forever it may be worthwhile to get help from a professional real estate agent in Toronto & The GTA.

A professional team like Frank Leo’s have the resources, experience, and methodology to effectively market your home and find a qualified buyer.

You can always count on us to answer your real estate questions or provide you with a no-obligation free home evaluation. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re thinking of selling your home in Toronto or The GTA and want to avoid the stress of your home sitting on the market.


Dealing with Separation or Possible Divorce? These Steps Will Save You Money & Aggravation When Selling Your Home

Any couple who finds themselves in the unfortunate position of separating or divorcing faces a multitude of difficulties, so taking the aggravation out of handling the sale of the mutual home can be a major factor in cutting out stress. Most ex-couples have enough to worry about already without that addition of even more legal and financial costs. 

Why People Sell Their Property In A Separation or Divorce Situation

Before we dive into the steps you can take to minimize aggravation from real estate while dealing with divorce or separation, it’s worth taking a moment to cover why many couples end up selling. 

For most couples, it comes down to personal reasons for selling, since the Globe & Mail reported that for most couples in Toronto a separation comes with big financial consequences

Emotional Considerations When Selling Your Home When Dealing With Separation Or Divorce

Divorce is an emotional time regardless of the reasons for the separation. These emotions can play a big role in the decision to sell the home, especially if there are years of memories in the family home where children were raised. Maybe the couple has customized the home just how they like it and neither want to leave behind all of the efforts which went into those renovations. 

These sentimental attachments can go either way. They may foster attachment and leave both ex-partners wanting to stay. Conversely, they can have both ex-partners wanting to move out as soon as possible to avoid bringing up old memories. Both partner’s preferences may not match up and lead to difficulties in deciding what to do with the property. 

Deciding whether you want to stay or go takes a great deal of thought and requires some honest conversation. It isn’t a decision which should be undertaken lightly, and both parties should consider not only what they think in the present but also how their feelings may change in the future. 

Living in the home you shared during your marriage may not be what you thought it would be after the divorce. 

Financial Considerations When Selling Your Home After Divorce

When it comes to selling your home after divorce, one of the greatest financial considerations is not only who bought the house buy who will pay for it. Assuming you bought the house together with your ex-spouse it’s likely you were working together to make payments. When people buy a house together, they typically buy a house which requires both partners’ salaries to pay for it. 

Since you are presumably losing half of the household income following the divorce, it’s not hard to see how paying the mortgage, property taxes, insurance, and the maintenance costs can become daunting, if not completely impossible. That’s not saying anything about the time and energy a homeowner must invest into maintaining and managing the house properly.

Stay or Separate For The Sale?

Staying together to sell is not always an option, particularly if the separation is not on the best terms. Remaining a married couple over the course of the home sale is too much stress for some to bear if they simply want to get the separation over with. 

Of course getting your home sold in the right time frame for top dollar value can be made possible with the help of an experienced real estate agent. Starting with a home evaluation is a good place to start because it will help you determine how much you can expect to get for the home sale. Working with an experienced Realtor will help you navigate the best way to get the most money out of the sale of your property. It is very important that you proceed wisely since it is typically the largest asset for most and since you will be on one salary going forward there can be many factors eroding your bottom line.

Now that we’ve covered the general considerations you should be aware of when you are selling your property after or during a divorce or separation we can get into the steps of the home-selling process and how to handle them to minimize aggravation and maximize profit. 

Step 1: Understand the Law

Before you hire a Toronto & GTA real estate agent or get a home evaluation, consider learning the laws separation and divorce.

Regardless of the circumstances of your divorce or separation, whether amicable or not, understanding the divorce law is sure to leave everyone better off. As an Ontario Real Estate Team we will cover the Ontario Divorce Laws, but readers outside of the Province of Ontario should do their due diligence and research the local separation laws in their locale. 

At the very least, understanding the laws will make the process of selling your home go more smoothly and save potential legal fees. At worst, it will give you an advantage when it comes time to get a lawyer involved if you have a basic understanding of where you stand in the eyes of the law. 

Real Estate and Divorce Law in Ontario

In Ontario, both parties have an equal right to stay in the home during a divorce, at least until a separation agreement or other settlement is made. 

One of the questions which divorce couples ask regarding their shared real estate is whether one can change the locks on the other. Under current Ontario law and the Family Law Act, the answer is no, unless there are special circumstances:

  • If you have a court order which establishes exclusive possession of the matrimonial home pending a family trial, you can take exclusive ownership until the trial. 
  • The two parties have made a separation agreement which details which spouse has exclusive ownership. 

In most cases, both spouses have equal rights to occupy the property until they reach a resolution about the possession of the home, it’s rarely easy for couples to continue living together following a separation. 

