TESTIMONIALS- Buyers from Canada
Tom and Hayley, Oshawa, ON
We made the decision to work with Steve and Lesley after researching and ‘interviewing’ multiple realtors in the Orlando area. They more than lived up to our expectations.
After narrowing down what we were looking for, Steve started sending us listings. We wanted to get an idea of what the market was like before our planned trip 2 months later where we were hoping to line up a number of properties to look at. A property came on the market within a week of starting our search. Being Disney fans, and looking for a short-term rental property in the Disney area, this ‘Disney themed from top to bottom’ house looked perfect for us. We knew it wouldn’t still be available when we were able to go see it so Steve toured the house with his iPad while on a FaceTime call with us, showing us so much more than what was on the listing. He pointed out the areas that needed some TLC, the negatives and the positives. We felt comfortable enough and trusted Steve enough to put an offer in on a house we hadn’t actually seen in person. Considering we never met Steve in person either, that is saying a lot. There were some issues with the Title company that the sellers chose and Steve and Lesley were on top of everything. They both went above and beyond what we expected of a realtor. Steve went out of his way and visited the house and sent us pictures on the day it closed. When we were finally able to see our house, we fell in love with it all over again. It’s a magical home and we are so grateful for everything Steve and Lesley did to make it ours.
We would highly recommend Steve and Lesley to anyone looking to purchase a property in the area!
Jon and Pat from Niagara on the Lake, ON
We had the pleasure of working with Steve after we decided we wanted to buy a townhome in Orlando. He was very helpful in directing us to the appropriate resorts and then advising us clearly as to the properties to view and those to avoid. We set a date to come down from our home in Canada to view a few of the better properties available and then went ahead with the purchase of one at an excellent price/location. Steve has much experience of working with Canadians and other international buyers and we found him to be highly knowledgeable of the area with an excellent understanding of the particular challenges that international buyers face. We would definitely recommend him to other international buyers.
The Nurse family from Richmond Hill, ON
Steve has gone above and beyond guiding us through the property buying experience. As foreign buyers new to the Florida real estate market, Steve is very knowledgeable and was able to guide us through the process seamlessly. We truly felt that he had our best interest at heart. He is extremely patient and allowed us to take our time viewing properties and making decisions. He referred us to a number of resources from home inspection, maintenance companies, insurance, tax accountants, etc. It was certainly a pleasure working with Steve. We had one of the best home buying experiences and look forward to working with Dolby properties again in the future.
The Maisonneuve family from Ottawa, ON
We were referred to Steve by the Barbeau family. Never have we ever thought that we would be vacation home owners . Before meeting Steve I told him I was a picky buyer. Steve searched for a year before finding us the perfect home and never let his foot off the gas the whole time. Even after the deal was signed Steve helped us down the right road to make sure that everything went smoothly.
Cannot say enough about Steve from Dolby Properties and would highly recommend him.
Paul and Janet from Burlington, ON
Lesley, again as a testimonial I would just like to reiterate how professional and knowledgeable Dave was throughout the entire property search process. He was completely in tune to what my wife and I were looking for in a property and after a few emails back and forth prior to us coming to Florida he was able to narrow down our property search to a “ hot list “ of 10 properties for when we arrived. The quality of the properties Dave showed us was incredible, we were blown away ……… We felt like we were on Property Hunters International with tough decisions to make……… after a fun filled day of looking at houses, Dave’s sound advice and knowledge of the market helped us narrow our decision down to 2 and on the Sunday after one last visit we had made our choice! The whole property search process was both stress free and fun! We had a great weekend!
Jackie and Derrick Ajmo from Oakville, ON
We recently decided to purchase a vacation home in Orlando, Florida and a friend referred us to Steve Schaffer and Lesley Dolby. From that initial introduction, we were taken care of from A-Z. Steve researched properties for us in advance, scheduled our day so we could see only the homes that were worth seeing and guided us through to closing. Steve's critical eye spotted issues with homes that would never be apparent to anyone else. The result is we bought the best home possible at a great price. The service did not stop there. The after sale service was incredible. Steve assisted us in the setting up of a US bank account, transfer of utilities, selecting the property manager, securing insurance and explained all we needed to know with owning a home in Florida. Lesley and Steve also guided us through the paperwork required to complete the sale and when obstacles appeared, they assisted us in overcoming them.
