The first question many people ask is, “What is an Appraisal?." An Appraisal is an opinion of value as to a piece of property by a person who refers to himself or herself as an “Appraiser.”
As you might have noticed anyone can call themselves an “Appraiser.” There are no legal requirements to be an Appraiser. Unlike doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals, no laws govern who may be an Appraiser.
Therefore, several private organizations have been created to provide the public with some direction and information governing appraisers. These organizations are within The “Appraisal Foundation.” An example is the “International Society of Appraisers,” also called “ISA” located in Chicago, IL. These accrediting organizations have agreed to follow certain appraisal standards generally described as the “Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice” (USPAP). These organizations provide requirements, usually in the form of classes, for persons who wish to become members in order to hold themselves out to the public as knowledgeable in providing accurate and timely appraisal reports.
As stated above, Appraisers determine the value of property, either Real Property or Personal Property. “Value” for our purposes is generally defined as what a willing buyer would pay for an item of property sold by a willing seller, with both having knowledge of all relevant factors and under no compulsion to buy or sell.” Here we are only dealing with “Personal Property,” which is generally described as “movables” or “unattached” items such as household contents, equipment, machinery, autos, etc.
WHY AN APPRAISAL
Appraisals may be needed for many reasons such as:
- Insurance purposes, to determine the value of items to make sure the property is property insured if damaged or destroyed.
- To determine value for charitable or estate tax filings pursuant to the requirements of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
- To determine value for division of property among heirs of an estate.
- To determine value for purposes of sale.
- To determine value for purposes of compensation in the event of damage or destruction.
First I will schedule a no charge “walk-thru” where I will visit and examine the items wherever located in order to provide an estimate of the time required to perform the appraisal.
Next, if the client agrees to the appraisal a contract will be emailed to the client via Prestige Estate Services for signature and return. Once the contract is returned, another appointment will be made whereby I will return to the items' location to examine, document, and take pictures of the item. Finally, I will return to the office and begin the research to determine value and prepare the report.