However, the Globe & Mail reports that regardless of the difficulty posed by a cohabitation situation post divorce, some couples will, in fact, continue living together. They often end up occupying different parts of the house but continue to live together either not to relinquish something to the ex-partner or because they would otherwise be unable to afford to buy a house in Toronto. 

In many cases, a great Toronto & GTA real estate agent who has the experience and market insights to provide truly personalized service can help one spouse find the house that’s right for them. 

Step 2: Make Arrangements Before You Separate

The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure rings true in the case of avoiding aggravation when selling your home after divorce. 

There are a few measures one can take before separating or getting a divorce to reduce aggravation during the home sale. The most impactful is a prenuptial agreement which clearly outlines who will be entitled to what should the marriage dissolve. This type of agreement enables the homeowner(s) to go straight to choosing the best Toronto & GTA realtor for them.

When you are getting separated and don’t have a pre-existing agreement in place you can opt for a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a legally binding contract which details who gets what when it comes to different marital assets. 

Step 3: Answer Important Questions When It’s Time to Sell Your Home During A Divorce

There are countless questions to answer regarding the home sale alone when you are separating, so having answers to the biggest ones ahead of time can save misunderstandings and conflict later on. 

It is advisable to prepare for these decisions by consulting with your divorce attorney. Your divorce attorney will help you determine where you stand with regard to the law and how to handle the negotiations to keep your priorities in line. Be sure to consult your attorney before the final decision.

The home selling process is long and complex even with a good real estate agent. You can use our Toronto home seller’s checklist to keep yourself organized and maximize your chances of selling for a great price in the timeframe that works for you.

Decide Who Gets What

Determining how to split up the proceeds from the sale of your home after divorce or separation is a personal decision that has no right answer. The best way to avoid aggravation is to prepare by reaching a separation agreement which details how the real estate will be divided. Hire a lawyer if you want legal guidance or assistance determining what you are due. 

Couples who aren’t on the best terms can benefit from getting a mediator to help them with communications and drafting the document. A mediator can be a friend or family member but there are professional options available as well. Knowing when to get a mediator is a personal decision. 

If you need to know how much potential profit you’re looking at from selling your home post divorce you can get a free home evaluation to find out what your home in Toronto is worth.

Will Someone Continue Living In The Home?

Separated couples who live in large cities like Toronto may have a difficult time relocating after the separation. With many couples depending on the combined household income to pay the mortgage and maintenance cost, some decide to continue cohabitating instead of downsizing their living situation.

Deciding who claims which room is a prudent course of action for couples cohabitating after separation. In cases where one person stays in the home and the other leaves it’s important to outline specific details of ownership in the separation agreement. 

Does The House Need Work Before It Is Put On The Market?

Getting top dollar value for your home sale is important regardless of whether you are separated. Making improvements, renovations, updates, or simply preparing your home for sale often takes an investment.

Who will handle the bill? Who will decide which changes to make and decide how they will be carried out? Your real estate agent may be able to guide you when it comes to renovations and the best way to carry them out, but the decisions will be up to you and your ex-spouse. 

Which Party Will Be Responsible For The Sale of The Home?

You may find that for purposes of convenience it might be helpful to outline each person’s responsibilities, even if they are shared equally. The arrangement you reach really depends on your personal circumstances. 

Couples who are parting amicably may trust all responsibility to one of the partners while others aren’t comfortable unless they are a part of every decision and interaction. If you are concerned with your involvement you can consult your lawyer or outline your demands in the separation agreement. 

Step 4: Choosing A Real Estate Agent

Choosing a real estate agent to sell your home after divorce is an important consideration regardless of the agreement you reach. A good real estate agent is more likely to get you top dollar value for the home and leave more profit to divide regardless of the reason for the sale. 

Working with a real estate agent also offers the added advantage of having an impartial 3rd party working on your behalf. That way any personal tensions between you and your soon-to-be ex spouse will stay personal and not interfere with business. 

All Ontario real estate agents are required to do what is in their clients’ best interest as part of their Code of Ethics. This legal requirement is taken seriously and enforced by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (R.E.C.O.). This requirement is consistent throughout most jurisdictions so you can stay at ease knowing your real estate transaction is being handled by an impartial party.

An experienced real estate agent can also take the stress out of selling because an agent handles all aspects of the sales process. Everything from evaluating the value of the home to considering offers and providing guidance, a good Toronto & GTA real estate agent will take on a great deal of additional work and stress which can come with selling a home. You can trust your agent’s advice and concentrate on the demands of your separation.

When it comes time to make a joint decision about the home sale with your spouse, your real estate agent can also serve as an impartial mediator who takes the personal issues out of what is fundamentally a business decision. You and your ex-spouse might have different ideas about selling and an agent can ground your discussion in experience and market insights. 

If you are considering selling your home in Toronto & The GTA Frank Leo & Associates are available to answer your real estate questions. You can contact us or take advantage of our free home evaluation at any time. We’ve been serving the Toronto & GTA real estate market for over 3 decades and have helped 1,000’s of people buy and sell homes in the region.