Even after closing, they continue to provide advice and assistance to us that has been invaluable. We have bought homes in the past and no realtor has ever provided the personal service that Steve and Lesley did for us. Thank you Lesley and Steve for making our dream a reality. You are both top notch!
The Farry Family, ON
I want to say thanks to you guys and especially let you know how great it has been to work with Dave! He has been a wealth of information and has helped us through the entire process and we are very thankful for that. As you probably know, it is quite a daunting task to buy a property from afar and Dave has done a great job as our “person on the ground” in making the process a lot easier. So we are thankful for that. As well your website is a great place for a lot of information so that has been very helpful too!
Lisa & Marc Barbeau, ON
We are Canadians that were referred to Steve, from other Canadian clients. We were looking for a vacation home that will also be rented out when we are not there. Where to begin...? Steve Schaffer of the Dolby Properties team has been exceptional. From finding the perfect home, to offering invaluable advice, to taking complete videos of the walk through since we could not be there, then leading us through the offer, acceptance & closing.......even more, he continued sharing his expertise and support long after the sale was made. Although we never saw our house in person until the closing, we always had confidence that Steve was working on our behalf to make sure that everything went smoothly. He not only met, but exceeded our expectations! We couldn't have done it without him!
We would not hesitate to recommend Steve Schaffer of Dolby Properties for any of your real estate needs. Whether you are in Florida looking for a home or from another country buying a house sight unseen, you can rest assured that Steve only has your best interests at heart. After this entire exciting process, we are happy to refer to Steve as our friend!
Sue & Andy Walker, North Bay ON
From our initial contact with Dolby Properties, we were convinced we chose the right company to represent our needs as first-time Florida property buyers. Our realtor, Steve Schaeffer, was very knowledgeable about the housing market in Orlando and had a well-planned day where we visited many homes in many communities. We had specific criteria for our new home, and Steve was respectful of our wishes. At no time did he attempt to “up sell” us or steer us into something we weren't comfortable with. He was also very patient with our never ending questions and concerns.
We purchased our vacation home in October and are extremely pleased with how Steve managed the deal for us. He was also able to suggest building inspectors, property management people and insurance companies. Overall, we are extremely satisfied with Steve and our purchase. We would not hesitate to recommend Dolby Properties to others.
Helen Yinan Liu and Jian Su, From Oakville, Ontario
My husband and I recently purchased our first property in Orlando. Mr. Steve Schaffer was our realtor. Steve’s superb knowledge of the industry and professionalism helped make our experience very successful and memorable.
Steve has a great sense of good properties. Before we came down to Orlando from Ontario Canada, we already had a list of very good candidate properties. As foreign buyers, our time on site was very limited and had to remain focused. Steve’s office arranged the most efficient routing and timing for showings. Steve’s great knowledge of these specific areas are a bonus! We also felt that Steve was not just a buyer’s agent for us, he was more of a friend who really understood our goals and limitations and work within these parameters for the best results. Steve not only represented us making a successful offer, but also was present for us during home and other inspections as by then we had returned home to Ontario, found a property manager for us, recommended home insurance agencies, and helped with title closing matters. All of these happened within just a few weeks. His approaches are very holistic, impressive and trustworthy.
For us, the successful sale is not the end, but rather the start of a friendship journey. We highly recommend Steve and Dolby Properties to any foreign buyers! Be amazed!
Jim and Shirley Schiavo, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
As first-time vacation property buyers, Jim and I were both excited and anxious about owning a house in Florida. I can say with no hesitation, that we have been delighted with Dolby Properties and in particular, the services of Samantha Brightman. We purchased with confidence, as it is obvious that Sam is knowledgeable, dedicated to the industry and committed to her clients. She was in regular communication with us even before we met in Orlando. During our house hunting trip, she gave up three full days (on a weekend!) to assist us. All through the process, she guided, explained, informed, answered questions and I freely admit -hand-held. Samantha and Dolby Properties are more than just real estate agents. Their service has not ended since we have become owners. They have put us in touch with excellent property management, financial services, and accountant companies. We have even had the benefit of Sam?s wonderful taste in interior decorating!
