When you want to know how to price your Silver Spring, MD home, consult a Realtor®

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

When you want to know how to price your Silver Spring, MD home, consult a Realtor® not Zillow & Co.
Silver Spring, Md Dream Home
I spent hours yesterday preparing a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for a Silver Spring, MD home owner. I looked up the most recent comparable sales - there were 6 - and pored over every single one, taking notes about features, pulling tax records and comparing it all to the subject property. I calculated the average sold price for all homes as well as the price per square footage.

I then multiplied said average with the square footage of the home in question, made adjustments for additional features or lack thereof and arrived at a price range. As a back-up I also plugged in all the data into the RPR (Realtor Property Resource) which gave me a low and high end for a suggested list price which was in line with my first estimate.

And then, just for giggles mixed with an ounce of concern, I looked up where Zillow, Trulia and Co. would price our subject property. Zillow's estimate guesstimate was off by about $130,000. Trulia did a lot better but was still about 30K+ lower.

Why? They've never set foot in any of the homes for sale. They do not know the neighborhoods. They look at comps in the area, it appears, not just the subdivision. Sometimes that is necessary, if there haven't been enough recent sales we have to look around for comparables. Comparables is the key word here and staying close to the subject property. If there is a sufficient number of sales, however, there is no need to look elsewhere.

Our subject property is also located in an exclusive subdivision that is very different than most in the area. You just can't compare a 12 year old Colonial with a 3 garage garage, library, butler's pantry and high end finishes to a 1970s split level that has 1/3 the square footage and off-street parking. The only thing those two homes have in common is the zip-code they are located in.

So, when you want to know how to price your Silver Spring, MD home, consult a Realtor
® and not 3rd party websites.

The same is true when you are a Silver Spring, MD area home buyer and want to know how well a home is priced. The most accurate data comes from our Multiple Listing Service. Your buyer's agent will pull the comps for you and compare those to the property you are interested in. The decision how much you want to offer is yours, of course, but your Realtor
® will help you arrive at such. 3rd party websites? Not so much.

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Thompson Company, REALTORS

16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860


Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD, who has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers in Montgomery and Howard County, MD (and beyond) for 16+ years now. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running, hiking, and traveling, speaks German, reads a lot, blogs a little, and drinks too much coffee. 


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 Andrea Bedard, Thompson Company, REALTORS: from Just Listed to Just SOLD


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Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

You are absolutely right... Take all the info available and then interpret what it is telling you. The computers may get better in the future with all the nuances of the home sale.. but for now.. the only way to be able to confirm a CMA is with an actual Rea Estate Professional.. Great post.. and i have suggested!

Jan 13, 2013 11:21 AM #1
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

No one other than another concerned REALTOR gets how much work it is to do an accurate CMA.  Those online websites are so off the mark that its ridiculous.

Jan 13, 2013 12:36 PM #2
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Thank you Janis! Computer programs may get very close provided the data is actually accurate... I'm finding plenty of mistakes though. No matter how good those get, they just can't replace personal experience and impressions.

Hi Mona, it takes a lot more than comparing the data for a few comps in the 'area'!

Jan 14, 2013 01:38 PM #3
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Andrea, I darn near jammed my finger trying to get to the "suggest" button!  Your post is SO right on target, and I have had both buyers and sellers doubt my painstaking CMA's because "Zillow says..."  It just KILLS me!  As a matter of fact, I have been keeping a running record of about 50 properties that are for sale.  I wrote down their Zestimate, and i'm going to record  the actual sales price.  I think it will make an eye-opening blog post.  Well done!

Jan 16, 2013 11:47 AM #4
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Ha! Thank you Melissa. But it looks like this wasn't the topic of the day ..

I like your project. It's going to be one interesting blog post. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm going to keep track, too, at least for all the properties I'm doing a CMA done. What a great idea!

Jan 16, 2013 12:58 PM #5
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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