An appraisal is a professional opinion of a property's value by an independent, licensed appraiser. Whether you are buying a home, refinancing a mortgage, settling a legal issue, appealing property taxes or just need to know the current value of a property, the appraisal will provide a home's true property value. An appraisal will determine the market value of your home and give you a solid backing on which you can make the most of your real estate investment.
Online Estimate, CMA or Appraisal
Don't confuse an online estimate or comparative market analysis (CMA) with an appraisal. Online computer generated valuation providers offer an estimate of the value of a property. The accuracy is limited to the basic comparable data available that may be incomplete or incorrect; also, the program cannot physically inspect a property to verify the condition. Real estate agents use CMAs to help home sellers determine a realistic asking price. Experienced agents often come very close to an appraiser's opinion of value with a CMA, but an appraiser's report is much more detailed and is the only valuation report a bank or attorney will consider when securing a loan or settling an estate.