Home Buying in 91101>Question Details

Firsthomepas…, Home Buyer in Pasadena, TX

Is there any way to do your own Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)?

Asked by Firsthomepasadena, Pasadena, TX Mon Oct 29, 2007

It seems MLS data is pretty restricted for the average homebuyer, but I am not trusting what is being quoted to me buy my agent. She has an incentive for me to buy at a higher price, so the comparables are biased towards that price. From this site I found comparables that were 25% less than the asking price. So, is it possible to just do it yourself so you are confident in the offer?

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Here's a link to a blog that I wrote about how much to offer for a house - hope it helps!

2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
Hi Again First Home Buyer of Pasadena,

I think you got some terrific answers here. I hope you are either comfortable with your agent or are looking for a new one.

I have to disagree with Wendy's recommendation that you use Zillow to do a CMA. I have seen "Zestimates" as high as $400,000 over market and as low as $400,000 under market! It is just not accurate!

Karen Miller
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2007
Dear FirstHomePasadena,

It's so sad to hear (or read) you say that. We have many wonderful agents in Pasadena. It is unfortunate that you had bad experiences so far.

Please do not hesitate to contact me and I'd be happy to provide you with the data you need to run your market analysis. No obligation at all.

I hope that will help you.

Best of luck with your purchase!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 1, 2007
Aly has a good point. The difference in pay is not enough for an agent to tarnish his or her reputation. We want to do the best job for our buyers so that they will tell others how great we were. We are in a lead generation business, if we cannot generate leads, we have no business. We are not motivated to get the highest price, we are motivated to get repeat business.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
It's understandable to want to question a stranger’s motives when you know that they’re commission is based on what the house sells for…

Be straight up with your agent… tell her to want to discuss the recent SOLD properties around the house you’re interested in. Show her the comparables you found on this site.

Also keep in mind that the difference in commission can be easily calculated: A buyer’s agent usually earns up to 3% of the purchase price: 3% of 400,000 is $12,000 in commission. (which she'll then split with her broker)
If she wants you to offer $410,000, her commission increases by only $300.
So it's not likely that she's trying to cheat you for just an extra few hundred bucks...
So my answer is, show her your comps... facts are facts, and the more questions you ask, the better you're going to feel about the process.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
Hello First time Home Buyer,

You can try going to LA Times - DQNews site. It lists zip code by zip code the number of homes sold and price per sq. ft. You can also go to Pasadena Foothill Association and pull up all listings - http://www.pfar.org. You'll need to log in as a consumer, of course.

I would ask your agent to just print all Sold, Active and Pending sales within the last 4 months around the 1/4 mile radius of the home address that you are considering purchasing. You can then look at the data itself vs. a CMA that someone else has prepared for you.

Is the agent representing you or the seller? If the seller, please consider protecting yourself by hiring a buyer's agent to represent you.

Hope this helps,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
Yes, check listings using Trulia, sales using any on-line free database for "comparable sales" I give a full explanation on how to select comparable sales and I have a list that is on one of the pages on the website below. This might help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 31, 2012
I understand what you mean. I realize I am smarter, more educated and more resourceful than many RE agents.

It's true that there are islands of price increase and price decrease in Pasadena. Even in the increased price islands, there can always been an isolated decreased price home.

It helps to know what you want to pay, and what your goals are. Keep interviewing RE agents, and you will find one who meets the bill. lol It''s not a good idea to purchase without an agent, since they do know something, usually learned the hard way.

Can you do your own CMA? Of course. Check this site, the MLS, and RealtyTrac. I think Zillow is not very accurate. If your agent won't sit down and teach you how they do their own CMA, dump them.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 22, 2007
Everyone, thank you very much for your comments! I agree with the main point of needing to trust my agent and feel comfortable with how they are representing me. Right now it looks like that would be our first move, which we pretty much already started. It is tough to find though. I have met with many in the area and found them to know less than I about the market we were in.

Thanks again for your help!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 1, 2007
You can look at pricing by yourself, Zillow is a great way to search. The benefits of using a fabulous agent are to let you know the true value which a computer can never do.

It doesn't sound like you trust your agent. Play it straight with your agent and ask for more info.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 31, 2007
Hello Buyer,
My answer begins with a question. Why are you working with a Realtor that you don't trust? Before you start interviewing for a replacement, show her the comps that you found and let her explain. Perhaps your information is not accurate. If she specializes in the area that you wish to buy, she may have a lot of knowledge about the condition of the properties that you are using that you don't have. Give her a chance to explain. You may learn something. If you don't feel comfortable with her explanation, let her know that you are going to start working with a new agent. You absolutely need an agent that you trust and I know from experience that there are a lot of great ones out there!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
Actually, a buyers agent's incentive is to get you the best price possible so that you tell all your friends how much money your agent saved you! The difference in commission rates is minimal compared to the good advertising a great deal will bring her!
As far as your finding comparables on this site for 25% less than asking price, I'd be careful. Unless your job is a Realtor, what you think is a comparable may not necessarily be one. Let your agent do her job for you. If you have doubts about the comps she provided, ask her to go over them with you. Then present the ones you found and ask her to go over those, too. I'm sure after a bit, you'll see the why's and why nots to the statistics.
Web Reference: http://www.dianeglander.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
I would agree w/ Ute... have your agent pull up the comps while you're right next to her! That way, you can see the raw data and obviously she can't hide that!

However... there is one little secret I will tell you... but I'm afraid it will get me stoned by all the noobie agents in the forum! It's pretty much a SOLID way to get a TRUE CMA from an agent...... ok.. here come the stones....

Call a reputable real estate office and ask for the agent on duty.... just tell them you're thinking about buying but would like a CMA for the property first! doh... i can see the stone coming already... it's duck and doge time! lol
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
I think you should sit down with your agent and have her pull up the listing data while you are sitting right next to her. She can explain to you why she included certain properties over other properties in her CMA. You can also get a list of those lower priced properties that you think should have been used in the CMA and then go out and take a look at them. If they are already sold, then you'll only be able to see the exterior. Show your agents the listings that you found that are 25% less than the asking price of the house that you are interested in and she can discuss with you what accounts for the huge price difference. Frankly, I suspect that those 25% below asking price listings are not true comparables.

I understand your concern and I suspect that you have not had a chance to establish a rapport with this agent, which makes it difficult for you to trust her. She may still be a stranger to you. I would think the agent would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust by going through listing information with you. I know I would. Unfortunately, I find that many clients don't have the patience to go through lots of listings in detail.
Web Reference: http://www.theMLShub.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
My first question is do you have a Buyer's Represenation Agreement with your agent? If so, your agent has a fiduciary duty to you to negotiate the best price for you. Also, a licensed home appraiser is the best person to do a Comparative Home Analysis (especially in today's very fluid market); the home you ultimately purchase should be appraised. You can also ask any number of other agents who specialize in the area where you'd like to buy to do a free home analysis for you. Again, the best protection is to have an EXCLUSIVE Buyer's Representation Agreement with a licensed real estate professional. This will give you the greatest peace of mind and offers you the best protection as a buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2007
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