Why You Should Use A Local Real Estate Agent

If you’re thinking about buying or selling real estate in Toronto, it’s important to understand why you should use a local real estate agent and not an agent from out of town (even if it’s your friend, cousin or sister etc).

Lately, I’ve been seeing many agents advertising that they work in various parts of the GTA outside of their own community. For example, one agent I recently came across advertised that they are located in Hamilton but also stated that they work in “Burlington, Mississauga, Hamilton, Toronto and the GTA”.  From the east side of the city, I see many agents who are located in the Durham Region advertising that they work in “Whitby, Pickering, Oshawa, Toronto and the GTA”. Anyone who understands geography and real estate markets knows that it’s practically impossible to truly have your finger on the pulse of that many different real estate markets all at once. Just the city of Toronto alone has several micro markets based on different areas and neighbourhoods throughout Toronto.

Real estate markets are changing by the day and so are different important aspects of each community. For example, many of these areas mentioned above have different bylaws, different new development projects taking place, different short-term rental laws, different politics, different cultures and core values amongst the community members as well.

Although I can appreciate that agents want to make as much money as possible, it’s important to remember that a client should receive the best service possible, even if that means referring business to an agent who is more knowledgeable when it comes to a specific neighbourhood and market.

I always scratch my head when I see people using agents from out of town to list their Toronto home or condo or to assist them with buying a home in Toronto. However, I’m never surprised when the “FOR SALE” sign sits in the lawn longer than other listings that are listed by local agents who know the local market better or when I see that the property sold for less than it should have.

To be fair, I strongly believe the same thing when it comes to Toronto agents assisting clients outside of Toronto. An agent from Toronto simply won’t know other GTA markets as well as the local agents from those markets. Which is why you are often better using a local agent from one of these smaller markets.

Why You Should Use A Local Real Estate Agent

In order to help you truly understand the benefits of using a local agent, I have provided the following helpful information below as to why you should use a local real estate agent.

They Know The Community Better – A local agent knows your community extremely well and can answer buyers’ questions correctly while also providing additional local insider tips and info about the neighbourhood that outside agents won’t know. Whether it be answering questions about the best schools in your area, the demographics of the neighbourhood, the best coffee shops and restaurants nearby, the closest Go Train or subway station, the local festivals and events, the best dog parks, playgrounds, or simply what makes your neighbourhood the best option for them compared to the other neighbourhoods they are considering. A local real estate agent will be able to address all of these items which most definitely will help sell your home faster and potentially for more money.

They Know The Inside Scoop – local agents are more likely to know the inside scoop on different ideal streets and condo buildings which can be helpful when you are buying. Experienced local agents will be familiar with any issues that may come up in the status certificate of a building that you are considering buying in due to past experience with submitting offers for other clients in that building. There’s also a better chance that they will either have other clients who live in the building or on the same street who can provide valuable insider information that may sway your decision and help you avoid making the wrong decision. Additionally, they will likely be aware of any upcoming construction and or developments that may be coming up in the future which may affect your ability to enjoy your new home or condo.

Avoiding Costly Misrepresentations – As many of the homes in Toronto were built in the 1920’s and even earlier, they are not built the same as cookie-cutter suburban homes found in new-build suburban developments. In addition to them being older, almost every home in Toronto is unique in its own way. Whether it’s the way that it was built, the heating and cooling system within it, the sewer system, the easements on title or the encroachments along the property lines. You will rarely find a home or property without unique attributes and features that need to be taken into consideration when listing a property for sale or buying a property. As a seller, it’s important to understand that any misrepresentation made by your real estate agent can fall back on you which could potentially land you in a legal dilemma that can become both costly and time consuming. By using a local, knowledgable and experienced Toronto real estate agent to sell your Toronto home, you can greatly reduce your chances of running into legal and financial issues when selling.

They Know The Local Market Better – A good local Toronto real estate agent will know the markets and neighbourhoods that they work in extremely well. They will be keeping an eye on their local market on a daily basis and will be watching the market trends such as the average selling price, average days on market, the list-to-sale price ratio etc. They will also have seen most of the properties in the area in person from showing them to other buyer clients in the past. This is invaluable as outside agents will not be viewing comparable homes in person and won’t be able to provide valuable information that could only be discovered in person such as knowing that a comparable home to yours sold for less money because the photos in the listing didn’t include a photo of the moldy bathroom.

Why you should use a local real estate agent

They Have Stronger Relationships With Other Local Agents – Local agents talk with one another and are often on the opposite sides of the deal table helping their clients come to an agreement. Due to the ongoing local relationships that agents have with one another, it’s likely that the local agent you are considering hiring versus the outsider agent will likely be up to date with more local information that could affect the sale of your home. Whether it be discussions relating to a new development that will be built down the street in the near future, a large streetcar track renovation that could take months, new zoning bylaws that have just passed etc, a local agent is more likely to be aware of such relevant information that could negatively affect your home’s value. Also, due to their relationships with other local Toronto real estate agents, they will likely be aware of any “exclusive” (off market) listings that may meet your requirements.

