In real estate we use a Comparative Market Analysis, commonly referred to as a CMA report, as a tool to help a home owner more accurately price their home in a given market. The CMA report is created by a Realtor providing information to you by comparing your property to properties similar to yours. This is a service that we offer to our clients at no cost to them.
In order for your agent to provide a precise report, it is important that your Realtor personally visit your home to get an idea of the condition of your property. This meeting is not intended to be a property inspection; your agent will not climb up on your roof looking for leaks, or crawl under your home to check out the foundation. This initial viewing is intended for the agent to get an idea of to how your property will show compared to others in the neighborhood. The condition of your home will have value. If your property is in better condition than others in the area, recently painted or has more upgrades for example, this could be added value in your CMA report. Remember to let your agent know what improvements, if any, you plan to make before you put your home on the market. They will consider the location of your property in your neighborhood too. Do you have a better view than your neighbor? Or, do you have better location in the neighborhood? This could also add value. These are some of the factors taken into consideration when putting together your CMA and will give you and your agent an idea of how much your property is worth in the current market.
Next your agent will gather data provided by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to compare homes similar to yours in your neighborhood that have recently sold. This will give you an idea of what buyers are spending on properties in your area. Some of the other things that we take into consideration are, the age of the structure, the size of your home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the size of your lot if it is a single family home. Your agent will also look at other properties in your neighborhood that are currently listed for sale, “the competition”. You will want to be competitive in your pricing to get your home sold in a reasonable amount of time.
To clarify, a CMA is not intended to be an appraisal. The CMA is simply a guide to help you price your home for sale. An appraisal is always performed by a licensed appraiser. The appraisal is typically ordered by the buyer’s lender to determine value. Is the home worth the price that is asked? The lender is considering the risk of the loan. As a home owner, you can also order an appraisal to put a value on your home but there would be a fee involved.
The CMA report is also useful to a buyer. As a buyer, you can ask your real estate agent to run a CMA report before they write up an offer on a property. Your agent should discuss the results of the report with you to help advise you on a fair purchase price for the property. The final decision on how much to offer for a property is always the buyer’s.