What's the Difference Between a Home Appraisal, Online Home Estimator, and a CMA?

Thinking of selling your home or just curious to know what your current home value may be? Let us help you navigate your next steps.

Home Appraisal

A home appraisal is a Bank Process. The bank will arrange for a qualified appraiser to visit your home.

When a potential buyer files for a loan to buy your house, the home appraisal process begins. A licensed appraiser must hold either a state certification or a state license.

The house appraiser is an impartial third party who has no stake in how the sale turns out. The bank hires the appraiser simply to make sure it isn’t lending too much money for the house. The appraisal will include details about the neighborhood, the condition of the home, and previous listings that are similar to it so that fair market value may be calculated.

No. Many people confuse CMAs with appraisals, but the main difference between the two is the person responsible for conducting the review. A CMA is based on sales data and prepared by a real estate agent, and an appraisal is performed by a certified real estate appraiser. A CMA and an appraisal are different processes, but both help you to get you accurate and up-to-date information about how much your home is worth.

Online Home Estimator

An Online Home Estimate is an Automated Process. It utilizes an algorithm to aggregate data of homes in your general area.

An online home estimate is not an official appraisal, but is a helpful starting point to estimate your home value.

To better comprehend your home’s present value or determine a potential sale price, your real estate agent can offer you a more comprehensive CMA, which compares your home to nearby homes that have previously sold, taking into account any unique characteristics of your home, its location, and the neighborhood market circumstances.

If you’re just curious to know what the approximate value of your home may be, an online home estimator is a great place to start. 

Getting an “instant” home value is appealing, but there’s a cost to that approach. According to Zillow, their online home estimator “Zestimate” has a median error rate of 7.5% for off-market homes. For a $300,000 home, that’s $22,500 you may be leaving on the table.

Competitive Market Analysis

A CMA is an Agent Process​. We use our proven experience, MLS data, and your home's unique location, features, and other important factors that can increase/decrease your home's value.

A Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) is a process performed by real estate agents to determine an appropriate listing price for your home.

Factors Considered in CMA Report

The MLS is only available to real estate agents, which is part of what making listing your home FSBO (for sale by owner) so challenging. If you’re thinking of selling your home now or in the next few months, a CMA is the best place to start.

Thinking of Selling Your Home?

We help you optimize the value of your property and sell it with proven results.

We’re a full-service team equipped with efficient processes, innovative marketing strategies, and the right experience to save you time, money, and deliver superior results. Our team of client-focused professionals are here  to assist you throughout the entire selling process. We leverage our unique industry experience and knowledge to expertly negotiate on your behalf and secure even more than the highest offer.

What We’ve Achieved Helping Clients

Our team has been buying and selling homes in Columbus for the past 25 years and consistently ranks among the Top 5 selling real estate teams in Central Ohio. 

  • #3 Selling Team in Central Ohio (2022)
  • Over 1,700 Homes Sold in Central Ohio
  • Realtor® Magazine 30 Under 30 Agent in 2018 (Rob Riddle)
  • In-Contract Magazine® 10 Under 40 Honoree (Rob Riddle)
  • Columbus Board of REALTORS® $50 Million Club
  • Pinnacle of Success Award, Ohio Association of REALTORS® 

Client Reviews

We have been fortunate to help over 1,800 great families through the real estate process. Hear what they have to say about working with us.

“Rob and his team are amazing! Rob is genuinely a great person and works extra hard to ensure that your home buying experience is outstanding. One of my best customer service experiences. I’ve used Rob for two homes now and will continue to use and recommend him to everyone I know! He is truly the best and most caring person and an exceptional realtor!”
Simona R.
“Our buying experience was super smooth, super efficient, and super professional. Rob Riddle set the standard bar to a new height. I couldn’t imagine working with a different realtor team in our future.”
Chris A.
“Working with Thomas|Riddle Group was a pleasure from the start. I closed a couple weeks ago and have already referred two co-workers because I don't think there is anything Rob and his team could have done better.”
Tim C.

Get Started With a Free, No-Obligation, Competitive Market Analysis.

From the start, we work with you to get the pricing right. We don’t just skim the top of the latest data and sales statistics. We are trained to recognize shifts in the market and our recommendations are based on comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analysis. 

Get Your Updated Home Value

Where should we send your updated home value?

Get Started With A Free, No-Obligation, Market Analysis.

As full-time and fully dedicated real estate agents, our sole focus will be on your sale and your happiness. We will always be a call, email, or text away to advise you as needed.

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