They Are More Readily Available In Person – It’s not uncommon for sellers to move out of their homes during the first week of showings in order to avoid the hassle of having to leave all of the time while also having to worry about keeping the home in top showing condition. Should there ever be any issues with the listing during the showing period, your local real estate agent will be able to promptly address the issue whereas an agent from out of the city won’t be able to. As an example, what happens if a buyer’s agent can’t open the lock box, how will this be addressed promptly if your real estate agent needs to drive an hour to get to your home? A local real estate agent will be able to address such a situation in a much shorter period of time. This is just one example of the many things that can go wrong during a listing and just one of the benefits your local agent being close by for emergencies.

Investing Back Into The Local Community – Many real estate agents invest back into their local community in various ways. For example, I sponsor a number of local kid’s soccer teams in my area. I also  pay for advertising signs where a portion of the advertising fee that I pay goes towards maintaining the hockey rink in which the local kids learn to skate and play hockey. Additionally, I regularly donate to several important causes such as SickKids Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the Child Development Institute which are all great causes located here in Toronto. By hiring an agent from outside of your area, you won’t be reinvesting back into your community, you will be investing in their community outside of Toronto.

As you can see from the above, there are many reasons why you should use a local real estate agent for your real estate needs.


Are you thinking about buying or selling in Toronto or do you simply have questions about the current market? Contact me any time with your questions or to discuss how I can help you achieve your real estate objectives.


What if the buyer doesn't deliver the deposit?

As a full time real estate agent, my seller clients often ask me “what if the buyer doesn’t deliver the deposit?”. This is a great question and if you are wondering the same thing, I’ve included an explanation below.

I completely understand the stress that sellers may feel when waiting for the deposit to be delivered, it’s not an easy time waiting and wondering if the money will arrive. I myself have been in this position in the past when I have sold my previous properties prior to becoming a real estate agent. The process of selling a home can be confusing when you don’t do it on a daily basis.

Although many people think that a deal is automatically dead if the deposit isn’t delivered by the buyer, this isn’t the case. There is often a misconception amongst both buyers and sellers when it comes to what happens if the buyer doesn’t deliver the deposit. Ontario law states that in order for a contract to be valid, the following must be included: an intention to contract, an offer to contract, an acceptance of that offer and consideration.

For those of you who may not be familiar with legal terminology, the term “consideration” applies to the deposit when referring to a real estate transaction. Based on this wording, many would assume that if there is no deposit (consideration), there is no binding deal and that the buyer can simply walk away from the deal without any penalty, but isn’t correct.

The majority of (standard form) offers that are used to sell real estate in Toronto state that the buyer must deliver the deposit within 24 hours of acceptance of the offer. The exact pre-printed wording in the standard form reads as follows:


In most cases, when the buyer doesn’t deliver the certified deposit at the same time they submit their offer, they will typically insert the wording “Upon Acceptance” in the top line. This means they will deliver the deposit to the listing brokerage within 24 hours of the offer being accepted, whether the offer ends up being accepted by the seller or buyer once negotiations are completed and both parties have come to an agreement. The “Upon Acceptance” option tends to be the more common approach versus delivering the deposit with the offer. This is mainly due to buyers avoiding the hassle of taking their deposits back to the bank if their offer isn’t accepted.

So, what if the buyer doesn’t deliver the deposit? Well, the good news for you as a seller is that according to the law the deal isn’t dead. On page 5 of 6 of the offer where all parties to the agreement sign, they sign “under seal”. You are likely wondering what this means. In short, based on Ontario laws, a contract signed under seal is one that is “formal” and one that does not require any consideration (deposit) to make it firm. Below, you can view the section of page 5 of 6 being referred to and can view the black dots with the wording “seal” under them. These black dots indicate that the agreement being signed is being signed under seal and that all parties are bound to the contract with or without consideration.


What happens if the buyer doesn't deliver the deposit?

Now you are probably thinking, this is helpful to know but what happens next if the buyer doesn’t deliver the deposit? Once the buyer hasn’t delivered the deposit within the stated 24 hour period, they are considered to be in breach of the agreement. At this point, the listing brokerage will send the buyer’s agent’s brokerage (co-operating brokerage) a notice informing them that they are in breach and that the seller will continue to market the property at this point. Should the seller continue to market the property and accept another offer that is for less money than the original offer or an offer that requires the seller to take on any other financial losses outside of the sale price, the seller then has the right to sue the original offerer for those losses. For example, if the original offerer submits an offer for $1,500,000 but the seller can only sell for $1,300,000, the seller could then sue the original offerer for the $200K loss as well as the legal fees associated with recovering that loss.

With all of the above being said, suing a buyer can be a time consuming and costly task. If the person doesn’t have the funds to cover your loss, you may find yourself out of pocket thousands of dollars and mentally drained from the amount of time and effort dedicated to going after them.

