The Quickest & Easiest Way to Discover Your Atlanta Home's Worth

Real Estate

The Quickest & Easiest Way to Discover Your Atlanta Home's Worth

Did you know Atlanta is one of Zillow’s top 10 hottest predicted markets of 2024? If you’re thinking of cashing in on your equity and selling this year, it’s important to get an estimate of your home’s value before you list. 

And no, Zestimates are not an accurate source of information!

Trust us, there is nothing more important in today’s market than getting the list price correct from the start. Buyers are educated, savvy, and most importantly NOT jumping on homes that are priced too high. If your list price is not a true representation of your home’s value, it may sit on the market for months and lead to price reductions. 

From Zestimates to CMAs to appraisals, here are the top methods for finding your home’s value and the difference between them:

Why Zestimates Fall Short

While Zillow's Zestimate system may seem convenient, it can be influenced by limited data, market volatility, and occasional errors. The site has acknowledged its algorithm’s limits and instead provides a range of estimated values and an accuracy score. 

CMA vs Appraisal

So, if not a Zestimate—where do you start? We recommend you seek out a CMA if you are a seller considering listing your home on the market. Meanwhile, buyers typically receive home appraisals to solidify their loan amount during the due diligence process.

Let’s break down their differences:

  • CMA -  A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is an estimate formed by Realtors that base your home’s value on recently sold, similar properties in your area. Agents use CMAs to assist sellers in setting listing prices and aid buyers in making competitive offers.
  • Appraisal - An appraisal is a formal valuation conducted on the buyer's behalf, driven by the needs of the mortgage lender. A state-licensed appraiser evaluates comparable homes, considers market conditions, and generates a report for the lender's approval.

How a CMA is Prepared

When a real estate professional conducts a CMA, they compile a detailed report that includes: the property address (and 3-5 comparables), property descriptions, square footage, sales prices, and adjusted sold price per square foot. Here is an example of what to expect:

Image provided by Investopedia.

When to Choose a CMA vs Appraisal

Typically, CMAs are most common for prospective sellers looking to gain an understanding of their home’s value before listing it. This report is an important tool to gain insight into proper pricing techniques based on similar homes recently sold in the area. 

CMAs are compiled by a trusted real estate professional, so reach out to The LaMon Team if you would like an estimate of your home’s market value.

However, appraisals are used for many reasons, specifically—refinancing, applying for home equity loans, applying for separate miscellaneous loans, appealing tax assessments, or establishing a living trust.

The process is much more rigid and requires a state-licensed and certified appraiser. So if you’re looking to receive an appraisal report, reach out to our team for a recommendation. We work with many local appraisers and would be happy to introduce you.

The Bottom Line

If you’re seeking to understand your home's true value, Zestimates offer a convenient starting point. However, appraisals and CMAs will provide a deeper understanding of your home’s worth and provide a more accurate estimate. Whether you’re a seller beginning your listing journey or a buyer ready to close on your home purchase—The LaMon Team is here to help you through it all.

Contact Cathay LaMon for a free CMA so you can get a better understanding of your home’s value and determine if now is the right time to enter Atlanta’s hot housing market!

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Get assistance in determining current property value, crafting a competitive offer, writing and negotiating a contract, and much more. Contact us today.