I. WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING A HOUSE IN DOWNTOWN MIAMI
I hope this book will convey to you the serenity and joy I have waking up every day in Miami. I am delighted to share with you my passion for owning a home in paradise.
- Daniela Pellicciotti
1. More Than a Condo
The most important thing you should know about buying in Downtown Miami is you are not only buying a condo, but you are buying a piece of the history, the cultural background, the architecture and the future of Miami. You have it all here, in one location. Work, live and play in the same urban dťcor. Downtown has become the epicenter of the city of Miami. However, it has not always been as glamorous as it is today. Each immigration wave has left a footprint which makes Downtown the melting pot jewel it is now. Let me tell you a bit of its history:
Pioneers settled in Downtown Miami and Coconut Grove in the 1890ís, thanks to Henri Flagler, who extended his Florida East Coast Railway down to Miami after a severe winter in Palm Beach harmed his crops. When you come down, check out the railroads tracks in front of the American Airlines arena, they are the original ones! At that time, buying a condo was certainly not an option, unless one wanted to be roommate with an alligator. Despite these adverse conditions, Flagler saw the huge potential in the land. Flaglerís Street, which runs from East to West Downtown was named after him.
Downtown was the place to shop.
From the 1920s to 1950ís, the Omni area, which is in the northern part of Downtown, was a high end shopping district featuring among others stores like Sears, Roebuck and Company, Jordan Marsh and a Burdines, that all settled into Art Deco buildings. Big diamond players and jewelers started opening their wholesale and retail business.
Itís in the 1960ís, when Fidel Castro rose to power, that Miami became an ďEllis IslandĒ for Cubans.
In fact, the famous Freedom Tower, built Downtown in 1924, became the Cuban Refugee Emergency Center. It then became a museum depicting the Cuban exile experience and it is still today.
In 1977, the Omni International Mall, located north of the Freedom Tower, was launched and brought upscale stores such as Givenchy, Hermes and Emilio Pucci to the area.
However, when the Bal Harbour Mall and the Bayside Marketplace opened in 1987, they became a huge competition to the Omni, which started to falter in the 90ís.
During the 80ís and the 90ís, the residential real estate boom neglected Downtown to the profit of the Brickell neighborhood, where condos sprung like mushrooms. Downtown Miami became a business center during the day, but it was deserted at night. When I first arrived in Miami, back in 2000, I was advised not to go around Downtown at night.
Only with the 2000ís real estate boom, the area was revitalized by developers. The most dramatic changes have happened in the last decade, when Miamiís center of gravity shifted from the beach to Downtown. Developers improved the standards of residential living by building state of the art condos, such as 900 Biscayne, Epic or Marquis. The expansion and diversification of commercial spaces helped create a unique lifestyle. In the past 10 years, the growth in the downtown population amounted to an average of 68%, reaching a total population of 71,600 according to the 2010 census.
Simultaneously, the total building square footage count increased by 56%, according to the Miami DDA. This growth demonstrates that both the residential and the commercial market grew contemporaneously and are in need of each other to prosper. Hotels, restaurants, bars and nightlife have created a new Downtown revival. Nowadays, not a week goes by that I donít spend at least one evening sipping a Mojito at Zuma or have a waterfront dinner at Il Gabbiano.
The future of Downtown is now in the hands of famous international architects, such as Zaha Hadid, who is developing the 1000 Museum condo, and Herzog & de Meuron, who will anchor the new Museum Park.
We can also mention Franck Gehry as a ďstarchitect,Ē since he is transforming the Bacardi complex into a campus for the National Young Arts Foundation. Genting, the Malaysian casino conglomerate, has also started the demolition of the Miami Herald site to build Resorts World Miami. The complex, located just north of the Mac Arthur causeway, will launch sales of two condo towers in 2014, as well as the construction of a four star hotel that will hold 500 rooms. A 50 feet wide promenade will connect the resort to the Museum Park, passing underneath Interstate 395.
Another billion dollar mixed-use project is the Miami World Center, which is also going to strengthen the area.
The project encompasses a 500,000 sq ft Convention Center on the site of the demolished Miami Arena, an 1800 room hotel (the biggest in Florida), a 1500 seat theatre and a 2300 car garage partly buried underground. The Miami World Center also plans to have 1 million sq ft of retail, restaurants and entertainment space.
