A comparative market analysis (CMA) is an estimation of the current market value for a property. The value is based on area statistics and comparable sales data for a subject property. The value established by a CMA is usually the combination of data from currently active, pending sales, and recently sold listings that are very similar to the subject property. Since every home is unique, much of the determination of value is left up to opinion; therefore values may vary.
SHOULD YOU GET A CMA?
The purchase or sale of a home is a major transaction, so a CMA is essential for both buyers and sellers to understand the value of the home. CMA's have traditionally been performed for sellers to establish a proper list price. List a home too high and buyers will pass without ever taking a look, too low and you may be leaving money on the table. You should sit down with your Real Estate agent and discuss the results of your CMA before taking any actions.
FREE ONLINE HOME VALUE ESTIMATES
There are multiple websites out there ( Zillow for example ) that provide free home value estimates. In our opinion, completely relying on a website that uses automated valuation based on varying degrees of historical sales data is never a good idea. Websites with online value estimates can be good tools to use, but don't rely on them too heavily. Get a CMA to see the actual data from current sales that have occurred in your area which truly effect the value of your home.
IS A CMA THE SAME AS AN APPRAISAL?
A CMA IS NOT AN APPRAISAL. An appraisal is a comprehensive evaluation performed by an independent professional appraiser for a fee (usually $350+). With a CMA, the Real Estate agent's experience in the business and familiarity with the local area can affect the accuracy. Typically, a CMA prepared by an agent with proper knowledge of the local market is right in line with your home's appraised value. A CMA can be a very valuable tool in a Real Estate transaction.