What is the difference between an Appraisal and a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)?

The difference between an Appraisal and a Comparative Market Analysis is that one is done by a state licensed appraiser and one is done by a state licensed realtor. However, most often there is a fee for an Appraisal and the CMA is always a free service from your realtor. 

Both use historical and current data and current market trends to reach a value.

Home owners who are looking to put their home on the market can use realtors to provide a free CMA to use as a guide for determining the listing price and do not need to purchase an appraisal.

Calculator and little model homes

“A real estate appraiser’s only job is to give an unbiased opinion of value of the subject property. An appraiser will use similar methods in coming to a property value as your broker but they must also follow strict licensing and industry guidelines as well as follow the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USAP). You can find more about USAP here.”*

“Simply put, a CMA is your broker’s attempt to establish an opinion of value in order to sell your property for the most money possible, or in the case of a  buyer’s agent, to determine if your offer is in not above their opinion of value.  An appraisal report is a licensed appraiser’s opinion of fair market value and whether or not the property is worth the price you are trying to buy or sell it for.”*

“If you are buying a home, your lender will always have an appraisal done and you have a right to a copy, but you usually have to ask for it. If you plan on not using financing to obtain a property, a CMA is a good reference but it is highly recommended an appraisal report is still done.”*

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