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11/30/12

How Good is a CMA?



Q - Real estate agents often advertise that they will do a free CMA.  Can I rely on a CMA to produce the right asking price for my home?

A - A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) can be a good guideline but it depends on the properties that the real estate agent selected for the comparisons to your home.

The agent uses information regarding current properties on the market and those which have recently sold and are similar to yours in terms of size, location, age and other relevant criteria.  This process will provide a price range.  Remember that you, as seller, decide what price to list your property.  The agent provides you with the information BUT you are the decision maker.

There is a second step that I like to recommend.  It is good to see the context of the properties that the real estate agent selected.  I suggest that you ask your agent to provide a print out of approximately 20 properties that are above and below the price range selected for both current properties and sold properties. You can then see where these selected properties fit among all other properties in a wider price range.  This reduces any biases that may be present in the selection process and gives the seller an opportunity to see these properties in a larger context.

Seeing the bigger picture, the seller can then select the price with greater confidence and make adjustments as the market changes should this be required.

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