I'm with David on this one. I routinely recommend appraisals to my clients who have difficulty accepting the value of their home and that want or need to sell quickly. Clients who have opted for an appraisal, have sold their homes within 60-90 days of obtaining the appraisal, and our area currently has over a two year supply of homes on the market.
I work in a small market (our mls had 1200 sales last year, total), and agents in our area generally know what appraisers have excellent reputations....Appraisals from these appraisers carry a phenomal amount of weight and credibility, and it definitely helps establish value in an uncertain market. I also tell my clients to be delighted if they get an offer for an amount close to that appraisal.... but to expect to get offers for 5-10% below that number.
Yes, CMA's are OK and are effective at establishing a list price. Certainly, one must look at competing homes for sale...right now that is of utmost importance. But unless your CMA includes adjustments for depreciation, functional obsolesence, landscaping and other upgrades in your comparisons, the seller will always say," but my house has.....and this one doesn't!
A second opinion helps...and seeing it all in black and white, twice, doesn't hurt either!