Sutton Group - First Choice Realty Ltd. Brokerage - GARY VAN BAKEL
C: 519-801-6505
C: 519-949-2821
C: 519-305-6863

Our Team

Your Team | Real Estate

Sales Representative

There are many qualities and skills that go into being an excellent real estate professional- integrity, in-depth community and market knowledge, market savvy, effective negotiation skills and a high-quality professional network, all of which are hallmarks of how I work.

That said, in my experience as a Stratford real estate professional, I’ve also found that providing the very best service is essentially about putting my clients first. This means keeping myself accessible, being a good listener as well as a good communicator, and responding quickly to your needs.

This “client first” philosophy has always been my approach and it requires me to continually improve my skills and ways of doing business. In addition, I’ve found that the latest technologies are enabling me to do everything I’ve always done, only much more quickly and efficiently. They’ve also helped me to extend the range of services I provide to my clients.

So when you decide that you’d like to buy or sell a home in Stratford areas, please contact me.

“Susan is a wonderful person to work with and is very helpful in guiding you through the process of buying houses. She is very knowledgeable in the nuances of the Stratford housing market and has the experience you need when making such an important purchase. I am very happy to have Susan in my corner.”

“Susan and her team had been working with our family for almost 3 years before we found a home that was right for us. Talk about patience! Susan was always available to show us homes and is very knowledgeable about Stratford and the surrounding areas. Having been here most of her life, Susan was able to answer pretty much any question that came to mind related to the housing market and city of Stratford. We never got the sense that Susan was just trying to “sell us a home”. She wanted to find us the perfect home just as badly as we did. Susan always had a keen eye for problems (big and small) in the houses we went to view and was not afraid to point them out to us. This is the main reason we never felt like she was just trying to make a quick sale and be done with us. We would highly recommend Susan if you are looking in the city of Stratford or surrounding areas. Thanks for all of your hard work and patience finding us that perfect home.”
Ryan, Nadine and Oliver VH


Sales Representative

Julie grew up in Stratford and surrounding area but moved to Toronto to attend York University. She did a year exchange at Keele University in England, where she met her husband. Julie earned a double major in History and Communications and worked at CTV Bell Media in entertainment programming. Julie worked closely with media sales, marketing and promotions departments; buying, selling and scheduling programs for Canadian television.

After 10 years in Toronto, Julie and her husband moved back to Stratford with their four children. They have always loved what this city has to offer and are proud to call this community “home”!

Julie looks forward to helping you make your dreams come true in buying, selling or investing in real estate.

“We had a wonderful experience working with Julie for our real estate transactions. She was open and honest with us, easy to talk to, answered any and all questions we had, and was always in contact with us every step of the way. She made our house purchase and sale stress free and accommodated us and our schedules through the entire process. We would highly recommend Julie to anyone in need of a realtor and will definitely be using her again for any possible future real estate transactions. Thanks Julie!”
Matt and Julia Roberts

“We recently purchased a property with Julie and while this process can typically be quite stressful, we felt 100% confident in her abilities. She is candid, well connected, and knowledgeable. She was responsive to all of our questions, no matter how small. She showed us multiple homes over an extended period of time and not once did her enthusiasm wane. Julie was very supportive during negotiations and she ensured that the purchase of our new home was seamless. We would highly recommend Julie and will be sure to use her for any further acquisitions.”
Ken and Jackie

“As first time home buyers we had many questions and as many hurtles to jump and can say Julie was there every step of the way. We relocated from Hamilton to Stratford and it was great to have someone very knowledgeable about the town and areas. All our texts/emails were answered promptly and seemingly at all times. This was a great experience and we feel Julie represents what Stratford has to offer!”
Nancy and Nathan

Julie was an amazing asset to have during our house hunting journey! Being very knowledgeable, she was able to offer lots of insights on things we wouldn’t have even thought of and was very easily able to understand what we were looking for in a house. She gave us great advice on the housing market and what offers on similar houses were, making it much easier for us to make decisions. I would highly recommend Julie as a realtor for her professionalism and being able to add a wonderful personal touch to the experience of buying a home!



Hi, I’m Gary. I’m passionate about real estate and assisting my clients throughout each transaction – whether you’re buying or selling residential, new construction, investment or commercial properties.

As a member of the Sutton Group First Choice Realty management team, the extra support I receive from a full-time Business Coordinator and a family Real Estate Team, empowers me to provide excellent support to my clients throughout each transaction and beyond.

I’m also involved in many business ventures within the community, including being Vice Chair of the Perth Community Futures Development Corporation Investment Committee, President of Dominion Lending Centres First Capital Inc mortgage brokerage, General Manager of BHN Properties, and Director of Cambria Commercial Corp.

An active member of the community, I know the importance of giving back to support local success and growth. I enjoy volunteering as a coach for minor hockey and crossfit as well as supporting and sponsoring various initiatives carried out by important organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society.

Thanks to many years spent connecting within the community in both my real estate and mortgage brokering capacities, I can recommend great lawyers, appraisers, home inspectors, surveyors and planners – or any other professional service you may need – to ensure you have your bases covered when buying or selling. It’s my pleasure to help you build your team of experts!

I embrace all the latest technology as I realize you don’t always have time for a call or meeting. In many situations, a quick text or email is all we need to ensure we’re moving your transaction forward as quickly as possible while always focusing on preserving as much of your hard-earned money as possible.

A true people person, my business is built on relationships and referrals, so I always put my clients and your goals at the forefront of every interaction.

I look forward to working together! Answers to your questions are just a call, email or text away.

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