When looking at comparables in relation to doing a market analysis for a home Seller looking to sell, Realtors look at many factors. We will look at active homes on the market, homes under contract and recent sales, not more than 12 months back. I place more weight on the “Solds” because they are the reality of the market.

Proximity to the subject property is one of the first elements to an accurate CMA (Comparable Market Analysis). We want to use homes that are in the same subdivision, school district or zip code.

Style of home would be one of the next factors. We want to compare ranch home to ranch homes, two stories to two stories, etc. The market/marketability of a one story is much different than a two story.

Overall square feet would be next. I try to keep this number around 10%. In other words, if I have  2000 square foot home that I’m trying to do a CMA for, I’ll go from 1800-2200 square feet for possible comparables.

Amenities are next. Number of bedrooms, bathrooms, finished basement, size of garage, size of lot, deck, landscaping and quality of updates/ finishes. This is where it gets a bit more complicated and subjective. This is where an experienced realtor can really help.

Other factors that affect the calculations that go into a good CMA and selecting good comparables are: age of home, subdivision amenities, area amenities, age of major mechanicals, age of roof, size of lot, lot amenities,  etc.

Comparables are much easier to find in an established neighborhood of “like kind” homes. This is much more difficult in rural areas and areas of upscale custom homes.

Always remember that the purpose of a CMA is to approximate the market value of your property. It is not written in stone. Ultimately your property will be sell for what a ready, willing and able Buyer is willing to pay in the current market conditions. You will maximize the potential selling price by fully exposing the property to as many qualified purchasers as possible. This can best be achieved by incorporating various types of marketing, including the internet, MLS, direct mail, print advertising, word of mouth, social networking, etc.