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An appraisal is an opinion of value based upon research of comparable objects within the most appropriate market place. The objects are witnessed (physically looked at, measured and photographed) and research is necessary.

An appraisal is fee-based and is generally a formal, written document. Our appraisals are based upon the Uniforms Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as set forth by the Appraisals Standards Board of the Appraisal Foundation in Washington, DC and with the Principals of Appraisal Practices and Code of Ethics of the NAA Education Institute in Overland Park, Kansas.

You may need an appraisal for the following reasons:

1. Insurance Appraisals

May be necessary for several reasons, including loss, damage, theft or destruction.
  • You are moving and want to provide your moving company with a contents appraisal before the move. This may be on all items or selected items. Alternatively, if you own antiques or other valuable objects, the moving company may insist upon an appraisal.
  • You have moved but neglected to have the contents appraised before the move and now there are damages. You now need an appraisal for insurance loss.
  • You want to ensure that the contents of your home will be adequately covered from fire, flood or theft; or you have a special antique or other item, which needs to be placed on an insurance rider.
  • Your items were damaged while in a storage facility. You need an appraisal for insurance loss.

2. Fair Market Value Appraisals

May be needed for any of the following reasons:

Divorce or Annulment

An appraisal ensures the equitable distribution of your property. The division of property is an emotional task and best left to unbiased professionals. Talk to your attorney about having a joint valuation done on your marital property.

Death (Probate)

This appraisal may be necessary for tax purposes and is useful for distribution.

Charitable Contribution

Governmental law requires appraisals “by expert appraisers” on certain charitable contributions; institutions may require an appraisal before they accept the donation. You should consult your tax advisor if you are considering making a charitable donation.

Estate Planning

You want to include all of your assets – including personal property.

3. Liquidation

Orderly and/or Forced

Orderly Liquidation - refers to selling in an orderly manner with very little or no time restraints.
Forced Liquidation - requires the person to sell within short time constraints.

Frequently asked questions about Appraisals

Are all appraisers accredited and tested?

No. Examples of a non-accredited appraiser may include antiques dealers, auctioneers or jewelers who have knowledge of some (not all) values in their field of expertise but have no formal training in valuation methodology. You should ask the appraiser to which professional appraisal organization he or she belongs and research the organization.

Can you do an appraisal from photographs?

Yes, it is possible, but not preferred. We would also need specific information such as condition, size and separate photographs of the construction methods. Normally, we use photographs for preliminary consultation to ascertain whether or not the object has enough value to warrant the expense of an appraisal. It is something that can be discussed over the phone.

What is a consultation?

If someone leaves you the contents of a home (or even one or two items) and you have no idea of the value, you might want to speak with a professional to find out if an appraisal is necessary. This service is called consultation and has a lower fee base. A professional consultation arms you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions, such as:
  • Which items are worth the cost of an appraisal and which are not?
  • Are you going to keep the items or dispose of them (Liquidate)?
  • If you are going to keep them, do they need to be placed on an insurance rider?
  • If you are going to dispose of them (Liquidate) what are the best avenues for disposal?
  • Do you have the time and means to dispose of the items, or would you rather leave this to our company.
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