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    Before vs. After: Strata Transforms Distasteful Unit Into Luxury Listing realtor Cyrus Ghazvini shares the backstory behind latest property for sale

    Written By Robert Van Rhijn

    When a property hits the market, it’s for one of many typical reasons. Maybe the seller has a baby on the way and needs to upsize. Or perhaps the owner has no choice but to sell due to a job change, financial hardship, or even divorce.

    So when the condo board at the luxurious Bisha Residences reached out to realtor Cyrus Ghazvini for help selling a unit there, he thought it would be another textbook listing. But in reality, the story behind Unit 2104 was anything but typical.

    Owner vanishes

    Condo owners are obligated to pay monthly maintenance fees. But in this case, the owner had been in default. Every building has differing rules on how to deal with this situation. At Bisha Residences, the rules clearly state that the board can take ownership of any unit that goes into default after a certain period of time.

    Still, there was a huge issue. The unit was in horrible shape — owned by a man who was MIA, who clearly had a hoarding problem . How would the board sell such a place? That’s when Ghazvini entered the scene.

    Hundreds of dead fruit flies and other insects

    When Ghazvini first visited the unit, he knew it would be messy. “But I didn’t expect to walk into anything like this,” he says, describing a place that smelled like a putrid mix of rotting food and stale cigarettes. Not only were there food stains all over the floor, but there were hundreds of dead fruit flies and other insects swarming the spoiled debris.


    Although this realtor’s mission was to get the property into pristine shape, the mystery man’s whereabouts was always on Ghazvini’s mind. Clearly this guy had a penchant for UberEats, didn’t mind living in a swamp of spoiled food, and meticulously collected all the recyclables that typically come with ordering in. Not much else was known about the owner.

    Ghazvini learned that he “largely kept to himself, but was constantly ordering food to the unit.” Residents also noted he would often get a single bubble tea delivered to his door. It was a sign, neighbours say, that this was a man who wouldn’t leave his home under any circumstances. Not even to engage in the most mundane aspects of everyday life.

    Distasteful den to luxury residence

    Despite the unpleasant conditions, a determined Ghazvini got to work. When he typically prepares a home for sale, the property will require only one thorough cleaning. But for this one, the seasoned agent knew “that military-grade professional cleaners would have to do the job twice.”

    “The first time was to get rid of the surface grime and clear out the garbage this guy was collecting,” Ghazvini explains. “After that, we spent a whole day lugging the owners’ personal belongings into storage.”

    The cleaners then came in for round two, giving the unit what’s known as a ‘detail cleaning’ to make sure not even a speckle of its former state was left behind.

    Afterwards, Ghazvini hired painters to apply a fresh coat of paint, “not just to brighten up the walls, but to neutralize any odours left behind.” The final step was to bring in a staging company to decorate this newly-immaculate space.

    “The transformation was shocking,” states the agent proudly. “It went from a hoarder’s den to a luxury residence, as it was always meant to be.”


    So aside from this epic makeover, what makes the actual property so unique? Well for starters, it’s at the Bisha Residences.

    “Units here are always in demand because residents get to enjoy the high-class amenities that belong to the hotel side,” explains Ghazvini. And not only that, the building is in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district. “When you mix this type of luxury with a prime location, people end up wanting a condo like this purely for lifestyle.”

    Starting your search for a new home? Click on any of these links to access active listings, sold listings or contact a Strata agent.

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