Finally, the All Abroad Florida rail service is a $1 billion plan to launch a high speed passenger train to connect Miami to Orlando in 3 hours and 30 minutes.
Launching in 2014, the new station is a glimpse in time, being built in the exact same spot where Flagler had built his first station.
2. What Makes Buying in Downtown Unique
There are several aspects of the area that make buying and/or living here a unique experience. These features include:
The All in One Package
Now letís get back to the present time. The uniqueness of Downtown is itís an ďall in oneĒ package. You can walk to cultural activities, shop, eat in trendy restaurants and stroll the marina or Bicentennial Park. I used to go out to the beach on the weekends, but now it seems everything is happening in Downtown.
First of all, the cultural renaissance of the neighborhood is flabbergasting. The best kept secret of Miami is to spend a romantic evening at historic Olympia Theatre at the Gusman Center. You will travel back in time watching the Cuban, Spanish or Italian film festivals. If you are looking for a more Broadway show, then go to the largest Performing Arts Center in Florida, the Adrienne Arsht, right at your footsteps should you decide to purchase at the Marina Blue, the Marquis or Ten Museum Park. Across the street, you can walk thru the 29 acre Miami Museum Park to the Jorge Perez Art Museum of Miami Dade County, which is a $220 million project for 200,000 sq ft of modern and contemporary art. You can also educate yourself in the adjacent Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science, Planetarium and Aquarium, which should open its doors in 2015. Being so close by, I might refresh my neurons by reviewing some of my scientific knowledge.
American Airlines Arena
If you are more of a sports fan, the American Airline Arena hosts the NBA Championship, as well as the most famous celebrity concerts in town. Madonna, Eros Ramazotti, Britney Spears, Gloria Estefan, Justin Bieber, Alicia Keys - you name them, they all performed in Downtown Miami. If you prefer an outdoor concert, then go to one of Bayfront concerts at the Klipsch Amphitheater. What a pleasure I had watching Gotye and Maroon 5 under the stars. Finally, you can opt for a laidback concert while standing up at the bar at Grand Central Station. Donít miss the Miami International Film Festival, the ING Marathon and the Miami Book Fair, all of which attract tourists from around the globe.
For Your Appetite
Retail has flourished. Almost 100 new restaurants and stores have opened over the past year. Letís mention the most notorious, Zuma, which sits on the Miami River or one of my favorites, Italian restaurant Soya and Pomodoro, which is the perfect example of the artsy flavors of Downtown Miami. It is tucked away under an arcade of a previous bank. The restaurant blends excellent cuisine at a reasonable price, with live music on Thursday and Saturday nights. Letís also mention my lunch favorites: Le Boudoir, Fratelli Milano and Ceviche 105, which have great food and service to cater to business people during the day and young professional residents who call Downtown their home. The construction of a Whole Foods, a Publix supermarket, a 12 screen movie theatre and big box retailers demonstrate that Downtown is shifting from a business hub to a consumer focused neighborhood.
On the Waterside
Since Downtown sits on the beautiful waters of Biscayne Bay, you can enjoy boat tours which leave from the marina of Bayside. Ask your guide to show you the mansions of your favorite celebrities! While waiting for the tour, you can shop at Gap, The Limited or Victoria Secret and dine at the famous Hard Rock Cafť. If you decide to do a weekend in the Caribbean, you can hop on a cruise line from the Port of Miami, right in front of your condo. For a shorter getaway, you can take the water taxi to Miami Beach.
3. Weather Oasis
Downtown Miami has a tropical climate, but since it is surrounded by water, from the Miami River to the waters of Biscayne Bay, the gentle sea breeze makes it very pleasant all year around. You might have a rain shower here and there, but since everything is so close by, youíll be able to walk back home or find a cozy coffee shop around the corner.
The best time of the year spreads between November to May, when the average temperature is in the 70ís and the humidity is low. The sun is always out, so if you elected to have your home and office in Downtown, you can easily walk back and forth. During the worst summer months, the temperature doesnít get any higher than in the low 90ís, which is very often surprising to some New Yorkers who thought Miami was warmer than Manhattan during that period of the year. Of course, your colleagues wonít be pleased to welcome you at the office if you decided to walk there during those hot summer days. You can buy a Car2 Go membership at $35 for registration and then $14/hour.
