A CMA or a Comparative Market Analysis a ballpark range for the value of a piece of property. An online CMA is a best guess given the data the person requesting the CMA provides. Today even just an address has a lot of “Big Data” attached to it. While some properties can be crazily off the real target value in a non-conforming property, other time as in the instance of some subdivisions or town home complexes the price can be spot on. Here are some reasons why:

  • A block with two dis-similar buildings might be zoned differently than the surrounding area.
  • A home in a sub division might have the only view lot in the neighborhood and have many custom tasteful updates or a much larger footprint.
  • A home in an area with several other comparables might be in need of correcting deferred maintenance or sometimes the home’s reputation might precede it as the result of a tragic event. (which by law doesn’t need to be disclosed in WA state)
  • One comp might be on a main arterial another comp on a quiet cul-de-sac.
  • The listing photos of the comparable down the street doesn’t include the photo of the Bonneville high tension power lines crossing through the front yard. While some people may not like the way it looks there are others that would see this as a health concern.
  • Perhaps there is a very unpleasant nuisance neighbor. The list goes on.

If you are living in a home, you already know what might affect the value of the home, maybe the noise from a busy front street doesn’t bother you, but a parent or a pet owner who is concerned with the hazards of swift moving traffic so close by, would see the value affected. In other words the value of a property is typically influenced by the immediate surroundings as well as interior features the bots can’t see or account for.

So by all means get the big data robot report here, but when you are really serious about putting what might be your largest investment on the market, be sure to get a qualified Realtor to put their eyes and expertise on the home to give you the right listing price in order to sell your home quickly and with the least amount of hassle. Get the old fashioned personalized eye on the prize CMA here

In a totally unrelated vein, here’s what Bill Mumy is up to these days

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This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.