Frequently asked questions (Personal Property Appraisals)
What are the steps in a personal property appraisal?
1. Consultation to determine purpose and objective of appraisal, and schedule an appointment for onsite inspection.
2. Onsite inspection and photography. Here, we gather information for the report. Condition, measurements, material, provenance and any other characteristics that may or may not affect value are recorded. Digital photographs are taken.
3. Offsite office work - research and report writing. Necessary report writing, market research and final preparation of report are performed offsite.
4. Delivery of report. Depending on your preference, we can send a photographic appraisal report electronically (PDF), and/or mail a hard copy. One is retained in our files for a period of five years after preparation of the report. (Per USPAP's Record Keeping Rule)
How can I prepare for my appraisal appointment?
There are few things we recommend our appraisal clients do in order to prepare for our appraisal appointment.
1. Decide which items you want to have evaluated.
In a room full, you may want just a few items appraised, or items that exceed a certain value or cost, like $250. Unsure which items might meet the dollar amount you choose? I can determine this during our appointment. I recommend tagging the items you're sure you want appraised with a post-it note or painters tape so we can move more efficiently from item to item.
2. Unpack items that are in drawers, trunks, boxes, or cabinets that you wish me to examine.
If possible, have each item that you would like to have appraised unpacked and on view. This ensures that you get the most out of our hourly rate and our time isn't spent unloading a china cabinet, accessing hard to reach items, or unpacking boxes. If this is not feasible, please let me know ahead of time and I'll be glad to bring an assistant or two. Read On
When can I expect to receive my appraisal report?
After the onsite inspection, it generally takes 2-4 weeks to finalize the report. If there are certain items that will take additional research, we will update you with our progress. Please note: we request any balance due before transmittal of appraisal reports.
How do you appraise an item outside of your expertise?
When we come across an item outside of our expertise, we first notify the client of the need for additional study and/or the need to consult an expert. The retention of an expert comes at an additional appraisal fee - however, we may be able to include this research and analysis within our single appraisal report to our client's benefit. If we cannot complete any appraisal assignment competently, we will decline or withdraw from the assignment. See USPAP's Competency Rule
How are your appraisal fees determined?
Appraisal fees are billed at an hourly rate for time spent onsite and offsite during the inspection, research, and final report preparation. We never charge a percentage of appraised value, or a "contingency" fee - this is an unethical practice, against the ISA Code of Ethics, and is not accepted by the IRS. Please contact us for a copy of our fee schedule.