I want to know the value of my house. I spoke to a realtor who will do a CMA for $100 and an appraiser who charges $400. Which is better?

Asked by Katarina, Tremonton, UT Wed Jan 27, 2010

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Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Jan 28, 2010
I am going to take a position slightly off center from most agents in saying that I give credit to that agent asking to be paid for their cma.
I have often thought it wouldn't be such a bad thing to be paid for that...with the promise it would be refunded once the home is listed or sells. I can't get a plumber to come for an estimate without paying for his time.

Personally, I think we do too much for free...and often" free" isn't valued as much as something you pay for.

To be honest, I think my opinion is worth something!
I know I'm swimming uphill here, and the day when one is paid for a cma isn't here.........but one can dream!

Katarina...the agent will have seen the comps inside, and be able to really compare and contrast them to your home. Appraisers only use what they seeon the interenet, and may not have a feel for the nuances of a particular area in a particular town.
Go with the agent....and you can find one to do it for free!
2 votes
Debbi Love, Agent, Midvale, UT
Thu Jan 28, 2010
K, Katarina, here is the scoop. An appraisers opinion is based in large part for whom he is doing the appraisal. When an appraiser does an appraisal for a bank, he is trying to justify the sales price to the bank, in other words he is there to show the bank they are getting value for the money they are loaning. Very seldom will you see an appraisal in a loan situation come back more than the sales price on the purchase contract. Some times less, especially in this market, but never more (ok, maybe a thousand or 2, but if you are buying a home for 160,000 and you think it should come back at 200,000...it won't happen because that causes a red flag with the lender!) You also run the risk that the appraiser you choose may not know the local market or the neighborhood, and may not give you accurate information.

So, if you are looking for a value on your home just to know what it is, a market evaluation or a CMA (competitive market analysis) is a better determination of value. Realtors look at what homes have sold for in the area, what homes are for sale (your competition should you decide to put it on the market), what homes have expired (not sold when they were on the market), conditions of the homes, and they analyze all this data to determine a trend for the neighborhood. They will also be knowledgeable about the Local market (where all things Real Estate happen) and even the neighborhood you live in so they can give you a more accurate information.

Now, if you are just looking for a general value, here is a link to get a market snapshot that will keep you informed of what is going on in your neighborhood and the area around you...no obligation, just good information. http://www.homeinsight.com/Widget/default.asp?XPBPHTLVR8M3

As always, let me know if you have questions!
Debbi Love
0 votes
Connie Wilda…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Wed Jan 27, 2010
you should never have to pay a realtor for a cma... that is a realtor who doesn't make money any other way... a good listing agent can run you number in 1/2 hr and should know the neighborhood... find someone you trust... and don't spend money on an appraisal.. they is done when the house sells with the buyers lender, and they do not assign their reports back and forth... so your report will mean nothing to the next lender...
0 votes
Sarah Manning…, Agent, Ogden, UT
Wed Jan 27, 2010
Hi Katrina,

Hi Katrina, I'm located here in Tremonton, so I am very familiar with the market and I would advise you not to pay a dime for a CMA. We do our CMA's for free and they are a better indicator in this market than an appraisal. Let me explain, an appraiser is used for lenders. They don't always reflect what the home will actually sell for. Whereas a realtor has access to the MLS (Mutliple Listing System) that shows what similar homes have sold for in the past 30 days 90 days etc. You can always go onto my website as well to see what other homes for sell in your area are listed at. http://www.SarahBrocksmith.com. If you have any questions you are welcome to call me, text me, or email me anytime.
Sarah Brocksmith
0 votes
Lenny Frolov, Agent, Brooklyn Park, MN
Wed Jan 27, 2010
I agree, most realtors wont charge for a CMA. A CMA is a better indicator of current market value than an appraisal.
Web Reference:  http://www.lennyfrolov.com
0 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Wed Jan 27, 2010
An appraiser is what the banks hire to make the decision about what a house is worth when making a loan.

A realtor is someone who is trying to get the most possible from a sale.

Realtors are often finding their cma's (and offers based on it) do NOT get approved by the appraisers when a deal is trying to be financed.
0 votes
Todd Anderson, Agent, Park City, UT
Wed Jan 27, 2010
You should be getting similar information as the Realtor and the appraiser use the same data. The realtor may paint a more rosey picture. It really depends what you plan on using the estimate for. It is rare to hear a Realtor charging a fee, but if you do not plan on listing the property in the near future, there is little reason for them to want to do it for free. If you are planning on refinancing, you bank will have a short list of accepted apraisers, you may be throwing money away if the bank won't use the appraisal in the end.
Web Reference:  http://YouInParkCity.com
0 votes
- Linda Bills…, Home Buyer, Salt Lake City, UT
Wed Jan 27, 2010
Most Realtors do not charge anything to do a CMA for you. My advice is to call a few other Realtors.
0 votes
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