Automated on-line estimates versus more accurate CMA
Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)
Obviously, you don’t want to just put up a for sale sign, wait for offers and then try to decide “is this a fair offer?”
When you are working with a real estate agent, they will put together a comparative market analysis of your home. They will give you their best estimate of how much your home is worth in today’s market. Note that the CMA is an estimate, not an exact science.
The agent will base his or her estimate of your home’s market value on properties that are similar to yours and that have sold in the past six months. Ideally, these properties will be right in your neighborhood. The agent will need to make adjustments for factors such as differences in the number of bedrooms. Note that homes that are currently for sale cannot be used in a CMA because those homes may not actually sell for the listed price.In the case of less common properties such as a brick Tudor, the agent may have to use Tudors form another neighborhood and make adjustments for that fact.
When trying to sell in a buyers’ market, you need to have realistic expectations of what your home will sell for. If you have had your home for, say, five years, you will have built up some decent equity. Don’t focus on the fact that you won’t be getting every last dollar of what your home was worth back when the market was peaking. You should still end up with a nice return on your investment.
Just because an agent comes back with a certain listing price does not mean that you have to agree with it. However if you demand that the price be increased too much and are not willing to compromise, the agent might not be interested in taking the listing. He or she might believe that the home will never sell at that price and that they do not want to waste money out of their own pockets paying for for-sale signs, flyers, gas, advertisements and potentially staging the home. Having said that, any agent should be flexibility in deciding on a list price.
If you would like an analysis of how much much your home is worth, please contact me.