I was having a conversation with someone recently who was telling me that in each of her past transactions the agents who represented her weren’t really that helpful in determining a price. Basically, she said, it would be really helpful if agents did a CMA report for a buyer when buying a piece of real estate – just like you do when you sell a home. I can’t speak for why the agents may have been reluctant in her case, but generally a quality agent will perform this service for a buyer just as they would a seller.
If you aren’t familiar, you may be wondering what a CMA is. CMA stands for Comparative (sometimes called “competitive”) Market Analysis. It is a report that compiles recent market activity. Generally, an agent will look at all homes that are currently for sale that are similar to the subject property (and often times will tour them rather than relying on the internet information), homes that have sale pendings, expired listings that never sold, and recently sold transactions. The agent will then use this information to help you determine a fair price for the house, whether you are listing it for sale or considering a purchase.
CMAs are almost always performed when listing a property. But when you buy a home, people tend to forget about this very valuable tool. Often times, agents don’t think to perform a CMA because a fair price is pretty obvious if you’ve been looking at homes for awhile. But, <em>if there is any question as to the value,</em> it is extremely wise to ask for a CMA – all you have to do is ask!