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  • Andrea Garcia

What's a CMA and How Are They Used to Determine Property Values?

In my previous blog post, I mentioned that we would be diving into how a realtor can help you

with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Welcome back to our blog, your gateway to the world of property valuation! Whether you're a homeowner preparing to sell or a prospective buyer on the hunt, understanding the secrets of CMA can be your greatest asset. Join us on this journey as we unravel the CMA process, demystifying how realtors assess property values with data-driven precision. By the end of our exploration, you'll not only appreciate your realtor's expertise but also know how to leverage the CMA to your advantage in the dynamic reaal estate market.

Have you ever wondered how that "For Sale" sign magically transforms into a SOLD sticker? Or how a realtor can confidently price a home in a neighborhood they've never set foot in? The answer lies in the CMA—a comprehensive, data-driven assessment that unveils the enigma of property valuation. LET’S DIVE INTO IT!

Access to Data Sources

Realtors wield a potent advantage in the realm of property valuation through their unfettered access to a treasure trove of real estate data sources. Armed with this wealth of information, they can meticulously scrutinize the market's pulse, drawing from Multiple Listing Services and a network of property records. This access allows them to compile an extensive database of recent property transactions, active listings, and even those that didn't quite make it to the finish line. Realtors harness this data to craft a Comprehensive Market Analysis that serves as a compass in the turbulent seas of property valuation. It's this data-driven foundation that empowers realtors to offer their clients the most accurate and up-to-date insights into the ever-changing real estate market.

What’s MLS? MLS stands for "Multiple Listing Service." It is a comprehensive database of real estate listings and properties that are for sale or rent in a specific geographic area. MLS systems are typically operated by local or regional real estate associations and are used by real estate agents and brokers to share information about properties with each other and with potential buyers, sellers or renters.

Search and Filtering

Search and filtering capabilities within the MLS are the backbone of a real estate agent's efficiency. These tools empower agents to be highly targeted in their property searches, aligning listings precisely with the current market values and assisting buyers and their agents to determine offer values. Appraisers use the same techniques when assigned by a lender to complete a home valuation. These are some of the primary filters Realtors and Appraisers use in the MLS to determine the fair market value of a home.

Property Status:

  • Properties that have sold within the last three to six months for a comprehensive overview of market trends

  • Active listings, what are they currently priced at

  • Pending or under contract listings, phone the agent to understand the accepted offer value

  • Sold property values

Square Footage Match:

  • Realtors and Appraisers will typically search for homes that are within +/- 10%-15% differential of the subject property's square footage


  • Preferably within the same subdivision

  • Ideally located within a mile radius of the subject property

Condition Assessment:

  • Interior and exterior condition are evaluated

Further, ensuring an accurate valuation of your property starts with open communication between you and your Realtor. It's crucial to provide your Realtor with all pertinent information about your property, including any recent improvements or upgrades. Be sure to include details like when these enhancements were made and their estimated value. Realtors have access to specialized tools and programs that enable them to factor in these upgrades, ultimately supporting a higher market value assessment for your home.

Historical Data

The inclusion of historical data within MLS systems serves as a valuable reservoir of information for real estate professionals. Agents can delve into this treasure trove of past property transactions, offering them a unique perspective on the ebbs and flows of the local real estate market. By examining historical sales and pricing trends, agents gain insights into how property values have evolved over time in a specific area.

This historical context is instrumental in setting realistic pricing expectations for clients, understanding market cycles, and making informed recommendations. Whether it's assessing a neighborhood that has been steadily appreciating or identifying seasonal patterns in property sales, the historical data within the MLS empowers real estate agents with a comprehensive understanding of the market dynamics, ultimately aiding them in guiding clients toward well-informed decisions as it relates to a listing price or purchase price.

Accuracy and Timeliness

Once a Realtor has assessed your home's value, it's equally crucial to stay vigilant and keep a close eye on the market's daily and weekly fluctuations. Understanding real-time activity in comparison to your listed home's value is key. The last thing you want is to find yourself chasing the market, which can lead to frantic decision-making. Accuracy and timeliness are paramount in the world of real estate, and MLS data plays a pivotal role in this regard. MLS systems are engineered to deliver real-time or near real-time updates, ensuring that agents always have access to the latest, most reliable property information. This dynamic, up-to-the-minute data empowers agents to act swiftly on behalf of their clients, particularly in highly competitive markets where timing is everything. Be it a new listing entering the market or changes in the status or price of existing properties, real estate professionals can make well-informed decisions and keep their clients informed of the latest developments. In an industry where opportunities can emerge and fade in the blink of an eye, the accuracy and timeliness of MLS data are indispensable tools that enable agents to navigate the real estate landscape with agility and confidence

In wrapping up, understanding how much your property is worth isn't easy, but it's crucial. We've seen how realtors are like expert guides in this journey. They use special tools and know lots about your neighborhood. They help sellers get the most money for their homes and help buyers make smart choices.

If you're thinking about selling your place or buying a new one, remember that realtors are there to help you. They ensure fair deals for buyers and maximize your property's value for sellers. So, whether you're selling, buying, or just curious, realtors and CMAs are your friends in the world of real estate. Unlock your property's potential with a complimentary CMA. Contact us now!


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