Free Home Evaluation
If you are following the real estate market you have undoubtedly heard terms like: “Free Home Evaluation”, “Comparative Market Analysis” (CMA), “Appraisal” or similar ones. The purpose of each one of them is to determine the value of the property, but what really matters is that not all of them will produce the same results. 

Online Evaluation is used to gather your information for the purpose of solicitation.


Free Home Evaluation is a widely used term used in marketing materials. It is intended to attract the attention of potential sellers and is a great opportunity for a Realtor to "get their foot in the door". This type of evaluation is based on the Realtor's knowledge about the market and typically contains information about a few similar homes called “Comps” or “Comparables”. The disadvantages of this type of evaluation are that the Realtor has a vested interest in getting a listing, and the "quote" is not objective and has no legal merit. The benefit is that it is free and often a Realtor can make suggestions on how to make a home more appealing to home buyers.


CMA or Comparative Market Analysis, sometimes also called Competitive Market Analysis, is based on the past sales and active listings of similar homes in the same geographic area. It takes into account the location, size, age, amenities, type of construction, and other features that affect the value of a property. Thorough analysis will also include statistics and information about potential buyers. Similarly to a Free Home Evaluation, it has no legal merit, but is the most objective way of estimating the real value of a property. In most cases your Realtor will provide it for free.


The Appraisal can only be conducted by a licensed Appraiser. Unlike the CMA, it does not contain information about active listings or statistics. It has a legal merit and is typically requested by lending institutions to establish the value of a property for the purpose of financing. Since the Appraisal takes into account only past information, it is not uncommon that the estimate of value is different than the CMA or the sale price. The Appraisal cost is typically between $300-$500 for an urban home.


Municipal Assessment is used to determine property taxes and the value is established through the analysis of property sales in the area. Municipal Property Assessment Corporation will look at about 200 different factors. The 5 major ones are location, lot dimensions, living area, age of the property (adjusted for any major renovations or additions), and quality of construction. The Assessment is conducted every 4 years and does not take under account any changes or improvements the homeowner might have done, unless the information becomes public. Therefore, it rarely reflects the real value of the property.

As a home seller you want to be sure that once you decide to put your home on the market, it will sell in a reasonable amount of time and for the best possible price. Pricing your home incorrectly will inevitably cost you money and create a lot of frustration.

To request a free consultation call 519-778-0737 or email rad@radkostka.com