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What Is A CMA Report


A comparative market analysis (or CMA) is a report that a real-estate agent prepares to help clients determine the home's value. This report examines three to five properties that are similar in size, age, and quality to the home being analyzed.

Buyers can use CMAs to make sure they are making an offer on a property that is competitive. Sellers can also use CMAs to determine the listing price.

What Is Included In A CMA For Real Estate?

CMAs should contain descriptions and data points of comparable properties (called "comps") to help determine the fair market value for the home being evaluated. The best comparable homes are usually sold within three to six months. It can be difficult to find comps that have been recently sold in rural areas and slower real estate markets.

These are the homes that most likely will be left out of a CMA.

  • Active Listings:

    Homes on the Market could be Mispriced. Until a property is sold, there's no way to know its true value.

  • Pending Listings: 

  • While pending listings are not a reliable indicator of a home's value since it isn't yet closed, they can be a useful tool to help you determine the price of your home. Your agent might be able to provide details about the contract price for a pending listing rather than the public price. This could allow you to use the property as a comparable property.

  • Deactivated Listings: 

  • Since it's impossible to know what a buyer would pay, agents will avoid listings that have been removed from the market recently.

Example Of Comparative Market Analysis

Let's suppose you are interested in buying a home listed at $230,000. The home is a single-family, three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in the city. It is located in a great school district and has low HOA fees (under $100 a month). In addition, the home has been updated recently with new paint and new finishes.

To prepare a comparative analysis of the market, your agent will compile comps using these criteria:

  • Sold Date: 

    Similar homes are often sold in the past three to six months or less, and sometimes within one year for rural areas.

  • Location: 

    Comps are usually located in the same school district or neighborhood as the homes being evaluated.

  • Size: 

    Comps usually have the same number and type of bedrooms and bathrooms as their neighbors, approximately the same square footage, and the presence or absence of basements and garages.

  • Year-built:

     Comps should be of a similar age unless one home has had extensive renovations.

  • Quality:

    Comps should have had similar upgrades and maintenance, have the same finishes and features as their owners, and maintained at an identical level. Even if the homes were built in the same year, they would not be comparable to those with older systems or finishes.

  • Fees and taxes: 

    Savvy agents try to reduce comps by comparing comparable HOA assessments and tax rates. Why? Because all factors must be equal.

Similar Homes Can Be Found In The Same Area, But They Are Not Identical

Your agent won't have to match every home because no two homes will be exactly the same. Instead, agents will evaluate comps and get as close to the property as possible before making an informed recommendation about the home's worth. This is an example of valid comps, but not identical to the one above.

  • Comp 1 was purchased for $235,000. Comp 1 sold for $235,000.

  • Comp 2 was purchased for $275,000. Comp 2 sold for $275,000.

  • Comp 3 was purchased for $245,000. Comp 3 sold for $245,000.

These comps will help you determine the value of the property you are interested in purchasing. It can be anywhere between $255,000 and $272,000. In addition, an agent can help you decide a price for your home.

Is The House CMA Inclusive Of The Price Per Square Foot?

Your CMA may include the price per square foot. This is because it can be a significant factor in evaluating similar homes. Your local real estate market will determine whether your agent uses price per sq foot to prepare your CMA. price per square foot may not be a reliable method of comparing a single-family home with a condo or an old single-family house to one that has been renovated.

What Is The Difference Between Running Your Own Online Comps And A CMA?

CMAs can be provided by local real estate professionals who have more market information than a layperson. You can also compile a preliminary market analysis of your home using public data online. Professional comparative market analysis can help you determine a fair and reasonable offer price before you make an offer.

CMAs can be more valuable than just researching comps by yourself.

  • They are more precise: 

  • Agents have access to additional information buyers might not have. For example, if an agent notices that a similar property has sold at a high price, they might be able to call the listing agent and ask why. If a property sells for less than expected, it may be because it was bought by a cash buyer who is willing to close quickly.

  • They include unique information:

    Agents have access to the local MLS to obtain a wealth of information about a particular listing. The listing agent provides this information. They may also be able to see details about financing for a recently sold comp, which could impact the final sale price.

  • They are familiar with the local market: 

    Each market is different, and the CMA-drafting agent will know how to adjust prices to reflect differences in home values. They are also familiar with the types and neighborhoods that are most in demand.


CMAs are an essential tool in the home-buying process. A properly prepared CMA can help you avoid overpaying for a house. Your home is probably your largest investment. The short- and long-term effects of overpaying for a house can be devastating. This could include a lower appraisal from the lender or a poor return on your investment when the time comes to sell it.

How To Obtain A Comparative Market Analysis

A licensed agent can provide you with a CMA of every property you are interested in during your home-buying process. They will usually do this without your asking. They are there to help you find the best price for your home.

What Is The Difference Between A CMA And An Appraisal?

A CMA and appraisal are not the same things. However, an appraisal uses a similar process to compare properties to determine value. An agent completes a CMA, while an independent licensed appraiser performs an appraisal. Lenders often require an appraisal during the escrow period to finalize your loan.

How Can Buyers Make A Home Market Analysis Of Their Homes?

You are not ready to work with an agent, but you still want to determine the home's value that interests you. Although you can still do a home market analysis using these resources, an agent can give a more precise CMA once you are ready.

Locate The Comps

Pay attention to details such as location, days on the market, size, and features. Also, remember to check taxes and HOA fees.

Reduce your search results down to three to five properties that are most similar to the one you're interested in. Use these to determine a price range. A CMA is still the best option.

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