Profile picture for SoCal Engr

@ Zillow - What about a CMA forum/topic?

@ Zillow...

There's general consensus that a Zestimate is a starting point, and the next logical step is typically a CMA.  REAs typically provide these as a loss leader, but some consumers that are "just thinking" likely will not ask for a CMA because they are forced to contact a REA.

What about providing a topic where folks can ask for CMAs on specific properties and REAs can choose to respond with a CMA. This is really the RE equivalent of ZMM, although I grant that it may take a bit more effort to generate a CMA than a robo-quote (let's not even go down that rat-hole). The important part, is that it is an opportunity for consumers to request the CMA and stay anonymous - but perhaps respond to a REA who provides a decent one.

And, since many CMAs are now made available online, maybe they could be simply posted on the REA's site and linked to Zillow (absent any requirement to log in to the REA's site to retrievee the CMA).
  • July 10 2011 - Black Mountain Ranch
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Answers (15)

Profile picture for blue screen exile
From the checking I did before, there are 6 major software packages for CMA's.  I forgot where I put the list, and I know nothing about the differences between them nor who uses which and why.

Most agents don't do CMA's by hand and haven't for decades.  They just plug the numbers in the software package.  Many don't even have any clue what the software is doing.

Some of the ones that do them by hand just average the sold prices of the 3 to 6 they can find that are most similar without doing any corrections for differences.
  • July 12 2011
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Profile picture for minotau
Sure, all the major brokerages have CMA software packages.  At least the ones that I'm familiar with do.  The software does tend to be a bit limited, generally most useful for selecting a set of properties based on certain attributes that have been input and then generating glossy output once the person doing the CMA has selected specific properties and made manual/semi-manual adjustments to better match things with the subject property.  I don't recall ever seeing a package that did anything along the lines of automatically adjusting the final output based on trends, but that would be nice and maybe they do that these days.

The software is mostly helpful to get started and to output a presentable finish, but most of the stuff in between ends up being pretty much exactly what you or me end up doing.  With some useful guidelines, etc.

@Cory - Where are my numbers!?!?  Too many, too much?  OK, just give me a number for the one with the lowest list price - 110034703.  I'm a buyer, I do "CMA"s all the time, how else would I know what I want to pay?
  • July 12 2011
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
Just curious...

With all of the software out there, isn't there some software that supports CMA generation? Since CMAs seem to be an important, and potentially time consuming part of the biz, just seems a natural.

Also, about how long does it really take to generate a CMA? I've tried doing some on my own, and the basic info doesn't take all that long. Of course, I don't bother with the pictures and prose - just the numbers and deltas.
  • July 12 2011
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
If all the requests went through Zillow like ZMM, and the CMA's were told to be assumed to be a potential buyer requesting it, why should an agent be contacting the potential seller?  Possibly because it is not listed?

So the agents say they will do any CMA's requested, but then tell you that they will either only do them for properties that are already listed (thus have already had some CMA's), or that they will only do them for potential sellers?

Or that even though they are doing the CMA for a potential buyer, that they want both halves of the deal, thus are compelled to go after the seller too?


Or do they really find something unethical about doing a CMA for a buyer for a house that is not on the market, and may never be?
  • July 12 2011
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme
maybe the point is just to not present it as an "anonymous" request.
I'd just hate to see all the threads that got started on zillow that said something like "I asked for a CMA and got 3 of those but 50 'contact me' letters"

so my issue is in setting proper expectations for the requesting person, not in wheter or not to do it.   just have to think out loud to figure that out sometimes  :)
  • July 11 2011
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
@ Connie,

You do bring up a good point about some REAs just not being able to resist convincing themselves that they are just employing "aggressive and can-do" marketing approaches. Some may even pat themselves on the back for having the intellect to do a simple lookup.

Then again, if I were the owner, it would make narrowing down the REAs a lot easier.

I'll think on your scenario - it's worth thinking about. With ZMM, the loan quotes are provided based on the accuracy of the information provided. However, as you pointed out, it is not as simple to do this for a CMA as
for a loan.
  • July 11 2011
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme
@pasa
"We know some do detailed CMA's that really have a handle on their local market; and we know many others do not.  Is it not just fair that the public can see how well they perform their CMA's?"

oh I agree, I think it's completely fair.
the problem I see with the idea (which maybe can just be solved somehow).  is the part about it's helping the consumer that doesn't want to contact a REA.   Which I assume would be because they didn't want the follow up calls and other activity.  but if you put your address out there and publicly say you'd like a CMA then even those that don't bother to do a CMA will be sending the post cards, knocking on the door and possibly calling on the phone.   and the consumer that WASNT looking for that just got exactly what they didn't want.   - one would think REAs would recognize that the seller did this because they didn't want to be contacted...but in your experience how well does that work with an overpriced make me move???  do you get calls?
I'm not painting a pretty picture...I'm thinking about how many contacts I got when I had an investment property listed for sale and let it expire.  people didn't bother to even notice that it was owner/broker and proceeded to mail me, the seller, to tell them what me, the agent, didn't do to sell it.  good grief.
  • July 11 2011
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
One of the things I really like about the anonymous loan quotes is the statistical data and trends Zillow is able to extract from them.  Like clockwork, we can see an announcement about unemployment or foreign politics affecting both the stock market and the median interest rate quotes.

