Finding The Best Real Estate Agent in Toronto & the GTA to Buy or Sell Property

There’s no shortage of “the best Toronto & GTA realtors to sell or buy.” At least that’s what they’d have you believe. Although there are plenty of realtors in Toronto & The GTA contending to be the best for buying or selling a home in Toronto & GTA, there can only be one, well, #1. 

There’s no doubt that there are some great realtors out there, but the title of the best realtor in Toronto & the GTA can only go to the real estate agent with not only the numbers but the experience to back up the claim. 

Frank Leo has been serving the Toronto & GTA real estate market for 3 decades, helping 1000’s of home buyers and sellers make their real estate dreams come true to achieve the title of #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World. Frank Leo has also led his team to achieve the rank of #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada. 

So what sets Frank Leo apart from the rest of the “best” realtors out there? It comes down to his specialized approach to buying and selling Toronto & GTA real estate in everything from client service to knowledge of the market. 

The Best Realtor in Toronto & The GTA Knows The Toronto & GTA Real Estate Market

The best client service & sales techniques won’t do a client much good without the knowledge experience, marketing and right strategy. Understanding the ins and outs of the market is indispensable when it comes to becoming the best Toronto & GTA realtor. 

Frank’s intimate understanding of the Toronto & GTA real estate market coupled with his knowledge of economics has enabled him to create a unique all encompassing marketing system the provides his clients with proven results. 

Frank Leo has always had an ambitious personality and knew he would devote himself totally to his business pursuits, but it wasn’t until Frank attended university that he settled on real estate as the industry into which he would sink all of his efforts. 

After majoring in economics in university, he devoted his time entirely to understanding the intricacies of Toronto real estate. Frank endeavored to learn as much as possible about the industry and spent endless hours attending seminars, courses, and personal research. 

Standing Out In The Toronto & GTA Real Estate Market

If Frank learned one thing during his studies, it was that doing the same thing as others were doing won’t make you the best. He needed to do it better. 

Frank did so by designing and implementing a Guaranteed Home Selling System. His marketing system not only creates unparalleled exposure for clients properties but marketing which attracts qualified buyers. Instead of using traditional ineffective marketing techniques, Frank sells without using outdated and intrusive open houses and gives his clients a competitive edge. 

Taking Time To Be The Best

A winning selling system doesn’t happen overnight. It takes an incredible amount of time, energy and money to get right. For Frank that meant a great financial investment as well as years of time to refine and implement it. 

Since he started working in the real estate market during the recession of 1990, Frank has been refining the process and strategy which has made him the #1 realtor in Toronto & the GTA by units of listings sold. It the system has its roots in a time when the market reached its worst performance since the great depression which started in October 1929. Working in such a hard time for real estate require both perseverance and the right strategy. It served as a personal challenge and the proving ground for Frank’s home selling system. 

Becoming The Best Toronto & GTA Realtor To Buy Or Sell

It was during this challenging episode of his real estate career during which Frank Leo earned the nickname which has stuck with him until today – “The Lion.” His tenacity and persistence in the quest to create a superior marketing system which provides clients with an edge were drawing attention in the industry and among clients. 

Frank took notice of the nickname and took advantage of it as a marketing technique by incorporating it into the marketing for his real estate business. In the same way that Frank created a unique, personalized strategy for reaching the #1 spot as a RE/MAX agent, Frank individualizes his approach to selling. 

Each individual client which Frank Leo & Associates work with get an individualized strategy and plan because each buyer and seller are different. Not every house will appeal to every buyer, so the marketing system Frank Leo & Associates use targets qualified buyers who are likely to be interested in a specific house. The team starts with a free comprehensive home evaluation  and develops a plan and strategy from that to proceed to advertise and promote the property based on its specific and unique features. This attention to detail is what is needed to get your property to sell for top dollar. 

If you are in the market for the best Toronto & GTA real estate agent to buy or sell remember you can contact Frank Leo & Associates at any time. Our Toronto & GTA real estate team has helped 1,000’s of Toronto & GTA home buyers and sellers achieve their real estate dreams. 

The Best Real Estate Agent Can Lead The Best Team

Becoming the #1 Individual RE/MAX real estate agent in the world is certainly an achievement, but there is only so much one person can accomplish for themselves and for clients. That’s why Frank set his sights on building the best real estate team in Toronto & The GTA early on. By sharing his proprietary marketing system and market insights with the top real estate talent, Frank Leo & Associates could help even more people in the Toronto & GTA region find the best solution to their real estate needs. 

With this objective in mind, Frank joined RE/MAX West Realty Inc. in 1993 and started putting his team together. The team had humble beginnings with just a professional assistant, administrative manager, and a marketing coordinator to optimize operations and ensure there were no shortcomings when it came to client services. 

By 1995, Frank had his team in place and swept the RE/MAX West Awards. That year Frank Leo took the #1 Spot Among all RE/MAX West offices. Throughout the years Frank Leo & Associates have been recognized as among the best in the business through countless awards and distinctions including the Circle of Legends and the highly prestigious Luminary of Distinction Award. Even earning him the title of not only the #1 realtor in Toronto & The GTA to buy and sell but the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in all of the world.

What really matters are the results for the clients. Frank’s philosophy is to treat everyone’s home as their castle and to put yourself in their shoes to do what is best for the client. This way the client will benefit from all that learned and developed over 30 years. A strong commitment and dedication to his clients make Frank Leo & Associates deliver great service and the best results possible.

Going The Extra Mile

Most people looking for the best Toronto real estate agent for them are looking for someone committed and capable with a proven track record – regardless of whether they are buying or selling. 

The truth is that there are plenty of competent real estate agents out there who know their market. Unfortunately for the average person who doesn’t know that the average realtor only sold only 1.5 homes in 2018 it is can be a difficult process to find the best Toronto real estate agent to help them. It’s simple if you are not selling many properties you won’t have the funds to extensively market the property to get the best results for the clients. It is not that the realtor is a bad person but if they are not earning enough to feed their family how can they realistically do what is needed to do the marketing that is truly needed to get the best results? Marketing takes the knowledge and experience to create a proper strategy but most importantly money and a  large investment at that to do what is needed in this big city. Many agents have no choice but to focus on trying to pay their bills and simply can’t make the required investment. 

For example, many agents advertise the open house as a marketing tactic which will attract buyers and help sell the home for a good price. What they don’t tell the seller is that the open house has essentially zero cost and really benefits the real estate agent more than the seller because they are able to potentially meet new clients. Since the open house is reaching people in the neighbourhood and people that just happen to pass by. Of course we all know that buyers can be  local (from all over Toronto & the GTA) ,national and even international. Is it not important to reach these potential buyers? If you do not reach all the potential buyers for your property are you going to get the highest and best price?

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, it’s rare that a buyer bought a house  they found out about it from a lawn sign or open house that they would not have otherwise made an appointment to see anyway. In reality, you can get top dollar for your home without an ineffective open house if you have an agent that has a proven marketing system. Most agents hold open houses to appease the sellers and with the hopes of picking up a buyer lead. 

Innovative Marketing Does More For The Client

Like other traditional real estate marketing, open houses have been done for so long that agents can just say that they are “tried and true” methods. What sets the best Toronto realtor aside is not hanging on to old, outdated marketing tactics that do not work in 2018 to get a home sold. 

Instead, innovative realtors like Frank Leo & Associates take advantage of the traditional advertising methods plus the latest technology and social media to reach qualified buyers who are more interested in your home & if they are the right (best) buyer are likely to buy for the highest price. In fact, Frank’s proprietary approach to selling leverages the power of a multi-million dollar marketing operation which runs 24/7 to get sellers’ home sold for top dollars and faster.

This willingness to invest the extra time and spend the incredible amount of marketing dollars to get the best results posssible for his clients is what makes an agent the best Toronto & GTA real estate agent for buying & selling homes. 

The Right Support Makes All The Difference

A real estate agent needs more than just determination, skills, & experience to make a difference for his or her clients. All the dedication in the world won’t go far without the right support team. Although it requires a financial investment, the best Toronto & GTA real estate agent will have a support team to handle all the essential aspects of the business more efficiently and to provide the highest level of service. 

