Real estate agents routinely provide a market analysis when meeting with prospective home sellers. Commonly, this document is called a CMA (comparative market analysis), BMA (broker market analysis) or BPO (broker price opinion). The acronyms are interchangeable. For this article, let’s use “CMA”.
The CMA is an estimate of a home’s value based on other homes for sale AND recently sold, similar properties in the immediate area. These similar properties are called “comps”. CMA reports enable sellers to decide on the best list price for their homes. By evaluating your home’s age, size and features against other neighborhood sales, you will become educated in the art of correctly pricing the house. You will also learn from the CMA the number of days it took to sell the comps and how long current active comps have been on the market.
The CMA will provide extensive data comparing your home to others in a concise, organized, and objective manner that is easy to understand. The report is summarized by stating a dollar range within which to list the house and an anticipated sale price for your home.
Buyers shopping in your neighborhood diligently keep an eye on what is for sale, what is pending (waiting to close) and the price for which these houses ultimately sell. They will be represented by agents who are also on the alert and counsel their clients to avoid overbidding. Due to the current competition among buyers, your house might actually sell for more than the list price but should still be priced carefully to attract the most offers.
Your likely goal is to sell your home for the best price and as quickly and painlessly as possible. Your agent’s goal should be the same. Take time reviewing the information provided in the CMA and then enjoy the image of a For Sale sign in the front yard!