Recently, I experienced the pleasure that all Realtor® moms have helping their children
find their first perfect starter home. With my son and his wife being first-time home
buyers and market conditions rapidly changing, they were worried about not being able
to afford a home, especially in downtown Toronto.
After months of looking, we found the perfect house: A fixer-upper estate sale. It had 4
bedrooms and a huge lot in a safe neighbourhood. They were very excited to find the
perfect fit for them. My son, being a Millennial, researched all pertinent details online,
even the fact that the owner had passed. The owner passed on February 2017 and the
home was listed in April 2017 with a notation about including a probate clause, as all the
details surrounding the estate were not yet settled. On January 29th of this year, and
after weeks of negotiations, our “conditional “ offer was accepted. The process was
exhausting as we had to deal with estate trustees and multiple lawyers.
This became a very difficult transaction as the property was registered under the seller’s
married name as well as two adjacent properties which were registered under her
One of the adjacent lots was classed as a heritage property which she used as a 7-
apartment rental. The other home she shared ownership with one of her sons. I
discovered that when you die, your land holdings bordering each other amalgamate into
one. This became a nightmare for the lawyers who were attempting to separate the 3
lots. The original land was severed in 1880 and again in 1958. Those severances
disappeared upon her death.
With no blue prints or records in Land Titles, the long process of dealing with city
planners, architects, lawyers, city clerks, heritage, severance and bi-laws began. The
seller’s children had to hire an architect to recreate the blueprints, while dealing with the
numerous probate issues. Eighteen months after the process began, the children had to
pay for probate, capital gains, property taxes, roof repairs, raccoon removal, electricity
and extra legal costs for all of these searches.
If the Sell ‘n STAY™ program was implemented months before their mom’s death, the
estate would have saved the costs of probate, capital gains and some taxes. They could
have simply handed the keys back to the landlord and clear out the home at that time.
In this case, they would have saved over $60,000 in unnecessary expenses.
Sell ‘n STAY™ is the process where you sell your home to an investor and lease it back
for the time frame that suits you. The only thing that changes is your ownership status
and you no longer pay taxes or are responsible for any repairs. If you’re interested in
learning more about Sell ‘n STAY™, visit sellnstay.com or call us directly at 905-271-
Written by Saskia Wijngaard
Sale Representative, Keller Williams Realty Solutions
CEO, Sell ‘n Stay Inc. at residental sale-leaseback company.