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If you’re gearing up to list your house in Miami, you’re entering the market at a confusing time.
On one hand, home prices are booming: According to Redfin data, the median sale price in Miami was a very high $570,000 as of December 2023. That’s an 11.8 percent increase year-over-year and close to $200,000 above the nationwide median.
On the other hand, homes are taking a mighty long time to sell: more than two months, per Redfin. What are your options if you need to move faster than that? Don’t worry, the sun can still shine on your south Florida sale. Read on for everything you need to know about how to sell your house fast in Miami.
Selling a house fast in Miami
As of December 2023, Miami homes spent a median of 69 days on the market. And that’s just how long it took to go to contract; it could be weeks or even months between that point and the actual closing.
Things will move faster if you’re able to find a cash buyer, which is not at all unusual in Miami. According to a 2023 report from Miami Realtors, nearly 40 percent of all Miami home sales, and more than 50 percent for condos specifically, were cash deals. This eliminates the need for financing, and not having to wait on lenders and underwriters to approve a mortgage loan speeds up the sale process considerably.
If you’re really on a time crunch, you might consider cash-homebuying companies as an alternative to a traditional agent-assisted sale. These options move even faster — so fast that the whole deal can be done and closed within just a couple weeks, in many cases. Opendoor, one of the country’s biggest iBuyers, also operates in the Miami area. Both types of companies make cash offers and move with great speed, but in exchange for all that quick convenience, you sacrifice profit. Selling your home to one of these companies is almost sure to net you a lower price than you’d get through a traditional, open-market sale, if you’re willing to wait.
Things to consider when selling your house in Miami
If you decide to go with a traditional home sale, here are some questions to ask yourself — or your real estate agent — before you jump into the market:
How should I prepare my home for sale?
Real estate is an industry of first impressions. Since buyers are already shelling out a huge chunk of money to plant roots in Miami, most of them aren’t going to want to pay for major repairs after they move in. With that in mind, it’s important to determine what you need to fix versus minor issues that don’t need to be addressed. For example, if you have visible damage from the most recent hurricane season, you’ll want to deal with it to avoid turning buyers away. Simple spruce-ups, like a fresh coat of paint or bright flowers on the front steps, can go a long way toward impressing prospective buyers too.
If your home needs a bit more love, professional staging might help prospective buyers envision themselves moving in. How much you’ll pay for home staging depends on how much help you’ll need: Decluttering and organizing will be a small bill, but if you’ve already moved out and need to rent furniture, you will need to carve out room for a bigger budget.
How should I price my home?
If you’re thinking about selling, you’ve probably already tried to estimate what your house is worth. However, online tools aren’t as valuable as the human expertise of your real estate agent. They will be the best resource in helping to determine the most important piece of the selling puzzle: the asking price.
Your agent will compare comps, or prices of nearby homes that are similar to yours, to determine the going rate in your area. Keep an open mind and trust in your agent’s expertise: Redfin data shows that, despite Miami’s high median price, more than 12 percent of sellers dropped their prices in December, and less than 10 percent of homes sold above their list price.
What should I disclose to the buyer?
What would you want to know if you were in the buyer’s shoes? Legally, you’ll need to inform buyers of any issues that could impact the value, or safety, of the property. For example, if there is water damage in the basement, you need to make the buyer aware. Technically, you’re allowed to just make a verbal statement, but the best way is to complete a seller’s property disclosure form.
Additionally, you’ll need to fill out a property tax disclosure statement to share your past tax obligation with the buyer. Finally, if you live in a condo or belong to a homeowners association, make sure you request documents about the association’s financial health and any bylaws that a new owner will need to follow.
How much will all this cost?
Selling a home in Florida isn’t free. There are closing costs and other fees to consider before you get to walk away with your proceeds, and if you still have a mortgage on it, you’ll have to pay that off as well. Here’s a rundown of common costs for Miami home sellers:
- Realtor fees: Sellers typically pay the real estate agent commissions, in Florida and in every state. These fees will come to around 5 or 6 percent of the purchase price. That’s a hefty sum: For a median-priced $570,000 Miami home, 5.5 percent comes to more than $31,000.
- Documentary stamp taxes: Miami-Dade County’s documentary stamp tax — commonly referred to as a real estate transfer tax in many states — is structured differently than the rest of Florida’s. On a single-family home, the tax is $0.60 for every $100 of value, which is $3,420 on a $570,000 sale.
- Title insurance: Miami sellers are probably off the hook for covering the cost of a title policy. While sellers typically pay for this fee in most of Florida, Miami-Dade County is one of a few exceptions where buyers usually handle this expense.
- Property taxes: You’ll be responsible for covering property taxes up until the day of closing, so any outstanding balance must be paid.
- Attorney fees: You aren’t required to hire a real estate attorney in the state of Florida, but consider doing so anyway. Selling a house involves loads of legally binding paperwork and large sums of money, so the cost of a lawyer’s expertise is worth it.
- Concessions: The buyer may request that you cover the cost of a necessary repair or ask for other seller concessions. You don’t have to say yes, but if you do, you will pay that amount at closing.
Getting to closing day
Accepting an offer from a buyer isn’t the end of the journey. While you wait for closing day, make sure you’re working with your agent and your attorney to answer questions and provide information in a timely manner. Any holdups can delay your closing, which delays your profits from landing in your bank account.
Schedule movers in time to clean the place up and prepare for the buyer’s final walk-through. And if any issues arise that adversely impact the property’s value (the information you needed to share in the initial disclosure), you’ll need to tell the buyer about the change.
At the closing table, after all your costs are paid (and your mortgage loan paid off, if applicable), the rest of the money is yours. Congratulations on your next adventure — whether you’re moving elsewhere in the Sunshine State or heading for new lands altogether.