Step 5: Agreeing To A Selling Price

Once you’ve settled on the details, reached an agreement about who will handle the real estate sale, and have a real estate agent advertising your home you can start the negotiations about accepting offers. 

If your real estate agent has evaluated your home’s value accurately you most likely already have an idea of how much you will get for your home. The difficulty may arrive when you must work together with the ex-spouse to settle on a selling price. 

Most separated couples face the dilemma of wanting to sell quickly to minimize interaction without taking a loss for the property. You may find yourself in a situation where one person wants to accept a price and the other wants to hold out. 

The additional financial stress of a divorce or separation can add additional pressure on those who may be depending on the money from the home sale to sustain the cost of the divorce.

So how do separated couples overcome these challenges and agree on a selling price that makes everyone happy? Working with your real estate agent is a good place to start.

An experienced realtor will be able to help you sell your property for a higher price and leave everyone satisfied with the result. Frank Leo & Associates, for example, have helped sell real estate in Toronto for over $1 million over the asking price

Evaluating & Negotiation The Offer On Your Home

Home buyers who are prepared to buy your home will make a written offer to purchase the home via your real estate agent. At this point your real estate agent will review the offer with you and walk you through the contract in order to decide whether to take it. 

If the price meets your asking price or there are competing offers which push the price above asking price, everyone will be happy. It’s typically when the offers don’t meet your minimum requirements that difficulties begin. 

Regardless what starts the disagreement about accepting & negotiating an offer, there are a few ways to overcome the challenge. The first and most simple option is to lean on your real estate agent as the voice of reason. Your real estate agent’s recommendation may be enough to get your spouse to accept the buyer’s offer.

Passing on the offer in hopes of getting a better one or investing in improvements to boost appeal are also both viable options, within reason. The divorce or separation might make these options less appealing but they can work out in some cases. 

The hardest situation to overcome is when an ex-spouse is unreasonably selective about accepting offers or negotiating the price. If difficulties persist and you or your agent suspect they might jeopardize the sale of your home it may be worth considering a professional mediator or legal assistance. 

Step 6: Splitting The Profit From The Home Sale

If you’ve already reached a separation agreement the matter of splitting the profit from a house you’ve sold during divorce will all be prearranged. Deciding how to divide the profit well before you sell your home is the best course of action to avoid aggravation. It may also help you maximize income from your home sale by allowing everyone involved in the home sale to concentrate on selling the home.

Important Final Word Of Wisdom

Of course, in reality, most couples who sell a home after or during a divorce or separation will not have a predetermined plan in place. Reaching an agreement among themselves is the option which leaves the most money in the pockets of both parties. It can be very difficult emotionally during this stressful time. It is important that all parties understand how the law works but it is typically divided equally. If the couple is having disagreements it is wise that they agree to get the property sold for the most money amicably and have the funds held in trust until they can agree as to how they should be divided. The reason for this suggestion is that it will avoid the potential for losing many thousands fighting while bills mount. If there is a disagreement as to who will pay the taxes, mortgage, repairs and any other costs associated with the property? This will lead to overdue payments, interest and penalty charges and even may affect your credit rating. These consequences can avoided by agreeing to do everthing to get the property sold asap and have more money held in trust for you once you decide on how it should be divided. When this isn’t possible it may be necessary to get lawyers involved. Just be aware that the amount you will be left with could be substantially less.

Each partner’s financial situation and the details of the divorce may play a role in how much equity they are awarded. One thing which is certain is that the cost of settling in court will eat into the profit from the sale of the home quite quickly. 

Contact us today or get started working with the Frank Leo & Associates team by signing up for a FREE, no-obligation property evaluation


How To Enhance Your Home’s Curb Appeal When You’re Selling Your Home in Toronto

Since your home only gets one chance to make a first impression that will make potential buyer’s say, “I want to call that place home,” nailing your home’s curb appeal is at the top of mind for many Toronto & GTA home sellers. 

Most potential homebuyers are going to see your home’s facade first – whether it’s in photography, from the street, or the Toronto & GTA MLS listings – so sprucing up the exterior is the best place to start when staging your home for sale in Toronto or The GTA.

In fact, an analysis of the Real Estate Staging Association found that homes which were properly presented when they were put on the market were likely to sell 79% faster than homes which weren’t staged. 

Prepare Your Home For Buyers, Not For Open Houses

Open houses don’t do much to sell homes. They simply aren’t as effective at getting your home sold for a great price as more sophisticated forms of real estate advertising. Many agents hold open houses to try and find potential clients not really expecting to sell the property.

The best Toronto & GTA real estate agents for selling homes will use their own proprietary marketing methods to reach qualified buyers who are likely to be interested in a given home. 