We are proud to welcome vacationers to our rental property and look forward to escaping the Canadian winters to soak up the Florida sunshine in our new home. Thanks to Dolby Properties and to Sam!
Rob MacFarlane, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Lesley and Steve worked very hard for my wife and I last year when we were ready to purchase our Florida home. They were understanding, friendly, and consistent. Furthermore they were always looking out for our best interests when we were in shopping/buying-mode. On top of this they continued to hold our hands and walk us through the inspection and closing process. Their advice was invaluable and made my life infinitely easier throughout those days.
To this day they continue to regularly touch base with me to ask how the house is doing and if they can be on any further assistance. It is this focus on my client experience that truly made them excel. Would I refer anyone else to them? Absolutely, and without question.
Michael & Julie, ON
Thank you so much for your assistance in helping us purchase our vacation home at Bahama Bay Resort, only 9 miles from Disney in Davenport, Florida. From the day we first found and looked at your very informative website and then sent an e-mail to Lesley until the day we took possession on May 15th, 2014, you were both a pleasure to deal with. A special thank you to Sam as she helped make the process of finding and purchasing a vacation rental property painless! She was extremely organized, helpful, responsive and always available to call upon when needed. She was attentive to our needs and was a wealth of knowledge about the properties/resorts we looked at as well as the entire buying process. We would not hesitate to recommend both Dolby Properties and Sam to anyone in the future. In fact, we have a friend that might be interested in purchasing a property similar to ours in the near future...we will keep you posted.
Again, thank you so much! We will be sure to stay in touch!
Dave and Doreen, London, Ontario Canada
My wife and I were looking for a place in the Orlando area that we might be able to enjoy ourselves and to have as a rental property. We did a lot of searching and found the Dolby Properties website. The Dolby site answered so many of our questions it was obvious they were the knowledgeable people we wanted to deal with. Samantha Brightman "Sam" was great to work with. We were very particular about what we wanted and she listened well to our requests and showed us many places that fit our wants and needs. She was professional, easy going and pleasant. She also has a great personality, able to be to the point when required combined with the ability to laugh with us when it was called for. We had an intense week of searching that led to a successful purchase! For Canadians (and others) hoping to find a place in the Orlando area we highly recommend Sam and Dolby Properties, and we already have to friends.
Denis Beaudoin, ON
We came across Dolby Properties on the internet and found that their web site answered many questions we had. Shortly after sending an email, I was contacted by Sam Brightman who informed me on the Kissimmee/Orlando real estate market. Sam is honest and positive and never pushed us in making a decision if we were not sure. She always answered our many questions in a timely manner which made it easy to advance through the buying process.
When I traveled down to Florida, Sam had planned a well-organized day where we visited several communities and properties. This made it easier to compare and decide what we really liked. After a first offer on a short sale that fell through, Sam stayed positive and motivated. She then visited many properties on her own would send videos the same night. She was honest in pointing out the good and not so good things in the properties which demonstrated her commitment in providing honest feedback. We finally bought a property that Sam had visited without us and recently came back from Florida for our first visit. We are pleased with our new home and the real estate services provided by Sam Brightman.
Enio Sullo, ON
We were delighted with the service provided by Steve Schaffer and Lesley Dolby at Dolby Properties, Inc. in helping us buy a our vacation home in central Florida. As Canadians we had limited knowledge of the local real estate market and the buying process in Florida. Steve was very patient with us throughout the process and made us feel very comfortable. We would highly recommend Dolby Properties, Inc.
Mike Brown, ON
It was a refreshing treat to work with Samantha from the first moment we spoke with her. She was recommended by friends here that said she was a great person to deal with. Sam kept us abreast of what was available in our price range from the very beginning. Once we narrowed down exactly what we were looking for, she had properties for us to look at immediately. She was very accommodating when we went to Florida to look at some of the properties before making an offer on one. Once we had made an offer, Sam was very helpful in putting us in touch with Service people who could help us with all of our dealings. In most cases, she contacted these people on our behalf.
We look forward to dealing with Sam if I have anything come up in the future and will see her the end of January when I bring down a friend who is looking to purchase a property.
