Edward Sugden's Blog

What Does the Term CMA Mean in Real Estate?

Posted: February 01, 2017 at 12:00 AM by Edward Sugden

The definition of a "CMA" or comparative market analysis is an evaluation of similar recently sold homes (also called comparables or comps for short) that are near a home intended to be sold. CMA's give an understanding of the current market value of a home and are usually prepared by a REALTOR®.

The value of your home can sometimes be tough to predict and information available to the average home seller or buyer can be untrustworthy. Online sites like Zillow and Realtor.com can be fun to play with but only a professional can give you an accurate estimate of your home. There are too many factors that come into play when evaluating the the price of your home and even the most complex algorithms are not able to predict as accurately as a real person who has actually stepped foot in your home. Even Zillow knows this and post their accuracy ratings. As of November 1, 2016 St. Louis has a rating of 1 star which by their definition means they are not able to compute an accurate estimate.

If you are interested in learning your home's value I am happy to prepare a CMA for you. The best part is it is Free! 

When should you ask for a CMA?

  • If you are planning on selling your home.
    • Although no CMA is 100% accurate it can give you a realistic expectation of what you home may sell for. Setting the price too low means less money in your pocket while setting the price too high means it might not sell at all.

  • If you are planning on writing a contract on a home.
    • There are many emotions that come into play when purchasing a home and you don't want them to get the best of you by overpaying for a home. That's why its best to have a professional working by you side to guide you through the process

How is a CMA prepared?

The first thing to be done is to have the professional do a walk through of your home. This can give the agent an idea of the condition of the home and the neighborhood. If you are planning on selling this can also be a good time for the REALTOR® to point out things that should be done to improve the value.  Sometimes the little things can make a big difference.
After the walk through the REALTOR® will have an idea of the features in your home and comparing them to similar homes in your area.  Some of the features that will be taken into consideration are:
  • Square Footage
  • Number of Bedrooms
  • Number of Bathrooms
  • Kitchen Features - Updated or not, Appliances
  • Basement - Finished unfinished, Walk-out
  • Style of Home - A two story cannot be compared to a ranch and likewise.
  • Garage
  • Age of Home
  • Lot Size and features 
  • Mechanics - Type and age of heating and cooling system, hot water heater, plumbing and electrical systems
  • Location

Although a CMA done by a professional can give an accurate value of a home it is not an appraisal.  An apprasial is comprehensive evaluation preformed by an independent professional for a cost. When purchasing or selling a home it's important to use a REALTOR® with local market knowledge as their CMA will typically be close to the same value as an apprasial. This is important so that you can choose the listing price where your home will sell quickly and for the highest amount possible.

By: Edward Sugden REALTOR
®. Visit my website at www.EdwardSugden.com

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