cma: Are You An Average Realtor? - 10/24/11 11:09 AM

Many Realtors when determining the value of a property utilize the Average Cost per Square Foot Method.  Simple enough.  You pull up the neighborhood on MLS, pull the sales for the last six months or so.  Do the math to determine what the average price per foot for the sales comes to then you apply that number to the square footage of the home .. Bingo you have the answer. A third grade mathematics exercise that Realtors trust to be the best way to determine the price a home is worth.
What if I were to tell you that … (15 comments)

cma: What Do You Do When There Are No Comparable Sales? - 07/19/11 01:34 PM
So what do you do when you have a unique property or a home that is located in an area where there has been no sales, or very limited ones that have taken place?
Playing ostrich with your head buried in the sand and pretending you don't see the problem or better yet it will simply disappear will not get the task before you accomplished.

It begins with the end in mind as the saying goes ... when you first visit the home and then work on an analysis red flags will wave.  At that moment, as … (21 comments)

cma: Does the History of a Home Affect the Value? - 03/15/11 03:04 PM
When researching the potential value of a home, one important piece of information is the history.  This critical component to the analysis is often overlooked as we scramble to locate ideal comparable sold properties.
Just as important as sales surrounding the home is the archive search for a glimpse into the past to what has currently taken place.
When providing an analysis for a buyer this should be a key element to provide to your client prior to an offer.  When you are invited for a potential listing opportunity, the history gives us great insight.  This especially holds true if … (16 comments)

cma: Piecing a CMA Together - 03/07/11 10:56 AM

Keep it simple .. always a great rule of thumb as you are explaining parts of the process of real estate to your clients.  The explanation on how you prepared your CMA can be challenging, especially if you do not have a seasoned buyer/seller.  To avoid the blank stares and engage them into a visual understanding, I came up with an analogy that I use when I teach CMA classes as well as discuss with clients.
Picture that all aspects of your home are like a Jigsaw Puzzle.  Each piece represents an intricate part/amenity regarding your property and it … (6 comments)

cma: Biggest Pricing Challenge ... Zillow - 02/03/11 10:48 AM
It's easy, it's popular, click here and bingo your home value is Zillow Magic Price appears.  As a listing agent I find that is one of my major challenges .. offers submitted where the agent & the buyer have gone to Zillow, the crystal ball with all the answers. 
Don't get me wrong, I think Zillow offers a great opportunity for agents to obtain business and has done an exceptional job of forging a presence on the Internet with a huge following.  Kudos for excellent marketing!  It is a presence I have just not felt drawn to because … (11 comments)

cma: Preparing a CMA - Is the Home Vanilla, Chocolate or a Swril? - 01/19/11 08:49 AM
Many CMAs prepared by Realtors value the property by the Average Price Per Square Foot Method.  The key word to focus on is AVERAGE.  This type of valuation assumes the home is average and just like the typical home found in the neighborhood/area. 
What if ...
The property has been highly remodeled? The home backs/fronts a negative influence like a traffic carrier street? The lot has a view amenity i.e. golf course, greenbelt, lake, heavy trees? The home is a total redo? A stigma like an unnatural death has occurred at the home? Some improvements/quality added features are present. The … (13 comments)

cma: Hey Appraiser, How Much Value Should I Give for a Pool? - 04/21/09 11:39 AM
A question I get at least once a week.  A huge pat on the back for thinking in terms of adjustments and not a price per foot.  To properly answer this question I would need to ask additional questions.
What price range home? Describe the pool, is it a gunite, diving, play pool, have a spa? Age of the pool? Condition of the pool? Features (water fall, fountain, etc.) Construction ... does it have stone surrounds, aggregate decking, etc.? Is the pool over built or under built for the price level? The answer is not a simple one and Realtors need … (15 comments)