What is the value of a home? How do I figure it out?

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Tax Assessment? Bank Appraisal? Comparative Market Analysis?

Real Estate Values North Shore of Boston

Questions we are often asked by both sellers and buyers in reference to the value of a property are: What is a Tax Assessment, a Bank Appraisal and a Comparative Market Analysis? How do they differ?

There are definite differences in who calculates these numbers and how the figures are determined. Below is a general explanation of the differences.


  • Bank Appraisal – A bank appraisal is a report of value put together by a licensed appraiser, and is based primarily on data from sold properties. It is needed for mortgage financing. An appraiser will present a fixed number that is their opinion of value at a particular point of time.
  • Tax Assessment – The tax assessment is a figure determined by a city or town. Each $1,000 in value is multiplied by the current tax rate to assess a real estate tax.
  • Comparative Market Analysis or CMA – Real estate agents will put together this report. In addition to using data about sold properties, or historical data, they will also use current and forecasted market conditions to arrive at a more general estimate of price or price range. That is what we do!

In addition we are also asked, ” What is a Zestimate? “. This is a figure provided exclusively by Zillow.com. They have also provided their rate of accuracy for specific areas.

The information used in each of these reports are used for different purposes and they may not be the same numbers. Whether you are planning on buying or selling your property, contact us confidentially to see if we can assist you with your pricing. See what homes are currently on the market from Boston through the North Shore and Cape Ann. John & Cindy Farrell 978-468-9576.


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