The Edsid Family, ON
We have successfully closed our transaction on our vacation rental property on May 28th, 2013, and we couldn't have done this without the tireless and dedicated efforts from Dave Robertson. Dave has been instrumental throughout the entire process of this transaction, from the early days of explaining and clarifying the complexities of the different types of property purchases available, to the tedious search (both physical and virtual) efforts of our vacation property, and finally the offer and close of the transaction. Dave had proved to us many times, that he had our best interests at heart, and provided suggestions and advice throughout the process, as if he was buying the property for himself. His expertise and knowledge has proven invaluable, and his dedication and commitment to us was complete and thorough.
On behalf of my wife and I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Dave (and the Dolby properties team) for their personalized expert real estate service, and would strongly recommend Dave to other local and especially out of town buyers. Sincerely grateful,
Lynda Longman, ON
We never could have found such an excellent property at a great price without Dolby Properties. Their knowledge allowed us to zero in on premium properties in the limited time we had in the huge real estate market of Orlando. From Home Owner Association fees to foreclosures to rental regulations, you need an agent with integrity to help you. Dolby Properties is it in Orlando.
Jack Zhao, ON
Thank you Sam, you are one of the best realtors I ever met. It's pleasure working with you. I always felt safe, secure and in firm hands. Very knowledgeable, professional and attentive. I can't wait to work with you again in the near future...and of course if I will refer to my friends and family when they need to buy a vacation home in Florida. Yes, keep in touch, and hope can meet finally meet you in person too.
Bill and Marlene from Ontario, Canada.
We are very grateful to have had Sam working on our behalf to find our new vacation home in Florida. Sam was very helpful in explaining the process we would go through along with giving us good advice along the way. She took the time to understand our needs and was patient in showing us a number of homes. As a result, we are very pleased with the outcome: A beautiful short-term rental vacation home with happy renters.
Ajay and Swati, ON
Thanks Dave and Lesley. This would not have been possible without your help, for which we would like to thank you very much. Dave, I certainly don’t mean to embarrass you, but I have to let you know that your professionalism and attention to detail is unmatched, and I have never seen an agent work the way you do. It really has been a pleasure working with you since day one. Your first email to me had all the right questions for us, and by the time I was done reading it, we knew we had the right agent and throughout the past 6 months you have revalidated that initial assessment over and over.
Connie and Massimo, ON
As first time Florida home buyers and from Canada we were very nervous about taking on this new venture however Dolby Properties were always very helpful in answering all our questions and concerns. Once we made the decision to come down and look at properties we were well cared for by Steve Schaffer who was patient, listened to us and took note of what was important to us. We never felt pressured and always felt that he had our best interest at heart. When we did find "the one" Steve helped us with all the arrangements going above and beyond our expectations!
We were extremely pleased with our experience and would definitely recommend Dolby Properties to find your home!
Jason Dukhi, ON
Thank you. I really enjoyed working with Dave throughout the process. He is truly a consummate professional. I think that is very noble of your organization to donate a part of the commissions to a worthwhile cause. I am really impressed with your organization. If you ever need someone to contact me for a referral I would be happy to oblige.
Kim Risi, ON
When we first thought about buying a home in Florida, we had a million questions and no one to ask. We emailed a couple of real estate sites and when Lesley emailed us back, it was like talking to a friend. She answered our initial questions and then arranged for Steve Shaffer to help us in our search. We had limited time to look while we were in Florida and Steve had our wish list and an arm full of listings for us to look at. His choices were dead on of what we were looking for, we just had to decide what was best for us. When we got back home, we thought it would be impossible to close a house deal in another country. But Lesley and Steve were right there walking us through the process every step of the way. We couldn't have asked for a better team to help us with our new adventure.
Thanks again for everything Lesley and Steve!!
Steve Senwasane, ON
My experience with Dave from the inception was a very pleasant and comforting one. In our early stages of conversation he had provided me confidence and trust. Of course when we met it was like we knew each other for a long time. His service as a realtor is excellent, especially if you are a foreign investor not knowing some of the rules/regulation and the landscape of the real estate market in Florida. Dave is very knowledgable and uses his available resources to provide the answers if he does not know it.
