The appraisal will give you an opinion based on the similar properies that were resently sold in your area, it could indicate the market price at the day of the offers for the comp. properties. The best method of determing the current market (lising price) is to perform CMA - current market analysis. Any RE agent in your are will do it for you.
What was the reason for the appraisal? Is your home in the process of being sold or are you trying to get a loan? With the credit crunch that we are currently experiencing, everything attached to financing has changed, including appraisals. Appraisers have tightened there belts, so your appraisal is probably more accurate than it has been in the recent past. No appraiser wants his/her appraisal to be questioned. If an appraiser inflates the property value he can face penalties and possibly forfeit his/her license if problems arise. Just like every other facet of this industry there are good and not so good appraisers, but those with a bad track record are being weeded out.
Appraised value to market value, very close!
I hope I helped!
If you are considering selling your home, and want a more accurate value, you really need to have a realtor do a market analysis on the property. Realtors are on the ground in your community looking at houses everyday and are familiar with the nuances in your local market allowing them to be a little more accurate in determining the value of your home. Most realtors will do this for you free of charge if you ask.