What is The Difference Between a CMA and an Appraisal?
Simply put, the difference is night and day. A CMA or Comparative Market Analysis relies on vague market trends. An appraisal relies on specific, verifiable comparable sales. In addition, the appraisal looks at other factors like condition, location and construction costs. A CMA delivers a ''ball park figure.'' An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.
But the biggest difference is the person creating the report. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts.
The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional, like Green Mountain Valuations who has made a career out of valuing properties. Further, the appraiser is an independent voice, with no vested interest in the value of a home, unlike the real estate agent, whose income is tied to the commission from the value of the home.
If you’re working with a real estate agent to list your property, more than likely they’ll provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) that lists selected sales in your area as one of the first steps in determining what to set as the “Listing Price".This step is vital if you're going to maximize your profit and minimize the home’s time on the market.
But even if you're working with the most experienced real estate agent, it's probably in your best interest to have an "objective" third-party's opinion of value prior to signing a Listing Agreement. And that’s where Green Mountain Valuations comes in. We can provide you with a pre-listing appraisal so both you and your agent have an accurate description of your home's features and a detailed analysis of the most recent and similar "comparable sales" or as they're commonly called, "Comps".
BENEFITS OF AN APPRAISAL:
- A very valuable negotiating tool once you have a potential buyer
- Impress buyer’s with written proof of your home’s condition inside and out
- Make yourself aware of problems and eliminate last-minute repair hassles that might delay a closing
- Decrease the chances of unknown problems that cause sales to fall through
- Eliminate the wait for the buyer or their mortgage company to get the appraisal done on their own
Many people are surprised when they find out that the market value of their home is much more than they thought, so investing in a professional appraisal actually allowed these people to receive several thousand more dollars than they thought they would when their home was sold. Others have an inflated opinion of their home's value and an appraisal helped them to realistically price their home in order for it to sell. An overpriced home will not attract buyers, which means no offers and no closing and that you have wasted valuable time, money, and efforts.
Improvements to add value
In addition to “how much?”, there may be other important questions to ask yourself before listing your home. Questions like ''Would it be better to paint the entire house before we sell it?”, ''Should I put in that third bathroom?'', ''Should I complete my kitchen remodel?'' Many things which we do to our houses have an effect on their value. Unfortunately, not all of them have an equal effect. While a kitchen remodel may improve the appeal of a home, it may not add nearly enough to the value to justify the expense.
We can step in and help make these decisions. Unlike a real estate agent, an appraiser has no vested interest in what amount the house sells for. Our appraisal fees are based on efforts to complete the report and not a percentage of the sales price. So a professional appraisal can often help homeowners make the best decisions on investing in their homes and setting a fair sales price.