How Ana Santos Helped Sell Our “Unsellable” House


For Sarah and Steve Dimaria, the idea to sell their home percolated in their minds for years. But the timing never seemed to be right. The first time they considered selling was right before the market crash of 2008, and it was an idea they kept in the back of their minds for years to come. 

Flash forward to 2019, and Sarah and Steve were once again considering selling their Etobicoke home. As someone who keeps their eye on the real estate market, Steve knew it was a good time to sell, so they embarked on a journey to get the house sold. 

What happened next would take them on quite the wild ride. Let’s take a closer look. 

Flashback to Two Years Ago

“When we decided to sell two years ago, we started off by interviewing a few agents,” said Steve. “We found one that we were comfortable with and took the process from there.” 

The agent they went with originally was extremely complimentary. “They told us we had a great house, in a great location, and that we didn’t have to do any work to the house, which was just music to my ears,” said Steve. 

“Anyone can do the research nowadays on HouseSigma, or wherever else, so the estimates we received from this agent put us over the moon,” he said. “Especially since we didn’t have to do any work or move anything around really.”

However, when the house went on the market, nothing happened. 

“There was zero traffic,” said Steve. 

At this point, Steve and Sarah started hearing about all the reasons why the home wasn’t attracting buyers. “There was a shift from, ‘your house is in great shape in a great location’ to ‘well your house needs a little bit of work,’” said Steve. 

“All these things that should not have been surprising,” added Sarah.

Back to the Drawing Board

When their plan to sell in 2019 didn’t work out, Sarah and Steve decided to take a step back and reassess their options. At that point, they had been living in the home for 13 years.

So what prompted them to relist? 

“Honestly, when Steve came to me with the idea of relisting, I thought he must be crazy,” said Sarah. “We had the house on the market for a number of years and it was unsuccessful. So every time we listed it and took it off the market, we’d do renos with the intention of staying.”

“At the time we thought the house was unsellable, so we decided to build our dream home,” said Steve. “We went through the entire process of designing our dream house, until we got the estimate and thought, hell no!” 

But the appeal of a new house and a competitive seller’s market was enough to convince them to list one more time. They opted to go the route of meeting new agents to see if the house really was unsellable.

“This time, we were more selective with agents,” said Sarah. “We looked at who was popular on the street, who had more signs, what was their social media presence.”

Sarah and Steve met with two agents. The first of which praised their home, did a thorough walkthrough, complimented their furniture and design, and let them know that they didn’t need to do anything to the house–a familiar story.

Selling in today’s market requires certain expertise. Check out some of our recent selling blogs to get an idea of what you can expect:

Meeting Ana

The second agent they met that day was Ana Santos. And the experience, according to Sarah and Steve, was the polar opposite. 

“Ana was aligned with our expectations, but she had so many recommendations for renovations,” said Sarah. 

It wasn’t the news they were hoping for, but Ana was able to convince them and tell it like it is. “It wasn’t as if she put her foot down,” said Steve. “But she was very clear in that if we wanted to sell this place, then we need to do some things.” 

With expectations clearly defined, Sarah and Steve presented the next challenge. Both of them worked from home during the pandemic and had extremely demanding jobs, they just had zero time or capacity to take on extensive renovations. 

According to Steve, “Straight away Ana said, ‘that’s fine.’ I told her if she could take all the work off our hands, that would be great. And she said, ‘yes.’”

“We hadn’t even finished touring the house and she had already called two contractors and the marble guy,” Steve said. 

“It was unbelievable how Ana had all these connections and could get all these contractors to our house during a pandemic,” said Steve. “Ana’s always got a guy!”

Want to read more about what it’s like to work with Ana Santos? Read about how she helped clients Jeff and Carolyn find their dream home here. 

The Results 

After a few weeks of experiencing true concierge service, Sarah and Steve were ready to list the house. 

“She took a lot of stress out of the whole process,” said Sarah. “It kind of pains me to say, but working with Ana, made us kind of enjoy the process.”

“Ana worked so hard to make sure everything was perfect. She was always available, and I got the impression that if a contractor wasn’t available, she would have shown up to do the work herself.” 

After staging the house and photographing it, the unsellable house was ready to be listed. 

The home was listed on a Thursday and on the first night alone they had 5-6 showings booked. By the weekend, that number was well into the 40s and by the day that offers were due, there were between 70-80 showings in the timespan of less than a week. 

“We were hopeful, but given our experiences in our past, we wondered what this would translate to?” Said Steve. 

When offers came in, Ana called and asked them to sit down to review the offers. 

“We sat down, and I’m glad we did! We had 11 offers, and by the last offer, we were in complete shock,” said Steve. “It was beyond the amount that Ana said was reasonable. It was a combination of what she did with the house, how she marketed the house, that just paid dividends in the end.”

“The unsellable house was completely sellable in the end, after all,” said Sarah. 

Want to learn more about selling your home with Ana Santos? Learn more about our selling process right here.