— We take our content seriously. This article was written by a real person at BREL.

When a client has tried to sell their home without success with another brokerage, the pressure is on. The owners are eager to sell, but they are also tired of the process and uncertain of how to achieve a different outcome. But BREL agents Halina Bucchino  and Kristin Shensel had a lot of heart for the home, and they knew that their passion for the property was exactly what these clients needed.

Here’s Halina and Kristin’s Story:

Overcoming the unknown

H: This was a property that sat on the market for a while before we were approached to list it. It’s always nerve-wracking when you don’t know what went wrong the first time around. 

K: Right Halina? It is so nerve-wracking to take on a property that has been listed but didn’t sell. But thankfully, you and I had a strategy that the clients agreed with 100%.  

The power of passion

K: Halina and I dubbed Leslie “the Grand Old Dame” and it totally fit. The house is modern and renovated beautifully but our clients’ Jill and Trevor left enough of the old charm. This house SPOKE to us. 

H: Immediately we knew it was a special place. Gorgeous features, great location, so spacious and a lovely outdoor space with great curb appeal! Who wouldn’t want to list this home? 

K: Plus detached in Leslieville on a huge lot. The end.

Putting clients at ease

H: The sellers had already relocated so they put their complete faith in us to take care of ALL the details. When we first spoke to Trevor he had a very positive attitude. Jill was so lively and excited to get the process started. She clearly loved her home and was keen to find buyer’s who would respect it as much as she and her husband Trevor did. She is a very spiritual individual. We only met Trevor in person, but nonetheless, we all really got to know each other over the course of the transaction, through group chats, zoom meetings and countless emails. 

K: Halina and I work together a lot. I love it and I love her. I find that we bring our own personalities and perspectives to the table and it really works well for our clients. 

As we say, this way you get TWO OF US, instead of just one and our clients love this. (Our husbands, however, might differ on this.) 

The power of two plus a team for a stellar result

H: Our biggest challenge was “how do we make this home seem like a whole new product?” It had already been on the market a few times and so we had to come up with a strategy to draw new and positive attention to it. Plus we brought two pairs of fresh eyes to this house.

K: I can’t tell you how many times Halina and I walked through the house debating about what we should do differently to bring this Dame to market again.

H: We achieved this with a total revamp of the staging and added some touches that gave the home a new feel (funky wallpaper, a gorgeous custom chalk art wall, vibrant splashes of paint, new light fixtures and a focus on making the outdoors shine).

K: We also enlisted the help of our trusted partners to make things happen… I am not even going to tell you how much debate went into the EXACT shade of pale pink for the foyer wall that went on.

The final chalkboard art!

Braving the bumps in the road

H: Both Kristin and I have bought and sold our own homes and we both also manage properties for clients so we have dealt with so many challenging scenarios. We hit a few bumps along the way but strength in numbers prevailed. 

K: OMG that smell of death. 

H: Yes, most notable was the smell of death we were faced with the day we hit the market. We quickly established the source with the help of the home inspector and deployed our trusted partners to deal with the issue immediately. 

K: RIP Rocky the Racoon. Poor dude. Again, we were able to make this problem disappear…dis-a-smell? the same day.  

H: If we didn’t have the connections and relationships we have worked so hard to build who knows how long it would have taken to resolve the “issue”.

K: We cannot stress enough how much getting a house/condo ready to sell takes our team and extended village. Halina and I might be the ones with our photos on the marketing and our names on the sign, but it is our team that makes the magic and miracles happen.

Not actually Rocky.

Above and Beyond is all in a days work

H: We analyzed every room in the home and the exterior to come up with a plan to showcase it at it’s best; to highlight the features and make it shine. We studied it and learned about the tiniest details so that we could share those details with a buyer who would eventually fell in love with it. We really did. From picking out the wallpaper to sourcing the chalk artist to picking out the paint for the foyer we were all in. (

K: We brainstormed for weeks about what we were going to do to attract attention to this listing so during an open house we hired an ice cream truck to hand out free ice cream in front of the home. Luckily it was a beautiful day and the turnout was great. We used our amazing marketing campaign to draw further attention to the listing. We believed in this house! 

H: Ice cream truck yes. But I will also bring up poor Rocky once again. We had no idea where the smell was coming from but knew we had to figure it out and get it fixed. We did and we both got to sleep that night. 

K: Above all else, we believed in this house! 

This was the first time we staged with pink….and everyone loved it!

Why we do things the BREL way

H: Trevor and Jill were always so positive and they put their faith in us. They constantly told us that we were the professionals and they were relying on us. It’s so great to hear that and truly just wants to make you work even harder for the client when you feel respected. 

K: Working with clients that respect your expertise and opinions? Well? I can’t even describe it. Jill and Trevor put 100% faith into us, so we were going to deliver even if it killed us.

H: We were really proud of the staging for this home. We worked with our wonderful UpStaging team to make sure that we got every detail right. We even brought items from our own homes that we felt would add to the charm. Every room told a story! We commissioned a chalk artist to draw/write a beautiful quote on a chalk art wall that further inspired family living and created a jewel of a powder room with some really fun wallpaper. This was a fun project but it really required us all to work together as a team to paint the vision.

K: This house is one of my favourites that I have listed. I can’t wait to hear about the new family’s adventures there. 

H: I am a bit of a control freak so I can’t imagine having to sell my home and putting it in the hands of complete strangers. 

K: Halina and I get along so well because we are both totally type A peeps. 

H: Knowing that after everything that Jill and Trevor had been through they put their faith in Kristin and me to get the job done means that we were able to help them to understand why we were confident in our ability to take on this challenge and to meet their expectations. 

K: I also can’t imagine selling my house from afar with “strangers”. But our team has all of the systems and people in place to keep things going smoothly, even in a sometimes challenging situation. 

K: Communication and having all the systems in place is what helps us truly succeed.

H: We sold their home for the price that they wanted and in a reasonable amount of time. 

K: Yep. I agree 100%. Objective achieved.

H: This meant the world to our clients. Selling this home meant that they didn’t have to stress about it anymore.

K: Exactly. We got it done for them. Now they can keep moving on in the direction of their new life.

Does your home deserve the BREL treatment? Get in touch!


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