Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an appraisal?

An Appraisal is "the act or process of developing an opinion of value; an opinion of value" (USPAP 2016-2017 edition)

An appraisal is an appriser's opinion of value.  Inspection of a property, research in appropriate markets, gathering and analysis of relevant information; and application of knowledge, experience, and judgement are all parts of the process when developing this opinion.  Usually, this opinion is communicated in a written report.

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When do I need an appraisal?

An appraisal may be beneficial, or necessary, to:

  • settle an estate
  • establish a trust
  • obtain insurance coverage
  • establish a loss
  • catalogue and document a collection
  • charitable donation
  • equitably divide property
  • contemplate the sale or purchase of an item
  • provide an expert opinion in a legal matter


Additionally, at times, an appraisal is requested simply
because you are curious what an item is, and what
value it has.


What is the process?

In general:

  1. Call Jerry to discuss your specific situation and schedule and inspection.
  2. Jerry will inspect the property being appraised (when possible).  This typically involves physical examination of the property, at its location, to document the existence and specifics of the item, which includes taking photographs.
  3. Jerry will correctly identify the property, determine and research the appropriate market level, identify comparable items, analyze this information, and conclude an opinion of value.
  4. Jerry will prepare a written report that clearly communicates his value conclusion, within the context of the intended use and the known market facts.



If you're an expert, why do you need to do research?

Research, comparison with other similar items in the most relevant market, and judgement are basic principles of good appraisal practice. A professional appraisal values property within the context of known market facts.

IRS Publication 561 Determining the Value of Donated Property states:



"The appraiser's opinion is never more valid than the facts on which it is based; without these facts it is simply a guess."


What does a written appraisal report look like?

A written appraisal report is a multi-page document that should include, at minimum:

  • the client and the intended users
  • the intended use of the appraisal
  • identification of the property, with photographs
  • the type and definition of value concluded
  • the effective date of the valuation
  • the date of the report
  • a description of the scope of work
  • a clearly presented and supported value conclusion
  • a certification signed by the appraiser



How much does it cost?

Jerry charges by the hour. For most reports requiring a written appraisal, a minimum of three hours is required. Please see my fee schedule, or contact me for a quote.



How should I prepare for an appraisal?

To the extent possible, please have the property easily accessible for examination. This might include, for example, having tableware unwrapped, or silver laid out from storage bags.

Please have any relevant documentation such as receipts, written histories, or prior appraisals available for examination as well.



Have more questions?

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"Appraisal Practice Done Right."