The best way to avoid running into a situation like this is to request that all offers include a bank draft or certified cheque covering the deposit amount included with the offer at the time of offer presentation. You typically want to receive a deposit of at least 5% of the offer price or more, the higher the better. By doing this, you are ensuring that the person purchasing your property has the funds for the deposit and it is less likely for them to walk from the deal once you are in possession of their deposit. If you have any questions or concerns regarding legal aspects of your real estate deal, it is best to get advice from a local Toronto real estate lawyer as they will be able to provide you with all of your options based on Ontario’s laws.


Are you thinking about buying or selling or do have questions about the current market? Contact me any time with your questions. I’m always happy to help.


Canada's Two Year Ban On Foreign Buyers

If you’ve been following the recent headlines in Canadian real estate news, you may have heard about Canada’s two year ban on foreign buyers. The  “Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act” will take effect January 1, 2023 and is to be in place for a minimum of at least two years.

As you may already be aware, major Canadian cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary have seen an influx of real estate being purchased by foreign buyers over the past decade or so.With Toronto, and Canada as a whole, being a desirable place to invest due to our relatively stable economy, growing job opportunities, consistent population growth, low crime rates (when compared to other major international cities) and a lack of supply to keep up with the demand, there is no surprise that many investors choose to invest in Canadian real estate.

Below are some highlights from the new Act in order to help you understand how it will apply to the way real estate is traded here in Toronto.

What Is Considered A “Non-Canadian”? 

(a) an individual who is neither a Canadian citizen nor a person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act nor a permanent resident;

(b) a corporation that is incorporated otherwise than under the laws of Canada or a province;

(c) a corporation incorporated under the laws of Canada or a province whose shares are not listed on a stock exchange in Canada for which a designation under section 262 of the Income Tax Act is in effect and that is controlled by a person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b); and

(d) a prescribed person or entity. (non-Canadien)

permanent resident has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. (résident permanent)

What Is Considered A Residential Property Based On The Act?

residential property means any real property or immovable, other than a prescribed real property or immovable, that is situated in Canada and that is

(a) a detached house or similar building, containing not more than three dwelling units, together with that proportion of the appurtenances to the building and the land subjacent or immediately contiguous to the building that is reasonably necessary for its use and enjoyment as a place of residence for individuals;

(b) a part of a building that is a semi-detached house, rowhouse unit, residential condominium unit or other similar premises that is, or is intended to be, a separate parcel or other division of real property or immovable owned, or intended to be owned, apart from any other unit in the building, together with that proportion of any common areas and other appurtenances to the building and the land subjacent or immediately contiguous to the building that is attributable to the house, unit or premises and that is reasonably necessary for its use and enjoyment as a place of residence for individuals; or

(c) any prescribed real property or immovable. (immeuble résidentiel)

Who Is Prohibited From Buying Canadian Real Estate Under The Act?

4 (1) Despite section 34 of the Citizenship Act, it is prohibited for a non-Canadian to purchase, directly or indirectly, any residential property.

Exception — persons

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to

(a) a temporary resident within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act who satisfies prescribed conditions;

(b) a protected person within the meaning of subsection 95(2) of that Act;

(c) an individual who is a non-Canadian and who purchases residential property in Canada with their spouse or common-law partner if the spouse or common law-partner is a Canadian citizen, person registered as an Indian under the Indian Act, permanent resident or person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b); or

(d) a person of a prescribed class of persons.

Foreign state

(4) For greater certainty, nothing in subsection (1) is to be construed as hindering a foreign state from purchasing residential property for diplomatic or consular purposes.


5) Subsection (1) does not apply if the non-Canadian becomes liable or assumes liability under an agreement of purchase and sale of the residential property before the day on which this Act comes into force.

What Are The Penalties For Offences?

6 (1) Every non-Canadian that contravenes section 4 and every person or entity that counsels, induces, aids or abets or attempts to counsel, induce, aid or abet a non-Canadian to purchase, directly or indirectly, any residential property knowing that the non-Canadian is prohibited under this Act from purchasing the residential property is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $10,000.

Party to offence

(2) If a corporation or entity commits an offence, any of the following persons that directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the offence is a party to and liable for the offence whether or not the corporation or entity has been prosecuted or convicted:

(a) an officer, director or agent or mandatary of the corporation or entity;

(b) a senior official of the corporation or entity;

(c) any individual authorized to exercise managerial or supervisory functions on behalf of the corporation or entity.


Although this new two year ban on foreign buyers appears to have good intentions for Canadians, this Act would have been more beneficial to Canadians back in 2016 when we were seeing an influx of foreign investment and offer amounts substantially higher than the list prices due to lower interest rates.

If you are a foreign investor considering buying a property here in Toronto, it is important to review the full Act and discuss your options with a local Canadian real estate lawyer before moving forward with submitting an offer on a property.


Are you thinking about making a move or have questions about the current real estate market? Contact me any time with your questions. I’m always happy to help.

When do you have to pay capital gains tax?

When it comes to paying taxes, Canadians are used to footing the bill for income tax. But what about capital gains tax? When do you have to pay capital gains tax? This unique tax is applied to profits made from the sale of certain assets, such as stocks and real estate. While the rate of capital gains tax varies depending on the province in which you live, it is generally lower than your marginal income tax rate.

What Is Capital Gains Tax?

