Do appraisal values from lenders and R.E. agents' appraisals from comparable market values usually match up? if not, why?which one is accurate?

Asked by Bernadette, Maryland Thu May 24, 2012

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Suzanne MacD…, Agent, Succasunna, NJ
Thu May 24, 2012
Real Estate Agents do not do appraisals. Only a licensed appraiser can perform an appraisals. Having said that appraisals and a comparable market analysis are both opinions of value. The key word here is opinion, everybody has one and they are not all the same. And, if the appraiser or the realtor are not intimately familiar with the local market their opinions can vary quite a bit sometimes. I couldn't say which one is more accurate, but I can tell you this, the only one the lender will accept is the appraisal.
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, ,
Thu May 24, 2012
They are different but usually are in the same range. They are different because buried in all the paperwork of an appraisal it says the value is the OPINION of the appraiser. I could order 5 different appraisals and would likely get 5 different sets of numbers but they would be close in value. For purposes of buying the home only the actual appraisers opinion counts in the end. Hope this was helpful.


Brent Mendelson
Senior Loan Officer
1ST Mariner Mortgage
Lending in all 50 states
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Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Thu May 24, 2012
Hm, good question....
You know a home is as different as one person from the other....
So many items that make a home more or less valuable, and that is different for each buyer as well.

Now when the appraiser is send from a lender, he has to follow strict rules put on him by that particular lender, they can compare only in a certain distance / radius around the home in question,
and compare only the most exact homes....

Realtors on the other hand give usually not an appraisal, they are NOT appraisers, Realtors give
a market evaluation, based on the market information they have access to, considering all that is
similar, that has recently sold and also what is currently on the market the home to be listed will have
to compete with and it should produce a range for a list price, which then Realtor and Seller know
will be negotiated with a potential buyer ..... In this process the Realtor of course will want to make
sure that when a buyer comes in to buy the property that it will appraise out, so the higher the
down payment by the buyer the safer the situation for the lenders appraisel which tries to protect
the lenders interest...

Edith YourRealtor4Life Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients Buyers Sellers and Investors alike, covering for @ Properties Brokerage the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs and the fine homes on the North Shore, and all of the US and worldwide offerings with my partner agents.... Edith speaks several languages ....
Have a great day :)
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Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Thu May 24, 2012
What Ron said is spot on the money. When you buy a house or when you ask a Realtor to do a CMA what they are doing is making a comparison of like homes that recently sold using adjustments to make the prices of the homes more identical. For example, if one house is equal in most every way but one has a swimming pool and the other doesn't then the person doing the comparing will add some amount to one to make it equal to the one that has the pool, or subtract depending on which is the subject house. I might add $40,000 and an appraiser might add $35,000. When an appraiser does one for a bank on a home about to close they are not really showing the absolute highest value the house could maybe sell for, they just need to show the bank that the sale price is fair and reasonable for them to make that loan at that amount. A Realtor will often make theirs higher as they try to show the owner the max they could get if they were to sell. I have always said if you got 5 appraisers to do 5 appraisals with no sales contract to look at, you would get 5 different numbers, but they should be close. I think they would be around 10% different which might be a larger spread than you might think.
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The Roskelly…, Agent, Gambrills, MD
Thu May 24, 2012
Hi Mary Lan,

I think it's pretty clear what you are asking here. Appraisals are ordered by the bank issuing the loan to determine if the property value meets or exceeds the loan amount. Agents prepare CMA's to help you, the consumer, get an idea of what has recently sold in the area of your home. CMA's can be helpful in determining an offer price or a listing price. Easy enough to misunderstand and really not a big deal. Call them what you want. Any good agent will have their CMA clearly marked as that so there is no misunderstanding when one is prepared for you.

But the answer is YES if the agent knows their market and does a careful review including realistic adjustments the appraisal and CMA should match up pretty accurately.

Ultimately the appraisal is going to be the "correct" one if a loan is involved because that is the information that the bank has to use to determine the home's value. I'm not sure if you are on the buying side or rent selling side but if you need more info. message me and I'll give you some additional detail for your specific situation.

Best of luck to you!
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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu May 24, 2012
Please do not call, what we Realtors do, an APPRAISAL:
Only Appraisers do an Appraisal.
Realtors do a CMA, or Comparative Market Analysis.

If both are done correctly, they should be close; I wouldn't guarantee that they will match up.
The two people may use different Comp houses, they may be done at different times, (even a week or two could make a difference), they may see different features and upgrades in all the houses, they may assign different values to features and upgrades:

This is not an exact science and the numbers are dynamic; constantly shifting.

Do not use one set of numbers as a weapon against the other. Not fair!
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