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Frequently Asked Questions

What does an appraisal involve?

Most appraisal assignments consist of an examination of the object, market research of comparable objects, and preparation of the final appraisal report. In some instances, photographs and authentication of the objects are required.

Why can’t you just tell me what my antiques are worth?

It is unethical, misleading and potentially risky for an appraiser to offer you unconsidered appraisals. In order to determine the worth of any object, the appraiser must first understand the purpose and intended use of the appraisal. Will you be insuring your property? Donating it to a charity? Selling it? The market conditions and final appraised value may differ in each case. You’re paying the appraiser to research the appropriate market and to give you an informed, professional opinion of value

What does an appraisal cost?

Appraisers charge by the hour, by the day, or by the assignment. It is also customary for appraisers to charge for expenses incurred during the completion of the assignment. Routine expenses include, but are not limited to, research, travel, photographic copies, and report preparation. It is unethical for an appraiser to charge a fee that is based on a percentage of a value, or to charge a fee that is contingent upon the successful sale of a property. The IRS will not accept percentage or contingent fee appraisals.

What do I get for my money?

You should receive two copies of a written appraisal report that includes the following:

  • A statement of the purpose and intended use of the appraisal.

  • A detailed description of the subject property including the age, history, construction, materials, dimensions, and condition.

  • An explanation of the methodology employed by the appraiser.

  • A list of comparable objects used in the appraisal.

  • A statement, signed by the appraiser, that he has no current or future interest in the appraised object and that the appraisal report conforms to the standards and procedures of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

  • A clearly defined appraised value.

  • The effective date of the appraisal.

  • The appraiser’s professional qualifications.
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