When you buy a property and later sell it for more than you paid, the difference is your “capital gain.” If the sale price is less than what you paid, the difference is a “capital loss.” Keep records of all improvements you make to the property so that you can add their cost to your “base cost” (what you paid plus the cost of these improvements), this will help to reduce your capital gain.

You pay tax on half your capital gain. So, if your capital gain is $50,000, for example, you include $25,000 in your income for tax purposes. The taxes you pay on a capital gain are usually lower than the taxes you pay on other types of income.

In order to calculate the capital gain, you must first determine the “taxable gain.” The taxable gain is equal to the sale price of the property minus the “adjusted cost base” of the property. The adjusted cost base is generally equal to the purchase price of the property, plus any improvements that have been made to the property, minus any depreciation that has been claimed.

If you are selling your principal residence (i.e. your home) and you lived in your home each year that you owned it, you will likely be eligible for a Capital Gains Tax exemption.

Capital gains tax

What Are Some Situation When You May Need To Pay Capital Gains Tax?

There are a number of situations where you may be required to pay capital gains tax in Canada. If you sell a property that is not your primary residence, you will typically be subject to capital gains tax. Similarly, if you sell shares of a company or other investments, you may also be required to pay capital gains tax. Capital gains tax is calculated based on the difference between the purchase price and the sale price of the asset. The rate of tax depends on a number of factors, including your marginal tax rate and the particular tax laws in the province which you own the property in. In some cases you may be able to make qualify for the principal home exemption. For example, if you sell your home and purchase a new one, you may be eligible for the exemption. However, there are restrictions and conditions that must be met in order for the exemption to apply.

Toronto real estate agents

What Is A Principal Residence?

As of the time of this blog post, the Canadian Government states that the following criteria are required in order for a property to “qualify” as a principal residence:

  • It is a housing unit, a leasehold interest in a housing unit, or a share of the capital stock of a co-operative housing corporation you acquire only to get the right to inhabit a housing unit owned by that corporation.
  • You own the property alone or jointly with another person.
  • You, your current or former spouse or common-law partner, or any of your children lived in it at some time during the year.
  • You designate the property as your principal residence.
  • The land on which your home is located can be part of your principal residence. Usually, the amount of land that you can consider as part of your principal residence is limited to 1/2 hectare (1.24 acres). However, if you can show that you need more land to use and enjoy your home, you can consider more than this amount as part of your principal residence. For example, this may happen if the minimum lot size imposed by a municipality at the time you bought the property is larger than 1/2 hectare.

As you can see from the above information, if you are considering investing in Toronto real estate, it is important to take capital gains tax into consideration when forecasting your return on investment. It is also important to keep in mind that you will likely be required to pay capital gains tax if you should decide to sell your principal residence and transition to renting a property. It’s important that you speak with your accountant or your real estate lawyer to see if you will be exempt from having to pay capital gains on the sale of your property.


Are you thinking of making a move or have questions about the Toronto real estate market? Contact me any time, I’m always happy to help.

The Beaches Restaurants

As someone who lives in The Beaches and as an agent who works in the community, my clients often ask for suggestions regarding different restaurants in The Beaches, especially if they are new to the area.

One of the things I love the most about living and working in this part of the city is the fact that it doesn’t feel like you are in the city and it has the vibe of a small town even though it’s quite a large area geographically speaking. One of the best features this community has to offer are the many different restaurants that provide a wide range of food options to local residents and visitors.

I’ve put together this  directory of Beaches restaurants in hopes of making your search for your next meal that much easier. Although this list may not include every single restaurant in The Beaches, it does include many of the prominent restaurants in the area. Feel free to send me a message if you think of a restaurant that isn’t on the list which you feel should be added.

The Beaches Restaurants


Restaurants In The Beaches


The Beacher Cafe 

2162 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Slate Restaurant & Bar (Italian Food)

2237 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



Mamma’s Pizza (Italian Food / Pizza)

2118 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




6ix Pizzas (Italian Food / Pizza) 

2070 Queens Street E

Toronto, ON




The Hideout On The Beach (Pub Food)

2282 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



Bagels On Fire (Bagels)

2248 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



The Haven Low-Carb Cafe (Low-Carb, Gluten Free Food & Coffee)

2256 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Remarkable Bean (Coffee Shop & Cafe)

2242 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



Oro Cafe & Eatery (Coffee Shop & Cafe)

2377 Queen Street East

Toronto, ON




Tori’s Bakeshop (Coffee & Cafe)

2188 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Bud’s Coffee (Coffee & Cafe)

1966 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



Sauvignon Bistro & Bakery (Coffee & Cafe)

1862 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Juice & Java Cafe (Juices, Coffee & Cafe)

2102 Queen Street East

Toronto, ON




Gong Cha (Bubble Tea)

1918a Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Starbucks (Coffee & Cafe)

1960 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Tim Hortons (Coffee & Cafe)

2002 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Zane Patisserie (Coffee & Cafe)

1842 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Isabella’s Mochi Donut Boutique (Cafe / Japanese Style Donuts)