Let me be upfront when mentioning schools in the Downtown area. If you want to walk your young kids to school, this neighborhood is not exactly your best match. Except for the Downtown Miami Charter School, other very good schools, such as the Ada Merritt K-8 School, the Montessori and the Miami Childrenís Museum are minutes away by car.
Letís fast forward to high school. Downtown is famous for its magnet, New World School of the Arts, which is ranked in the top 100 of the nationís high schools and number 3 in Miami Dade. It serves 472 students from grade 9 to 12. The senior class of 2012 accumulated over $16 million dollars in scholarships and had a 100% graduation rate.
Downtown Miami is also young and alive thanks to the Wolfson Campus of the Miami Dade College. It is a favorite campus, since itís in the middle of the city and the teachers are great. The new state of the art building for the Miami International University of Art and Design is located in the previous Omni Mall. This average size institute is a 4 year private university which offers 3000 students classes in subjects such as graphic design, film production and fashion merchandising.
5. Sense of Community
Y tu hablas Spanglish? The diversified demographic of Downtown Miami is the best example of the melting pot of this city. Different neighborhoods, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds coexist in Downtown. Tourists, blue collars, lawyers, judges, night clubbers and full time residents live in this small area, which spreads north of the Miami River up to the Mac Arthur Causeway. Despite such diversity, 57% of the residents are between 20-44 years old. The residential occupancy in 2013 is 95%, which makes downtown an active and popular work-live-play urban neighborhood. The median household income for Downtown residents is $70,800, far exceeding the City of Miami and Miami Dade County.
An Architectural Digest:
Letís go one by one over the different districts, which can be as small as 3-4 blocks or spread out through the neighborhood.
First and foremost, youíll have to go to The Historic and Governmental District at some point if you live in Miami.
These beautiful Classical Revival architectural buildings are home to the Miami courthouses. Adjacent to these landmarks, youíll have the offices of the Miami Police Department, the Miami-Dade College, the planning department, the Flagler Post Office and the Federal Detention Center. Lastly, my favorite piece of architecture is the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, which was built in the 1920ís.
Some people do work in this city! On top of being an icon to the history of Miami, Downtown has now become the central business district of the city.
It is home to about 20,000,000 sq ft of office space for multinationals who decided to headquarter their Central, South American and Caribbean operations here. Greenberg Taurig, Shutts & Bowen, Terremark Worldwide, LTU International and LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics are just some examples.
In the midst of those magnificent skyscrapers, you will find plenty of little stores that remind us that Miami was born as a trading town.
There are third generation family owned jewelry stores, such as Kirk Jewelers who opened in 1947. Did you know that Downtown Miami is now the third largest jewelry district in the US after NY and Chicago? If you lost your camera and you are looking for a bargain, then this is also the place to be. While you are here try one of their Cuban coffees to get a real unforgettable flavor of Miami. On the other side of Biscayne Boulevard, in Bayside, the demographic changes and you will be surrounded by shopping frenzy tourists from around the world.
Finally, if you are a night owl, you will find your buddies in Park West. Try out the most popular clubs such as Space or Vagabond.
When you get out of the clubs, you might come across Tom Cruise who just shot Rock of Ages in one of the film production studios in this neighborhood.
All of these areas are interconnected by the Metro Movers, which encompasses 22 stations. You should also hop on the colorful retro Miami Trolley to go around downtown. You can also stroll between each area, since in 2010, the City of Miami adopted the new 21 Zoning Ordinance, which encourages connectivity between neighborhoods, pedestrian traffic and parklands to unite communities.
6. My Buying Expertise
Now that you got an oversight of the city, we should go back to real estate. Choosing a professional realtor is as important as choosing your house. So what should you look for when choosing your realtor?
Knowledge is power.
My company, Condoideas Realty Group, has knowledgeable realtors, which are kind of difficult to find in Miami. We know the historic peaks and the current prices per square feet of the different condos in the area. Downtown is a neighborhood which has evolved very rapidly in the last 10 years so you always have to keep yourself informed on new trends, the projected condos and the master plan of the city to improve parks, pedestrian walkways and residential life. The changes are drastic due to the arrival of new residents wanting to live and work in Downtown. In 2009 for example, the residential occupancy was only of 74%, but it has now reached 97%. The sales volume in this area has increased 13% during the past 4 years.
