Appraisals vs. CMAs

Frequently Asked Questions:


Q: Can my REALTOR® 'appraise' my home?

A: No, as one of their marketing tools, your REALTOR® may give you a CMA/Market Evaluation/Home Evaluation, which are usually free of charge. Only appraisers licenced with the Real Estate Council of Alberta may offer appraisal services on a fee-for-service basis.


Q: What is the difference between an Appraisal and a CMA? Why are CMAs free and Appraisals not?

A: A CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) is a report generated by your REALTOR® using data from the MLS® (Multiple Listing Service®). Its scope is limited to what is available in the MLS® database and often only represents a loose range of values from recently sold properties in the subject's immediate area. This report's sole scope and purpose is to estimate a list price for the subject property prior to it being placed on the marketplace for sale.


An Appraisal is a formal opinion of value prepared as a result of a retainer, from a licenced valuation professional using various research methods and multiple sources.


Appraisals are used in a wide variety of situations such as assisting in property tax assessments appeals, estate valuations, divorce proceedings, lending decisions and foreclosures. Other professionals also refer to appraisals when property values are in question. Although market value is the most common result that clients look for in general, appraisals can also be based upon any period of time and not restricted by the current marketplace.


In summary, a Real Property Appraisal is a document that can be relied upon by the identified parties for the purpose(s) stated on the report, for which the appraiser assumes responsibility. Unlike a CMA, the scope of an appraisal varies according to each client's needs.


*REALTOR® , Multiple Listing Service® and MLS® are registered trademarks of the Canadian Real Estate Association.