Instead of preparing for the purposes of open houses, you and your real estate agent will do far better to prepare your home’s exterior and interior in a way that maximizes the home’s appeal and your chances of getting top dollar value. 

Frank Leo & Associates use this “no-open-houses” approach and it’s made us the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada led by the #1 Individual RE/MAX agent in the world

How To Improve Curb Appeal When Selling Your Home in Toronto or The GTA

Before buyers enter your property they have already formed an opinion. If the initial perception is positive it can make the sale or even help you get more than asking price for the home.

If you are working with a Toronto/GTA real estate agent it’s best to start by strategizing together about how to best prepare your home and what are the costs if any. 

Start With Any Major Repairs

Any repairs or glaring problems like broken eavestroughs or cracked walls and siding should be tackled immediately as they could affect the home’s viability on the market. 

The most prominent features of a home’s exterior which may need repairs include:

  • The roof
  • Eavestroughs 
  • Siding
  • Windows & doors
  • Driveway/garage 
  • Porches or decks

If you are handy and have trades experience yourself there’s no reason you can’t handle some of the repairs yourself, provided your able to do a great job. You can ask your real estate agent for a recommendation if you want to hire a contractor to do the job.

Bear in mind that your home will have to undergo an inspection before the sale closes so any major issues which aren’t immediately visible must be addressed as well. Handling them before bringing buyers to look at the home sets the precedent as honest and inspires confidence in the rest of the home. 

You can use our Complete Toronto & GTA Home Seller’s Checklist to keep track of all the work that needs to be done at each step of the home-selling process. 

Give The Home A Makeover

A little work can go a long way when it comes to making your home look its best. Small accents like the colour, quality, and condition of the paint and other finishes collectively make a big impression on potential buyers. 

Giving the home a makeover is more a question of making sure all of the aesthetic qualities are in pristine condition than redesigning the facade. 

Start With The Paint

Is all of the paint fresh and consistent? Any flaking or cracked paint can be a major turnoff. It makes the house look as though it isn’t well cared for and indicate that other aspects of the home haven’t been well maintained.

Although it doesn’t stand in for making more significant repairs, you would be surprised how effective a new coat of paint can be at improving a home’s appeal.

Home sellers who have a higher budget can explore other home-improvements like window trim or a garage door, but the best place to start is with the paint. 

Landscaping Is Important

You can have the most breathtaking house on the block, but if the surrounding landscaping is underdone or non-existent it will detract from the home’s appeal. 

Glaring issues like patchy grass or dead weeds should be addressed first. As long as the landscape looks well-cared for it won’t detract from the appeal of the home. The landscaping doesn’t need to be fancy to help get the home sold. 

It’s more important to have consistent maintenance for homes with more elaborate landscaping.

If you are working with a bigger budget it may be worthwhile to hire some professional landscapers to do some touch-ups on the home’s landscape to make sure the home is looking its best. 

Consistency Is Key

Keep in mind that all of your property’s features must work together visually. Disjointed styles or colours can give the home an uncanny appearance and turn off buyers even if they can’t place their fingers on exactly why. 

For example, a striking bright colour on a home which has a predominantly darker palette draws attention in the right way. Similarly, a home which is designed with an understated style won’t benefit from a large and ornate new front door. 

Keep it simple, consistent, and consult your real estate agent before making final aesthetic staging decisions. The best Toronto & GTA real estate agents offer complimentary home preparation consultation services as part of their work, so don’t be afraid to ask. 

More Than A Pretty Face

Remember that curb appeal doesn’t just come down to your home’s appearance. Different features of the home which figure prominently can show buyers that your home is energy-efficient and make it seem like a better investment. If they see modern, high-efficiency windows they are more likely to have a positive perception of the house than if the windows are older or worn out.

You also shouldn’t ignore the backyard and sides of the house. Serious buyers will want to see everything your home has to offer looking its best. 

Working With The Best Toronto & GTA Real Estate Agents When Improving Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Thinking of selling your home in Toronto & The GTA? Frank Leo & Associates have helped 1000’s of homeowners in the area sell their homes for top dollar value. We start with a free confidential  home evaluation to give you an idea of how much your home could be worth on the market then maximize the home’s appeal to get you more for your property. 

You can contact us at any time with your real estate questions.


Has Your Toronto or GTA Home Listing Expired & Now You’re Getting Realtors Calling You & Knocking on Your Door?

When you put your home on the market with a real estate broker you give your agent permission to create a listing for the property on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The listing contract you have with the agent gives them exclusive rights to sell your property for the period of time outlined in the contract.

If your contract expires agents will want a shot at representing you and selling your property, but did you know that this solicitation is not only unethical but also against RECO (Real Estate Council of Ontario) Guidelines just like the DO NOT CALL LIST. If you report these realtors they will get fined & reprimanded. The RECO exists to protect you and public interest in order to keep the industry fair for everyone.

