CMA is real estate shorthand for "Comparative
Market Analysis." A CMA is a report prepared by a real
estate agent providing data comparing your property to similar
properties in the marketplace.
The first thing an agent will need to
do to provide you with a CMA is to inspect your property.
Generally, this inspection won't be overly detailed (s/he
isn't going to crawl under the house to examine the foundation),
nor does the house need to be totally cleaned up and ready
for an open house. It should be in such a condition that the
agent will be able to make an accurate assessment of its condition
and worth. If you plan to make changes before selling, inform
the agent at this time.
The next step is for the agent to obtain
data on comparable properties. This data is usually available
through MLS (Multiple Listing Service), but a qualified agent
will also know of properties that are on the market or have
sold without being part of the MLS. This will give the agent
an idea how much your property is worth in the current market.
Please note that the CMA is not an appraisal. An appraisal
must be performed by a licensed appraiser.
The CMA process takes place before your
home is listed for sale. This is a good assessment of what
your house could potentially sell for.
CMAs are not only for prospective sellers.
Buyers should consider requesting a CMA for properties they're
seriously looking at to determine whether the asking price
is a true reflection of the current market. Owners who are
upgrading or remodeling can benefit from a CMA when it's used
to see if the intended changes will "over-improve"
their property compared to others in the neighborhood.
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