A comparative market analysis (CMA) is an assessment of recently sold properties similar to a target home. An agent typically presents this information in a packet to a prospective or current client in order to help set the listing price for a home, called the valuation estimate.
CMA is the commonly used acronym for a comparative market analysis.
CMAs are an important step in pitching a seller and pricing a home. Agents must price a home high enough that gets the best offer but not so high that it stays on the market too long. There is no universal way to pick comparison homes, called comps. As a result, two CMAs can vary significantly.
CMA data often comes from previously sold homes, on-market homes, and companies that provide valuation data. Usually, agents use the MLS to find these, but similar data can also be found on public portals like Zillow.
Comparative market analysis software helps agents compile and present CMAs. These tools help agents identify similar properties, compile printable packets, and present a digital CMA that updates automatically. Software can be particularly helpful for showing pricing on active listings. Pricing on these properties may change daily and is not easy to capture in a printable packet.
MoxiPresent, Cloud CMA, and DashCMA are three popular comparative market analysis tools. Many MLSs also have built-in CMA software. In those cases, an agent can generate CMA reports from any MLS search. CMA presentation functionality is also a built-in feature of some broader agent software tools. That said, CMAs can also be compiled in a spreadsheet or even a text document. As a result, many agents don't use any CMA software.