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CEO Robbie Briggs: How a truly professional agent arrives at the price of your home — and why that matters

Each Friday, Robbie Briggs, CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, writes about luxury, trends, business and more in the advertising pages of the Mansion section of The Wall Street Journal. Below is his letter of September 3, 2021.


Inside the real estate world, the acronyms fly every day. We have MLS, TREC, NTREIS, PITI, PUD, even WBFP. (Do you know what that last one means?)

But the one that arguably affects you the most is the CMA — the comparative market analysis. In short, it’s the estimated value of your home relative to comparable properties in the area. (You may have heard the slang for it: comp, as in, “Let’s pull the comps.”) Because the CMA is one of the most valuable services our agents provide, I want to give you a brief look at what goes into one:

Key factors help define the value of your home: the number of bedrooms and baths; the home’s age; the construction and style, including the materials and outside amenities, such as a pool; and the neighborhood itself. (Are there any HOA rules in place? How are the schools rated?)

Our agents examine those factors and more and run that data through various tools to reach a fair market value. But, performing a CMA is far from a standardized process: Each agent has their go-to tools and data sets and their unique knowledge — the thing that is irreplaceable.

Hitting the right price is an art. A home priced too high will spend longer than necessary on the market — or not find a buyer at all. A home priced too low leaves proverbial money on the table. (And, beware of the estimates on those popular real estate websites: They’re fun to look at, but those price ranges are often significantly different than the final sale value.)

Our agents employ mobile-friendly, interactive CMAs that can be viewed anytime, anywhere — and that are always updated with the latest MLS data. Our informed CMAs are just some of the many ways that a Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty agent translates their local knowledge and expertise into tangible value for you.

There is no acronym for that. But, I can think of a few choice words you may end up using without a pro to guide you.

Robbie Briggs


Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty


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