What is a CMA?
And What is the difference between a CMA and an Appraisal?
A Comparative Market Analysis which is known in the industry as a CMA, is used to help establish a realistic price range for a home. Although the format varies somewhat with each company and from agent to agent, a CMA is basically a written report that includes:
- A review of comparable properties in the immediate area currently on the market.
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms, lot size, architectural style, square footage, special features, such as: a swimming pool, spa, panoramic city, mountain or ocean view, year built, location, asking price and number of days on the market.
- A review of comparable homes currently under contract (in escrow) with all available pricing information.
- A review of comparable properties that have closed in the past 6 months, with final selling price.
The key to remember about a CMA is that, if properly researched, it will give you the hard numbers necessary to reach a realistic pricing decision. The price range you get from an agent using CMA may well be lower than what you get from agents who don't use one, but the odds are strong that your house will actually sell in the CMA suggested range, rather than at the higher price. And it will sell quicker because the CMA emphasizes market reality, not the upper limit price many of us prefer to hear.
Is there a cost?
The big advantage of our "Comparative Market Analysis" is that they are free, unlike appraisals which can cost several hundred dollars without any assurance they are more accurate.
Go Ahead and Value My House!
Have you ever wondered why the market value of your home differs from what your bank appraises it as? And what value is being used to set and/or increase your property tax bill? It's easy to be confused about the different valuations being used in the home buying and selling process, but knowing a home's value or worth in the real estate market will help you get a fair price.
There are generally three ways to determine the value of a home:
- Comparative Market Analysis,
- A Professional Appraisal
- An Assessed Valuation.
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), performed by an experienced Realtor, can determine a reasonable listing price for your home. When we prepare a CMA, we consider a number of factors including the home's size, age, location and amenities. I also research the list prices of properties that are currently for sale, have recently sold or expired in your neighborhood.
An appraiser (used by a lender) determines the market value of your home by looking at the supply and demand of like properties in the area, comparing your property with others that have recently sold, determining the amount of money it would take to replace your home at current material and labor costs and/or determining how much income a property would produce (this last approach is used more often for rental property, apartments and commercial property). Lenders frequently require a professional appraisal upon which to base your loan amount.
Local governments also perform independent appraisals to determine your home's assessed value, available on public record, so that your property is taxed fairly.
When comparing the CMA and the appraised values, don't be surprised if they do not match. There are a number of reasons that these differences occur.
The "market value" determined by the appraisal can be different from the "market price" determined through my CMA. In essence, the appraisal amount reflects the cost of replacing your home. But the goal of the CMA is to determine a price that someone will pay for your home. The sale price can be much different from the appraisal value, especially if there are multiple offers on the home.
We can help you determine the value of your home by researching it's history and performing a Competitive Market Analysis. We can also recommend professional appraisers if needed. Please contact us to discuss the current real estate conditions that affect the market price of your home.