5 Things You Need to Know Before Selling a Home in Miami

When it comes to buying a home, preparation and timing are everything. And in Miami the market is going strong. We talked to three real estate experts who shared their tips on selling a home in South Florida.

Photo by: DeBianchi Real Estate This sprawling oceanfront estate is located in Highland Beach, a coastal suburb located in South Florida. The six-bedroom home is fully furnished by interior designer, Marc Michaels. Features include private beach access, swimming pool, theater, home gym, elevator, eat-in kitchen and 24-hour gated security.  

During the first three months of 2014, more homes sold in Miami than in the first quarter of the last eight years, but it's a different market today than it was last year, or before the bubble. To help navigate the residential market in the Magic City, and all of South Florida for that matter, we put together our top five tips to selling your home. 

1. The price is right.

Think you can slap whatever price you want on your home and expect it to sell? Think again. You'll want to price it right from the beginning or risk losing the sale.  "We are in 2014, not 2013 and even though we had huge price increases last year, and will continue to see them this year, they will not be at the 2013 rate. So don't overprice your property out of the market and lose potential buyers," said Samantha DeBianchi, founder of DeBianchi Real Estate and cast member on the new reality TV show, Million Dollar Listing Miami. 

"One of the most important tips for selling your home is pricing it right from the beginning. If the property is overpriced, it will not sell. Have your agent do a market analysis for you and find out what other comparable properties are selling for in this market," said Jamey Prezzi, co-founder of Miami City Diggs

2. Sweat the small stuff.

Major problems can kill a deal from the get go, but don't forget about the small stuff. First impressions can go a long way. Hire a home inspector prior to listing the property and do all necessary repairs before you put the home on the market.  

Aria Zelnik, a real estate agent with Harding Realty recommends the following:

  • Order your own inspection: This way you know what deficiencies exist and can avoid having to negotiate down.
  • Address aesthetics: Give it a paint job, check uneven doors and repair tiles. 
  • Check your roof: A bad roof can kill a deal because it directly relates to the insurance of the home.

3. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

The old saying rings true in real estate. "Not only are pictures worth a thousand words, but pictures can be worth more money," said Samantha. "Don't skimp - or let your Realtor skimp - on the cost of professional photography." She adds that it's important to remember that there are many overseas buyers who make their decisions on Miami real estate based on photos and without seeing the property in person. 

4. Get ready for show time.

Make sure the property is easy to show. While there are some foreign buyers who will purchase a home without seeing it in person, most buyers want to investigate for themselves. "You would not believe how hard it is to make appointments for buyers to get into properties, but it's a numbers game," said Jamey. "When it's hard to get inside a home there is an impression that the seller is not serious about selling the property. You need traffic in and out of the home in order to get offers."  

5. Prepare for battle.

Make sure you plan ahead and prepare yourself for the negotiating process. "It's a war zone out there when you're the buyer," said Samantha. "Be prepared with proof of funds or a pre-approval letter to battle it out to win your dream home. Preparation and timing are everything in the game of real estate." 

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