The sellers: Maria Neves Da Rocha, a 67-year-old retired cleaning lady, and her twin sister, Maria Emilia Vieira, who still works as a cleaner.
The property: A 2,550-square-foot red-brick near Bloor and Ossington with five bedrooms and two full kitchens.
The story: The two Marias had raised their families in the big Dufferin Grove house, purchased 38 years ago for $64,900. Now they were both widowed and their children were moving out. Da Rocha felt it was time to downsize, but Vieira still had a sentimental attachment to the place. It was only when Da Rocha’s daughter found a bungalow in Pelham Park, close to her own house—as well as to a Catholic church and a Portuguese bakery—that Vieira finally agreed to move.
The prep: The sisters’ realtor, Alfredo DiGenova, suggested they eliminate some of the clutter, so they and their kids spent five 12-hour days carting away paintings, plastic flowers, crystal glassware and other knick-knacks. “We must have thrown out at least 80 shopping carts’ worth of stuff,” says Vieira’s daughter, Sandra Ferreira.
The offers: The twins listed the property for $949,900 in late January. On the set offer date a week later, they had eight bids to choose from. The winners were a couple with two kids, who had tacked on an extra $111—the house’s address—to their offer for luck. Although talking about her former home still makes Vieira tear up, she’s happy it went to a young family.