You’re selling your home – and you need information about the market. So your realtor gives you a CMA. It’s got all the info you need, and then some. But what is a CMA?
To help you understand this key piece of the home sale puzzle, we’ve put together a quick guide to CMAs. How they help you, what they don’t give you, and why they’re important. Read on to learn about CMAs.
What is a CMA?
When you buy or sell a home, a good realtor will give you an overview of the local real estate market. This snapshot is called a comparative market analysis, or CMA for short.
A CMA is an easy-to-digest report that can help you, the seller, set the best listing price to draw qualified offers for your home.
Your comparative market analysis is:
Because CMAs are created from your realtor’s multiple listing service (MLS) database, the results vary. It all depends on which search fields are filled out by your agent.
Each field makes the results more specific. What type of home is it? What’s the zip code? How many bedrooms are there? What about bathrooms? Square feet? Just about anything can be specified.
In the end, you’ll get a CMA that shows you which homes have sold in recent months. You’ll see their final selling prices and how many days they spent on the market.
The CMA is also a resource to scope out homes that will compete with yours. They’re the ones that most closely match yours in price, size, features, and location.
CMAs may even show results that vary between similar homes. One of them may just look better from the street or have a newer roof. One might have been more professionally updated and staged. Those small variations will show up in the selling price.
When looking over properties that have sold recently, you’ll see how long the homes were on the market. That’s when a realtor who specializes in your neighborhood will show their value. They might’ve seen those homes before they sold. And they’ll tell you how they compared to yours.
However, a CMA won’t tell you why a certain seller chose to accept a lesser offer for their home. And you won’t see why a particular buyer paid more than market value. There are always intangibles like family issues, job transfers, and other causes.
That’s why your CMA isn’t a true home valuation. It’s just a tool (a valuable one) your agent can use alongside their knowledge of the market. Your realtor will use the CMA to suggest a pricing strategy for your home. But the listing price will be your decision in the end.
If you have a knowledgeable realtor, you’ll probably feel comfortable taking their suggestion. It’s vital for you to test an agent’s knowledge before signing a contract.
A comparative market analysis has many criteria. But some facts just aren’t part of a CMA. Subjective aspects of a home, like “mountain views” or “downtown living” won’t show up in the CMA. However, you’ll probably see them in the listing agent’s remarks. But who decides what a “mountain view” is?
4. Time Senstive
A CMA depends on current info for its value. You’ll need to rely on your realtor (find one who is an expert in Chattanooga!) to keep you in the know. They’ll give you updated information about sold homes and new listings.
Now that you know what a CMA is, get one from your agent. A properly put-together comparative market analysis is a sharp tool in the hand of a skilled agent. They’ll be able to use it to carve out a spot for your home to sell quickly – for the best price possible.