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Your Home’s Market Value

Knowing what your home is actually worth will benefit you tremendously when you’re trying to sell. It may seem like a quick check of similar homes in your neighborhood would be a good guide for market value, but it’s actually a little more complex than that. What you need is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which you can get from a real estate agent in your area.

What is a CMA?

A CMA is a comprehensive report about the value of your home in context with comparable home, or “comps” in your area. It’s not the same thing as an appraisal, nor can it substitute for one. But it is an important report that will tell you:

  • What homes similar to yours are actually selling for (not just the list price)
  • How long it’s currently taking for homes like yours to sell
  • What the difference is currently between the listing price and the actual selling price

The listing price of homes, is not an accurate picture of what comp homes are worth (because you can list your home at any price – that doesn’t mean that’s what people will pay for it. The market value is what people will pay for it.) Resent sales prices, the more recent the better, are more accurate. The most accurate (because it’s also the most recent) are pending home sales of comparable homes.

When Should You Get a CMA?

You can get more than one! It may be a good idea to get one when you are first thinking about selling your home, just to get a lay of the land. You probably will have to put some time into preparing your home for selling, and possibly do some home improvements, which could take a few months. So, especially if the housing market is fluctuating, you need to get a second CMA done right before you list your home. That way, it will be as accurate as possible.

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If you list with a Realtor, they will generally provide you with a CMA for free. If you don’t use an agent, you can still obtain a CMA for a nominal fee. An agent will be familiar with the comparable homes in the area, and has the expertise to guide you on the market value of your home based on both the CMA and his/her expert opinion.

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Why Not Just Use the Appraisal?

An appraisal costs a few hundred dollars, and it’s something the lender generally wants. You probably got an appraisal on the house you now own, when you took out the mortgage. That will be outdated by now! An appraisal is a professional’s opinion of the value of your home, and it does use comparable recent home sales to determine the value. However, the appraiser doesn’t go visit the comparable properties. A CMA is the recommended method for valuing your home when you’re selling, because it’s done more from a marketing perspective.

Call Real Estate Yogi to Get All the Expertise You Need to Sell Your Home

Real Estate Yogi is nationwide database of experts in real estate, home improvement, inspections, finance, legal, credit counseling, and more. We can help you determine the market value of your home and so much more! The first consultation is always free, and there’s never – ever – any obligation to purchase services!

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