All real estate professionals must abide by the regulations set out in the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (2002) in order to operate in Ontario. RECO is the regulatory body which oversees real estate operations and Ontario to ensure they are up to the legal standard. If an agent does not abide by these rules, they will face consequences ranging from a warning to expulsion and criminal charges.

RECO receives approximately 2,000 complaints annually and each complaint helps keep the industry safer for people selling their home. If you should find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having an experience of an agent who breaks the regulations, you can get all the information you need to know about filing a complaint with RECO here. You can use this link to file the complaint.

What If A Real Estate Agent Breaks The RECO Guidelines By Soliciting An Expired Listing?

Since Toronto & GTA Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Listings are publicly visible, an agent might contact you hoping to sell the property for you.

However, under no circumstances are realtors allowed to contact you after your listing expires unless you explicitly authorize them to do so. If they solicit you they are breaking the rules. Under no circumstances should anyone contact you to sell your listing expires. They are either registered under REBBA and breaking the RECO regulations or not registered. If the later is true, they are operating illegally since very real estate professional in Ontario must be registered under the REEBA.

The Reason A Real Estate Agent Is Not Allowed To Contact You If Your Home Listing Expires

When someone solicits you to sell your home in Toronto or The GTA, there’s a good chance you have no idea who they are. Since selling your home for top-dollar value in a timeframe you agree on is a challenge depending on the agent, the market conditions, the listing, and many other factors, picking the right real estate agent for you is essential to a successful sale.

The RECO guidelines are in place to protect home sellers from being targeted by predatory agents who take advantage of someone’s desperation to get the listing and make a sale, even if it isn’t  the seller’s best option. When your listing sits on the market unsold for a long period of time it can be discouraging. You may start doubting whether you’ll be able to sell at all never mind thinking about getting top dollar from the sale and settle for less. You need a proper strategy for your particular property and  home evaluation to make sure that you sell and get the best possible results.

An agent could take advantage of the situation and contact you in your time of despair, which could result in you making a decision without doing your proper investigations and inquiries. This could ultimately result in selling your property for far less than the home is worth. Although the agent would earn less on the sale if the house sells for less, it may be easy money since he or she doesn’t have to invest time and money into marketing the house. Selling a home in Toronto for the best price takes a great deal of investment of time, resources, and knowledge. Selling for  below market value makes the job much easier. Savvy buyers or investors will naturally be attracted by the price but since the lack of advertising will not be reaching the largest pool of potential buyers, they can get a deal at your expense. Also this will minimizing the amount of work the agent needs to do and require little or no advertising budget or expense.

How To Avoid Getting Contacted By Real Estate Agents Who Want To Sell Your Expired Home Listing

To minimize the chances of having agents solicit your expire listing, you can ask the agent you listed with to make you check off that the box that states to not be contacted if the property expires. This now will protect you from being solicited from unscrupulous realtors. If anyone does  contact you directly they will be in breach of the RECO rules and subject to penalties..

What You Should Do If Your Real Estate Listing Has Expired

Obviously no one expects to sign a listing contract with an agent and the property not be sold. When offers don’t appear or you receive low-ball offers that are not acceptable it can be tremendously frustrating.

The first thing to consider when your listing expires is that your official relationship with the real estate agent is more or less over. At this point, you will have options. You can decide not to sell or can to do some research to find an agent to determine why the home isn’t selling and provide you with a solution to get it sold with the best possible results. Each sale is different, so determining why the home didn’t sell can be a challenge for someone with inexperience.

If you have any further questions about selling your home in Toronto & the GTA remember that you can always contact us to get answers and take advantage of our real estate resources.

How To Find The Right Realtor To Sell Your House In Toronto Or The GTA

Finding the right realtor to sell your house in Toronto or the GTA doesn’t have to be difficult. You should be selective and do research. Remember history repeats itself. It’s not by accident that the same realtors keep having success in selling more and more home while other agents have trouble selling any properties at all. Before you reach out and contact a real estate agent at least you have done some research or received a recommendation and are now knowing who is coming to meet with you. You are in control and can ask the appropriate questions to proceed with confidence.

For most people, their home is the largest investment and one of the most important financial decision of their lifetimes. Don’t leave it to chance? Seek out an agent you trust who has a proven track record. Interview them and ask what their plan is to sell your property and how they will maximize your profit from the home sale. Frank Leo & Associates, for example, employ a Guaranteed Home Selling System developed by Frank and his team over 3 decades helping people buy and sell homes all over The GTA.

Most agents offer a free home evaluation but the evaluation is only as good as the person’s ability and experience providing it. You need to know much more than just price and the fee charged.  Anyone can throw out numbers at you. The most important question you should ask any realtor is “ What will you do to maximize the net dollars I receive from the sale of my home”. It is also very important to follow the money spent or invested to sell your property. It probably easy to realize that it costs nothing to do nothing. To get the best results in any industry you need to have the best professional with the best tools working for you. This will help you attain the best results. Would you want any surgeon to perform heart surgery on you? If you were mistakenly charged with murder would you want just any lawyer representing you? Of course not, considering that you home is one of your largest investments wouldn’t you want the best possible agent representation for you.