Clients of Frank Leo & Associates get the world class service which Frank Leo & Associates offers because of the excellent support staff on the team. Our agents can get results because the amazing support staff will handle the day-to-day operations and this  allow our agents to concentrate on delivering top results. 

The Best Toronto & GTA Realtor Never Stops Working Hard To For The Clients

For Frank Leo & Associates, it is never good enough because the world is constantly changing and we must always be improving to provide the best possible real estate service to our clients.. 

Regardless of how high quality the service which makes Frank Leo the #1 Toronto & GTA Realtor for selling is, there is always room for improvement. No matter how many sales, awards, or satisfied clients Frank gets he won’t stop improving. That perseverance and thirst for improvement are what really makes someone the best Toronto & GTA realtor for buying and selling. 

Each new client is another opportunity to demonstrate how much we care. Whether it’s investing in more marketing, technology, hiring more talented professionals, or learning about the Toronto & GTA real estate market, the hand-picked real estate team is constantly working to stay ahead of the curve for the client’s benefit. 

You Don’t Have To Be A Big Shot To Work With The Best Toronto & GTA Realtor 

Frank Leo & Associates are proud to serve all of their clients in the Toronto & GTA community  – from first-time homebuyers looking find a new first home, for a growing family or for the seasoned investor. At Frank Leo & Associates we firmly believe that top quality real estate services should be available to everyone. 

We carry our commitment through by offering a free home evaluation  and our total service guarantee in writing. You can get a free home evaluation from the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World, right now for free.

You can also reach out to contact us at any time with your real estate questions. Of course, you can also access any of our resources to aid you in your real estate endeavours at your convenience:


Home Seller’s Checklist: What You Should Take Care of Before Selling Your Home in Toronto or The GTA

Selling your home in Toronto or The GTA requires planning, organization, and more work than many people realize. This home seller’s checklist will help you keep track of all the tasks that need to be done when selling your home in Toronto or The GTA.

To deal with the workload and ensure everything runs smoothly for the buyer, seller, and any intermediaries, many people chose to hire a real estate professional – but whether you are working with a real estate agent or not, our home seller’s checklist will help you get acquainted with what needs to be done.

If you’re selling with an agent, it still helps to know what needs to be done and when. Although a good real estate agent has processes in place and covers all of the necessary tasks for you, being aware of what’s going on can only help.

This checklist will help you maximize your chances of getting the best value when selling your home. Understanding the checklist will allow you to help your real estate agent highlight your home’s strengths on the market.

Your knowledge of the house combined with your agent’s understanding of real estate markets, preparing  your home for sale, and marketing is a combination for success.

Home Seller’s Checklist Categories

We break our checklist down into several sections. Segmenting everything helps keep your process organized, although there may be some overlap between the sections.

The primary categories on this list are:

  • Documents
  • Before Listing
  • Home Improvements
  • After Listing
  • Depersonalizing
  • Outside Your Home
  • Your Home’s Interior
  • Air Quality/Pets
  • Special Considerations

You may already have a firm handle on many of the sections on this list. If so, you can still skip through the different sections to find the information you haven’t considered or haven’t done yet.

At the very least you’ll have double checked all of the consideration you should take into account when selling your home in Toronto or The GTA.

Home Seller’s Checklist Tasks – Keeping Track of Documents Before You Sell Your Home in Toronto

Selling a home takes paperwork. Having these documents identified and organized, whether that’s in hard copy or digital form, will get you through the home selling process much faster.

Keep a list detailing each document and its status. Since some of these documents might be with your attorney or real estate agent for security, it can be helpful to make notes about where each document is kept. In the event you can’t locate a document this list will be indispensable.

For hard copies, create folders and label them accordingly. Keep them in a secure place. Below you’ll find the main real estate documents you’ll need to sell a house:

◽ Do you have your home’s original sales contract complete with the purchase price?

◽ The deed to your home

◽ Any home surveys you’ve had done (professional inspection reports)

◽ Your professional home appraisal (when you bought the house and the current home evaluation)

◽ Receipts from your property tax

◽ Completed renovation contracts or documentation of home improvements

◽ Warranties (only if they are transferable)

◽ Insurance records

◽ Any warranty information or manuals relating to appliances which are part of the sale

Documents You’ll Need After You Sign A Listing Agreement When Selling Your House

Once you’ve got the documentation regarding the home sale in place and you have found an agent, together you’ll need to assemble various documents for different points in the home selling process. They will include:

◽ The agreement with your real estate agent and a collection of your written communications

◽ A list of all the professional service providers you deal with during the course of your home sale. These include contractors, movers, plumbers, etc.

◽ Any documents your lawyer will need

◽ Documents for your tax accountant

Before you List Your Home For Sale in Toronto or The GTA

Getting all the facts recorded and organized before listing your home for sale is crucial to a smooth home sale. It’s best to have all information before you get into listing or negotiation. If there are problems the must be addressed, you can deal with them before they are a disruption.

Your real estate agent will be in a better position to negotiate in possession of all the facts. In order to make an accurate home evaluation and have a solid foundation for the asking price.

Major repairs should all be completed before putting it on the market. Being proactive also sends a good message to buyers and agents and makes it easier to work with them.

If you want a recommendation for a home inspector, your real estate agent is the best place to start. Here are some of the points to consider before you list your house for sale in Toronto or The GTA.

◽ When was your house built?

◽ Is your home’s electrical wiring in good order? (e.g. lights don’t flicker, breakers and fuses don’t blow)

◽ What type of wiring do you have? (e.g. aluminum or knob and tube)

◽ Is there a fusebox/electrical panel?

◽ Is the plumbing in good order?

◽ When was the furnace last replaced/installed?

◽ Are the furnace filters often replaced?

◽ Is the home equipped with a water softener?

◽ Is the roof well maintained?

◽ Are the windows energy-efficient and well maintained?

◽ Are there any defects in the foundation?

◽ Are there water problems of any sort (including mold and/or mildew)?

Consider General Updates & Repairs Before Selling Your Home in Toronto or The GTA

There’s always room for improvement. Your home inspection and realtor may give you an idea of where it’s a good idea to invest resources when it comes to home updates or repairs.

Remember that while repairs are typically important to do to maximize your chance of getting top dollar for your home, not all updates will provide an equal return on investment. Upgrades don’t have to be major overhauls, and a little update can go a long way.

Work with your real estate agent to prioritize what needs to be done within your budget in order to improve your home. From the buyer’s perspective, the less work they have to put in after they buy a home the better. Make sure your home is in turn-key condition and move-in ready and you’ll be more likely to find a buyer.

◽ Here are some points to consider regarding home upgrades and repairs:

◽ Have you established a timeline?

◽ Do you have a budget set aside for essential repairs and potential upgrades?

◽ Are there any updates or repairs you have been putting off? It may be sensible to take care of these first.

◽ Are there any essential repairs?

◽ Are the windows and doors in good condition?

◽ Are permanent light fixtures in showing condition?

◽ Do your doors and trim appear new?

◽ Are there any holes or cracks in the walls?

Catch our article about cost-effect energy saving updates that you can expect a return on when selling your home in Toronto or The GTA.

Once You’ve Listed Your Home, Get Organized Before You Or Your Agent Stage Your Home For Sale

After you’ve found the best real estate agent for you, had your home inspected, and completed the first part of the checklist, it’s time to move on to getting your home’s interior organized.

Preparing a home to sale is likely to increase the odds it will sell in a good timeframe for a great value that you will be happy with.

Here’s what you should think about when you and your agent are preparing to stage the home:

◽ Is there clutter in any part of your home?

◽ Does the house look immaculate and clean all throughout?

◽ Are personal items and things you don’t need when selling your home away in storage or at your new residence?

◽ Have you stored non-essential items off the premises or in a discreet place?

◽ How does the garage and/or other storage areas look?

◽ Is the basement tidy (if it is used for storage)?

Removing Personal Items Before Selling Your Home

An essential part of home staging is making potential buyers who visit the property feel like they are in their future home, not someone else’s. Although we don’t believe in intrusive open houses at Frank Leo & Associates, when we bring qualified leads to a property we stage it beforehand so they can project their future lives into the space.

