Dos and Don’ts of Getting the Best Miami Real Estate Deals

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, everybody knows the importance of getting a great real estate deal. But how? So, naturally, some of the most commonly asked questions I’ve come across in my 15-plus years as a Miami realtor based in Edgewater is, “Sep, how can I find great Miami condo investments? What should I do to get a great deal on a condo for sale in Miami?” or “Can you help me find the best deals on condos in Miami Beach?”

So, to answer all those who’ve ever asked me this, as well as those who’re simply curious – there are no set rules to guarantee you the best condo investment or purchase in any city. However, I have compiled a list of the Dos and Don’ts when looking at Miami real estate and condo opportunities that I’ve seen over my many years in the field and am happy to share these insider tips with you!

The DOs of Getting a Good Deal on a Miami Condo

Realtor Explaining Agreement To Couple In New Apartment

DO look at Relevant Price Comparisons (comps)

One of the first things to do when you go deal-hunting is to look at the prices of comparable properties. You can also ask your realtor to help you pull a “comp list.” This will help you figure out a top and bottom range of prices. So, in the case of Miami condos, I recommend the following to get effective comparables: 

  • Look at properties in the same building, especially ones with similar floor plans and views. To take it a step further, look at properties in the same line in the same building. For example, if you are looking at buying unit 3301, make sure to look at other units ending in -01 that have the same sq ft which means they are most likely to have similar view, floor plan, etc
  • Look at similar properties in the same neighborhood
  • Look at prices of relevant, comparable properties. The condos should be comparable in terms of square footage, views, no. of bedrooms, amenities, etc.

DO look at Comparable Condos sold within Six Months (or less) 

For a more accurate picture of the current prices in any property segment, look into comparable properties sold within the last 6 months. It usually is not helpful to look at properties sold a year or two ago, as much may have changed since then.

DO look at the Neighborhood’s Inventory

In a healthy, well-balanced condo market, the months of inventory for a neighborhood will fall anywhere between 6 and 12 months. However, if the neighborhood of your choice has more than 12 months of inventory on the market, it means the market has a surplus and is leaning in favor of buyers, so you can afford to be more aggressive on offers. In fact, the further the months of inventory are from their ideal 6-12 months, the more aggressive you can be on your offer price.

DO ask about Seller Motivation 

Not every seller will be comfortable sharing this piece of information upfront; however, there’s no harm in asking your realtor about the seller’s motivation to sell. Often, the seller’s realtor may have additional information that may be helpful to your negotiation. Also, while some sellers might be open to negotiations, others might have their set parameters. So, this little piece of information can be vital in knowing if the property you are interested in has some wiggle room on the price.

Some examples of seller motivation that can favor buyers include trying to sell within a specific timeframe, moving to another state or country, the condo is in or close to foreclosure, divorce, estate sale, and longer days on market than expected.

DO look for any Liens, Tax Issues, or Late payments 

Doing a little background check on the financial health of the condo you’re eyeing will put you in a better position to negotiate. For condos with any kind of liens, tax issues, or any other monetary defaults, you can leverage the negotiation by understanding the seller’s motivation. This will not only help you make a better offer that settles the seller’s reason for distress but also get you a great deal in the process.

Pro Tip:

Realtors generally have access to tax, lien and other key financial information that could help you to strengthen your offer

DO look into Distressed Condos 

Looking into condos that have a ‘short sale’ status, or are under pre-foreclosure or foreclosure will give you a wider range of possibilities for lucrative deals, especially if you are able to buy with a greater amount of cash. Now, by no means am I saying that every distressed property will turn out to be a great deal, but it definitely increases your chances of getting one. However, one thing to keep in mind is that chasing after distressed condos may not always result in a closed deal, or a fast deal, so it’s best to go after one with an open mind and timeline.

DO buy in Cash or Get Pre-approved

Going all cash or pre-approved into an offer just proves your commitment to buy to the seller. This makes your offer stand above the rest, so sellers will naturally gravitate towards closing with you, considering the ease and timeliness of the transaction.

DO look into the Property’s Condition or Consider Inspection Negotiations

While you may think it’s too late to negotiate once the contract is executed and you head to the inspection, think again. If the property has certain conditions such as a pest infestation, material leakage, or other defects that require major repairs, you will want to re-negotiate with the seller. Since the seller has already chosen to go this far with you, they may be willing to offer an additional credit to keep the deal moving forward.

DO hire an Experienced Buyer’s Agent

While some think there is an advantage to going directly to the listing agent, do remember that they are not under any obligation to uphold your best interest. The listing agents work for the seller and are working in the seller’s best interest. For instance, they do not need to negotiate on your behalf (and in fact might be negotiating against you), nor discuss any other strategies to make the deal work better for you.

Having an experienced buyer’s agent or single agent on your side won’t just give you access to materially leveraging information, but you’ll also have a strong negotiator that could help you save thousands of dollars. With over 15 years of experience as a buyer’s agent and short sale agent, my team and I are always happy to assist you in getting the best deal possible on your Miami condo.

