Understanding a CMA or Comparative Market Analysis vs. Relying solely on home sales data found online.

When many people look to find the value of their home on Staten Island, the first place they look for information usually begins online. It's not awful or even bad to do, but it's certainly far from a perfect science. The main reason is the highly subjective nature of what value is from a human perspective. After all, a computer cannot attain the specific and sometimes highly opinionated view that reflects the emotional aspects of a potential buyer.

Data alone, especially in today's real estate market, has a greater margin of error than at probably any point in the last five years.

One of the reasons, the volume of comparative sales today's real estate market is particularly low in many cases. Even appraisers have to reach far and wide, sometimes even into other similar communities to attain homes that sold which are similar in nature. I have seen in a number of instances of a home appraisal being done on a single property sale. That would be a particular issue with most online data aggregate websites. Why? They would have a difficult time justifying the relationship between the locations of similar homes in other communities and their similarities to the subject property. Computerized data results do not have the ability to reflect a home's estimated value based on limited hard data and in many cases that I've seen.

Value data on the homes is skewed by many inaccuracies of public records.

New York City has a fairly difficult time ascertaining accurate home square footage data of buildings. It is for certain a monumental task considering this city has the highest concentration of real estate not just in the country, but the world. Not to mention, when you consider home remodels and expansion of existing homes, it makes it that much more difficult.  Unfortunately, for these websites have no other information available but to accept the square foot data as fact and in many instances its reflected in their value estimates.  We'll omit the name of the website, but in their disclosure of estimate accuracy, they put as high as a 20% margin of error on New York City real estate.

The value of a home is highly subjective, which basically means it's highly opinionated.

Being whiteness to many transactions there are some many subjective aspects that go into a home, and the list of what those aspects could go a page long. Therefore, the tangible, emotional, as well as data need to be put all together in a way relates to the human aspects of home ownership, not only data in assuming what the market value for a home would be.

If you need to get a report on the home's value you can call us or go to our home value estimate page.


Posted by Anthony Licciardello on


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