Interview Real Estate Agents

Interview the agents you are interested in and make sure they can provide you with the level of service, expertise, and marketing you need to maximize your results. Ask them tough questions. Remember that a good agent will definitely have an answer and solution.

Look for an agent who’s willing to invest time and money into selling your property instead of passively waiting for buyers to stumble onto your property. Get an agent that does things differently and is progressive and doesn’t just rely on old traditional methods. For example, open houses are a proven ineffective method that can benefit real estate agents more than home sellers.

If you are in a situation where you need a reputable real estate team with a proven track record. Don’t hesitate to contact us with your Toronto & GTA real estate questions. A good agent will help you perpare your home for sale in Toronto, provide you with a free home evaluation and plan of action to give you the peace of mind knowing your home will be sold with the best possible results.

Find out more about more about your rights as a home seller in Ontario by contacting RECO and making sure you hire a reputable agent to represent you.

The Difference Between A Withdrawn (Suspended) Listing vs. An Expired Listing vs Cancelled (Terminated) Listing

A withdrawn (suspended) listing has been withdrawn from a Multiple Listing Service but is still represented by a real estate agent. Even if your listing is withdrawn your contract with the listing agent remains intact. An expired listing is also withdrawn from the MLS but the contact between the agent & seller is no longer intact. Also a cancelled listing before the expiry date will also make the contact between the agent & seller is no longer intact

Keep in mind the difference between a withdrawn listing, an expired listing and a cancelled. Real estate agents are not allowed to solicit your business regardless of whether your listing is withdrawn, expired or cancelled, but it’s helpful to understand the difference nonetheless.

How To Avoid Having An Expired Listing

Most people, if given the opportunity, would opt to avoid having their listing expire. Home sellers place their properties on the market to, well, sell them. Fortunately there is a way to guarantee your listing won’t expire.

It’s called the Guaranteed Home Selling System. Offered by Frank Leo & Associates, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Frank Leo & Associates will sell your house for a price you agree to and in a the timeframe that works for you – 100% guaranteed. We use a multi-million dollar marketing operation working around the clock to find a qualified buyer for every property. Frank & his team have developed this system over 3 decades selling homes in Toronto & The GTA.

In fact, if we don’t find the right buyer for your home we will buy the home ourselves. That’s how confident we are about selling your property. You can contact us any time to find out more about selling your home in Toronto or just to ask any real estate questions you might have.


Thinking of Selling Your Home in Toronto or The GTA? Avoid These 4 Major Deal Breakers For Home Buyers and Maximize Your Chance of Getting Top Dollar Value for Your Property

Everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to how their homes look and feel. That’s part of what makes a house feel like home. 

Despite these preferences being very personal and subjective there are common deal breakers that are likely to turn most people away even if the house is a good fit for them.

On this list we’ll cover deal-breakers that can keep a home on the market that aren’t aesthetic issues like wall colour or furniture design.

For tips on preparing your home for sale in Toronto or The GTA read our article about staging your home for sale in Toronto or The GTA. You’ll find the top tips which Frank Leo & Associates have collected over 3 decades serving the Toronto & GTA real estate market and selling billions of dollars worth of homes.

1. The Location Of The Property When You’re Selling Your Home In Toronto or The GTA

The saying goes that in the restaurant business the three most important features are location, location, location. Although people put a lot more thought into picking a house and consider many other factors, location does have a big importance for some people thinking of buying a home in Toronto or The GTA.

People are generally adverse to homes built in precarious places like flood zones, on hillsides where the foundation could shift, or around other hazards. Fortunately for people selling their homes in Toronto & The GTA, the region is reasonably safe when it comes to climate risks.

Other geographic factors people consider when buying a home is what kind of neighbourhood the house is situated in – it could be a quiet residential area or a more vibrant part of town. A great real estate agent will understand not only the city’s real estate market but the specific market conditions in the neighbourhood.

They’ll be able to leverage this information and help point out the positive aspects of a home’s location – if it’s in a neighbourhood where property values are steadily increasing, for example.

2.  Maintenance Issues With The Home You’re Selling

Essential components (roof, foundation, etc.) Buyers see these issues as big, expensive problems and want to pass the cost on to the seller. Here are the most common parts of a house which are in disrepair.


A roof in disrepair can turn off buyers before they even enter the property. Since parts of the roof may be visible from the street it’s especially important to address any roofing issues before listing your home for sale. 

Cracked, missing, or damaged shingles or tiles are sure signs that the roof needs work. If your roof does need work, even just a small section, it’s worth doing because otherwise the buyers could walk out on the deal or request a price reduction of thousands of dollars.


