Whether you’re a buyer or seller, your agent will give you a market snapshot known as the comparative market analysis (CMA). Comparisons are based on similar homes within a given search area, using size, age, features, condition, location, whether the homes have sold recently and which are currently on the market.
Buyers use CMAs to help them make offers while sellers use CMAs to help them price their homes for sale or to adjust the price. As soon as a home sells or a new home comes on the market, the previous CMA is no longer relevant and your agent can generate a new one for you.
Prices may vary widely, even between identical homes. One property may simply offer better drive-up appeal or more extensive updates. CMAs differ widely by search perimeters like number of bedrooms, views, swimming pools, or a broader search area.
There’s always going to be a home that sold for an astronomical figure, or the one that sold for pennies on the dollar, so you might throw out the highest and lowest priced homes because there’s no knowing why a seller undersells or a buyer overpays. Family pressures, corporate relocations, and other reasons won’t be in the CMA.
Consider how quickly homes are selling, whether they sold for list price or above, or if homes are experiencing price reductions. Your agent will explain how home sales are trending and what strategies may work best for you to get the home you want.