“…when realtors are supposed to do it for you for free?”

Huh? What? Where is it written that “realtors are suppose to do it for you for free?”

Agents are business people. Successful one’s have become quite adept at reading people, and have reached a point that they don’t need every assignment that they come across.

Personally, I work with a different type of investor. I tend to avoid those buying dwelling units & prefer small builders/developers. I quickly learned that investors tended to be opinionated, made many ridiculous offers in hopes one would be accepted, and had little respect for my time, experience & knowledge.

Having said that…what kind of agent DO YOU think is willing to give away their time? Do you think agents talk amongst themselves? How do you think most view typical investors?

An inexperienced agent will give away their time freely…until they learn it’s not productive. Do you suppose newbies agents make mistakes regarding value? I can assure you they do, and I watch for their listings with interest.

If one is entering into investing I should think they’d be willing to pay a small fee for data from a seasoned expert whose knowledge & experience commands payment (even a small payment).

Can you get Agents to give you free CMA’s? Of course you can…all day long. So what’s the difference between them & an agent who won’t work for free? That difference could be night & day.


Real estate agents get paid 3% comission when you buy a house with them that is listed in MLS. Of course either an investor or a homeowner would need to get CMA’s on several houses before they can make their decision as to which house to buy. So, no, RE agents don’t work for free, they work for comission from sales price. I don’t think it is ethical to charge for every CMA report to perform for your customer.

“I don’t think it is ethical to charge for every CMA report to perform for your customer.”

I’m going back to not posting for awhile. Clearing up nonsense is becoming a full-time job.

Typically commissions are split between brokerages. That split between brokerages is then typically split between the brokerage & the agent. That means unless the agent has made their fee split…they’re only getting 1.5% in your example (half).

I’d advise readers to seek out the advice & service of professionals. Not to take advice from people who pretend to be professionals on the Internet. VERY BAD IDEA!

There is NOTHING UNETHICAL about charging for every CMA report an agent performs for their customers. At least…not in the state in which I reside (check your state laws). It’s totally permissable & no one owes you anything for free.

While it’s true that agents work off commission…they don’t make diddly-squat if investors want to monopolize their time by having them run numbers for numerous potential purchases.

Afterall, investor’s are looking for an investment opportunity (a needle in a haystack). They’re not the average buyer or seller in the marketplace. Chances that an agent will have to perform CMA, after CMA, after CMA before an ideal property is located is increased when working with investors, AND AGENTS KNOW THIS.

If you can’t (or won’t) afford $20-$50 for good research for a MAJOR PURCHASE like a home…seriously consider another avenue to invest in.

Also, have respect for other people & their time.



I apologize, it looks like there was a misunderstanding. In the state of Indiana ( where I am from) any compensation to a RE agent has to go though his broker. I work with investors only, not with homebuyers, so I am used to doing lots and lots of comps. While I see it as an inevitable part of the job, RE agents working mostly with homeowners could see it as a lot of unpaid work that they don’t usually do.
Sorry if I expressed my opinion too categorically, every agent is free to choose their own fees and decide how much of a value their time is.

Honestly, if you can’t find a realtor to perform your comps for you, you can do them by yourself. What we generally do is use the Recent Home Sales section of our paper. This section is also referred to as the Property Transfer section of your local paper. I also use Coldwell Bankers website. Under the Sell tab you should click Seller Resources and lastly click the Home Value Estimator link and you should be able to pull up the most recent homes that have sold within a 1-mile radius of the home that you are looking to get the comps for. I generally use the County Assessors website just to make sure that I am comparing the right types of properties together. Because obviously it is much better to compare a house to a house instead of a house to an apartment building. I hope this helps

this may work in some states, Texas is a non disclosure state, i.e. sales price is not public record. When the newspapers or websites, other than mls, report $$ they are reflective of mortgage filings.

“I work with investors only, not with homebuyers, so I am used to doing lots and lots of comps.”

So let me get this straight…you’re an Agent?

If so…why would you make a comment that charging for performing a CMA is “unethical?”

That’s not a term an agent should use lightly, and we’ve already established it’s untrue.

I’d warn readers that valuing property is not for novices. Appraisers must work under direct supervision for 2 years & log state specified number of hours of particular types of assignments & complete a state specified number of appraisal course clock hours before they’re even allowed to sit for the exam. In many states…would be appraisers must be licensed as trainees.

Real estate agents knowledge, experience, education, and even intelligence levels vary widely. Newer agents are most likely to make a valuation mistake & I watch their listings closely. I suggested a listing price on a home last spring that was $20k higher than a competing agent’s opinion & $20k higher than a discount broker’s opinion (who probably did nothing more than look at the 1st agents CMA…they’re discount for a reason). I got the listing & the home sold in 3 days for full asking price.

More recently I recommended a listing price of $450k for a home. A competing agent got the listing & put the home up for sale @ $430k…it sold in two days with multiple offers for $453k. AND HE WAS AN EXPERIENCED AGENT!

Even the experts can make mistakes, and while it maybe relatively easy making money in hot markets…should those markets suddenly turn, or slow…you could be losing ten$ of Thou$and$ of dollar$.

These are major purchases. Don’t spend days trying to gather data on the cheap (newspapers). Pay an appraiser a measly fee & get good data. Don’t count pennies while dollars slip through your fingers.

That’s all I got to say bout that.