If your gutters aren’t overflowing and are working properly they keep water from getting to the foundation and potentially causing damage. A cracked or otherwise damaged foundation requires attention and won’t make a good impression on potential buyers.


In addition to being unsightly, mould can pose health issues if left untreated. Potential buyers could also form the impression that if there’s mold, there are other serious problems. Any signs of mould can sink the sale.

During your home inspection your professional inspector will notify you in the unlikely event there are traces of mould of which you were not aware. Fortunately in most mild cases removing the mold does not necessarily require the help of a professional.

Bad Plumbing

Poorly done or old plumbing can indicate mould, flood, and other plumbing issues. Although the potential buyers won’t be tearing up walls to inspect plumbing all external plumbing must be functional. That includes fixing leaky taps, making sure drains drain properly, and the toilet functions.

3. Climate Problems In The Property For Sale

If you’re living in the home you’re selling it could be tricky to determine whether atmospheric factors could turn off potential buyers. Since you spend a lot of time in the home something that’s totally normal for you could be perceived differently by others. Although these issues are often a matter of preference, there are also some environmental issues that would certainly need to be addressed if you want to get top dollar value for your home.

Air Quality

Old or dysfunctional HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Cooling) can create stale air. Some buyers may take that as an indication that the home’s heating and cooling systems are not in good working order, and that’s a definite red flag for most buyers.


Pets, cooking with pungent spices, or smoking indoors can all cause lingering odours that turn off buyers. There are measures you can take if you do notice the property you are selling has an odour. Replacing fabrics like carpeting and furniture and getting rid of any pet-related items can help alleviate lingering smells. It’s best to keep pets out of the home while it is being shown as well.

High levels of Radon

Test your home’s Radon levels. Many Canadian homes have relatively high levels which can pose a health risk. Luckily,  lowering levels is not prohibitively expensive.

If you have professionals come to measure or reduce radon levels make sure to keep all the paperwork to show potential buyers if asked. 

4. If The Home For Sale Has A Bad History

A History of Problems With Maintenance

When home’s have experience problems like flooding or a leaky roof it can give buyers the impression they’ll facing problems like that themselves.

Oil Tank Buried in The Backyard

Some older homes have oil tanks buried beneath the rear yard. If left alone they can become a liability, and a costly one at that. When they rust, they leak, and if they leak that’s where the problems begin.

If you have an oil tank consider having it inspected and/or removed. Be sure to keep your proof of having work done.

Thinking Of Selling Your Home In Toronto & Need Help Finding Out Home Much Your Home Is Worth?

Knowing your home’s value can be tricky given the changing markets, your home’s condition, and numerous other conditions.

Take advantage of Frank Leo & Associates FREE, no-obligation home evaluation and find out what you can expect to earn from your home sale today.

Remember you can also contact us at any time with your Toronto & GTA real estate related questions.

An Image of A Model House Intended to Show How to Avoid Home Staging Mistakes When Selling Your House in Toronto

What Does It Take To Become the #1 RE/MAX Agent In the World?* Selling A Home For $1M Over Asking is a Good Place to Start

For 3 decades, Frank Leo has served Toronto & The GTA by helping 1000’s of people get their houses, condos, and properties sold for top dollar value. Frank Leo has become the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World by using his comprehensive understanding of the Toronto real estate market to consistently sell homes at top dollar value for his valued clients.

Frank has documented his findings and insights in a book called, “Don’t Make A Move Without It!”. The book is guiding many consumers in Toronto and beyond through what can be a stressful and confusing home buying or selling process.

Armed with that knowledge and understanding he has been able to do more than earn numerous awards and write a book helping people navigate the real estate industry. He’s consistently been able to exceed client expectations, as shown by a recent home sale where he sold a property for $1,000,000 over asking.  So how did he do it?

Frank Leo’s Net Worth As A Realtor Is Proven as He Sells A House for $1M Over Asking Price in Toronto

Recently Frank Leo was able to put his skills, experience, and sophisticated marketing strategy to work to get this house at 436/438 Pacific Ave. sold for over $1 million over the asking price.

An imagine of the house that Frank Leo, #1 RE/MAX Agent in the world, sold for $1M over asking

Located in the North High Park area in Toronto, this property is 2 duplexes combined into 1 and sold as a single property.  It was listed for $999,900 and was sold 8 days later for $2,050,999 – over double the asking price and well above the average price for homes in the area.

While Frank’s experience and insights helped get this client a terrific value when selling this property in Toronto, there was more to it than just Frank. He also has a multi-million dollar marketing operation (which he developed over decades) working to ensure client satisfaction.

We are so confident about the satisfaction of our clients that we offer our Guaranteed Home-Selling System. You can rest easy when selling your home in Toronto because if we can’t get it sold, we’ll buy it from you ourselves.   

