Understanding CMA  


Comparable Market Analysis

What is a CMA?

No two homes are identical, which is why choosing a sales price or offer price for a home can be challenging. That’s where the comparable market analysis, or CMA, can be useful. The CMA is a side-by-side comparison of homes for sale and homes that have recently sold in the same neighborhood and price range. This information is further sorted by data fields such as single-family or condo, number of bedrooms, number of baths, zips codes, and many other factors. Its purpose is to show fair market value, based on what other buyers and sellers have determined through past sales, pending sales and homes recently put on the market.How is the CMA created?  CMAs are generated by a computer program supplied by your real estate agent’s multiple listing service (MLS). The MLS is available to licensed members only, including brokers, salespeople, and appraisers, who pay dues to gain access to the service’s public and proprietary data, including tax roll information, sold transactions, and listings input by all cooperating MLS members.


Listing agents generate CMAs for their sellers, and buyer’s agents create them for their buyers so both sides know what current market conditions are for the homes they’re interested in comparing.How accurate are CMA’s?  The CMA is a here-and-now snapshot of the market, based on the most recent data available, but it can instantly be rendered obsolete by a new listing, or a change of status in a home with the same criteria. Why? The market is constantly changing – new listings, pending sales, closed sales, price reductions, and expired listings. CMAs can vary widely, depending on the knowledge and skill of the person inputting the search parameters to the software as well as the number and type of data fields that are chosen. That means some features may not be included.


As informative as the CMA is, it should only be used as a tool and should not be a substitute for my real estate professional knowledge and advice. Every home is unique and the neighborhoods and the Real Estate Market are also unique. It is always a good idea to speak with a realtor about the CMA value of your home. If you would like a FREE CMA , have questions on Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)  or any part of the home selling process please, Don’t hesitate to Contact Me


CMA Report vs An Appraisal

There is a big difference between a comparative market analysis (CMA) and an appraisal.

A CMA is an estimated value of your house based on recent sales in the area and on data you enter about the size and condition of the house. A CMA can be obtained on most realtor sites. These reports are estimates. They are useful, but they are not always conclusive. You should always talk to a realtor to get an accurate value for your home.

An appraisal is handled by a licensed appraiser that analyzes the value of a piece of property, from real estate to jewelry. Using several types of pricing models, and after visiting your house to see for themselves its size, style, condition and amenities, the appraiser will come up with a current value. This will cost several hundred dollars, but is the most solid piece of evidence you will have for setting and sticking to your price. Buyers expect to negotiate hard. An appraisal can pay for itself many times over if it helps you set the right price to begin with.
It is always a good idea to speak with a realtor about the CMA value of your home. If you would like a FREE CMA , have questions on Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)  or any part of the home selling process please let Valerie Bomberger ABR Re/Max  Harbor Country Help.

How CMA’s Can Vary

Whether you are buying or selling a home, your real estate professional can give you a snapshot of the local market known as the competitive or comparative market analysis or CMA.

  • CMA’s are generated from multiple listing service data. They’re convenient reports that help sellers choose a listing price and buyers to make offers on a given home.
  • CMAs vary greatly depending on the search parameters that are input by the real estate professional, by type of home (detached vs. attached), zip code or street, number of bedrooms, baths and living areas, square footage, and numerous other search criteria.
They also tell you which homes have recently sold - six months, three months, one month - and which homes are currently on the market in the area and price range you’re interested in. As many fields of information as there are, some criteria simply can’t be listed in a CMA. If the MLS has a field for “ocean views,” you’ll know. But if not, you’ll have to learn more in the remarks section that is filled in by the listing agent. There you might find “great views.” But who is to say what makes a great view?

It is always a good idea to speak with a realtor about the CMA value of your home. If you would like a FREE  CMA , have questions on Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)  or any part of the home selling process please let Valerie Bomberger ABR Re/Max  Harbor Country Help.


CMA Results May Vary Even Between Identical Homes

One property may simply offer better drive-up appeal or is in better condition than the other, and that will be reflected in the sales price. The buyers and sellers motivation can’t be quantified. You don’t know why a seller agreed to take less for their home or why a buyer paid more for another home. Family problems, corporate relocations and other reasons all play a role. What you can learn from the CMA is how long the home took to sell. If it was quick, the seller was highly motivated. If it didn’t, it was probably overpriced. For these reasons, CMA’s are not home valuations. They are tools to use alongside your real estate professionals' knowledge of the market. They may have house-to-house knowledge of the market and be able to tell you why they think one home sold for more than another.


It is always a good idea to speak with a realtor about the CMA value of your home. If you would like a FREE CMA , have questions on Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)  or any part of the home selling process please let Valerie Bomberger ABR Re/Max  Harbor Country Help.


Berrien County Michigan Homes For Sale