A lot of agents offer a free Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), but you’d be surprised how many are poorly done. Some are automated, some are dashed off quickly by agents hurry to sell a prospect on listing their property, and others are just plain lazy. Given that a CMA is often the first professional contact with a potential agent, shouldn’t the job be done right?
You should always ask about an agent’s process for the CMA. Don’t feel that just because it is freely offered you can’t ask questions. Most should be quite comfortable explaining their approach. Some will rely in part on a computer-assisted process, but the best will integrate their professional experience in a nuanced way.
In my opinion, here are three things every professional CMA should include:
1. Comps as close as possible to the proposed listing. A good agent should know neighborhoods and micro-regions within those neighborhoods. They shouldn’t scoop the whole metro to pick out a price. The closest comparable properties should be a point of departure.
2. A real understanding of the relative age and style of the proposed listing. Are we talking about a charming little 1920s farm house 3-bed/2-bath, or a 60s ranch? Is this new construction? Is it new construction in a McMansion ghost town, or a nice area?
3. An emphasis on closed sales in the past 90-days, not listing prices. Let sold and closed be your guide, not rumors, “what they heard it would sell for soon,” or any other shaky, unrecorded number.
Without these three components, a CMA may be incomplete. Pro pricing paves a smoother road to a timely sale. What better way to prove your experience as an agent?
I don’t buy listings with false promises. I want your home priced right and sold soon.