While not every home sells for $1M over the asking price, Frank Leo can make sure he gets your home sold for right price.

There are many things you can do on your own to help make your home more attractive to prospective buyers, but Frank and his team are uniquely qualified to implement the right strategy for getting your property sold in Toronto.

Frank Leo Is The #1 RE/MAX Agent in The World For A Reason

What’s remarkable is that Frank Leo has become the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World following the strategy that offering open houses is not the best way to sell a home. Frank’s experience and ingenuity have not only allowed him to bring innovations like not doing open houses to the Toronto real estate market but also to attract top real estate talent while he’s at it.

No one likes strangers coming into their home. Frank Leo understands that, and thanks to his experience he and his team will find the ideal buyer and sell your home in Toronto through strategic marketing efforts alone. That means there won’t be a parade of strangers coming through your front door.

Being the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World, you have to have a strategy that works. Frank Leo was able to develop that plan and you can be sure that with his winning strategy your home will be sold quickly for the most amount of money.

Without giving away all his secrets Frank Leo employs sophisticated marketing tactics for your property, constantly promoting it where it will reach the right audience and get the maximum amount of exposure in the market. Along with his talented team of professionals, he works tirelessly to ensure that your property is constantly advertised and is being talked about.

Ready To Work With The #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World?

You will not find a team in Toronto or the GTA that works harder or smarter for you than Frank and his team. Work with Frank Leo & Associates and you will immediately see that he gets his clients results which exceed their expectations.

With his pledge to always deliver the best service in the Toronto real estate market, address every detail of a client’s transaction, and to always make the next move the best move, Frank has won the respect of many of his colleagues and clients for being true to his word and being able to deliver results as promised.

Get Frank Leo and his team to get you the most money for your property. He can guarantee that he will get your home sold in Toronto & The GTA. Start by contacting Frank Leo for a FREE Home Evaluation to learn the true value of your property.





Selling Your Home in Toronto: Working With Frank Leo, The #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World*, and How Frank Became #1 By Getting Clients’ Homes Sold in Toronto, Guaranteed

As a homeowner selling your property in Toronto & The GTA, what do you stand to gain by working with the #1 RE/MAX Agent in The World? Your bottom line is finding the right buyer and getting your home sold for top dollar value, and Frank Leo can help you do just that.

In order to get top dollar value, you need to start off with an accurate idea of your home’s true value. From there, you need to make your home stand out in one of Canada’s most competitive real estate markets. In today’s market, finding the right buyer when selling your home in Toronto takes more than the age-old combination of listing the property and hosting an open house.

It’s overcoming challenges like these which have helped Frank Leo become the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World. Over 3 decades selling homes for satisfied clients in Toronto with a custom-developed marketing strategy, Frank “Leo The Lion,” has earned his place at the top because he values clients like you. His promise to you is that if he can’t sell your home for a price you agree upon, he’ll buy your home from you.

Trusted To Sell Your Home in Toronto By Global Real Estate Leaders

Barbara Corcoran, the creator of the #1 Brokerage Firm in New York City, personally recommends Frank and recognizes him as the first choice for selling your home in Toronto & The GTA.

Why? Because Frank has the best marketing strategy. If you’ve ever wondered why some homes don’t sell at all while others sell for top dollar overnight, it comes down to advertising exposure and marketing strategy.

Frank Leo has become the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World because he’s developed his own strategy that leaves behind intrusive practices like open houses in favour of a sophisticated multi-million dollar marketing operation working to get your home sold, 24/7.

Sell Your Home in Toronto, Guaranteed

Frank’s Guaranteed Home Selling System has also played a big role in helping him become the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World. He promises that if your home doesn’t sell at a price and time that you agree to, he’ll buy it from you.

That’s how confident Frank is about his capacity to get your home sold for top dollar, even in the volatile environment of today’s Toronto housing market. Some people, unfortunately, have bad experiences selling with Realtors for various reasons. This concern fades away with Frank’s home-selling guarantee.

We’re With You At Every Stage of the Home Selling Process

Part of what has made Frank Leo the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World has been keeping clients informed about each stage of the home selling process. Frank Leo & his team will level decades of experience selling homes in Toronto & The GTA to attract the right buyer and sell your home in Toronto for the right price.

The Place For Home-Buying Information in Toronto & The GTA

Our website is your mainline to up-to-date information on the latest market conditions and statistics about each home we list as well as the Toronto Real Estate market more generally.

Providing resources on his website is another part of what has made Frank the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World. Buyers need information, and is one of the most authoritative places to get updates on homes for sale in Toronto.

What Are People Saying About Frank Leo, #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World?

Interested in learning what real clients had to say about Frank Leo, the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World? Look no further than our testimonials page where you can discover what others are saying.

If you’re interested in working with Frank, we encourage you to contact us or get started with a FREE home evaluation.