We build trust.
The second important benefit of working with my company is our ability to build rapport with clients. Most of the buyers in the Downtown area are from out of town, so they need a realtor they can trust, who can understand, within a few hours or with a phone call, their needs and their fears. We can be the most knowledgeable realtor in the area, but if we donít spend time asking questions about the expectations and habits of our clients, then the chances of finding a suitable condo will not be maximized. It is our job and priority to find the best match between our clientís needs and what the market offers.
I love the city.
Having spent 13 years in Miami is enough time to have experienced the neighborhood, but not so much time that I am unable to get in the shoes of out of town buyers who can still be amazed by the beauty of Downtown Miami. My admiration of the city translates in the passion I communicate to the buyers. Looking at the sunrise over the Bayside Marina, while being in the heart of the megalopolis of Miami, still gives me a feeling of excitement and serenity like in no other city.
We have an online presence.
Having an extensive and updated website, www.condoideas.com, to research 30 condos in Downtown Miami is an asset. Buyers can get a feel of the exact location they want to invest in, the condo they prefer and the type of floor plan they are looking for. They will find prices, photos and stats on the available units, as well as the sold units for every single Downtown condo.
We manage properties for investors.
Finally, my knowledge about rentals in Downtown Miami is also crucial for investors. In this neighborhood, 56% of condo occupants are tenants. Average rentals rates increased by over 26% from 2009 through the end of 2012. In March 2013, the average rent was at $2,425 whereas it was at $2,072 in May 2012. Job growth and new employment opportunities in Downtown have driven the demand up.
7. What My Experience Means for Buyers
My experience, backed by the benefits of my company, enables me to do the following for my clients:
My knowledge of the pricing points in the area has an immediate impact on my negotiation skills.
The average price per square foot for residential units in Downtown Miami has increased 26.7% over the last four year period. They have increased up to 14% on a year over year basis, from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. Mid 2013, they reached $374/sq ft for an average price of $439,000 in the Downtown Central Business District. With these statistics well anchored in my mind, it is easy to spot an overpriced property and make my buyers aware of it. Having access to comparable units for every condo is key in determining the correct offer.
Building a close rapport with my clients has helped me in different situations.
For example, a few months back, a buyer had enough confidence to tell me that he didnít have good credit due to a previous short sale, but he was quickly recovering and was expecting a bonus by the end of the year. After discussing his situation for a while, I recommended he buy in a preconstruction, such as Centro in Downtown. Due to the limited availability of financing, developers have implemented a new model for projected condos. Under the new model, developers acquire 50% of the price of the condo at various stages of the construction and the 50% remaining at closing. My client was relieved not to have to apply for a mortgage now, while still benefiting from the 2013 prices. He got a unit at Centro for around $340/sq ft. He had a chance to reserve a unit today, pay a portion of the deposit in a few months with his year-end bonus and wait 2 years until he has better credit to get a loan.
I am still bewildered by the beauty and convenience of the Downtown Miami lifestyle. I show my clients some aspects they would never have discovered by themselves.
Buying in Downtown Miami is buying into a lifestyle. For example, in what other international city are you so conveniently close to everything when living in the downtown neighborhood? We are ten minutes away from the airport, steps from the Port of Miami, a few minutes away from the beaches and the golf courses, within walking distance to shopping, trendy new restaurants and top notch spas, close to your office and in the heart of flourishing artistic hubs.
My website, www.condoideas.com, my clients a direct advantage because they can do their homework peacefully, at their pace, before or during condo hunting.
They become as, or even more, knowledgeable than myself, which gives us strength when confronted with an acute seller or listing realtor.
It is also convenient for my clients to have a realtor who knows about the rental.
My company specializes in out of town or international investors who do not have the time or the will to take care of their tenants. We provide a full range of services, from collecting the rent to paying their real estate taxes, to giving their accountant a profit and loss statement.
Since 70% of the buyers are from out of town, my role is to educate you on the area and walk hand in hand to guide you in the best direction.
I take the time to pick up my clients at their hotel, bring my international buyers to open a bank account, take them to the most typical restaurant and recommend several closing agents, mortgage brokers and home inspectors. My ability to speak four languages helps me translate some technical vocabulary they might not understand.