◽ Personal items like pictures, unique furniture, and other items can interfere with buyer experience and even cost a home sale.

◽ Here are the points you should consider when depersonalizing the property:

◽ Don’t keep any personal photographs on walls, mantles, etc.

◽ Pack away all books, music, or magazines which don’t appeal to a mainstream audience

◽ Keep memorabilia out of sight

◽ Any children’s items (toys, books, etc) should be neatly organized or stored away

◽ Any potentially offensive items should be removed from the residence

For more tips and insights about staging your home for sale in Toronto & The GTA you can refer to our Home Staging Guide. Frank Leo & Associates have gleaned these insights over 3 decades selling billions of dollars worth of real estate for 1,000’s of satisfied customers in Toronto & The GTA using our Guaranteed Home Selling System.

Curb Appeal When Selling Your Property

The first impression your home makes – whether through Toronto & GTA MLS Listings or in person – is often hard to overcome if it’s not positive.

Although the front yard and face of the home are important, make sure you don’t discount the sides of the home as well as the backyard. These are not to be overlooked, since many people will form an impression of how well the home is maintained based on its exterior.

The exterior is your opportunity to get potential buyers excited about viewing your home. It also gives your real estate agent and photographer ample material to work with for the promotional photography.

Here are the main points regarding your home’s exterior you should think about before selling:

◽ Does the exterior need any major repairs?

◽ Does the exterior need any minor repairs?

◽ Are there any festive or seasonal lights or decorations which need to be taken down?

◽ Are the front, side, and back yards neat and tidy?

◽ If it’s winter, are walkways and paths free of snow and ice?

◽ Have you made a list of everything that needs to be addressed in order of priority?

Maximizing the Appeal of Your Home’s Interior Before Selling

So far we’ve covered depersonalizing your home’s interior spaces and thought about curb appeal, but now you need to make sure every room and element of your house is arrange in a way that maximize appeal to interested buyers.

From flooring, to paint, to the way each room is arranged, each element of your home will be under scrutiny. Here are the things to consider before your agent shows the property to potential buyers. We’ll break them down into individual sections relating to the major parts of your home to evaluate.

Preparing Your Home’s Main Rooms for The Sale

Nobody’s home will be perfect, but there are many things you can do to keep buyers interested when they’re touring your property. The general idea is to show buyer’s what they are looking for, not what they will have to do in order to make the property suitable for themselves.

The small details can often make a big difference, and together they could be more significant than one single but more glaring issue. It’s easier for a buyer to see one thing they want to change and think it will be easy to take care of than for them to be overwhelmed by countless small details they’ll have to alter after the sale.

The longer the potential buyer’s to-do list of things the want to change, the further down the list of homes they’re considering buying your home will sink. Home buyers are happiest with turn-key, move-in ready homes.

Here’s what you should consider to give your prospective home buyers a home they can move right into and feel at home:

The Foyer

◽ Does the home’s entryway feel inviting?

◽ Is the entry spacious and well organized?

◽ Does it reflect the character and appeal of the home?

◽ How does the rest of the home look from the perspective of the entryway?

◽ Are personal items such as shoes, coats, etc. packed away?


◽ Does the kitchen look appealing when you walk in?

◽ Are there too many appliances/accessories like blenders, microwaves, or other gadgets?

◽ Has clutter been removed from the countertops/island?

◽ Are all of the surfaces sparkling?

◽ Is the fridge spotless (exterior and interior)

◽ Is the stove clean (exterior and interior)

◽ Do the appliances match and create a sense of consistency?

◽ Are the cupboards functional and looking tidy?

◽ Is there anything that could use some updating?

◽ Are the floors well-maintained?

◽ Are the sinks sparkling?

Living Room

◽ Is the living area inviting and comfortable in appearance?

◽ Is the furniture arranged nicely and in good repair?

◽ Has any excess furniture been removed and stored away?

◽ Is the room’s decor neutral?

◽ Are pet and children’s toys put away?

◽ Are entertainment consoles and wires all arranged neatly?

◽ Is the room open and full of natural light?

◽ Is the shelving clean and well-ordered?

◽ Are window coverings open to let in sunlight?

◽ If you have a fireplace, is it arranged neatly and cleaned?

◽ Has everything been thoroughly vacuumed and dusted?

Dining Room

◽ Is it clear the space is meant for dining?

◽ Is the centrepiece furniture elegant and matching the rooms decor?

◽ Are all of the components of furniture arranged properly?

◽ Is an upgrade or repair in order?

Master Bedroom

◽ Does the master bedroom evoke a sense of relaxation and comfort?

◽ Is the colour palette consistent and neutral?

◽ Are the pieces of furniture arrange well?

◽ Is there anything that could use an update?


◽ Does the basement have a specific purpose or use other than storage?

◽ Is that evident when you enter the space?

◽ If the basement is finished does it have the appropriate furniture for its purpose?

Bathrooms / Powder Rooms

◽ Are all surfaces clean?

◽ Is the counter neat and free of clutter and personal items?

◽ Are faucets clean and working properly?

◽ Have all tub and shower surfaces been cleaned?

◽ Are the towels fresh and neatly arranged?

◽ Are any storage areas clean?

Evaluate Your Home’s Paint Before You Sell

The paint on the walls of your home takes up a great surface area and can have a big impact on buyers. Painting a room is a big enough job on its own, so painting a whole tasks is a mammoth undertaking in the minds of potential buyers.

If buyers don’t like it for whatever reason it alone can cause them to form a negative association and pass on buying your property. Fresh, neutral-toned paint is the best way to go. It allows buyers to easily project their vision of how it will look as their space and it’s easy to paint over.

With a neutral palette your buyers will be able to comfortably live in the house before deciding if they want to redo the paint jobs.

◽ Have you recently painted the house?

◽ Is the paint chipping, discoloured, or otherwise in decay?

◽ Do the walls have loud colours which need to be painted to more neutral tones?

◽ Although the walls have neutral colours do they need a fresh coat?

◽ Do the rooms have a consistent colour scheme throughout? (e.g. cool or warm)

◽ Are any of the walls covered in wallpaper? If so it should be removed and replaced with a neutral paint colour.

◽ Do any finishes (e.g. doors, trim, wainscotting) need a new coat of paint or new colour?

◽ Do any of the ceilings need fresh paint?

◽ Are any of the surfaces covered in dirt or fingerprints?

◽ Any residue from tape, thumb tacks, or nails?

Check Your Home’s Flooring

A home’s floors can be a good indicator of how well the previous owners have maintained the property. Scuffed, poorly kept floors can give buyer’s the impression that other parts of the house aren’t in great condition either.

Having nice flooring all throughout is a good indicator that a home is move-in ready. With that in mind, here are the key points you should knock of your to-do list when it comes to your home’s flooring.

◽ Does your home have carpeting? If so, what condition is it in?

◽ What colour is the carpeting in your home?

◽ What is the carpet’s style (e.g. cut pile berber)?

◽ Do any of the rooms that don’t have carpeting need it?

◽ Which carpets need to be replaced – All rooms of just a few? (if only a few rooms need new carpeting make sure you chose something that works with the rest of the carpets)

◽ Does any of the carpeting have hardwood underneath?

◽ Is there vinyl flooring?

◽ Does any vinyl flooring need to be replaced?

◽ Do you have hardwood floors?

◽ Do the hardwood floors need to be refinished?

◽ Any places with excessive wear or water damage?

◽ Are all area rugs strain free?

Furniture & Other Accoutrements

Removing too much furniture makes a house feel empty and not livable while leaving too much or not arranging it properly create clutter. The happy medium is having the right number and type of furniture in each room arranged in such a way that brings out the rooms strengths and favourable qualities.

Keep in mind that the furniture should be arranged with the showing in mind. Arrange things according to the flow of how buyers will move through the house, not necessarily what is most comfortable or convenient for residents.

◽ Don’t forget to light everything properly to place emphasis on each room’s most attractive features.

◽ Here’s what you should consider what arranging and placing furniture in the house your selling:

◽ How much furniture does each room have in it?

◽ What is the placement of each piece of furniture in the respective room?

◽ Is your furniture in good, showing condition?

◽ Do you think you need to replace or rent furniture to replace furniture with wear and tear?

