When narrowing down the field of agents to interview, analyzing an agent’s track record helps to separate the agents that can sell a house from the agents that just interview well. These stats will help you weed out the bad agents from your list of prospective Realtors.
Analyzing an Agent’s Track Record
Your agent should provide you with a copy of these statistics during your interview. Ask them to run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) Report on all of their listings to show how well they have done and to show what they are currently doing. Ask that the report cover at least a year’s worth of transactions or more. Also have them run a report that only covers their listings in your neighborhood too. Make sure both reports only show their listings. Because these reports are limited to just one agent’s data, they can not be used to determine your house’s sale price, just to show the agent’s track record.
When interpreting an agent’s data, you should pay attention to:
Days On Market – Days on market (DOM) refers to the amount of time a house has been on the market from the day it was first listed on MLS to the day that it sold. For this statistic to be useful, you have to use average DOM as a baseline for comparison. Less days is better than more days, when compared to the average DOM.
Number of Houses Sold – This is a cumulative count of how many houses an agent or team sold. Preferably this count is based on your area and on similar sized houses. The higher number of sold houses the better.
Sales Price as a % of List Price - This statistic determines how well the agent priced the house or how much of a discount was given. The closer to 100% the better. The average SP%LP is a useful statistic for determining neighborhood pricing.
These stats reveal how well agents in your area price homes, sell homes and discount homes when compared to other agents. They also reveal the agents that can’t sell a house too. As you can imagine, these are very useful stats for comparing agents.
How to Read a CMA
The following information may be helpful for you to understand the MLS’s output of CMA data. Many people think this section is overkill, but I like to include it anyway. Most MLS systems share the same terminology, so this info will probably relate to your local Realtor Board’s MLS system. The MLS system CMA report format referenced in this article came from the Dallas/Fort Worth area NTREIS MLS.
At the top of each report, the search criteria for this list are printed out in raw data format. Here’s how to interpret it.
Look at the top of each report on the following pages and you’ll see a block of text that looks similar to this:
Your initial search criteria were: ((LISTSTATUS IN ‘ACT’,'CON’,'OPT’,'KO’,'PND’,'EXP’, ‘SLD’,'WTH’,'CAN’,'TOM’,'WS’))) AND (LONGITUDE>=-97.45963275422413 AND LONGITUDE<=-97.28771030913036) AND (LATITUDE>=32.57602990224634 AND LATITUDE<=32.720788050715626) AND (CASE WHEN POWER(69.112822 * ( LATITUDE -32.64840897648098), 2) + POWER(69.112822 * 0.8419968910735207 * (LONGITUDE – - 97.37367153167724) , 2) < POWER(4.99742948094231,2) THEN 1 ELSE 0 END=’1′ ) AND LISTDATE>=CONVERT(DATETIME,’01/01/2008′) AND
PROPSUBTYPE IN (‘S’) AND (S1.FULLNAME LIKE ‘AGENT NAME%’ )
Here’s what each section of the search criteria paragraph means.
((LISTSTATUS IN (‘ACT’,'CON’,'OPT’,'KO’,'PND’,'EXP’,'SLD’,'WTH’,'CAN’,'TOM’,'WS’)))
This means that the search includes all properties with the status of : ACTIVE, ACTIVE CONTRACT, ACTIVE CONTENGENT, ACTIVE OPTION CONTRACT, ACTIVE KICK OUT, PENDING, EXPIRED, SOLD, WITHDRAWN, CANCELLED, TEMPORARILY OFF MARKET, WITHDRAWN SUBLISTING.
(LONGITUDE>=-97.45963275422413 AND LONGITUDE<=-97.28771030913036) AND (LATITUDE>=32.57602990224634 AND LATITUDE<=32.720788050715626)
AND (CASE WHEN POWER(69.112822 * ( LATITUDE -32.64840897648098), 2) + POWER(69.112822 * 0.8419968910735207 * (LONGITUDE – -97.37367153167724) , 2) < POWER(4.99742948094231,2) THEN 1 ELSE 0 END=’1′ )
This section of the criteria is the geographic area of the search. It is usually a 5-mile radius around your house. If it isn’t listed then the search is for the entire DFW area covered by MLS.
This is the date range and it means all records from this date to the date the search was run.
PROPSUBTYPE IN (‘S’) AND (S1.FULLNAME LIKE ‘AGENT NAME%’ )
This item limits the data to only houses listed by the named agent.
The Status of Each Property is defined by the Dallas/Ft Worth MLS system as:
ACT – Active – Property is available for sale (showings).
CON – Active-Contingent – Property has an offer on it but there is a contingency (i.e. financing, inspections) – still taking showings.
OPT – Active-Option Contract – Property has an offer on it that has an option period – still taking showings.
KO – Active-Kick Out – Property has an offer contingent upon the sale of another property.
PND – Pending – Property has an offer (contract with to contingencies, kick-outs or options) – no more showings. Pending listings do not expire, they will stay pending until closed.
EXP – Expired
SLD – Sold
LSD – Leased
WTH – Withdrawn – No longer available for showings or available to be re-listed with another broker (under “conditional release”).
CAN – Cancelled – Unconditional release – free to be re-listed in MLS.
TOM – Temp Off Market –Owner has a reason they would not like to show the property for a period of time but they are still under a listing agreement. Temporarily off market used for various reasons (i.e. remodeling, owner illness, etc.)
WS – Withdrawn Sub Listing – Under the sub-divided listing function, you can have a main listing with several sub listings….withdrawn sub listing would mean the sub listing is no longer available on its own.
When you use a CMA for the purpose of comparing agents, remember that you are not concerned with pricing. This data can not be used to determine a sale price for your house. Without closely analyzing your house, comparable houses or the neighborhood, an accurate price can not be obtained. Your agent will conduct that study and explain the results.
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