8. Common Buyer Questions
Buyers looking in Downtown Miami typically ask:
What are the benefits of buying in Downtown compared to the surrounding areas?
My straight to the point answer would be the ďall in one package.Ē In Downtown Miami, you can purchase a recently built condo for the same price as an older condo on the other side of the bridge. State of the art amenities, floor to ceiling windows, amazing views of the water, private elevators, the newest materials, famous interior designers and famous architects are the ingredients for a successful purchase. In Downtown you can move into a new, hassle free condo. The Downtown neighborhood has become a little Manhattan on the water. Everything is at your doorstep: shopping, restaurants, concerts, museums, marina, Broadway musicals, the Opera, the port of Miami and parks. The central location of Downtown means you are in proximity to the airport, South Beach, Wynwood, Midtown, the Design District, Key Biscayne and Coconut Grove.
Which condo building should I buy in?
I usually first put the condos in star categories, like hotels, according to their price per square feet. For example, if you have a budget under $300/sq ft, then you are in a 2 star category and you should look at the Loft Condos or the Centro
preconstruction. If your budget is from $350/sq ft to $450/sq ft, then you are looking for a 3 star condo like 50 Biscayne
, Marina Blue
, One Miami
or Met 1
. If you are looking for a 4 star condo around $500/sq ft, then opt for 900 Biscayne
. For 5 stars, you have no other choice than the gorgeous and elegant Epic, which sells around $650/sq ft. Finally, if you have an unlimited budget and you are looking for an iconic building with a helicopter pad on the roof, an indoor lap pool and a full floor residence, then look no further than the 1000 Museum
from Zaha Hadid.
From an amenity point of view, I would recommend the Marina Blue for its pool, beach volleyball court and putting range.
The 900 Biscayne has my favorite party room and movie theatre. The Ten Museum Park has the best spa. One Miami has great hallways and a delicious restaurant called Il Gabbiano. Epic has an awesome lobby, a great gym and the famous Zuma restaurant. As to which one is my favorite condo, youíll have to contact me to get my secret answer.
Is there a black list of condos?
A few years back, some buyers were scared to buy in condos where some units were in foreclosure, because they thought the entire condo was going to get thrown off budget and the maintenance fees would raise. Well let me tell you, those times are completely gone and you can safely purchase in any of the Downtown condos knowing they all have safe reserves. In any case, I would always recommend we analyze the financials of the condo building, since it is better to be safe than sorry.
Should I buy a resale or a preconstruction project?
My preference is always to go for the newest, but since most of the condos in Downtown Miami are recent, it doesnít really make a difference in terms of quality of the structure. If you want my personal preference, it would be an existing structure, so you can see what you are getting. Now if you are planning on moving to Miami in a few years or if you expect to have funds available at a later date, of course you can feel safe buying in a new project. Always be sure to ask if the developer has built other condos in the area, find out who the architect and the interior designer are, the exact delivery date, the amount of maintenance fees and how many units of the project have already been sold.
Where can I buy furniture?
The most affordable stores are right north of Downtown on Biscayne Boulevard. You will find nice, modern furniture at Modani, Go Modern, TUI, KMP, Kom Furniture and ModShop Furniture by Room Service. In Midtown, you can find great stores such as West Elm, Amati furniture and my Brazilian favorite, Saccaro. Of course the Design District is home to the most prestigious international furniture brands, but youíll have to increase your budget to shop at Baltus, Poltrona Frau or Fendi Casa.
9. Getting a Negotiating Edge
The key tactics for a successful negotiation are:
Request a quick closing
Offer a cash deal
Reduce the number of days for the inspection period
Increase the deposit amount
10. The Golden Rules of Buying
The three golden rules of buying a home in Downtown Miami are:
Work with a knowledgeable and trustworthy realtor who will close the deal for you.
Start your search online at www.Condoideas.com.
Take the time to walk in the neighborhood, shop and dine.
II. WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE SELLING A HOUSE IN DOWNTOWN MIAMI
1. The Importance of the Right Realtor
The most important thing for a seller to do is find a realtor who is knowledgeable about the historic trends, the sales and the upcoming projects in his neighborhood. At Condoideas Realty Group, we will provide you with the most updated statistics on the neighborhood of your choice.