◽ Is there enough light in each room and are the bulbs appropriate wattage?

◽ Are all of the bulbs working properly?

◽ Do all switches work correctly?

Doors, Windows, & Finishes

Elements like windows, doors, and finishes are elements of your home which can serve as accents that really accentuate a room’s charm. If they’re in disrepair or mismatched, they can unfortunately have the opposite effect.

Here’s what to consider when evaluating whether any of your home’s finishes need a once-over or replacement:

◽ Do any doors have chipping paint or need new paint or replacing?

◽ Do all the doors open and close smoothly?

◽ Are the handles and locks moving smoothly?

◽ Do any of the doors creak?

◽ Do any frames or doors have smudges?

◽ Do any screens have holes?

◽ Are all of the windows clean and streak free?

◽ Is there any damage to any of the windows?

◽ Are all of the window latches and other hardware working?

◽ Are all of the seals in place?

◽ Are the curtains, drapes, and/or blinds all clean and elegant?

◽ Do any of the homes finishes (e.g. wainscoting, crown moulding) need attention?

Air Cleanliness & Pets

Your home’s air quality can have a big impact on your home sale. Even with new HVAC your home could have an atmosphere which is normal to you but not what most buyers are used to. It’s particularly common for properties which are home to pets to have this problem.

It is important to ensure your home has a neutral atmosphere to maximize its appeal to buyers. Odours can get trapped in carpets and furniture, mean it might be necessary to rent or buy new furniture or do some minor renovations.

◽ Is your homes HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Cooling) running smoothly?

◽ Have you inspected your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors and confirmed they are in good working order?

◽ Are there any lingering smells or odours permeating your home that you could eliminate?

◽ Do you often cook with strong seasoning or foods with strong odours?

◽ If you have pets around keep them somewhere else while showing the house. If not try to keep them and their items out of sight during showings.

◽ Remove signs of your pet including food, toys, accessories, etc.

If You’re Selling Your Home During The Holidays

Although you shouldn’t let the sale of your home stand in the way of holiday celebrations you should celebrate in a manner which won’t adversely affect your chances of attracting buyers.

For example holiday decorations and religious items should be stored away immediately following your celebration and not kept out in the open. Although some home sellers think adding a festive touch makes a home more inviting, it’s best to leave these items out of site at all times.

◽ Here’s what you should consider regarding holidays, celebrations, and your home sale:

◽ Are you selling your home around the holidays?

◽ Is it a festive time of year/ are there holidays taking place?

◽ Do you have decorations hanging around/inside your home? If so take them down for showings/photography.

◽ Keep the decor only for the celebration and remove everything after your festivities are done

Keeping Track Of Everything When Selling Your Home in Toronto & The GTA

There you have it – the checklist for selling your home in Toronto or The GTA. The list may seem daunting, but keep your list current by checking items off the list and you’ll get peace of mind that your sales process will run smoother.

Thinking of selling your home in Toronto or The GTA?

Consider working with Frank Leo & Associates. Led by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World, our Team has helped 1,000’s of Torontonians get top dollar value for their homes over 30 years. We’ve sold billions of dollars worth of real estate and are proud to serve the region.

You can get started with us by getting a FREE, no-obligation home evaluation in Toronto or contacting us with any Toronto real estate questions.


How Do You Sell A Home in Toronto or The GTA For Top Dollar Without Intrusive Open Houses? Learn How From Frank Leo, The #1 RE/MAX Agent in The World

Entertaining guests is one thing, but for most people the only strangers they want in their homes are plus ones at a party. So why is it taken for granted that you need an open house to sell your home in Toronto & The GTA? Many people go as far as having multiple open houses hoping to find the right buyer.

Over his career Frank Leo has taken the “hope-ing” out of the home selling process in Toronto. In fact, he’s taken the open house out of selling homes. Why?

It’s because open houses don’t necessarily sell houses in Toronto, The GTA, or anywhere.  In fact, they attract unqualified buyers.

Most agents and sellers hold open houses because it’s easy and convenient. It’s also in their personal interest to hold open houses, but we’ll get into that later. 

First we’ll run you through why open houses are ineffective and how you don’t need to have open houses to sell your property in Toronto for top dollar.

Do Open Houses Actually Sell Houses?

Let’s look at the numbers.

Most home seller’s guides recommend holding open houses. With 517,018 houses sold in Canada in 2017, that’s a lot of open houses. That statistic would suggest that open houses play a big role in selling houses.

However, it may come as a surprise that hardly any buyers learn about the home they eventually buy from an open house.

Considering that an open houses is a standard marketing tactic that is practically assumed in most real estate offerings, it’s remarkably ineffective.

Open houses – along with other traditional marketing tactics – are simply outdated. During a time where they were at the forefront of real estate marketing they were surely more effective. However, times have changed.

With the advent of the internet and other communication tools available to real estate agents open houses are falling by the wayside. Knocking on doors, cold calling, sending out flyer and open houses are no longer the norm.

That’s right. Open houses are going the way of travelling salesman and cold callers. It’s all because the consumers have moved on. People are more responsive to different forms of communication.

Because consumers do things differently now these methods don’t reach many people & even less buyers. What’s more, the people they do reach don’t respond to them.

In short, open houses are not a good way to allocate resources when marketing your home for sale.

Is An Open House Still A Good Idea In Your Case?

In some cases, an open house can still be effective. If the property is available to show the property by appointment anytime then it is effectively an open house 24hrs a day.

If you find yourself wondering whether it’s still a good idea to run an open house, as yourself if it’s really worth the trouble.

Selling your home in Toronto & The GTA is an involved process. If you have a great real estate agent he or she will handle nearly everything, but that still leaves you with a number of new issues:

  • You have to make time, probably on the weekend, to invite who knows how many strangers into your home
  • Buyers have to take time out of their busy lives to find out whether it will be a good fit
  • The stress of a public showing of your private space
  • An added time frame during which you’ll have to prepare your home for the open house
  • The security issue of not knowing who is coming to see your home.

What You Should Do To Sell Your Home in Toronto Instead Of An Open House

There are plenty of impactful marketing tactics that will help sell your home fast for top dollar.

Over the course of a 30 year career selling billions of dollar worth of homes in Toronto & The GTA, Frank Leo has used his innovative real estate tactics to help thousands of Torontonians get the best value for their homes.

As the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World Frank Leo didn’t get where he is by accident. Frank Leo doesn’t do open houses because he cares about his clients and getting them the best deal on their home sale. That’s why he doesn’t do open houses

You see, an open house often ends up benefiting the realtor more than the home seller.

Why Realtors Really Hold Open Houses

First and foremost it costs almost just some time. When realtors hold open houses, their chances of attracting and closing a new prospective buyer are very low. After all, buying a house is a big investment, one which the vast majority of people won’t make on a whim.

Although he may not have a high chance of selling your property, a real estate agent is likely to meet a number people interested in buying a property. He can then show those buyers other properties similar to yours and find the right one for them. Of course, this comes with a commission for him, but nothing for you.  Basically using our property as bait to attract buyers.

When you look at it this way, most people don’t want their home used as a sales parlour for other people’s real estate deals.

Frank Leo & Associates Don’t Hold Open Houses

It’s a matter of principle. Frank Leo & Associates always put their clients’ needs first.

Instead of using ineffective open houses, we allocate the time and resources we have available to the most effective techniques for marketing each client’s individual property. We know that by reaching millions of potential buyers weekly, that translates into greater opportunities to sell your property for the more.

The methods Frank Leo his team have developed have innovated the real estate industry and Toronto & beyond. That’s why Frank Leo is an award winning realtor in Toronto & The GTA, recognized as #1 in the World.

Our multi-million dollar marketing system works 24/7 all year round to find qualified buyers for our clients’ homes. Using both inbound and outbound methods we find buyers before we show them houses in person.

We understand that a property won’t sell unless buyers learn that it’s for sale. Our 360 degree marketing system uses many methods to attract buyers from every walk of life. We drive buyers to the internet using TV, Radio, Billboards, Social Media, Mass Campaigns, Targeted Campaigns, Newspapers and Magazines to drive traffic and attention to our properties. Since 51% of home buyers find their home through the internet, we understand how important it can be in our arsenal of tactics for finding the perfect buyer for each home we sell in Toronto & the GTA.

