Q1. What qualifies an appraiser to value my personal property?
A qualified personal property appraiser should have formal education in appraisal theory, principles, procedures, ethics, and law. They should be up-to-date on the latest appraisal standards. Continuing education and testing are the only ways to ensure this competence.
Q2. Do all appraisers have similar qualifications?
No. There are self-acclaimed personal property appraisers who have not completed any professional education. Obtaining a copy of an appraiser’s professional profile or resume can help evaluate the appraiser’s credentials.
Q3. How do you handle items that may be outside your specialty area?
No personal property appraiser should claim expertise in everything. The International Society of Appraisers (ISA) recognizes over 200 areas of specialty knowledge. A good appraiser knows their limits and is expected to consult with other experts when necessary.
Q4. What is your fee and on what basis do you charge?
Do not hire a personal property appraiser who charges a percentage of the appraised value or charges a “contingency” fee. These practices are clearly conflicts of interest and may result in biased values. The IRS will not accept an appraisal done with such fee arrangements. Hourly fees are acceptable.
Q5. What will the appraisal report be like?
You should receive a formal, typewritten report that gives you the information
you need in a complete and organized way.
Yes, 35mm or digital images are taken and embedded in the appraisal report.
Q7. Does the Federal or State Government regulate personal property appraisers?
property appraisers are not regulated by government agencies
as real property appraisers are.
USPAP stands for the Universal Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
and is the document developed by the Federal Government. The International
Society of Appraisers (ISA) requires their members to certify that they
write their appraisals to these standards.
Yes. Members must recertify every five years through testing and providing professional development points.
Q10. Why are there different values?
The function or what you are going to do with the information dictates the value being sought. For instance, the values may be different if you want to insure an item or if you want to sell that item in a short period of time.
Q11. Do you have information you can send me about appraising?
Yes. A packet of information about the Specialists of the South, Inc. appraisers of personal property can be sent you. It contains a copy of the ISA brochure "Be Certain of Its Value" and a guideline on preparing for an appraiser’s visit.
Some information courtesy of the ISA
brochure "Be Certain of Its Value", a consumer’s guide
to hiring a competent personal property appraiser.