I try to educate my sellers by given them tangible data.
According to the Downtown Development Agency, Greater Downtown has the largest volume of condominium sales compared to Miami Beach, Doral, Coral Gables or Aventura, with a record of 3,858 sales in 2012. The average sales price of $400,442 is the second most expensive after Miami Beach, which averages $563,186.
Another important statistic to be aware is the high condo absorption rate in Downtown.
93% of the units built during the last development cycle (2003-2012) have closed, compared to only 68% as of 2009. This means that the inventory is lower and there are fewer competing units on the market.
Another trend to demonstrate the market recovery is the depletion of the developer inventory.
In 2010, resales were three times lower than developer sales; whereas, the trend is quite the opposite in the first quarter of 2013. This shows that investors who had purchased distressed sales from the developers are now reselling these units to a different clientele, who are more inclined to purchase a way of living rather than a deal.
The most crucial number is that the volume of sales in Downtown condos has increased 38% since 2009.
In addition to an increase in volume, the price increased 26.7% for that same period. The average sale price per square foot in Downtown is $410/sq ft.
These are just some of the numbers Condoideas Realty Group always updates so we can provide you with a clear view of your competition. One of my favorite quotes is ďknowledge is power,Ē so be sure to have in mind the market trends before you list your house.
2. Seller Challenges
When working with a seller, I try to be aware of the challenges that could arise. I always sit down with my sellers at the beginning to assess the key aspects of a successful sale:
How many times do I get in a condo and the blinds are down? In Downtown Miami the views sell, but as a seller, you may be spoiled by it and donít even think about pulling up the blinds. Some of you will read this comment and think that pulling up the blinds seems logical and you could have thought about that by yourself. Nevertheless, I am sure there are things that you donít notice in your house and we are here to help you enhance them. With my little team of painters, handymen and designers, we give a fresh and inexpensive touch to your condo. Staging sells, you donít get a second chance for a first time impression. At Condoideas Realty Group, we pay attention to details because we care about the esthetics of your home.
A large portion of the buyers in Downtown Miami are from out of town. How do you find them and cater to them? At Condoideas Realty Group, we specialize in international clients. We always have a pool of foreign buyers ready to invest cash in Downtown Miami. We thrive to be pragmatic and find buyers depending on the economical strength or weakness in their economy at the time. We find Europeans buyers who want to speculate on their strong currency or who decided to invest in a country where the taxes are lower than in their own country. We look for Venezuelans who are the number one investors in Florida and for whom Miami will continue to be a magnet, even after Chavezís death. Argentines, according to a real estate report, have spent $2 billion dollars in buying condos in Miami. Condoideas Realty Group also targets Brazilians despite the slowdown of their economy and Canadians, who will forever see Miami as their favorite winter home.
Out of town sellers
You might not have even seen your own property since you closed on it a few years ago. I am very proud when you entrust me to take care of your property. From hiring a housekeeper to staging your place, to opening your FPL account since your tenant left, we provide a full range of services. You donít need to come back to Miami; weíll take care of everything for you.
In Downtown Miami, the chances are quite high that your condo is rented. I am known to be a very agreeable and tolerant person who can handle the most difficult types of tenants. From the ones who want to be present for each showing because they do not want their cat to go on the balcony, to the most untidy tenants who leave their socks on the living room couch, I think Iíve seen them all. Our priority is to sell your condo, so we bend backwards and adapt to every type of situation in order to show your place in the best possible environment.
Experienced listing agent
My 13 years of marketing and sales experience gives me a lot of credibility in the area. My job is to sell the prospective buyer on the assets of your unit and your condo building. They probably donít know Miami or your condo very well. The view compared to the other ones on the market, the desirable location of the condo compared to the new upcoming projects, the size of the pool and the state of the art gym equipment all make a difference. I have a proactive attitude and notify other realtors in the area when I have a new listing, instead of waiting peacefully at my desk for their phone call.
3. My Selling Expertise
At Condoideas Realty Group, we strive for excellence so we can provide the best services for our sellers:
International and local advertising
Advertising in Ocean Drive Magazine or Dining Out Magazine.
Postcards to residents in the neighborhood.
Email blast to our international database.
