Bulletin 1997 V27-4
By Roberta Ouellette, Legal Counsel
North Carolina Appraisal Board
A "broker's price opinion" (i.e. an opinion as to a property's probable sale price) is an "appraisal" under the North Carolina Appraiser Act. Real estate licensees may not provide such an appraisal service for a fee unless they are state-licensed or state-certified real estate appraisers and the opinion of value conforms with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
The only type of appraisal that can be performed by real estate agents who are not appraisers is a "Comparative Market Analysis" (CMA), which is defined as "...the analysis of sales of similar recently sold properties in order to derive an indication of the probable sales price of a particular property..." Although a CMA is also a type of appraisal, the Appraiser Act as interpreted by the Appraisal Board allows real estate licensees to perform them for seller-clients or prospective seller-clients in the course of listing or attempting to list their property and for buyer-clients who are interested in buying a property so long as licensees do not represent themselves as state-licensed or -certified appraisers and do not accept a fee for providing it (even if the fee is only intended to cover the licensee's expenses).
It is important to note that the Comparative Market Analysis exemption only applies where real estate licensees are performing a brokerage service for their principals, such as listing a property or showing listed properties, otherwise, a CMA (or a "broker's price opinion") performed by a real estate licensee for a fee violates the law unless the licensee is also a licensed or certified appraiser.