Is a CMA confidential?
Julie Garton-Good, GRI

Q:We were shocked when the selling agent (from another company, representing a buyer) brought us an offer accompanied by a CMA (comparative market analysis) he prepared for the buyer. Isn't that confidential information?

A:A comparative market analysis (CMA) is a composite of information from the marketplace showing properties similar to yours that have sold, are currently listed or have not sold. This information is generally compiled through the multiple listing service (MLS) and is readily available to real estate agents who are members of MLS representing both sellers and buyers. In other words, the information is shared generically.

The buyer's agent was representing the interests of his client and prepared a CMA for that buyer, just like your listing agent probably prepared for you at the time of your listing. The buyer's agent was justifying in hard figures why his buyer was making this type of offer. They felt that this information would help convince you that the property was priced too high.

The information is available for seller's agents as well as buyer's agents and there is nothing wrong with what the buyer's agent did. In fact, he would not be acting in the best interests of his client if he had not prepared information revealing market value. This is part of his legal and ethical responsibility to his client.

If the roles were reversed, you would clamor for the same information the buyer's agent provided to the buyer in order to make an informed decision.