Regular communication with the national and international (Europe, Canada, South America) press, via press contacts and editorials with journalists.
Communication with real estate colleagues in Europe.
E-mail marketing to active realtors in Miami.
Featured on the homepage of our website, www.condoideas.com, which is ranked first on Google when looking for Yacht Club at Portofino condos.
Featured on www.condoideas.fr and www.condoideas.it to target the European market.
High ranking visibility on search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN.
Showing of the unit 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
Last minute showings.
Recommendations for real estate lawyers.
Move-out of furniture if seller is out of town.
Real Estate office advertising
Office window flyers.
The services we offer are an asset for you, as a majority of the buyers are international or from out of town. The more your property is exposed to a worldwide clientele, the quicker you will sell it. Most of the buyers are educated. They have searched online, so you need to be represented by a realtor who has done the same research.
I am an out of the box thinker and I always try to point out a certain aspect of your property which will attract buyers to it. Selling a house involves a lot of care and attention to details. I will sell your house as if it was mine. The same care, the same reactiveness, the same motivation.
4. Common Seller Questions
Before selling your unit, ask yourself these questions:
What price should I sell it at?
The chances are you own a condo and not a house if you live in Downtown Miami. Pricing it right is key. Last week, I had a seller who lives abroad tell me to place his unit on MLX for a price 10% higher than the other units in the building. He was very aware of that his unit was overpriced, but he told me that the odds could bring an interested buyer. Unfortunately this isnít the case. His condo is exactly the same (apart from minor upgrades) than the other 33 units in the same line. Selling a condo is not like selling a home. When you sell a home, the floor plan, lot and number of bedrooms are different from all the other houses in the neighborhood, so you might find a buyer who falls in love and is willing to overpay for it. In a condo, that doesnít happen. Your property wonít sell if itís not priced properly. Buyers are educated. They will search online for comparable units. Moreover, they will notice that your condo has been sitting on the market for a while and thatís never a good sign! At Condoideas Realty Group we will provide you with a market analysis of available, sold and pending listings so we can determine together the correct price for your unit. I know you love and cherish it, but our objectivity will sell it.
How long will it take for me to sell my condo?
This is the crystal ball question. It all depends of the price, staging and of course, the availability of your realtor to market and show it as much as possible.
What should I say to my tenant?
I am sure your unit is rented and you donít want to lose this source of income. Iím on your side and you are right. The best way for both parties is to negotiate a month to month lease at the lease expiration. It will give your tenant time to look for a new place and you will continue to receive income. Plus, I can often find a buyer who is an investor and will be pleased to continue renting your place.
5. Seller Stories
Clients I have sold property for in the Downtown Miami market include these stories:
The inventory has shrunk and buyers are having difficulty finding the properties they want.
Two years ago, I had met a seller in the elevator of 900 Biscayne who had asked me the price of his condo. You know, the ďelevator pitchĒ kind of stuff. Of course I told him an estimate, but asked him to come to my office to talk about it more seriously. He never came, but a week or two later a buyer comes into my office looking for exactly that type of one bedroom in Downtown Miami. So I called back this seller, who hadnít put his unit on the market, and he allowed me to show it to the prospective buyer. They hit it off and the deal went through. Of course this happens once in a blue moon, but it only happens because at Condoideas Realty Group, we know our market and we have insider deals.
A few years back, I had a penthouse unit on the market for $999,000.
Despite all my efforts, it wasnít selling. Prospective buyers always found some drawbacks. I thought they were minor drawbacks, but they didnít seem to see the big picture! One day I brought in a designer friend of mine who gave me some hints on moving around the furniture and buying a few accessories. The seller was from out of town and hadnít seen his place for a while. I asked the seller if he wanted to hire her or if he would let me move some of his furniture and refund me if I bought a few things. He agreed and gave me a $3000 budget. I shopped for cushions, lighting, fake flowers, towels and duvet covers. I turned around the sofas so it would be more Feng Shui and took new photos. The energy was different and the first impression of prospective buyers was good. They didnít look so much at the inside of the unit, but focused more on the view and location of the condo. After three weeks, I received an offer and we closed a month after.
6. The Golden Rules of Selling
The three golden rules to selling your condo are:
Market it to an international clientele.
Work with a realtor who has your best interest in mind.
Always look at the comparable units for sale in your building.