The importance of a comparative market analysis in selling your home

Posted by The Cascade Team Real Estate on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 at 10:38am

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Selling your home these days isn’t as simple as it used to be. With the explosion of real estate marketing on the Internet, prospective buyers can do their initial home shopping online. While this means that your listed property will be viewed by more prospective customers, it also means that many other properties will also be showcased, making for a much more competitive market. While sales in the existing home market went up nine percent in January 2013, the market has not fully recovered from the 2008 housing crash. This means that mortgage credit is still tight, which may prevent some prospective buyers from qualifying for a home loan. In such a competitive market, establishing a realistic selling price for your home is a critical component of a successful sale.

One of the best tools for determining the actual sale value of your home is to use a comparative market analysis. This document is the tool that real estate professionals use to help you to determine the value of your home, based primarily on recent sales of similar homes. Because every home is to some extent unique, a thorough and timely comparison of your home to others currently on the market is one of the best assets you can use to help you price your home for sale.

There is no standard format for a comparative market analysis, and the length and complexity will vary with the size of the market. In a small community with limited home sales, prices may be very subjective. In larger towns and cities, the large number of houses for sale allows for a more objective pricing based upon a number of homes, which have many features in common. Almost every comparative market analysis will present information from properties listed in five separate categories reflecting the status of all listings in the past 6 months. A six-month period has been found to be a long enough period to allow for both a representative sampling of prices and a partial barometer of pricing trends. Of the five categories listed below, only the Sold Listings give you highly reliable pricing information. Listings are categorized as follows:

Active Listings. These include the homes in your area currently listed for sale and the prices asked by the sellers or listing agents. These prices only let you know what your fellow sellers are “asking”—not what they are actually getting. It may help in setting a price.

Pending Sales. Do not confuse these houses with those that have been sold. Deals can go sour for a variety of reasons and the house may come back on the market.

Sold Listings. These sales figures will reflect the price actually paid for the homes.

• Off the Market. These are the houses that were listed, but the listings were subsequently withdrawn or cancelled.

• Expired Listings. These are homes that did not sell, and the owner or listing agent allowed the listing to expire.

It is at this point in the report that the subjective part of the analysis really begins. Information on recent home sales is culled from listings of houses roughly comparable to yours. The greater the similarity between your house and the recently sold houses, the better you will be able to determine a saleable, but fair price. Listed below are several important factors, which have consistently influenced home sale prices:

• Location. You don’t have to be a realtor to have heard of the realtor’s mantra, “Location, location, location.” Simply stated a bad location drives the value of a property down while a good location drives it up. No matter how nice the house, if it is in a rundown neighborhood or noisy location, its value will be well below similar houses in a quiet, well-maintained neighborhood. A house with an ocean view, will sell for much more than one without such a view. For parents with school age children, which school district the home is in may be the deciding factor. Location matters!

• Square footage. It is the most basic standard of measure amongst comparables. All things being equal, people with families will usually opt for the larger house.

Condition. Unless your price is well below the market, nobody wants to buy a fixer-upper. Smart consumers just don’t buy houses that need a lot of repairs. You buy the house with the new roof, not the one that needs one. Similarly, interior upgrades reflect pride of ownership.

• Amenities. Does the house have one bathroom, or two? Did you want that pool, or would you have preferred a yard?

Community & School.  What school a home is assigned too, proximity to shopping, libraries, and amenities also play a huge factor. You can search and explore those factors here using our community tool.

A comparative market analysis is the most thorough assessment tool you can use to price your house. It also goes without saying; you will also want one when you buy your next home. By clicking on this link: Free Home Value Analysis you can receive a detailed report that will show:


• Actively Listed Properties

• School & Community info

• Actual Sold Properties

• Any Area in Washington, San Diego or Arizona

• Current Pending MLS Homes in your area

• Any Property You're Interested In

• Actual Sold Home Prices

• Easy to read and understand

• Days on Market

• Final Sales Price v/s Asking Price


 Our Formula For Home Selling Success 

What is our formula for real estate selling success in the Greater Seattle, Phoenix & San Diego housing market? We have a very defined home selling process that every MLS listing goes through to ensure that you have all the necessary real estate tools for successful home sale. The Cascade Team Real Estate is a company like no other, because of these tools and marketing we provide our home sellers. We understand that in today’s ever changing real estate market, home sellers expect a high level of real estate agent service. Therefore we utilize technology to keep our home selling clients up to date at all times and provide added value to both home buyers and sellers in the real estate transaction. The effective use of these tech tools allow our local Seattle area agents to focus more of their time on servicing our clients and getting their home sold, while still providing the most comprehensive real estate marketing program available. In the end, you get the perfect combination of online real estate tools and personal service when selling your home.

Contact one of our local Real Estate Agents now to learn more or to have them answer any questions you may have!

Real Estate Agents That Offer YOU Local Knowledge & Personal Service

Cascade Team Real Estate agents spend their time serving customers, studying the market and touring homes, so they can provide the most accurate housing market data for their client. This helps you better understand the competitive environment, pricing strategies and provides an edge in the negotiation process. In the end, you save thousands in commissions and get better service. It's what we call Simply Outrageous Service.

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