Dolby Properties and their team have assisted me all the way from visiting properties to closure and provided no pressure. They are more concernd about their clients rather than making a sale. This was a service that is well appreciated. With Dave in your team as Dolby Properties adds a very valuable asset into your organization in terms of your service offering. Lesley, I also want to thank you for the service you have provided me as a client who knew very little about the real estate market in Orlando. Even with the storm (Sandy) the struggles and challenges you went through, you were still able to communicate with me and responding in a timely fashion to address my goals.
Thank you both for your excellent service and I will definitely stay connected as I will need further advice.
Steve and Shari, ON
Thanks for the email - we have been very pleased with this experience. Thanks to Sam, she made the process much less complicated. Without her taking an entire day out to look at properties a few weeks back, we would have never found our place!
It is great that you make a charitable donation from the sale! We would appreciate if the donation you make on our behalf is to the Humane Society of the U.S. A great cause!
Thanks again for everything your team, and specifically Samantha, have done for us! We will certainly refer you for any prospective buyers here in Canada who are asking about properties in Orlando.
BUYERS FROM QUEBEC, CANADA
Lucian and Maria, Quebec
From the moment we contacted her by phone, until we’ve met her in person and during, and now after, the buying process we felt at ease with Sam. We can say she is like a good sister to us, guiding us with patience and answering all our questions - too many maybe :o), always with remarkable professionalism, honesty and confidence. We are sure we were lucky meeting her and her team, and we’ll recommend her with all our heart to all our friends. Many, many thanks Sam and Dolby Properties !!!
The Zhangs, Quebec
Sam worked with me closely to find a very good property for me. She has enough patience and took time to visit /take videos of many properties for me. She also warned me about any possible troubles.
The Papakonstantinou Family, Quebec
When we were introduced to Dave, he was very professional and understanding once he knew what we wanted and what our needs were for the home. He took his time in finding homes for us and explaining to us the intricacies of the Real Estate in Florida .Once he knew of our time frame in looking for homes, and when we were coming down, he took a whole day with us and showed us several homes and was very professional in giving his assessment of the areas and if it would meet our needs for our end result. Even after the acceptance of the sale of the home, he followed up on any issues.
I would highly recommend Dave Robertson to anyone willing to have a competant person on their side when looking for a home.
Neil Moffatt, Quebec
Sam, it was a great experience working with you. I think it was a good move forming the partnership with RBC as it made me feel more at ease knowing that RBC backed Dolby Properties. We are excited about this new venture and anxious to make this villa more our own. Now that we are almost done with all the paperwork we can start focusing on the fun part and market the villa. Thank you for all your hard work. It was much appreciated.
Mark Greenshields, Quebec
Amy, I want to thank you for the supreme efforts you made to find us a rental property in the Orlando area. Over the weekend you took us around more houses than I have ever seen before (!) until we successfully found the house we bought. You made the process easy.
BUYERS FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Dan and Christine, Vancouver BC Canada
Christine and I had been thinking for a long time about purchasing a vacation home in Florida but had no idea where to start. And then we found the Dolby Properties website and there was so much useful information that we started to think that it might actually be a possibility. When we contacted Lesley she responded immediately and answered any other questions that we had. She then put us in touch with Sam who helped us start looking for our dream house.
At that time we were thinking that we would have to make a trip to Orlando (which is not easy from Vancouver, Canada) to look at houses, not considering buying a house “sight unseen”. However, when we talked to Sam about it she laid out the whole process for us and again we thought, this might be a possibility. Sam was wonderful, visiting houses for us and creating videos with useful commentary that made us feel like we were actually at the house. After a few tries we did find our dream house, took the leap and bought it. We visited our house for the first time a few weeks later and it was even better than we imagined.
We cannot recommend Lesley and Sam highly enough. If you are in the market for a Florida vacation home you cannot work with anyone better than Dolby Properties.
John and Wendy, British Columbia, Canada
Thank you very much for your help and for putting us in touch with Sam who was wonderful!!! You offer a excellent service at Dolby Properties and we also found your website to be very helpful and informative. We are so glad that we found your company and if we hear of any people looking to buy down there we will not hesitate to give them your details.