2066 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Freshii (Healthy Food Options)

2032 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Sunset Grill (Breakfast Food)

2006 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



Beaches Brewing Company (Beer & Pub Food) 

1953 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




The Stone Lion (Pub Food)

1958 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Breakwall BBQ & Smokehouse (Pub Food)

1910 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




The Gull And Firkin (Pub Food)

1943 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Outrigger (Casual, American Food)

2232 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Gabby’s (Pub Food)

2076 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Ed’s Real Scoop (Ice Cream Shop)

2224 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




La Diperie Beaches (Ice Cream Shop)

2196 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Xola (Mexican Food)

2222A Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Kyouka Ramen (Japanese Food)

222 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Delhi Bistro (Indian Food)

2214 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




955 Chinese Food (Chinese Food)

2252 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




The Goof! Garden Gate Restaurant (Chinese & American Fare)

2379 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Genji Sushi (Sushi)

2250 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Yumei Sushi (Japanese Food)

2116 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Hajime Japanese Restaurant (Japanese Food)

2209 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Bikkuri Japanese (Japanese Food)

2197 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Torisho (Japanese Food)

1940 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Green Basil (Thai Food)

2120 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Thai House Cuisine (Thai Food)

2213 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Inmigrante (Latin Food)

1959 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



Swiss Chalet (Rotisserie Chicken)

2148 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Subway (Sandwiches)

2229 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




The Souvlaki Hut (Greek Food)

2100 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




The Nutty Chocolatier (Chocolate & Sweets)

2179 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Green Eggplant (Mediterranean Food)

2024 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



Delina Restaurant (Mediterranean Food)

1891 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



Toronto Beach Club (Mediterranean Food)

1681 Lake Shore Blvd E

Toronto, ON




Friends Burgers (Burgers)

1922 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON



Hero Burgers (Burgers)

2018 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Fat Bastard Burrito (Burritos & Mexican Food)

2008 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON




Tiflisi Restaurant (Georgian Food)

1970 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON





Are you thinking about buying or selling in The Beaches or do you have questions about the market? Contact me any time with your questions or to discuss how I can help you achieve your specific real estate objectives.


Who is the best Toronto real estate agent?

If you’ve come across this blog post you’re likely either looking to hire “the best Toronto real estate agent”, you’re just curious to know who the best Toronto real estate agent is or you’re a real estate agent checking to see if Google has you listed as “the best Toronto real estate agent”. Regardless of reason, you’ve ended up here.

So, who is the best Toronto real estate agent?

That’s a great question and although many people will throw around certain “luxury agent” names during conversations, it’s hard to specifically define what “The best Toronto real estate agent” means or who they are. Are we talking about an agent who sells the highest volume of properties each year, an agent who sells very few properties but the ones they do sell are in the multi-million dollar price range, an agent who sells few properties but each one they list sells for record breaking numbers, are we talking about the agent that provides their clients with the absolute best level of service each and every time no matter what the price point is, is it the most honest agent, the one with the highest education, the one who is a part of elite social circles, the one with the most brokerage awards, the most Instagram followers or the most Google reviews?

“The best Toronto real estate agent” is quite a subjective term that will mean something different to everyone depending on what they value and what they are looking for in an agent.

As a full-time Toronto real estate agent who works with both sellers and buyers, I have had my fair share of experiences with working along side and opposite of agents on the other side of the deal table. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and opposite of “high end”, “low end”, experienced, new agents and everything in between, and what I have learned over the years is that Toronto real estate agents come in all different shapes and sizes, with different skills, backgrounds and personalities. Some are good and some are not so good, just like any other industry.

There are many great agents out there and when it comes to selecting the “best Toronto real estate agent” for your specific real estate objectives, it’s important to consider your specific needs and expectations. It’s essential that you consider what is important to you, what do you need from an agent to succeed at achieving your specific real estate goals. The agent who sells multi-million dollar homes may not be the right one for you if your home’s value is closer to the average Toronto home price. Conversely, if you’re looking to sell your $15M home in the Bridle Path, an agent who specializes in selling condos for $500k is probably not the one for you either.  These are just a couple of examples as to why the Google results for “the best Toronto real estate agent” may not be the right ones for you to make your decision, depending on what you specifically need and value.

Your search inquiry to Google shouldn’t be “who is the best Toronto real estate agent?” when looking to hire a real estate agent, the right question you should be asking yourself is “who is the best Toronto real estate agent for me?”. Who is going to provide you with the best results, the best customer service based on your home type, budget and specific needs and expectations. Who will you relate to the most and and enjoy working with and who will empower you as a seller or buyer by providing you with valuable information before, during and after the buying or selling process. Do you want to work with a real estate team and potentially get passed around amongst the team’s junior and less experienced agents or do you prefer to work with an experienced individual agent who will provide you with more one on one and personalized service. These are just some of the things you should be taking into consideration.

Whether it’s real estate, sports, fashion or otherwise, many people want to be associated with whomever is currently perceived as number one, but in real estate, the reality is that the perceived best Toronto real estate agent may not be the right one for you and your specific needs and values will determine who is actually the best fit for you and your real estate objectives.