An Effective Real-Estate Website

Our website provides buyers with not only in-depth information about homes and photos which showcase each property, but includes statistical information which can help buyers find the right homes for them.

It gives them a more convenient experience because they see homes they are interested in.

We use social media and other digital marketing tools to target precisely the type of buyer which would be interested in a particular home. It’s really a win – win.

Buyer’s seeking a home have an easier time finding the right house when they are thinking of buying a home in Toronto & The GTA. Sellers can reach highly-qualified buyers and increase their chances of getting great value on their home sales.

If you’d like to learn more about working with Frank Leo & Associates or you’re thinking of selling, we’re always here to talk with you. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Marketing That’s Guaranteed to Sell Better Than An Open House

At Frank Leo & Associates we offer our clients what we call a Guaranteed Home-Selling System.

Our system is better than traditional marketing like open houses. We even guarantee to sell your home for a price and at a time frame you agree on because we are so confident in the success of our system.

Selling Homes in Toronto & The GTA & Reaching More Buyers

Open houses only appeal to the small geographic area around them. As a marketing tactic, they won’t reach the buyer’s who live out of the immediate area and is also time restrictive to buyers so they may not be able to attend.

Mass marketing is able to reach more home buyers searching home listings in Toronto & The GTA all around the world. Regardless where the buyer is, they can learn about your home and whether it’s right for them.

“Online” Open Houses in Toronto & The GTA

A well-made, marketed, promoted, known, and high-traffic website is far more effective at attracting interest than an open house. As mentioned, users can browse Toronto MLS listings at their convenience.

With professional photography of a well prepared and presented home, an online presence for a Toronto home will  give users a more accurate idea of whether they are interested in a home over seeing a directional sign for an open house.

Realistically, very few home buyer hear about an open house. Only a limited amount of people from the neighbourhood and random people driving by. People not necessarily buyers.

When a home buyer views a house online they get far more. They can learn about the intricate details of the house like what kind of finishes it has, when it was built, how many square feet they can expect, and what kind of upgrades it features, & more.

Buyer’s can use real estate resources like these to make an informed choice about expressing interest in a house instead of a general interest. That way, when your realtor will bring you pre-qualified parties and don’t waste anyone’s time.

How To Sell A House Without an Open House

As you can see many realtors still use open houses in Toronto & the GTA as a marketing tool. Not because they are effective but because open houses do not cost money to hold, only some time.

Selling without open houses takes resources. You (or your realtor) will need to spend marketing and advertising dollars to reach as large an audience as possible. This will greatly increase the likelihood of finding the ideal and or best buyers for your property in order to get you the highest price possible. Unfortunately advertising is expensive but how expensive will it be for you if you don’t reach the ideal buyer for your home and sell it for less that you could have?  Don’t take chances with your largest investment!

This is just a short summary of all the work that a real estate agent puts in to sell your home.


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.

Image of a bag of money being exchanged for a house to illustrated buying a house as a millennial.

Advice For Millennials Thinking of Buying a House In Toronto Or The GTA From Frank Leo, The #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World

With almost 65% of millennials saving money with the intent of buying a house in Toronto or elsewhere, we want to provide first-time homebuyers with the best possible advice and insights when it comes to what could be the largest financial decision of a lifetime.

Taking the right approach when investing in Toronto real estate can make a tremendous difference in your adult life. This goes for buying as an investment or as a primary residence. A small mistake could mean the difference between a benchmark investment and an issue plaguing your finances for years to come.

Remember that Frank Leo & Associates, the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada** led by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World* are here to answer you Toronto real estate questions at any time. If you have any questions about home ownership that are outside the scope of this article, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us.

Benefits of Being a Millennial Owning a House in Toronto

If you’re considering buying a home in Toronto & the GTA, you’re no doubt aware of some of the many benefits it can provide. You can use it to generate income, use home equity as collateral, or sell at a profit.

For some people, the feeling of not paying rent anymore justifies the commitment of paying for a house.

However, before you make that commitment, which is significant, you should be aware of everything that comes with it. Going into a big decision like buying a house blind is a sure way to make life difficult for yourself.

Understand What Buying a House in Toronto & The GTA Involves

Owning a house is a big responsibility, both financially and in terms of your day-to-day life.

In maintaining a house and the grounds takes a lot of work. It can be a bit of an adjustment for the uninitiated.

It could also limit your mobility when it comes to travel. If you plan on going away for a longer period of time the house will need maintenance.

In terms of finances, buying a house with a mortgage makes it a big financial responsibility. Missing mortgage payments, or in the worst case defaulting on your mortgage can leave you bankrupt and throw your financial future into turmoil.

For that reason taking out a mortgage is not a decision to be taken lightly or without completely thinking through your plans.

Some of the questions you should ask yourself when thinking of buying a home in Toronto or The GTA include:

–  Are you able to afford owning a home in Toronto & the GTA?

–  Can you continue to make mortgage payments even after a change in income?

–  Do you have the financial means to put in a good enough down payment to support the rest of the costs needed to be payed?

–   Is your current debt a heavy burden?

–   Would it benefit you to wait for more favourable market conditions or until you have more savings?

–   Have you considered ALL of the costs associated with buying a house?

–   What kind of a mortgage should you take out?

If you’re seeking advice on buying your first house in Toronto & the GTA, Frank Leo & Associates would be more than happy to provide expert guidance. FOLLOW HERE TO CONTACT US or Call (416)917-5466.

Financing Your First House in Toronto & The GTA If You’re a Millennial

Many millennials think of the Toronto & GTA Real Estate market and wonder if they’ll ever be able to afford a house. Although Toronto & the GTA house prices go up and down, the market is seen as inaccessible to young people in much of millennial culture.

An image showing personal finance calculations for someone thinking of buying a house in Toronto

In reality, many millennials could afford buying a house with a mortgage while taking advantage of some of the financial incentives the Government has instituted to help first time home-owners.

For example, the First-Time Home Buyer’s Credit (FTHBC) introduced by Revenue Canada in 2009 is a terrific place to start when it comes to easing the financial stress of buying a house in Toronto. If you’re a first-time homebuyer thinking of buying a house in Toronto check if you meet the requirements and whether the house qualifies for the credit.

The 15% income tax credit and other credits you may be eligible could mean the difference between affording the home and saving for a few more years.

Is It The Right Time To Buy A House in Toronto & the GTA?

Timing can play a big role when it comes to buying a house in Toronto. Determining when is the right time is a personal financial decision based on:

  • The conditions of the Toronto & GTA Real estate market. Houses could be exceptionally expensive or more affordable
  • Mortgage rates. Depending on the state of the mortgage industry, interest rates on the money you’re borrowing to buy a house could be relatively high or low
  • Your financial situation. Is it a good idea to buy now or save for a bit longer?
  • The Right House. Have you the perfect home for you?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to answering these questions. It comes down to your current situation, your financial plans, and what your plans are for the future. When it comes to financial planning you can seek out the help of a professional, but in regard to any of your Toronto real estate questions you can count on Frank Leo & Associates.

Our award-winning real estate service has helped 1,000’s or people find their dream homes in Toronto & The GTA over three decades. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help make your real estate dreams a reality.

Making Your Down Payment When Buying A House in Toronto & The GTA As A Millennial

In addition to other home-ownership costs, mortgage insurance is another expense you will have to pay on a monthly basis if you don’t own 20% equity. In practical terms, that means anyone buying a house who makes less than the traditional 20% down payment will have to buy this insurance.

Mortgage insurance protects the lender from losses if you are suddenly unable to make mortgage payments.

Making a larger down payment also means you start out with a higher share of equity in the property. Having more equity gives you more financial options in the future.

Remember the Stress Test

In order to be approved for a mortgage in Canada you need to undergo a financial stress test. As of October 17, 2016, this stress test is mandatory for all insured mortgages in Canada, even if you make a 20% down payment.

Historically this test only applied to people making a downpayment of less than 20%. These new rules were put in place to ensure that you can afford to keep making payments even if mortgage rates were to increase.

