Buying in Miami: what you need to know
Do you want to move or invest in Miami and buy real estate? Purchase in Miami : Here is the essential information about the functioning of the real estate market and the process of acquiring real estate.
Why use a real estate agent?
In Florida, as in the rest of the United States, the real estate market operates around the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), a central file of all properties available for sale or lease. Updated in real time, this unique database is based on the principle of exclusive mandate: as the seller entrusts an exclusive mandate to a professional, it can give him maximum exposure by sharing it in the MLS or it is visible from all other real estate consultants.
Unlike France, each part of a transaction (buyer / seller or tenant / owner) can use the services of their own real estate agent. Each agent is remunerated through a shared fee. One represents the buyer and the other the seller. It is up to the seller to assume the fees of both agents whether it is a rental or a sale.
Since MLS centralizes all properties for sale or rental, you do not need to visit several real estate agencies to find the property of your dreams. Just choose a real estate agent with whom you have a relationship of trust. He will then accompany you throughout the process of research, offer and follow-up, until the conclusion of the transaction.
At BARNES Miami, each of the consultants has a solid experience of the local market, a perfect knowledge of the city and its different neighborhoods and lifestyles. Thanks to the access to the totality of the goods, your Consultant can initially show you options of districts and very varied goods, before refining according to your tastes and the most important criteria.
Available and responsive, the members of the BARNES team are there to save you time, allow you to find the good that suits you best, inform you clearly of the processes, stages, help you to defend your interests during the negotiation. They are real advisers.
We also offer access to recognized partners and professionals, each in their specialties (lawyers, accountants, bankers, architects, decorators, construction companies, craftsmen, inspectors, insurers & #8230;). Their services will allow you to optimize your investments and carry out your projects safely and in the best conditions.
Discover our Real Estate Consultants team in Miami.
The main stages of the acquisition of a property
- Research and selections
Once you have given your Real Estate Agent the content of your project (principal residence, secondary residence, investment) and the most important criteria for you, be it the neighborhoods, the size of the property, the price, its style, the type of environment desired, the proximity with schools, ... it will take care of selecting property, send you upstream the proposals, which will allow you, even upstream, and even if you are not there, to participate in the research. We can also give you access to a private portal that allows you to receive in real time the new properties that match the criteria.
Once the selections are made, visits can begin with your Agent. Note, in Florida and especially in Miami, visits can be made every day of the week and over the weekend. So Agents try to best fit your agenda, even if you are not available. In the event of removal, Barnes Consultants will conduct virtual tours.
- Supply and negotiation
Once the good has been found, place to offer and bargain. Your agent will advise you on the recommended price for this acquisition. Barnes has access to all comparable properties recently sold in the same sector. Our knowledge of the market allows us to advise you the most relevant price.
The offer is formalized by a contract that provides all the terms of the transaction (the price, the deposit, the method of financing or settlement, the response time, the length of the inspection period, the closing date of the contract). the transaction, the specific clauses). The offer is prepared by the real estate agent, with the help of a lawyer who will be the closing agent. When all parties agree, and have signed, this same offer serves as a final contract.
- Acceptance of the offer
Even though the down payment that will be paid on signing the offer is usually 10% of the amount of the sale, it is negotiable and its payment term also. The purchaser must transfer these funds to an escrow account, usually within three to five days of the date of acceptance of the contract by both parties. The availability of funds, especially if they come from the international, must be taken into consideration before the transmission of the offer because transactions in the United States can be done quickly, especially when it is an acquisition. cash.
- Period of inspection
In Florida, the most commonly offered contracts are "As Is" ie once the sale is made, the buyer has no recourse against the seller. As a result, an inspection period is proposed to assess the condition of the property. The duration is negotiable according to the good, its size, its age etc. It takes an average of 15 days for a home inspection, and 7 to 10 days for an apartment. This period is registered contractually. The assistance of your Real Estate Agent is essential during this phase which is complex, especially when it is necessary to reinforce the checks or to negotiate any surprises found.
