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Frequently Asked Questions About Appraisals

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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. In addition, they should be up-to-date on the latest appraisal standards. Continuing education and testing are the only ways to ensure this competence.​

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.

What does the appraisal function mean?

There are different functions for personal property appraisals. The function of an appraisal identifies how an appraisal is to be used. It is the way you, the client, will use the report. 

You may want to:

  • obtain insurance coverage

  • a casualty loss deduction 

  • determine loan collateral

  • determine proceeds from the liquidation 

  • establish an amount for a non-cash charitable contribution 

  • determine a fair asking or buying price

  • or determine federal or state estate tax liabilities 

But did you know that the same item may have many different appraised values depending on how you intend to use the appraisal? 

For instance, a value for insurance may be very different from a value for the estate tax, consumer resale, or charitable contribution.

Do you take photographs of the items being appraised?

Yes, digital images are taken and embedded in the appraisal report.

Does the Federal or State Government regulate personal property appraisers?

No. Personal property appraisers are not regulated by government agencies as real property appraisers are.

Does the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) require recertification?

Yes. Members must recertify every five years through testing and providing professional development points. Some information courtesy of the ISA brochure “Be Certain of Its Value,” a consumer’s guide to hiring a competent personal property appraiser.

What is USPAP?

USPAP stands for the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and reflects the latest appraising standards for real estate appraisers, personal property, and businesses. The International Society of Appraisers (ISA) requires its members to certify that they write their appraisals to these standards.

Shannon was referred to us by a respected CPA firm when we needed assistance related to a move. In the process of downsizing our home, we were looking for help with an appraisal of items for our charitable donation. Our items were divided and donated at two different stages of the move.  Shannon is professional, super organized, and she provided us all necessary paperwork and reports. She also quickly responded to our many questions.  We would definitely recommend Shannon!

– Deb and Richard Best

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