You sell your property and you want to know its market value. Is the value of your property as presented on your tax bill? All real estate stakeholders (financial institutions, chartered appraisers, real estate brokers …) will be unanimous in answering you in the negative. Simply explained, the main differences between the municipal evaluation and the valuation of the market value can be explained by two main factors:

a) Elapsed time:

– The municipal evaluation exercise is produced 18 months before the next land roll (municipal evaluation) comes into effect and this same value will be used for the next 3 years. This means that in the first year of the new land roll, 18 months elapsed between the appraisal exercise and the current market, and  in the third year of the land roll, 42 at 54 months compared to the current resale market.

– Market value is assessed under current resale market conditions and is realized in the present time. It is quite obvious that a valuation of the market value made when marketing for resale will be preferred.

b) The method:

– The municipal evaluation deals with the data and characteristics of a neighborhood unit (a given sector) which can represent several thousand properties and these data are statistically transposed on each property of this sector according to their known characteristics (you will not often see a municipal appraiser visiting your property so the features known to them are limited). Municipal appraisers deal with large quantities of characteristics, sales prices, location, etc. This is called a mass valuation carried out in order to serve as a basis for the application of a tax rate.

– The valuation of the market value is made according to the method of comparative market analysis (CMA). We select from 3 to 6 comparable properties recently sold (and not for sale) in the immediate vicinity or near the property to be assessed. Subsequently we compare the characteristics, the location, the surfaces, the materials finishes, the distribution of the rooms and their number (ex: #bathroom, #powder rooms, adjoining or not to the master bedroom), outdoor parking or interior or none, with major renovations or not, etc. Then we make adjustments (contributive values) that are important for a buyer and this to take into account the differences between the main characteristics of the properties studied. It should be noted that acquisition costs are not part of the adjustments, rather it is a question of applying a value that a buyer is willing to pay for a given characteristic. For example, the renovation of a roof can represent a contributive value equivalent to 70% of its effective cost. This evaluation looks for the highest probable value, in the current market conditions and in order to sell as soon as possible. The market value thus determined becomes the basis of reference for a buyer to formulate an offer to purchase or a seller to establish its selling price.

The acquisition or sale of a property is a major event in a person’s life, so it matters buying it at the right price or selling it at the best price. How do we use the results of CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)

a) Expectations versus reality

More often than not, the seller is surprised by the result. Indeed, most of the time the seller makes his own idea of ​​what his property is worth and the price he wants to get at the end of the process. The comparative market analysis presented to him provides an objective perspective that puts its expectations versus reality into perspective. Sometimes he is surprised positively (in the situations of an active market rising sharply) but often the expectations of the customer are much higher compared to the market. Moreover, it is not uncommon to see in websites for sale by the owner overvalued selling prices. It is very difficult for a seller to emotionally detach himself from his property and thereby register an appropriate selling price.

Then a reflection is necessary and the real estate broker who accompanies you in this process is your best ally to help you objectively balance your expectations. This stage of reflection is crucial and will determine the sequence of events.

b) The impact of the listing price

The determination of the fair market value (FMV) is useful in order to guide us in determining the selling price to be entered on the listing. It will be recalled that the objective of the market value analysis is to find the highest probable value in the current market conditions and in the best selling delay. Therefore, the establishment of the asking price must take into account these 3 conditions. To do this we want to increase the (FMV) at a reasonable gap to reserve a margin for negotiation. Of course, depending on the macroeconomic conditions,  the buyer’s and the seller’s balance of power will influence the establishment of this trading margin on the upside or downside. Obviously if the difference between the (FMV) ) and the selling price  is too high in a market where the balance of power favors the buyer, it will result in a very long sales delay and more often than not any sale. And typically, the seller will get impatient and reduce the asking price and after a few revisions, it will end up out of the market or accept a much lower price than the (FMV). This will result in an unpleasant sales experience and an unsatisfied customer.


As your real estate broker, whether you are a buyer or a seller, I always provide my client with a written assessment of the property’s market value. Being in the heat of the action negotiating several properties over the years, I am in a good position to advise you by offering you my opinion on the market value of your property and this by combining my experience and using the comparative method  analysis to formulate an objective recommendation of the sell or the buy price. By doing so, you can count on me to represent your interests, assist you and advise throughout the process in the purchase or sale of your property and this in order to obtain a final result without concern and in the best possible market conditions. Do not hesitate to contact me to begin a process of evaluation of your property for sale or purchase in real estate.