Market sell-offs can be great buying opportunities for dividend investors. That's because dividend yields move in the opposite direction of share prices. As a result, an investor can lock in a higher yield on new purchases.

Three high-quality dividend stocks that have taken a beating over the past year are Agree Realty (ADC 1.16%)Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA 0.63%), and Stag Industrial (STAG -0.82%). The sell-offs look like a great opportunity to scoop up shares and pad your passive income this month.

The funding to continue expanding

Shares of Agree Realty have fallen about 12% from their peak over the past year, which has helped push the company's dividend yield up to 4.1%. Meanwhile, the company further padded that yield by also increasing its payout by 7.7% over the past year.

Agree Realty has sold off, even though it has had a fantastic year. The real estate investment trust (REIT) invested a record $1.71 billion into 465 net lease retail properties last year, growing its portfolio to 1,839. Those deals helped grow value for investors, increasing the REIT's adjusted funds from operations (FFO) by 9.2% per share (easily supporting the dividend increase).

The company expects to continue growing in 2023. It entered the year with a strong financial profile, giving it confidence that it could acquire at least $1 billion of additional high-quality properties to continue growing its FFO per share. That should enable the REIT to keep pushing its dividend payment higher.

Still growing strong despite the headwinds

Mid-America Apartment Communities' stock price tumbled 27% from its peak last year, helping to push the apartment REIT's dividend yield up to 2.7%. The other factor driving that higher yield is a 12% increase in the dividend payment.

The company's stock price has been under pressure even though it had another great year. Its core FFO per share rose by more than 21%, driven by high occupancy levels and rising rents. While headwinds like rising interest rates and a weakening economy will impact its results this year, Mid-America Apartment Communities still expects to deliver healthy FFO growth of nearly 7% at the mid-point of its outlook.

Meanwhile, the company's strong balance sheet puts it in a great position for the future. It's investing nearly $730 million across six development projects it expects to complete over the next few years. The REIT plans to start four to six more developments over the next 18 to 24 months. It's also investing capital in redeveloping and repositioning existing apartments to capture higher rents.

The company has the financial flexibility to make those investments. As opportunities arise, it can continue acquiring land for future developments and operating apartment communities.

The steady growth continues

Stag Industrial's stock price has sagged over the past year, slumping almost 20% from its peak, helping drive its dividend yield up to 4.3%. The industrial REIT also recently gave investors a modest 0.7% raise.

The industrial REIT is coming off a strong year. Core FFO grew by 7.3% per share last year. The company acquired $467.1 million of properties and benefited from robust rent growth due to the strong demand for industrial properties. It signed over 100 new and renewal leases last year at an average cash rent change of 14.3%.

Stag is in a solid position to continue growing. Rents should keep rising due to healthy demand drivers, such as onshoring and e-commerce growth. Meanwhile, it has a solid balance sheet, giving it the funding flexibility to continue making accretive acquisitions. The company began this year with about $2.4 billion of deals in its acquisition pipeline. While it won't close all those transactions, accretive deals will help grow its core FFO per share and dividend.

Attractive income stocks

The sell-offs in shares of Agree Realty, Mid-America Apartment Communities, and Stag Industrial have pushed their dividend yields up to more attractive levels. Because of that, investors can lock in some enticing income streams these days, which should continue rising in the future. That combination of income and growth at a more attractive price makes these stocks look like great buys this March.