No matter how attractive and polished your house is, buyers will be comparing its price with everything else on the market. Your best guide is a record of what the buying public has been willing to pay in the past few months for property in your neighborhood like yours.
Michael can furnish data on sale figures for those “comps” and analyze them for a suggested listing price. The decision about how much to ask, though, is always yours. The list of comparable sales he brings to you, along with data about other houses in your neighborhood presently on the market, is used for a “Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).” To help in estimating a possible sale price for your house, the analysis will also include data on nearby houses that failed to sell in the past few months, along with their list prices.
This CMA differs from a formal appraisal in several ways. One major difference is that an appraisal will be based only on past sales. In addition, an appraisal is done for a fee while the CMA is provided by Michael and may include properties currently listed for sale and those currently pending sale.
In the normal home sale, a CMA is probably enough to let you set a proper price. A formal written appraisal (which may cost a few hundred dollars) can be useful if you have unique property, if there hasn’t been much activity in your area recently, if co-owners disagree about price, and any other circumstance that makes it difficult to put a value on your home.