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Appraisal versus Comparative Market Analysis

Selling your home can feel like an overwhelming task. As Realtors, we walk our clients through each step of the way, including the process of getting an CMA. Not knowing who you’re working with can be nerve-racking, and we can recommend trustworthy appraisers to get an evaluation of your property. We’d like to share some of our knowledge about appraisals/CMAs with you and offer you a complimentary report specific to your neighborhood that we have created. However, keep in mind that appraisals are only performed by licensed appraisers - CMAs are performed by Realtors! 

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is an opinion of your home's value based on what similar homes in your area have recently sold for. Since getting an appraisal isn't an exact science, you sometimes feel that your home has been priced too low. If that is how you think,  you have the option of getting a second one done. But don't be surprised if you get more confusion instead of a confirmation. 


One reason for that might be that one appraiser counts a recent sale, while the other may think it was too long ago to add it to the equation. The result of this would be two different values for your home. 

Appraisals can also be used for loan or insurance purposes

A bank uses an appraisal for loan estimates. They are concerned about today's market value while the insurance company wants to determine what it would cost to rebuild your home with today's associated costs. It may look the same, but it is a different ball game. 

Also, appraisals are used to figure out property taxes. However, those appraisals have nothing in common with bank or insurance appraisals. The county property appraiser has only the tax value in mind. Tax value and insurance value are not comparable at all. 

Property Taxes

Also, appraisals are used to figure out property taxes. However, those appraisals have nothing in common with bank or insurance appraisals. The county property appraiser has only the tax value in mind. Tax value and insurance value are not comparable at all. 


For example, the property appraiser looks at the whole picture, the entire spectrum of all homes in the neighborhood. He evaluates and compares all the homes in a specific location with each other; therefore, he is not interested what a home looks inside. If you have a bedroom more, you pay more taxes. If you have a pool? You pay more taxes. If you have golden faucets? He doesn't care. The insurance company, however, needs to replace your golden faucets if the house burns down. That is the reason why they have a different angle of view.


Tax values are never market values. If you remodel your interior nicely, that doesn't affect the tax value. But when you put it on the market and sell it for a higher price, that might be something the tax appraiser will take into consideration when he reviews the property tax the next time.

What is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)?

Keep in mind that appraisals are different from CMAs (Comparative Market Analysis). Using our knowledge and expertise, we compile a CMA for our clients to determine how much their home will sell for within a particular time. That includes neighborhood data, sold homes in the neighborhood within a specific time frame, comparable homes, and the exterior/interior condition of the seller's home. So, keep in mind that a CMA is not an appraisal; only a licensed appraiser can perform an "appraisal." Banks and Insurance Companies will later on send out an appraiser because they need an "official document". 

A CMA is a "Price Opinion"

Now, what actually is a CMA? A CMA is more like a "price opinion," but what is wrong about that? It gives the seller a pretty accurate picture of the current market situation in specifically his market environment, and the more the seller knows about the market, the better he can ascertain the price. "Those who have knowledge don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge." Lao Tzu


It doesn't make sense to overprice the home and hope for the best. In everybody has a pc, tablet or smart phone, and knows how to use it. All the information is easily accessible - hoping for the best is no sales strategy anymore. You need a better plan. 

Shifting Markets and the Personal Side of Things

Note that home prices change, and appraised values will shift with market changes. If your home is appraised for $200,000 today, that could change in three months when you list it for sale, depending on the market's performance. Unfortunately, appraisals don't take life-changing circumstances into account. Job loss or transfer is not considered when coming up with the value of your home.

We specialize in selling homes in your neighborhood, and we believe you deserve access to the most current, objective, and comprehensive information affecting the value of your home.


If we can be of any assistance for your current or future real estate needs, please don't hesitate to contact us @941-244-8341 or email us.
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Homes on the Beach
Homes on the Beach