Image of a calliper measuring to determine if someone has enough cash when buying a home

In addition to qualifying for the rate provided by your lender, the stress test requires that you qualify for the Bank of Canada’s five-year fixed mortgage rate. The BOC’s rate acts as a sort of benchmark that gives an indication of your financial status to help prevent people from defaulting on their mortgages.  

This mandatory measure includes a requirement that as a home buyer you are not spending more than 39% of your income on home costs. Those costs include taxes, mortgage payments, utilities, etc.

Finally, your TDS (Total Debt Service) ratio cannot be over 44% and needs to include all other debt payments.

All of these conditions might seem like obstacles for millennials thinking of buying houses in Toronto. However, they’re there to prevent Canadians from falling into dire financial circumstances if their mortgage rates were to increase, unexpectedly.

Be aware of how your financial standing stacks up to the stress test requirements. Check where you stand before getting too invested in buying a house.

Get Informed About Toronto & The GTA Real Estate

Buying a home requires research, knowledge and an understanding of the home-buying process. Having insight and experience on your side is even better. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as just looking through Toronto & GTA real estate listings and picking a house.

Over 3 decades we’ve been helping people in Toronto & The GTA navigate the real estate market and we’ve developed an expert understanding of it.

That’s what makes us the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada.* If you’d like the #1 Team on your side when navigating the home-buying process, we’re here for you.






Led by the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the world*, Frank Leo & Associates has helped 1000’s people in Toronto & The GTA navigate the real estate market.

That’s what makes us the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada.**

Consider speaking with Frank and his team of associates help you navigating the home-buying process, FOLLOW HERE TO CONTACT US TODAY or Call (416)917-5466.

* Dollar Volume in 2017

** Dollar Volume  January – May 2018

The Skyline of Toronto & GTA Real Estate highlighting how it's a good place to invest

Toronto & GTA Real Estate: A Strong Place to Invest When It Comes to Real Estate Investment in Canada

The Toronto & GTA Real Estate market just saw a major jump. The Toronto real estate statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Board for this summer show a major upswing when it comes to housing sales. The increase is drawing even more attention to one of Canada’s top cities for Real Estate investment. In fact, Toronto has earned the title of making Canada’s biggest gain in home sales this year.

If you have any questions about the statistics presented in this article or about Toronto & GTA real estate in general, look no further than Frank Leo & Associates headed by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World* for the answers. Contact us to have your questions addressed.

Toronto & GTA Real Estate Statistics 2018: Toronto Homes Sold

Toronto has seen an increase in homes sold this summer compared with the same time last year.

By the numbers, that means a 2.4% increase compared with last year’s numbers for June 2017. In Total, we’ve seen 8,082 homes sold through the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Toronto MLS Listing System, as reported by Greater Toronto Realtors® in June 2018. Between May and June of 2018, the sales are up 17.6% on a monthly basis.

Average Price of Toronto Homes Sold

In terms of average selling price, it’s edged up by 2% on a year-by-year basis. By June 2018, the average price of a home sold in Toronto reached $807,871. Between May 2018 and June 2018, the average home price jumped up by 3%, a considerable change for the market (after preliminary seasonal adjustment).

On a year-over-year basis the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) went down 4.8%. However, it stayed more or less the same in terms of month-over-month change. Changes to the amount of different types of properties which were sold between June 2017 and June 2018 is one of the reasons that can account for the differences in the average price and the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), year-over-year. In June 2018 low-rise homes accounted for a larger share of home sales, for example.

Buying A Home In Toronto Becoming More Attractive

Jason Mercer, The Toronto Real Estate Board’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels, expects to see, “improvements in sales over the next year.” In the same statement he has indicated that it is likely that the number of new listings posted each month will also stay more or less consistent.

What does that mean for the market?

It could mean that the competition between buyers which is characteristic for the Toronto & the GTA real estate market could actually increase. The cumulative effect of that competition is likely to drive Toronto Real Estate Prices up even higher.

Accounting For Toronto’s Real Estate Market Boom

Although these changes are largely positive for homeowners seeking to sell property in Toronto & the GTA, these changes to the Toronto Real Estate market can be accounted for by recent policy changes over the past year which have affected home buyers. These include adjustments to the Fair Housing Plan, the now-mandatory stress test, and higher costs of borrowing.

Garry Bhaura, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, suggests that these conditions are starting to move more real estate buyers back into the Toronto real estate market.

Your Toronto & GTA Real Estate Questions, Answered

Still have questions about the Toronto & GTA Real Estate Market?

Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling a house in Toronto & The GTA, you can count on Frank Leo & The #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada** for expert advice. Frank Leo & Associates have been helping buy and sell houses in Toronto & The GTA for three decades.

We’re here to answer all of your questions and meet all of your real estate needs, so get in touch.

* Dollar Volume 2017

** For Dollar Volume January – May 2018





Image of house and coins on paper demonstrating frank leo's net worth tips for real estate in Toronto & The GTA

Frank Leo’s Net Worth Tips For Toronto & GTA Real Estate

Regardless of the state of Canada’s economy, global markets, or the stock market, protecting your net worth can be a wise course of action. In this Frank Leo Net Worth tips article we’ll cover how Toronto & GTA Real Estate can not only protect your wealth from shrinking and protect from inflation, but even generate more income.

Please note that while Frank Leo & Associates are the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada* lead by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World**, we are experts in the field of Toronto & GTA Real Estate, not finance. This article should not be taken as financial advise or replace the need to see a financial advisor.

If you have have any questions about Toronto real estate MLS Listings, buying or selling a house in Toronto, or mortgage-related questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Click here to talk Toronto real estate with us.

Frank Leo’s Net Worth Tip 1: Minimize Inflation

Investing in Toronto Real Estate – as opposed to stocks or bonds – can be a way to protect your net worth from inflation.

Stocks, bonds, and other equity investments can decrease in value when inflation sets in. That means your net worth also decreases and your buying power goes down.

Real Estate is one of the select few assets which stays proportional to inflation. As inflation sets in landlords increase rents and property values typically go up with them.

As an example we can look at how inflation affected residential house prices in Texas between 1979 and 1985. The Texas home prices index rose from 100 to 175.8 in that time. In practical terms, that means every $100 invested in a residential real estate asset in 1979 would was worth $175.8 just 6 years later.

The Huston consumer price index also jumped from 100 to 142.9 over that same period. The difference between the two figures (32.9%) represents the increase in the purchasing power of each $100 invested in Texas residential real estate.

A cashbox meant to demonstrate Frank Leo's net worth tip of using real estate to protect from inflation.

If you have any further questions regarding real estate investment in Toronto & The GTA the Frank Leo Team would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us with your questions today.

Frank Leo’s Net Worth Tip 2: Real Estate Is A Tangible Asset

Residential real estate is a unique investment because it’s an assets which can actually fulfill people’s basic needs.

Unlike luxury commodities like gold, or intangible wealth like equity, a house is a type of necessity. It can fulfill a need, not just satisfy a desire. It will always have that tangible value.

Although no one can say where the market will go with certainty, it is reasonable to conclude that residential real estate will always have value because people will always want to own nice accommodations.

Frank Leo’s Net Worth Tip 3: Toronto Real Estate is a Good Deal

Long term, real estate can be better overall for your net worth than equity assets. You may be wondering how that is if real estate appreciation (even if you added potential rental income) underperforms the appreciation of stocks plus the dividend income they provide.

If we look at all the variables and see the investment in context, we’ll begin to see how real estate can be a better deal.

Let’s compare taking out a mortgage and leveraging money from a stock broker as two types of investments. The better these investments, the more secure your net worth.

An Image of a model house and clock beside increasingly large coin stacks representing Frank Leo's Net Worth Tips

For many people, investing in real estate turns out to be the superior investment. For one, borrowing money to buy a house in Toronto comes at relatively low interest rates. Let’s say you buy a house in Toronto for $1,000,000 and make a standard 20% down payment. Your return will be 15%, assuming the property appreciates at 3%.

Generally, these figures are better than what one could expect to make from equity investment as a non-professional trader.

Frank Leo’s Net Worth Tip 4: You Choose When to Sell

When you buy a house in Toronto & The GTA, the investment belongs to you. Although you may owe money to the bank in the form of a mortgage, the property is yours and that means you can do what you want with it. You choose when to sell.