The Don’ts of Getting a Good Deal on a Miami Condo

Couple reviewing a contract with woman realtor

DON’T just base your Offer on how much the Seller bought it for 

While this is one of the most tempting ways to evaluate an offer, don’t fall for it. There are plenty of factors to consider other than just the previous sale price of the condo. Whether the seller bought pre-construction, bought in an upcycle or downtrend, bought at auction, etc, is inconsequential. If the seller bought for $1 million or $1, the only thing that matters is what the market price is today, and if you and the seller can come to an agreement on a price.

DON’T base it on the Last Sale in the Building 

While I did mention that it’s a good idea to look at what comparable condos may have sold for, simply basing your offer on the last unit sold in the building may not be the best call. Considering each unit is different even if they have the same floor plan, as they can have different finishes and nuances, there will always be a difference in prices. Also, if the last unit sold for a very high price, it doesn’t mean you would want to pay that much as well!

DON’T value on the Basis of a County Tax Assessment

Any value prescribed for a condo by a county tax appraiser should be used for that purpose only – taxation. An appraiser applies a set formula to calculate the value of a property, and applies it to all properties in a county. Therefore, a tax assessment does not reflect a property’s true, current market value. 

Why? Because the tax appraiser uses a standard multiplier called a millage rate to evaluate all the properties in the county, which means a property’s market value per the county tax appraiser’s office does not take into account key differentiators such as location, size, age, amenities, upgrades, and the like. However, it will give you an idea of what your annual property tax will be, and that may help you determine your offer price.

DON’T base your Offer or the Value on whether the Condo is in Foreclosure

While I completely agree that a foreclosure is a great opportunity to get a good property at a decent bargain, it may not always be the case. Consider this -- in case of a foreclosure, the lender is trying to recover as much as it can on costs expended on a bad loan. 

This means that while they are looking to let go of the condo as soon as possible, it doesn’t mean the lender or bank will agree to the lowest price. And contrary to popular belief, many lenders are willing to hold onto a property for many months to maximize their net return on it. So, even as you place an offer on a distressed property, keep in mind that not every lender is ready to cut and run with the first offer they receive.

DON'T base it on a Zestimate or other online AVM (automated valuation model)

This is very tempting, considering how many people use Zillow, Trulia and other online property search engines. While this is a favorite go-to for many buyers, I suggest you limit the use of any such estimators when making an offer. 

The deal with such valuations is that they take common, user-submitted, MLS or tax data into consideration for their formulas, plus their algorithms for accommodating details such as views, amenities, and age of a building. But their algorithms can’t know whether one floor plan is more appealing than another, or that above the 9th floor a certain condo view drastically improves. This is why it is important to treat such AVM estimates as just that, an “automated estimate”.

If you’re still not sure how to get a good deal on a Miami condo, please give me a call and I’ll be happy to talk with you about your ideal property and how to find it at the right price. Just reach out by calling or emailing us here!

Contact Us
Sep Niakan
Broker / Team Lead
(305) 697-7667
Request Info
By sending you agree to CondoBlackBook's Terms of Use

