The Differences Between an Appraisal, Comparative Market Analysis and Broker Price Opinion


Many people know what an appraisal is or they’ve heard of a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and Broker Price Opinion (BPO); many don’t usually know the differences between them.

Appraisal- The appraisal is an unbiased opinion of value of a purchase, listing or refinance. The appraisal report contains exterior and interior property photos, physical data on the property including square footage of the living area, size of the lot, condition description, items that may need repair and the type of construction materials needed. Neighborhood and surrounding community information is also analyzed and included in the report because this information directly affects property values. Appraisals can be used by banks, insurance companies, homeowners and any other interested party that wants to know the market value of the property. Appraisals are also used for construction loans, insurance and tax valuations and estate planning.

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) – Real estate agents perform a CMA when needing to come up with a listing price. This typically free report contains information on recently sold homes, pending sales, active listings, cancelled, expired and withdrawn listings. The CMA is a qualitative comparison, where the home features are compared to each other. Although this is not the rule, dollar adjustments are rarely used. Agents look at the different types of listings and homes similar to the subject home then decide what they sold for, how long it took to sell and the difference between the sales price and the listing price. This information is used to determine a competitive list price for the home.

Broker Price Opinion (BPO) – The BPO is considered a formal more concise version of the CMA. In addition to homeowners ordering them, they can be ordered by a bank or lender to value a property that may be in the process of being foreclosed on. Like the CMA, the BPO provides information which allows the real estate agent to set a listing price. It‘s also used as a time and money saving alternative to the appraisal for the lender.

PEMCO Limited, in addition to working with a dedicated and highly qualified team of appraisers, also provides BPO services.


Birmingham Appraisal Blog. “Appraisal vs CMA vs BPO – What’s the difference?” 17 April 2014.

T William Robinson Management. “Broker Price Opinions and Comparative Market Analysis” 17 April 2014.


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