Are you thinking about buying or selling or do you have questions about the current market? Contact me any time. I’m always happy to help.


What Is A 3D Virtual Home Tour?

Whether you are looking to buy a home or sell your home in Toronto, you may have wondered “what is a 3D virtual tour?”.  Although this technology isn’t new, it has become extremely popular over the last several years due to the pandemic restrictions that took place. The industry leader responsible for providing this technology is Matterport.

What Is A 3D Virtual Tour

Matterport has created a web-based platform that allows users to create 3D virtual twins of any space with the use of their 3D cameras. Once the photos have been taken, the system then creates a 3D twin of the space which viewers can then walk through virtually by toggling throughout the space. Below is a short video explanation with some examples.

When it comes to buying or selling a home, there are a lot of important decisions that need to be made. One of the most crucial decisions is whether or not you should rely on a virtual home tour for either buying a home or selling your home. Below are some things you should consider before making your decision.

The Advantages Of Virtual Home Tours

  • Convenience – They are incredibly convenient. You can view them 24/7, from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection and a computer or mobile device. This means a buyer can fit them into their busy schedule, without having to take hours out of their day to travel to a physical location, at least not until they are seriously ready to view the property in person.
  • Virtual Home Tours Provide A Somewhat Realistic View Of A Property – You can get a sense of the layout and size of the rooms, as well as how the light comes in. Many virtual home tours include a measuring tool that allow you to measure room dimensions. This can be helpful when you’re trying to decide if a particular home is right for you and your existing furniture.

The Disadvantages Of Virtual Home Tours

  • The disadvantage of virtual home tours are that they can sometimes be less reliable than in-person tours. This is because the viewer doesn’t get a true sense of the space, the neighbourhood and the fine details throughout the home. Due to this, I always recommend that buyers view a property in person before submitting an offer.
  • Although virtual tours are convenient, you don’t get to make use of four important human senses including sight, smell, touch and hearing. Without viewing a property in person, you won’t be able to see the scratches on the hardwood floors, smell the bad smell coming from the basement, feel the broken front door handle or hear the noise from the subway which runs near the home. Additionally, virtual tours can sometimes be less informative than in-person tours, as you’re not able to ask questions about the property during the tour like you can in real life.

Overall, 3D virtual home tours are a great option for anyone who is buying or selling a home. They are convenient, offer a realistic view of the property, and can be edited to your liking. Just keep in mind that they may not be as reliable or informative as in-person tours. For that reason, when buying, I’m a firm believer that you should always view the property in person.

Hopefully the above has answered any questions you may have about what a 3D virtual tour is.

Are you thinking about making a move or have questions about the current market? Contact me any time, I’m always happy to help.

Divorce And Selling Your Home

Divorce and selling your home can be two very emotional and overwhelming experiences, but with the right help, you can avoid costly mistakes in order to make the process as stress-free as possible. As a Toronto real estate agent who has assisted clients with selling their homes due to divorce, I understand how stressful the process can be for everyone involved. I have put together this article to help answer any questions you may have about the process of selling your home due to divorce.

In this article, we’ll summarize what qualifies as a matrimonial home, the rights relating to the matrimonial home for each spouse during separation, the process of selling a house in Toronto along with guidance on how to make the sale as smooth and successful as possible.


What Is A Matrimonial Home?

It’s important to understand what defines a matrimonial home here in Toronto.

Section 18(1) of the Family Law Act defines a matrimonial home as any property which either spouse has an interest and is currently, or was at the time of separation, ordinarily occupied by the person and his or her spouse as their family residence.

There are no restrictions in regards to what type of property qualifies as a matrimonial home here in Toronto and throughout Ontario. Whether it is a condo in the city, a cottage in cottage country or a mobile home, there are no restrictions so long as the property is owned by one or both spouses and the property is “ordinarily occupied” by the spouses at the time of separation.

A common misconception relating to the matrimonial home is that there can only be one matrimonial home which is incorrect. In Ontario, spouses can have more than one matrimonial home. Make sure you speak to a reputable real estate lawyer to understand the designation of each property you own prior to listing any of your properties for sale.


Your Rights

There are three options when it comes to the what can be done with the matrimonial home during a divorce:

  1. You and your spouse can sell the home and divide any profit from the sale as well as any equity you have built in the home.
  2. You can buy out your spouse’s share of the property and continue living in the home.
  3. Your spouse can buy out your share of the property and continue living in the home.

The second and third option would likely require  the opinion of both an appraiser and a reputable real estate agent in order to determine what would be fair market value for the home. However, it is important to understand the risks associated with this option. The best way to determine a properties true market value is always by listing it on the open market as buyers will ultimately decide how much your home is worth. Additionally, depending on the market at the time that you list, there is always the potential for a bidding war which could substantially increase the final sale price of the home. This is just something to consider and to discuss with a real estate agent prior to agreeing buy out your spouse.