David Morrical, BC
My wife and I started our search of properties in the Orlando area in late 2010. After a few interviews with other agents we found Sam and found the comfort we were looking for in an agent. The best way I can describe Sam is that she is like a confident friend who listens. She is strong when she needs to be strong towards others on your behalf and yet mindful of you as the client when you’re sharing thoughts. One thing that stands out in my day with Sam driving around the various resorts is that her time was mine for the day. She was not on the phone with other clients and leaving me to feel I was an imposition. I was the client and I was the focus and that is what I remember.
As the sale dragged on and on and on she remained positive and encouraging, ensuring issues and questions were dealt with promptly. Finally when the sale closed (for the second and final time) I was left with the feeling I was well served. I generally don’t give recommendations and I probably don’t tip as much as others but these words are deserved.
BUYERS FROM ALBERTA, CANADA
Dave & Carrie Elhard - Alberta, Canada and Ward & Joyce Elhard - Ontario, Canada
Our families recently traveled to Orlando for a combined house hunting trip and vacation. We had been working with Steve Schaffer of Dolby Properties for several months prior to our visit and thanks to the information Steve had provided us and his knowledge of the market, we had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for before we arrived. Even though it was peak rental season, Steve did a fantastic job of getting us into a most of the houses we wanted to see which helped us narrow down our choices quickly. In the end we were able to complete the entire purchase process during our 2 week visit and still had time for some relaxation.
Steve was very flexible in accommodating our schedule and wasn't pushy, but he was persistent which helped us get things done in an efficient manner. Even after we left, Steve continued to assist us through inspections and other aspects of the closing process, which as out-of-country buyers was a real help to us. Even after the closing, Steve continues to keep in touch and is willing to help out in any way that he can.
We would highly recommend Steve Schaffer and Dolby Properties to anyone looking to purchase real estate in the Orlando area.
Mark Finnigan, AB
My wife and I have been dreaming of owning a little piece of America for a while. With the rise of our currency compared to the American Greenback. We felt it was our time to buy. While visiting Orlando we set up a meeting with Sam Brightman of Dolby Properties. She showed us numerous properties and gave us friendly advice on how we could maximize our potential investment home. Needless to say with the recent sub prime "mess" in the American housing market, buying a house in the States at this moment is akin to the wild west. Every conceivable road block occurred to stop us from buying but thanks to Sam for encouraging us to hang in there.
Finally in December of 2009 we closed on our vacation home. If you are interested in buying in the Orlando area, with no hard sales pressure and impartial advice. Without reservation I would suggest using the services of Sam Brightman at Dolby Properties.
Heather Tucker, AB
I just wanted to say what an easy and great experience Sam and Dolby Properties made this buying process for us. We couldn’t have done it without your help and expertise. We will definitely be recommending Sam and Dolby Properties to our friends and people who ask. I think everyone here was waiting to see how things worked out for us.
BUYERS FROM NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA
The Hardt Family, NB
I just wanted to take a moment and send you a quick note indicating how pleased Margaret and I were with the effort provided by Sam Brightman. We had an opportunity last week to stay in our new condo and couldn't be more happy. Sam was instrumental in helping us find the "right" one for us – and given the significant criteria we put in front of her, she was terrific. And then once we found the right one, Sam provided us with just the right amount of information and guidance as we worked our way through the offer, acceptance and closing process.
Typically it takes a lot to impress me, but I must say that Sam fulfills her responsibilities very well and goes above and beyond which is that extra that is hard to find. If I can be of any assistance providing references for any future clients, I would be happy to do so.
Kevin and Victoria Hall, New Brunswick
My wife and I are from Canada and we recently purchased a four bedroom villa in Orlando. The agent with whom we worked was Sam Brightman. Now (summer 2008) is a great time to buy, especially for Canadian who can take advantage of the high Canadian dollar and the fantastic prices of several homes in Orlando.Sam maintained great communication throughout the buying process. She replied very quickly to all of our emails and has answered questions for us after our closing date.
Canadians should take advantage of The Royal Bank which maintains branches throughout Florida, including Orlando. RBC in Orlando can access your Canadian credit history, thereby making the process of securing a mortgage similar to that in Canada. We bought our home sight-unseen. Sam earned our trust and I highly recommend her!