Your Miami Condo Awaits

Recent Posts

How to Spend the 4th of July in Miami & More Summer Events 2022 - Miami Swim Week, Rolling Loud Miami, Swedish House Mafia, Ballet Festival
Lifestyle How to Spend the 4th of July in Miami & More Summer Events 2022 - Miami Swim Week, Rolling Loud Miami, Swedish House Mafia, Ballet Festival
Summer is hot in Miami and so are the events. We’ve got all you need to celebrate July with a bang! With an overflowing events calendar this summer, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Continuing with Miami Hotel discounts and topping those with Miami Spa special savings, you won’t be able to resist a weekend or two for self-care. Music lovers of every sort are in for a treat as the Rolling Loud Fest, Miami Salsa Festival, MB Classical Music Fest, Seaside Summer Fest, and Swedish House Mafia hit the stage in Miami. There are also plenty of summer camps and activities to keep the kiddos blissfully busy. Not to forget, the Fourth of July is right around the corner and Miami’s night sky is going to be lit with fireworks and the sweet smell of all-American barbecues. Check out our special curation of Independence Day events to make the holiday even more spectacular. And, read more below for a complete list of Top Things to Do in Miami this July 2022: Things to Do in Miami - July Events at a...
The 5 Most Luxurious Condo Buildings in Downtown Miami
Real Estate News The 5 Most Luxurious Condo Buildings in Downtown Miami
Downtown is, and continues to evolve as, one of Miami’s top neighborhoods, especially because of its central location to all that Miami has to offer, its views of Biscayne Bay, and its major public transportation hubs. In recent months, developers have been delivering world-class projects with unmatched luxuries in this urban core.  Today, a host of ultra-luxury buildings call Downtown Miami home, and we’ve listed the 5 Most Luxurious Condo Buildings in the neighborhood that set the bar for top-notch living. We’ve also included a few bonus pre-construction condo buildings that will provide even more luxurious lifestyle options for you to choose from if you’re looking to move to Miami or invest in this international city. Last updated on June 23, 2022 Why Choose Downtown Miami? Downtown is home to some of Miami’s best art, culture, shopping, entertainment, and social hotspots. It not only ties for #1 on our 11 Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Miami report, but is also the best...
Video: Agent Faves - Our 3 Favorite Condo Buildings in Sunny Isles Beach, Miami
Video Blog Video: Agent Faves - Our 3 Favorite Condo Buildings in Sunny Isles Beach, Miami
Close enough to all the action in Aventura and Miami Beach, yet far enough removed from touristy chaos, Sunny Isles Beach has turned into a darling for luxury developers in recent years. This upscale seaside community is home to an enviable collection of luxury-branded, high-rise condo towers, such as the Porsche Design Tower, Estates at Acqualina, Mansions at Acqualina, Turnberry Ocean Club, Muse, Jade Signature, and each one more luxurious and beautiful than the next. But we have a few that top our list of favorites. Check out Blackbook Properties’ Condo Specialist and licensed agent Vera Berezhnaya talk about her top 3 favorite luxury condo buildings in Sunny Isles Beach: Residences by Armani/Casa What we love about this building? Every unit in this oceanfront high-rise features a summer kitchen.  Milan couture meets Miami charm in this 66-story ultra-luxury high-rise. Besides affording private beach access, this 649-foot glass tower features 308 designer condos with interiors...
The Top 10 Miami-Area Beachfront Condos in Preconstruction Right Now!
Real Estate News The Top 10 Miami-Area Beachfront Condos in Preconstruction Right Now!
What’s more popular than Miami and South Florida’s sensational beaches these days? It’s our upcoming beachfront properties that are topping wishlists across the globe – luxury created for buyers from New York to New Zealand!  Regardless of whether you’re looking to move to the beachside for dazzling morning-to-night water views, instant access to a yachting lifestyle, or simply for bragging rights – an oceanside home in South Florida tops the wishlist for many - there are several upmarket projects on the horizon that offer you an oceanfront address. With developers eager to stay relevant in Miami and South Florida’s growing condo market, there are plenty of luxury, oceanfront condo preconstruction projects in the pipeline. Here’s our list of the Top 10 Upcoming Luxury Beachfront Condo Projects in Miami and Pompano Beach: Miami and South Florida’s Beachfront Condo Preconstruction projects at a glance: The Perigon - Mid-Beach Bentley Residences - Sunny Isles Beach St. Regis Residences...
Video: Comparing Miami’s Best Neighborhoods - Coconut Grove vs Brickell
Video Blog Video: Comparing Miami’s Best Neighborhoods - Coconut Grove vs Brickell
When most people are thinking about moving to Miami, two super popular neighborhoods are Coconut Grove and Brickell. These two neighborhoods are pretty much neighbors, and only about a 5-10 minute drive separates them. But they are very different and offer completely different lifestyles and vibes. So, how can you know if Brickell - the Manhattan of the South – is right for you? Or will the laid-back and tropical Coconut Grove neighborhood be better? Check out our video comparing these two Miami neighborhoods to help you decide which one could be your next home.  Coconut Grove vs Brickell While both areas provide plenty of variety in housing options, they also offer differing lifestyles and benefits. We’ve provided a comparison of these two popular Miami neighborhoods based on categories we think are important to living a good quality of life – things like lifestyle, parks and green space, shopping, entertainment and culture, walkability and transportation, and cost of living...
42 Pine: Boutique luxury and Kosher-friendly in Miami Beach
Preconstruction 42 Pine: Boutique luxury and Kosher-friendly in Miami Beach
It’s beautiful. It’s boutique. It’s Kosher-friendly. And, it’s in Miami Beach. Developer JP Roosevelt LLC, an entity managed by New York’s Boylmelgreen family, recently launched early sales and secured a $35.5 million loan to start the boutique condo project in the exclusive Pine Tree Drive area of Miami Beach. At only 8 stories, 42 Pine will offer 1 - 3 bedrooms residences, starting at 700 square feet and going to 2,700 square feet. Set for a 2023 completion, early friends and family pricing start at $700,000. Its eight exquisite penthouses start from $4 million.  Designed to offer modern luxury for Jewish residents, 42 Pine will feature gourmet Kosher kitchens, offerings two sinks, two sets of appliances, and separate cabinets for meat and dairy dishes – a true one-of-a-kind condo project in Miami Beach. 42 Pine: A Luxurious Hill Town in Miami Beach  42 Pine will be an 8-story condo community with 50 move-in-ready residences. Designed by Miami’s award-winning Arquitectonica,...