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CMAs--Comparable Market Analysis

comparative market analysesThe most common method of determining a price for a house is the Comparable Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA will show exactly what properties that are similar to your house have sold for within a recent time frame. These analyses are based on fact, rather than opinion, and that information will always be of more value to you. Generally, CMAs will list houses in a particular location that are currently on the market, have sales pending on them, have expired from the market, and have sold. Be forewarned: it is primarily the SOLD properties that you need to be concerned with. What houses are listed for on the market is not always a good indication of what their value is, those that have pending sales will only tell you what the listing price is (not what it is going to sell for), and those that have expired because they haven't sold may indicate that they didn't move because they were overpriced.

If you are in the process of choosing an Agent, they should, as part of their listing presentation, develop and share a CMA with you. In addition, if the Agent is familiar with your neighborhood, they may be able to add some insight beyond just the numbers on the CMA sheet. For example, the CMA may show that the average sold price in the last year for houses similar to yours is $130,000, but the average of the houses sold in the last 2 months is $134,000, indicating an increase in market value.

If you are planning to sell your house on your own, many Agents will generate a CMA for you so you will have access to the same information. The hope, on the Agent's part, is that you will tire of your attempt to sell the house yourself (as many self-sellers do) and consider their services when it comes time to list. For most states in the U.S. you can also access information online at
HomePrice.net, which can deliver information (address, sold price and date, square footage and more) for up to 30 comparable properties. Click here for more information.

The CMA will most likely give you some general information about the houses that will be compared: Number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, the listing price and the sold price. It is important that the CMA focuses on houses similar to yours. If your house is a 4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath 2 story, a CMA that lists only 3 bedroom 1 bath homes is of little or no value. Likewise, a CMA that includes a number of properties from a neighborhood 2 miles away will have limited value. To have a good CMA you must have all of the similar sales in the neighborhood in the last year. Obviously, the fresher the data (the more houses sold in the last few months), the better the CMA.


In the following example, "your" house--the subject property--is 1292 Washington, marked with an "S"

CMA Example

COMPARABLE MARKET ANALYSIS

 

Address

Bedrooms

Baths

Square Ft.

Garage

List Price

Sold Price

DATE

S

1292 Washington

4

2

1804

Y

TBD

 N/A

N/A

1

1255 Washington

4

2

1788

N

$147,500

$145,000

1/03/07

2

1146 Washington

4

2

1896

Y

$152,900

$152,000

11/15/07

3

744 Jefferson

4

2 1/2

1912

N

$149,950

$149,950

10/5/07

4

912 Jefferson

4

2

1692

N

$145,000

$142,750

1/12/07

5

6602 Adams

4

2

1692

N

$154,000

$152,000

10/1/07

Average List Price: $149,870 Average Sold Price: $148,340 Average Sq. Ft: 1796 Average Sold per Sq. Ft: $82.59

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