An independent company comes on site, checks everything, runs appliances, air-conditioners, etc. sometimes, it is necessary to take other specialists to complete the inspection (generators, septic tank, roofs, plumbing, termites etc.). The inspector writes a detailed report on the condition of the property (at your expense, price according to the size and age of the property). This report includes estimated repair prices in case of apparent problem. The purchaser has the possibility to retract without any particular reason during the inspection period. He will then recover his deposit in its entirety.
If you have opted for the purchase of an apartment or a house located in condominium, we will get for you the official documents "condo docs" which describe the rules, particularly important when you want to rent in the future (some condominiums allow only the rent year-round, other 4 times a year, and sometimes even the rental is not allowed in the first two years of detention of the property ...). Also, the rules concerning pets vary from one condominium to another (size, weight, number of animals ...)
It is also essential and important to obtain the financial statements of the co-ownership. Some condominiums require an acceptance process to confirm your arrival as a new owner. You must complete a file for this purpose and sometimes an on-site interview is required before signing.
- Finalization of the transaction
Once the inspection period is finished, the succession is taken by the "Title Agent" who carries out the notarial steps: verification of the title deeds, the payment of the taxes and the absence of "seizure" on the house - "Link search" - organization of buyer / seller funds transfers (including payment of banks in case of credit). The document that summarizes the final transaction is called the closing statement. Added to this is the "Deed" which will be formalized by the city (with a seal) about a month after the "closing".
We will advise you a list of professionals with whom we work and who are accustomed to an international clientele.
The closing will take place between 30 and 60 days after the signature of the contract and the costs will be of the order of 1 to 2.5% of the purchase price, the difference being made according to a purchase on cash or on credit.
Your agent will accompany you during all this period, to the state of places of entry.
It should be noted that the physical presence - although recommended - is not necessary for the purchase, everything can be signed by electronic signature.
For more information about buying in Miami, check out our buyer's guide
Finance your purchase in Miami
Obtaining financing, if you do not have credit history in the United States is possible from 40% contribution of the value of the property purchased.
If you opt for a credit, certain steps are added in the transaction process. A fairly complete process that requires availability is necessary, especially in sending documents that will summarize the different components of your heritage.
A study is necessary in the context of the purchase of a house (analysis of the plot and land use plan). The bank will send a "appraiser" which will make an accurate estimate of the value of the property. Insurance is mandatory and must be subscribed before signing.
We benefit from a network of brokers and banking partners and insurers accustomed to managing credits for internationals, with whom we can put you in touch.
The costs to be expected during the detention of the property
We are here to help you anticipate maintenance costs for a property in Florida.
- Property tax
This annual property / property tax is between 1.8 and 2% of the purchase value of your property. Payable from November, it offers a reduction of 5% if it is paid in one go before 30 November.
- Condominium fees
If you buy a condo or house located in a community, you will have to pay these fees, which are extremely variable depending on the size of the goods and services offered. They will be communicated to you by your Barnes consultant when he presents you goods and confirmed at the time of the inspection period.
Insurance is not mandatory except when you buy with a mortgage. For a house, there is windstorm insurance, liability insurance (theft, fire, civil liability) and flood insurance (floods if it is in a flood zone). As part of a condo, part of the insurance is included in the condominium fees so only insurance for the interior of the apartment is necessary.
The maintenance of a house generally includes the company that maintains the pool, the gardener, the "pest control", the annual anti-termite plan, the maintenance plan of the air-conditioning units.
Note that BARNES Miami agency also offers rental management services, if you want to put your purchase to rent and property management service if you are not on site all year.
+ 1 (305) 361 2233
1150 SW 22nd Street
33129, Miami, Florida.
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Credit photo: Ines Henedus-Garcia, 2014& #8211; via Flickr under CC BY-NC 2.0