With a stock you could be forced to sell at an inopportune time. Selling at the wrong time could cut in or completely undercut your margins.

Frank Leo’s Net Worth Tip 5: Build Net Worth With Real Estate

Just like other financial assets, your Toronto & GTA real estate can help you build net worth in addition to protecting it. As outline above, it could even be a higher return than the typical 2% which many bonds and stocks yield.

Unlike equity, you don’t have to sell your property to turn a profit. As a landlord you can make up to double-digit returns on your investment.

Answering Your Toronto & GTA Real Estate Investment Questions

Do you have further questions about real estate investment in Toronto & The GTA?

Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling your property in Toronto an  the GTA, you can count on the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada* led by the #1 Individual RE/MAX in the World** to deliver insights and answers.

We’ve been serving Toronto & The GTA by buying and selling real estate for nearly 30 years and over that time we’ve developed a sharp understanding of the market and found the answers to the questions our clients are asking.

Contact us to have your real estate questions answered.





* For Dollar Volume January – May 2018

** Dollar Volume 2017


When Selling Your Home, Trust the Advice That Frank Leo, The #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World, Has Learned Over 3 Decades of Experience Selling Billions of Dollars Worth of Properties in Toronto & The GTA

If you’re considering selling your home in Toronto, the first impression it makes on a potential buyer can make or break the sale. Whether they see an MLS listing for your home or pass it on the street, it has to draw them in and make them wish they lived there.

According to a 2011 analysis by the Real Estate Staging Association, homes which were properly presented when being put on the market were likely to sell 79% faster than those which were not.  

Preparing your home can not only help you attract the right buyer and close the sale, but get top value for your property. Proper staging requires knowledge, experience, insight into the market, and a bit of creativity.

It’s about more than cleaning the house and putting away family photos. Preparing a house for sale in the GTA requires an understanding of the home’s value, the market you want to sell your home in, and the pool of buyers you will be selling to. It’s the kind of specialized knowledge that few people other than experienced real estate professionals have.

Preparing a Home for Listing, Not for an Open House

Although most people think that a home is staged for an open house, at Frank Leo & Associates we do things differently.

We don’t think you should have strangers walking through your home so we avoid doing open houses.

Instead, we provide buyers with information about your home on the Toronto & GTA Home Listings page of our website.


This approach is part of the innovative marketing strategy that has made Frank Leo the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the World.

It’s with this core value of putting you first that we will prepare your home for sale in Toronto & The GTA. Now let’s get down to what to avoid when staging your home to entice buyers and help get your home sold for top dollar value.

For most people, step one will be getting help from a real estate professional.

Professional Home Staging in Toronto & The GTA

Although being involved with the preparation  process as a seller can be productive, the real estate team should be driving the operation and making decisions.

A real estate agent who understands the property’s value and selling points is ideally situated to leverage them and sell the property for top dollar. A good Toronto Real Estate Agent will know the market, the buyer, and how to reach them.

Know Your Audience When Selling Your Home in The GTA

Prepping  a home is marketing the home, and that’s what real estate agents do best. While some people choose to sell independently and have success taking this route, in a market as competitive as Toronto hiring a realtor is a quick way to get insights into your potential buyers that can increase your chance of selling for top dollar.

If you’re looking for a Toronto realtor to stage and sell your property, Frank Leo has 3 decades of experience selling 1000’s of homes and will do the same for you, Guaranteed. Find out Frank Leo’s net worth as a realtor for yourself. Contact Frank Leo today to get started.

Once you’ve decided whether or not you will enlist the help of a realtor to sell your home in Toronto, it’s time to move on to the staging itself.  

Avoid Over-Staging the House For Sale in Toronto

By getting your home show ready we can get it sold for a better value, over-doing it can potentially be a detriment to the home sale and lose you dollars on the final price. It is possible to over-stage a house.

Avoiding over-staging comes down to keeping décor tame but interesting and being tasteful with choices. Don’t decorate too much or focus too much on one element. Instead, blend together each aspect of the home’s décor into a cohesive whole.

Don’t Under-Stage If You Are Selling Your Home in Toronto

Potential buyers should step into your property and see it as a blank slate for their home. If it looks fake and uninviting, it’s going to be difficult for them to imagine themselves in it.

Placing fake plants, bowls of fruit, food, or other “staging” items into your home can prevent buyers from feeling comfortable in it.

Make Sure You Are Staging Your Home For Sale in Toronto To Scale

Most people like living in spacious accommodations, so it may seem like a good idea to use smaller items and furniture throughout a home in order to give the illusion of more living space.

Using this tactic can actually dwarf the home and turn buyers off. Potentially making home staging mistakes like dwarfing a room is one of the many reasons why you shouldn’t stage a home for sale by yourself.

Furniture and accessories should match their space in both scale and proportion. For example, a small family room won’t benefit from having small furniture to make it look more spacious. You should embrace the space and instead make it look cozy.

Interior Design is A Crucial Component of Staging Your Home for Sale in Toronto

Design plays a big role in staging your home for sale in Toronto. If your home is the artwork on display, the design is the frame which accents its presentation. When done right, design can work wonders in winning over buyers and getting your home sold for top dollar in Toronto.

With that said, here are some tips to make sure your interior design contributes to your home staging when you’re selling your home in Toronto.

  • Don’t “Overdesign.” The trick with interior design when you’re staging and selling your home in Toronto is to create a feeling of subtlety and nuance – not bold, in-your-face décor. The interior design should accentuate the features of your home, not overshadow them. After all, it’s the home you are selling and not the décor.
  • Use Neutral Colours on the Walls and Avoid Custom Wallpapers. As a homeowner, it’s normal to want to decorate your space to your tastes. Using bold colours or exciting patterns on the walls can be fun, but there’s no place for this type of expression in a home that’s on the market. Your tastes are not necessarily your buyers’. Use neutral colours to appeal to a wider range of potential buyers.
  • Don’t Leave the House Feeling Empty. Removing clutter is good, but taking it too far by removing too much in terms of interior décor will leave the house feeling empty and cold. That’s definitely not the feeling you want to evoke in people if you’re trying to make them feel at home. Strike a balance between maximizing sense of space while creating a sense of presence in each room.
  • Avoid Personalizing the Décor. As with the walls, the rest of the home’s interior design should be neutral and contemporary. If you’ve personalized your home’s interior or done certain rooms in specific styles, you should do your best to make them as neutral as possible. Give your buyers a blank slate and let their imaginations run wild.
  • Beware of Bad Paint Jobs. Whether it’s on the interior or exterior, whether it’s window trim or a baseboard, old and chipped paint gives the impression that the home is not looked after. Even subtle details can turn buyers off. If you need to repaint make sure to use warm and neutral colours.
  • Keep Colour Palette in Mind. Although it makes sense to choose neutral colours when staging your home for sale in Toronto, that doesn’t mean the colour palette should be uniform. If everything matches, it becomes bland and uninteresting. Use subtle contrast to accentuate features of the house which are selling points and invite the eyes to get excited when taking in a room.
  • Don’t Be Too Neutral. Although you should avoid being too bold, being too bland will make it difficult for the house to make an impression on the buyer. Consider adding a splash of unique appeal to rooms to make them stand out from one another, and from other houses for sale in Toronto.

Keep Surfaces Clear

Surfaces up to 5 feet in length should be kept clear of clutter. Larger surfaces can do with having some items left on them so they don’t look bare.

Although placing décorative vases, books, or other props on tables could seem to add flare to a room, it’s also potentially distracting from what should be the main focus – the property you’re selling. Let your buyer’s eyes flow across the room, interruption free.

Keep Personal Belongings Stored Away When Staging Your Home for Sale in Toronto

Minimize the number of personal items and memorabilia you have on display. Family photos and other heirlooms are some of the most distracting items you can have in your home when showing it to potential buyers.


Each personal item is another reminder to the buyer that they are in someone else’s space. You want buyers to feel comfortable and at ease, so take any family photos, heirlooms, or even unique furniture to your next place or put them in storage while the house is on the market.

