There are serveral options as my mentioned below, all good answers. You can choose to have a local agent prepare a CMA for you at no charge. I suggest that you not only choose a local agent who should be a student of the local market, but also have the agent visit your home in advance of preparing the CMA and then when the agent completes the CMA for you, have the agent come back and explain his/her findings in person with you.
When I prepare a CMA , I also like provide an analysis of the "local absorption rates", "average days on market", and also the "area differential of list to final sold price".
An appraisal on the other hand prepared by a licensed appraiser will not be free, but is supposed to be prepared by a professional appraiser who confirmes to the Uniform Specificationsof Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) - which stated that the appraisal is to be prepared in an unbiased manor.
There are cases where an appraisal is warrented as there just aren't an comps available to support a CMA if done properly, Examples area historic home located in a neighborhood of homes built in the last 30 years, or a farmhouse, contemporary home, etc., etc... It would be foolish for an agent to even try to prepare a CMA on a home such as the above as there is nothing to support it.
Lastly, while there are many web sites that will give you an estimate of price by entering an address, it is no replacement for a CMA or appraisal,
If you have any questions Anthony, I would be happy to answer them for you.
John (John B.) Badalamenti, CRS, ABR, SRES
Certified Residential Specialist/Relocation Specialist
Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors, Wayne, PA