Your rights during the separation process:

  • Both spouses have the right to stay living in the matrimonial home until it is sold. However, in some cases, a judge may need to get involved and one spouse may need to leave the property. This is typically due to unsafe living arrangements where one or both spouses are perceived as a threat to those living in the home.
  • Both spouses must jointly agree to sell the home. If one spouse refuses, an application to the courts may be required in order to sell the home.
  • Neither spouse can mortgage, sublet, rent or sell the home without the permission of the other spouse.
  • If the property is being used for traditional residential purposes, in most cases, both spouses have rights to any profits from the sale of the property, even if only one spouse’s name is on title, so long as the property was being “ordinarily occupied” by the spouses at the time of the separation.
  • If the property is owned under a corporation which both spouses own unequal shares, based on the Family Law Act, the spouse who owns the majority of the shares (majority shareholder) is considered to be the owner of the home.
  • Another important rule to take into consideration is that if the property was being used for commercial purposes such as a farm or business, the Family Law Act states that only the portion of the property that “may reasonably be regarded as necessary to the use and enjoyment of the residence” can be considered the matrimonial home.
  • It is important to note that common-law couples do not have statutory property rights in Ontario. Speak with a family lawyer about your rights if you are in a common-law relationship in order to understand all of your rights.

It’s important that you speak with a lawyer who specializes in family law and who knows the Family Law Act to understand all of your rights, before, during and after the separation.

Divorce And Selling Your Home

Selling Your Home 

When selling your home due to divorce, it is crucial that both spouses work together as much as possible in order to achieve the best possible price for the home. It is in the best interest of both spouses to work together during this time as both will be splitting any profit derived from the sale of the property. Below is a list of just some of the items and situations where both parties will need to come to an agreement before and during the listing process.

  • Deciding which real estate agent to use.
  • Deciding on which repairs may be needed before listing the property and who will cover the costs of such repairs.
  • Deciding whether or not you will obtain a pre-list home inspection and who will cover the cost of such inspection.
  • Deciding whether the property will be staged or not. Picking the stager and agreeing on who will cover any costs associated with such staging if it’s not covered by your real estate agent.
  • Deciding whether both spouses and any children or pets will vacate the property during the listing period in order to ensure the property shows as best as possible during showings.
  • Deciding whether or not to hold an offer date.
  • Deciding on an appropriate list price with the guidance of your real estate agent.
  • Agreeing on pricing during the negotiation period with the assistance of your real estate agent.
  • Deciding on a absolute minimum price that both of you are willing to sell the property for. It is ideal to agree on the absolute lowest sale price you are willing to sell for prior to listing the property in order to avoid any issues during the negotiation process.

It is also important to take into consideration all of the costs associated with selling your matrimonial home when forecasting any potential split of equity from the sale. Below is a list of the larger costs to consider.

  • Real estate commission – Typically 5% + HST of the final sale price with 2.5% of that amount going to the co-operating brokerage (buyer’s agent/brokerage). For example, if you were to sell your home for $1,000,000, the total commission will be $56,500 including HST. This commission is paid to your real estate agent and the buyer’s agent on closing.
  • Real estate closing fees –  These can range in price. However, for a $1M sale, it’s safe to plan for legal fees of somewhere between $1,000 – $2,000. For example, one Toronto real estate lawyer who I have worked with many times, charges $1,475  + HST for a $1M sale. There are some real estate lawyers who offer a significantly reduced fee. However, based on my experience, you get what you pay for and if you want a real estate lawyer who will be responsive, professional and precise, you’re better off paying the going rate for a reputable real estate lawyer. The last thing you want is to run into issues on closing due to using a discount lawyer, I’ve seen this happen in the past and it can be quite stressful.
  • Moving costs – Moving costs can range depending on how much is being moved and the distance it is being moved. However, it’s safe to account for around $2,000 give or take for a move depending on which company you use.


Divorce and selling your home can be an incredibly difficult and emotional time, but it doesn’t have to cause too much disruption in your life. Selling a house in Toronto due to divorce may seem like an overwhelming task, but if you take the right steps, you can make the process as stress-free as possible. Speak with a family lawyer, take the time to go over your finances and consider getting help from a local reputable real estate agent. By taking these steps and understanding the process of selling a home due to divorce, you can ensure that you are making the best decision for both parties involved.

Do you have questions about selling, buying or about the market in general or do you need a referral to a family lawyer? Contact me any time with your questions or to discuss how I can help you achieve your specific real estate objectives.