Aside from family photos, too much art on the walls can also make the home reflect a particular style or taste. A few plain pieces here or there are fine, but over-doing it runs the risk of making the space seem like an art gallery than a home for sale in Toronto.

Avoid Blocking a Home’s Best Selling Features

Knowing where to place furniture and other elements of décor is just as important as the items themselves. It’s important to make sure none of your furniture or elements of décore are blocking a home’s architectural selling features. These can include windows, fireplaces, floors, and more.

For example, one home feature which can really draw a buyer’s attention and appreciation is a bay window. They bring in light and often open onto a gorgeous view, so keeping them covered by curtains or obscured by furniture really detracts from the buyer’s impression of the space.

Make Sure Carpets Are Looking Their Best

If the property you are selling has carpeting, it should be new or at least recently cleaned. Carpets retain smells and stains and can be a real turn off to buyers because they can indicate that the home has not been well maintained.


Wall-to-wall carpeting needs to be cleaned by a professional or replaced. You can also remove a small area of a carpet to check what type of flooring is underneath. If the original floor is nicer than the carpet then you’ve saved yourself a cleaning bill. You can tear up the carpet and just add a fresh area rug to give the room a sense of presence.

Hardwood floors which are completely bare can make the furniture seem out of place or give the room a sense of being unfinished. Throwing a rug under an armchair or coffee table can go a long way to make a room seem more inviting.

Curb Appeal Is Important

Aside from seeing an MLS Listing for a home for sale in Toronto, the first impression a home makes on a potential buyer is the curb appeal. Before even entering the property, buyers have already formed an opinion.


Whether it’s the driveway, the front door, or the landscaping in the front yard, exterior elements are just as important as the interior of the home. First impressions make a big impact, so investing in livening up the curb appeal of a property can really pay off in the final sale price of the home.

Don’t Leave Selling Your Home in Toronto to Chance

Staging a home for sale in Toronto isn’t easy and requires an expert understanding of market conditions, potential buyers, and more. Although some people choose to stage independently, hiring a seasoned real estate agent will help you get top dollar value when selling your home in Toronto.

Frank Leo has 3 decades of experience selling homes in the Toronto real estate market and has sold 1000’s of homes in the city. He can do the same for you with our Guaranteed Home Selling System. Frank Leo’s Net Worth as a Realtor is proven by his consistent results in Toronto & The GTA.

Contact Frank Leo to learn more and sell your home in Toronto to the right buyer for the right price.





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.






Your Guide To Buying Your First Home in Toronto & The GTA From Frank Leo The #1 RE/MAX Agent in The World

So you’re thinking of buying a home in Toronto or the GTA. As what could be the largest financial decision you will make in your lifetime, there’s no room for uncertainty when it comes to buying your first home.  You’ve come to the right place for expert insights into the process of buying a house in Toronto. Frank Leo is the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the world and has been helping clients buy and sell homes in Toronto & the GTA for 3 decades and has proudly served 1000’s of satisfied clients.

Although buying a house in Toronto may seem daunting, we’ll run you through the process step by step and leave you with a solid foundation of knowledge for this important decision.

What’s The First Thing I Should Do When Thinking of Buying A House in Toronto?

The first thing you should do before deciding on becoming a first-time home owner in Toronto is to sit down and evaluate your financial situation. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are you prepared to take on the financial responsibility of a mortgage?
  • How much do you have for a downpayment?
  • How much debt are you carrying?
  • Would you be able to handle a sudden change in your income?

Ask yourself the tough financial questions and be honest answering them. Doing so will help you understand where you are financially and if you would be able to handle the mortgage payments during leaner times.

There’s plenty more insights and details about deciding whether it’s the right time for you to buy your first home in Toronto in our Home Buyer’s Guide.

So You’re Ready to Buy A House in Toronto

Buying a house is a big investment, but luckily there is financial assistance available for first-time home buyers.

In 2009, Revenue Canada introduced the First-Time Home Buyers Credit (FTHBC) to help ease the financial impact of buying your first home in Toronto. As a first-time home buyer you may be able to qualify for the First-Time Buyers’ Tax Credit (FTHBC), as long as you meet the following requirements:

  • You or your spouse or common-law partner acquired a qualifying home; and
  • You did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years (first-time home buyer).
  • You cannot have lived in a home owned by you or your spouse in the past four years
  • You must present document supporting the purchase of the home

You also need to determine whether your home qualifies for the credit:

  • The home must be within Canada
  • The home can be a single, semi, townhouse, mobile home, condo, or an apartment
  • You must occupy the home within one calendar year of the purchase date

If eligible, you could receive a 15% income tax credit up to a maximum of $5,000 worth of home purchase costs from the year you purchased your first home. You can also receive credits on fees such as the land transfer tax.

If you’re seeking further guidance reach out to the Frank Leo, #1 RE/MAX Agent in the world, and get help taking full advantage of all the credits that are available to you.

Getting a Mortgage When Buying Your First House in Toronto

Before you start looking for houses, you may want go to a lender and get a pre-approved mortgage to ensure that your budget will allow for the purchase of your home in Toronto.

Do a little research on different lenders, as each lender may have different interest rates and conditions compared to other lenders. Make the decision about which lender you choose to take out a mortgage with carefully since you will be locked into a relationship with them for years to come.


If for any reason you must change your lender after signing with them, a prepayment penalty may be charged against you. Read the terms and conditions of your mortgage contract and ask lots of questions if you do not understand.

Should I Work With A Mortgage Broker When Buying My First Home?

A mortgage broker can help you go to different lenders to try and find the best deal for you. With a broker, you may be able to get some mortgage products & services that are not directly available to the borrower, but the reverse can be true as well.


There are mortgage products that are available only directly to the borrower and can’t be purchased through a mortgage broker. A smart buyer will compare brokers and the lenders they work with to find the best deal.

Need to crunch some numbers for your mortgage? Use our FREE mortgage calculator developed by the #1 RE/MAX Agent in the world, and take a step towards buying your home in Toronto.

You’ll Need A Stress Test Before Getting a Mortgage

A stress test is a way for lenders to measure a borrower’s ability to make payments during tough times. They need to know if the borrower would be able to continue with payments in case of a sudden change in income, job loss, or if an increase in interest rates were to occur.



The Canadian Government requires that all federally regulated financial institutions issue this test in order for the borrower to be approved for a mortgage.  

Want to see if you can afford a mortgage? Use our mortgage affordability calculator tool to find out.

Here’s How The Stress Test Affects You When Buying Your First Home in Toronto

A stress test affects which homes you can afford to buy because it impacts the mortgage rate you’re able to afford.

Let’s look at a simple example.

Say you’ve applied for a mortgage at a bank after making a down payment of 5% of the value of your new home. Since your down payment is below 20% of the home’s value you’ll need mortgage loan insurance, which is an additional cost on top of your mortgage payments.

Now, if you don’t qualify for the Bank of Canada’s conventional 5-year mortgage rate of 5.34%,  you’ll need to add an additional 2% for the stress test to whichever rate you negotiate with your lender, let’s say 3%.

In this scenario, the total money you would be able to put towards your home would be less due to the extra percentage points that you must be able to cover in order for you to be approved for a mortgage.  

Although it’s not ideal for the borrower, the stress test is a requirement for anyone seeking to borrow money for a mortgage in Canada.

Hire a Realtor When Buying Your First House in Toronto

Don’t take any chances when it comes to choosing a realtor. Do your homework on the realtors you like and choose the best from the available selection. With an investment of this size you don’t want someone representing you who doesn’t have experience, success, or a winning strategy. Find a realtor that is dedicated to helping you find your dream home.

Whether you are a first-time buyer or not, a good realtor will understand your needs, answer any questions, and walk you through the home-buying process to make it as smooth as possible.

With a great realtor the home-buying process will be less of a stress. Your realtor will make it as easy as possible by keeping you informed and up to date every step of the way.

Ready To Buy Your First House?

When you are ready to become a home owner, whether it’s your first time or not, Frank Leo can help.

With 30 years of real estate experience in Toronto & the GTA, he has helped 1000’s of families find their first home. Contact Frank Leo to see how he can help you as a first-time home buyer and how he became the #1 RE/MAX Agent in The World.