I know it's not done much, but couldn't an agent say: "I'm going to show you how I'm going to market your house. I'm going to show you a lot of solid references. I'm going to advise you on things you should do to get your house ready to sell. And I'm a terrific negotiator. However, I'm not going to present a CMA prior to getting the listing because I don't want the decision to be reduced to 'Who's presented the highest CMA?' The market determines what your house is worth, and that doesn't vary based on different agents' CMAs. My skills are in advising you how to maximize the value, in effectively marketing your house, in assisting you in negotiating with buyers, and in making sure that the transaction proceeds smoothly. If you determine that I'm the best agent to list with--and I think you will--at that point of course we'll do a CMA."
If you choose not to go that route, then a potential seller will expect a CMA from you. So, while it won't get you the listing, failure to provide one without a strong counter argument may well work against your getting the listing.
Hope that helps.
Then, there's the one who needs to sell their home. It very likely I've left a few flavors out.
So, how do you sort out the sellers from the rest? If you knew the requesting party was not going to sell this year, would you say, "Give me a call when you are ready to sell your home" or would you do the CMA anyway? Of course, many provide an on-line CMA using on-line data which also has on-line limitations. Most agents will provide these CMA's to everyone who asks. After all, we certainly don't want them believing Zillow or Trulia can provide anything other than a random number.
Having successfully sorted the sellers from the rest, and have that appointment scheduled, you need to focus on what the seller really needs to know. In the overwhelming number of cases they already know what their home is worth and what they are willing to sell it for. So, what do they really want to know? Understanding this is the secret to getting the listing.
Answer those four question EVERY seller has, but don't know they have until you point it out, and you will hit a home run while others are presenting a mind-numbing power point.
However, if you agree to supply a CMA, do so only if you can present it face to face and make a listing pitch at the same time. If the customer has indicated that he or she is not ready for a formal presentation because they're only in the "thinking about selling" stage, then your listing presentation need not be formal. However, it will make sense to discuss with the owner what they have in mind and give them a hint of how you can get their home sold--just in case they move beyond the thinking stage.
Marc Jablon, The Jablon Team
RE/MAX Complete Solutions
Hopeful that will get your mind set to spark up a few ideas geared towards your services.
I've never heard of anyone charging for a CMA. Realtors do CMAs in the hopes of getting the listing but just because you do a CMA doesn't mean you're going to get the listing.
Do the best job at creating your CMA. Don't sugar-coat it. You now know for sure that they are requesting free CMA's from every single agent they are considering. So write a really good cover letter to support your CMA. "Buying the Listing" is definitely a practice that some agents still do. Just make sure you don't do that. But tell them about it. I tell all my potential Sellers what "Buying the Listing" means so they will know to look out for it and to kick those agents to the curb immediately.