New Exclusive Listing Rules
UPDATE: Since the time that this blog was originally posted, CREA has clarified that one to one marketing between agents at different brokerages will be permitted.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recently released the announcement below to all Ontario real estate agents informing them of changes that will become effective starting January 2023. These changes will affect the way that exclusive listings are marketed. It is important to review the below information if you have any plans of listing your home exclusively in the future. Unfortunately, for sellers who prefer to market their property privately, there is no option to opt out of these new rules.
“On January 1, 2023, the REALTOR® Cooperation Policy will require that REALTORS® must place their listing(s) on their board/association Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System for cooperation with other REALTORS® within three (3) days of public marketing. This policy seeks to reinforce cooperation among REALTORS®, which will better serve the needs of consumers, strengthen the MLS® and REALTOR® trademarks and increase the level of professionalism.
Either directly or indirectly, nearly every homeowner in Canada has used an MLS® System. They are REALTOR® to REALTOR® cooperative marketplaces that bring together REALTORS® who list properties on behalf of sellers and REALTORS® who represent buyers. When more listings are placed on an MLS® System, it becomes more comprehensive and valuable to REALTORS® and their clients: a real estate marketplace with more homes for sale will attract more buyers, and a marketplace with more buyers will attract more sellers. In other words, the interests of both REALTORS® and Canadian consumers are better served. These benefits were recently validated in a white paper we commissioned (you can read the full report here).
Early last year, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) established a REALTOR® Cooperation Working Group made up of CREA staff and Executive Officers from various boards and associations across the country. The group was tasked with a review of the issues surrounding cooperation in the industry and solutions that could help address them.From feedback collected through consultation with industry stakeholders throughout Canada, the REALTOR® Cooperation Working Group put forth a recommendation to CREA’s Board of Directors that a policy be adopted as one of the solutions to address cooperation issues in the industry. The REALTOR® Cooperation Policy was approved by CREA’s Board of Directors.Boards and associations that operate MLS® Systems will have six months (until July 1, 2023) to adopt and enforce this or an equivalent policy in their MLS® System Rules.You might be wondering:How does placing a property listing on a board/association MLS® System benefit REALTORS® and consumers?From a seller’s perspective, a property listing with extensive exposure on an MLS® System may increase the number of offers received and improve their chances of receiving the most competitive offers for their home. At the same time, buyer clients benefit when their REALTORS® have access to a more complete inventory of homes for sale that may meet their needs.Can a listing brokerage or REALTOR® “opt-out” of the policy’s obligations? No, there is no mechanism for listing brokerages and/or REALTORS® to “opt-out” of the policy. This policy will be adopted by all board/association members of CREA as part of their MLS® System rules or equivalent policy and apply to all members who publicly market property listings.Does this policy apply to non-active property listings (like “Coming Soon” listings)?Yes. This policy applies to all listings that are publicly marketed, whether they’re active when public marketing begins or not. REALTORS® should be prepared to place all property listings on their board/association MLS® System within the required timeframe once public marketing begins.What’s considered “public marketing”?The policy defines “public marketing” as the representation or marketing of a listing to the public or any REALTOR® not directly affiliated with the listing brokerage/office in a business capacity and includes any representation regarding the sale of the property (flyers, yard signs, digital marketing on public-facing websites, brokerage website displays, social media posts, etc.).”
What Is Virtual Staging

If you’ve been considering selling your home and have completed some preliminary research as to what the process is, you may have come across the term “virtual staging” and wondered “What is virtual staging?”. I have put together this blog post in order to help you understand what virtual stating is along with the pros and cons of this staging method so you can decide if it is right for your home.

When selling or leasing a home, it’s important to make sure that it looks as appealing as possible to potential buyers or tenants. One way to do this is by using virtual staging. Virtual staging is the process of adding or removing furniture and other objects from an image in order to create a more appealing visual. This can be done for photos of individual rooms or for entire home, both inside and outside.

If you’re thinking about virtually staging your home for sale, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure that the furniture you use is in line with the overall style of the home. Second, you’ll want to choose pieces that are neutral in colour and design. This will help potential buyers or tenants visualize themselves living in the space. Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the furniture is arranged in a way that makes sense for the room.

Below are the pros and cons of virtual staging.


  • You don’t have to bring in or remove real furniture like you normally would with real staging
  • There won’t be any nail holes in your walls from hanging wall art and other wall decor
  • You won’t need to worry about cleaning your home after real stagers leave your home
  • Some potential buyers or tenants will prefer to view an empty space vs one with furniture


  • Although virtual staging is pretty impressive, buyers with an eye for detail may be able to determine if your property is virtually staged. This isn’t to say that they won’t be interested in viewing your property in person but it may give them an off feeling when viewing your property photos online
  • Some potential buyers or tenants will be more impressed by a space with nicely staged furniture in place rather than seeing virtually staged photos online and then seeing an empty space in real life

In order to help you visualize what virtual staging is, I have included some before and after photos below of a space that my team of stagers and I recently virtually staged for landlord clients of mine for their investment property. As you will be able to see from the photos, the virtually staged photos provide a sense of how the space can look with furniture. The best part about this process is that it simply involves taking professional photos and my virtual stager’s time to put everything together using their virtual staging software.

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

Below are additional photos of another space that my team and I virtually staged for a client.

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

If you’re working with an experienced real estate agent who is up to date with current staging and marketing trends, they will likely be familiar with virtual staging and they should be able to explain if it’s right for your home. Either way, virtual staging is a great way to make your home more appealing to potential buyers and tenants.

Hopefully the above information was able to answer any questions you may have had about virtual staging.

Are you thinking about making a move or do you have a property that you are thinking of selling or leasing? Contact me any time with any questions you may have about the current market and how I can help you achieve your specific real estate objectives.

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