Earning Goodwill — But Not a Listing

In my post, “When Realtor MLS Statistics Are Misleading,” I talked about all the things that take up Realtors’ time these days, but aren’t necessarily captured in their MLS sales statistics — or are easily missed.

The list includes pre-list (non-MLS) sales; acting as a Facilitator; handling the sale of a commercial or multi-family property; playing an ongoing role in referred business, etc.

To that list, add one more activity:  doing a Comparative Market Analysis (“CMA”) on a home where the owner turns out to be underwater — or the likely sales price doesn’t leave them with a sufficient down payment to buy another home.

CMA “Shelf Life”

Doing a quick, back-of the envelope CMA takes 10 minutes.

However, doing a careful (and more reliable and accurate one) can easily take half a day or more, depending on how unique the home is, how much previewing is needed to size up the competition, how readily apparent (or not) the Comp’s are, etc.

When the Realtor does a meticulous CMA which indicates that the home’s  likely price range is (too) low, two people are disappointed :  1) the would-be Seller, who often decides to sit tight; and 2) their would-be Realtor, who (hopefully) walks away with the client’s loyalty and future business — but not a current listing.

Even if the owner decides to move ahead at some future point, the Realtor’s time spent doing the CMA is still probably a write-off.

That’s because after six months, market conditions are presumed to have changed — and the CMA needs to be re-done from scratch.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.
2 Responses
  1. Ross, Don’t you agree that usually you can do a “quick, back-of the envelope CMA” to determine if there is any chance to sell the house at or above what the home seller currently owes? If you realize there is no chance, do you still always pursue with a “meticulous CMA” for the chance of gaining them as a client in the future? I guess it comes down to opportunity cost of spending the time vs. putting your efforts elseware for an immediate return. Would like to hear your take.

    1. Sometimes it’s black-and-white, and 10 minutes is enough. But lots of times, it’s grey.

      With so much riding on the CMA (the owner’s credit scores, ability to move, accept an out-of-state job, etc.) — not to mention my time if I take the listing — I dig in more when it’s close (or looks close based on a quick review).

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