Pricing a home is no delicate matter. There are emotions involved. The data can be overwhelming. And then, there are the unknowns. The unforeseen market conditions that, to novice sellers, can seem like a black hole of “what ifs.”
This is where you, the real estate expert, comes in. You’re the person with all the answers.
It can be hard to go forward with a transaction if a seller and agent cannot agree on how a property should be priced. But with the following techniques, you can create a comparative market analysis (CMA) that will not only get you and your seller to a price agreement, but set the foundation for a productive working relationship.
A recent Inman article said “Without an effective plan for your CMA, you can’t expect to get anywhere in your real estate career.”
I couldn’t agree more. An effective CMA is the core of our business. Without it, you will self-destruct. But what I’m talking about in this post isn’t your average phone-it-in CMA. It’s the ultimate CMA. One that will knock your client’s socks off. And it all starts with these four things.
1. Securing the right technology
Tech-driven companies like MoxiWorks for example, are making it easier than ever for real estate agents to present a quality CMA to their sellers in a concise, reliable and effective manner.
One of its tools is MoxiPresent, and the goal of the product is to provide agents with enough information to become good consultants on the issue of price.
For its part, MoxiWorks claims that “agents using MoxiPresent do 43 percent more transactions every year.”
MoxiPresent enables agents to scroll through various presentations of pricing data that agents can share with their clients. They can look through similarly-priced properties on a map, look at dozens of listings with photos and factual details of comparable properties, look at charts and graphs of what is being marketed, what’s been cancelled and what’s recently sold at various price points. You can even compare properties’ actual sales prices with Zestimates.
The software then enables the agent to do a host of other things, like create open house, listing and relocation presentations, among other things. Agents can use pre-made templates or a simple page builder to create compelling presentations that are designed to drive business.
Adding another layer to the tool, MoxiWorks touts the interactive, multimedia aspects, which allow agents to include video and other rich media right into their presentation. It connects to MLS data, generates more listings and leads, and quickly narrows buyer search criteria. The software also provides market recaps and creates interactive presentations that get the job done with minimal bother.
Cloud CMA is another option. It has been around for some time and offers a great suite of tools that many find quick and easy to use. In fact, back in 2017, FitSmallBusiness.com conducted an extensive study on Cloud CMA versus the competition and it came out swinging, beating out HouseCanary and Toolkit CMA as best overall software.
They note, “We chose Cloud CMA as the best CMA software for real estate agents because it lets real estate agents quickly and easily create data-rich and attractive CMA’s and listing presentations. Even better, they offer goodies like pre-written and designed listing presentations, a home valuation landing page, local school information, walk score, Yelp reviews, One Click CMA’s, property tours, reports, and flyers.”
With a little digging, you’ll find MoxiPresent, ToolkitCMA, and Cloud CMA all make the cut for best real estate CMA software in 2019. Take the time to demo a few out and see what works best for you.
2. Scouring the market to assess neighborhood quality
This should go without saying, but the quality of a neighborhood has everything to do with home values, as does location. A home’s proximity to amenities, upkeep of streets, and certain negatives like road noise, can all affect your CMA.
But neighborhoods can also change rather quickly. Always refresh brush up on your neighborhood knowledge. Conduct a search online but also in person. Ask fellow brokers in the know, and always take advantage of broker tools like MLS and IDX listings to get a better understanding of the area’s history and where it’s going.
3. Educating the homeowner and suggesting improvements
To take your CMA to the next level you need to help educate the homeowner. Dive into the comps with them. Help them truly understand what the difference is between the comp and their home.
What can they quickly do to match the higher comp? Add a fresh coat of paint? Improve the landscaping? Update the floors? Discuss what a potential buyer could object to or love about their home. These are all important aspects to discuss with your seller and will essentially improve the CMA, while educating the seller on how and why.
4. Thinking like an analyst to win the day
Critical thinking skills are a big advantage in real estate. But if you’re not a natural, don’t fret. Many brokers are self-taught and the great ones, they never stop learning or hiring coaches to get better at their job.
For a solid CMA, you need to use every resource you can to get to an effective sales price.
Now is the time to consider old listings, stale listings, days on market. Compare current property values with past ones. Evaluate which homes were sold or expired and why. But don’t stop there. Take a look at what’s pending. Find out what’s been listed in the past six months and compare, contrast, and compare.
Get the picture? Gathering information is just a starting point. Learning how to use the data effectively takes finesse, which brings me back to point one: If you have the latest tech tools at your disposal, you can easily track, manage, and define the best case scenario for your CMA and your client.
Follow these tips and be a hero. Nobody cares for a weak CMA.