Personal Property Appraisal -

Frequently Asked Questions

What is personal property?

Tangible, usually movable property such as furniture, art, decorative objects, appliances, and general residential/business contents. Also called chattel. Items that are not part of the real estate/real property.

Are there different values for the same item? 

Yes, depending on the intended use of the appraisal. Insurance replacement, fair market value, and orderly liquidation are some of the most frequently used levels of value. The appraiser should discuss this with the client prior to proceeding with the assignment.

How do appraisers charge?

Hourly, per item or flat fees for the entire appraisal project. They should never charge a percentage of the value of the items.

Do appraisers buy the items being appraised?

No. It would be a conflict of interest. A professional appraiser should never offer to buy the items they appraise.

Are all appraisers the same?

No. Choose an appraiser with experience in the category of items being appraised. They should also have a designation from a major appraisal society such as the International Society of Appraisers, of which I am a member.

How are appraisers credentialed?

They qualify through major appraisal societies by taking courses, testing, proving years of experience, and re-qualifying every five (5) years. They should also be compliant and up to date with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

Are personal property appraisers licensed? 

Currently, there are no state licensing requirements for appraising personal property.

Are appraisers advocates? 

No. They are supposed to provide an impartial 3rd-party opinion regarding the items they appraise.

Are all appraisers able to do IRS related tax appraisals?

No. They must be done by someone meeting the “Qualified Appraiser” requirements of the IRS.

How long do appraisers keep an appraisal?

They are required to keep appraisal copies and the work-file for a minimum of five (5) years after preparation, or two (2) years after final disposition of any judicial proceeding in which the appraiser provided testimony related to the assignment.