Now, if Zillow could do statistics on the CMA's?  perhaps tracking the median for the same sq footage in the same neighborhood?  Or maybe tracking CMA/sqft in the same neighborhood?  And then perhaps overlaying those trends on the Zindex trends?

Or, since Zillow gives the median percent deviance of "sold" prices to closest prior Zestimate... how about Zillow rate each Realtor based on their median percent deviance of "sold" prices to their prior CMA on the properties?

We know some do detailed CMA's that really have a handle on their local market; and we know many others do not.  Is it not just fair that the public can see how well they perform their CMA's?
  • July 11 2011
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Profile picture for Connie Klemme

my first reaction was to like the idea, it seems like a consumer friendly idea.  but playing it out ...it doesn't seem to get the desired results.
example: 
consumer goes to zillow, requests a CMA in a specific area (let me pick on Mustang since it's where currently live).  so ...a handful of Mustang agents do the CMA based upon the info they can see without contacting the owner or seeing inside and give their best guess.  knowing there are multiple responses they would presumably be more diligent and not bloat the value to impress the potential seller but do their best to be accurate (don't bother argue with that statement...let's assume I'm right and move on).
they send it back and it all seems great.  (but I haven't reached "the end") so, here's the problem...to find the seller's name- all you gotta do is look up the county records, so if the seller didn't want to be contacted- this plan didnt work because you know that the really agressive "go get them listings" type agent will call and visit and mail the seller marketing material.   so...it was the same as contacting someone (or worse) from teh seller's perspective.   

I think if they did this you'd have to do it with undisclosed address in X neighborhood and xyz stats and then it woudl be no more accurate than zestimate.

sorry...I like the idea I just find more reasons to disagree...even though I want to like it. 

  • July 11 2011
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
@ Cory...

"A general consensus among whom? You seem to give Zestimates a lot of power."
 
Not really. Maybe it would have been better phrased as "Zestimates are, at best, a starting point". That's pretty much what Zillow says, as do any REAs/consumers who are not screaming about Zestimates ruining their lives.

It just seems like a natural progression. Zestimates as a starting point and to provide some general trending info, and a CMA (or multiple CMAs?) to focus the estimate.

My preference is to get 3 CMAs, but it is a bit awkward dealing with REAs who are giving you a CMA and seem to expect business in return. At best, 2 of the REAs will be left with less-than-they-hoped-for. Last time, all three.

However, the anonymous CMA is in keeping with Zillow's precedent of the anonymous loan quote.
  • July 11 2011
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Profile picture for minotau
@Cory

OK Cory, lets see what you've got.  3 MLS listings below, give me a number for each, nothing more than a number.

110034703

110037974

100044197
  • July 11 2011
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A general consensus among whom? You seem to give Zestimates a lot of power. Well, you may be right, but probably with some homeowners' pride.

I already have provided several CMAs to people who've posted here, and I'm sure other agents have too - all they have to do is ask. That's one of the things among many that people can write about in this forum, isn't it?
  • July 11 2011
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Profile picture for Dunes....
My view is that when Zillow shows itself capable of correcting it's past "Improvements" (Listings, Lender Reviews, Agent Reviews, Zestimates for example) and members stop using the same excuses for them I've heard since my first day here for every criticism....that would be the time to discuss adding another new "Improvement"


Not enough Staff, 'I'm sure they are, they are nice, they do, they will, it's an improvement, it isn't as bad as...in my opinion it would be nice if Zillow responded to, made their own excuses or answered their own questions once in awhile and did something "Improvements" they actually have enough Paid Staff to do....

  • July 11 2011
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Profile picture for Michael Helton
If someone posted their location with their anonymous data them agents could pick and choose which they respond to (or not). 

I think an agent who would be willing to take the time to post a CMA for someone would be a much better starting point than the standard "pick me!" posts.
  • July 11 2011
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Profile picture for blue screen exile
Wouldn't that go under "home values" under "home ownership"?

On the other hand, I like the idea of getting a CMA and remaining anonymous; I just don't think most agents really want to do them for anonymous people and they regularly post that if you want one, just contact them.
  • July 10 2011
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