What  Have Appraisers  Gotten to Do With Me?

The information contained in this part of the ASA  portal is meant for you –  users of appraisal services. It will assist you to have a better understanding of appraisers, appraisals, and why you must be very careful whenever there is a need for you to engage the service of a professional appraiser.  You are advised to explore our  Consumer Library and FAQs for detailed information on collectibles and lots more.

Let’s begin with the basics…

What does an Appraisal mean?

An appraisal refers to a property valuation undertaken by a  well-trained appraiser like those certified by ASA. A  certified appraiser prepares a  detailed report for their clients, providing their opinion of the worth of any form of property,  such as a business, a sculpture, a diamond, a house,  a windmill that generates electricity,  and lots more.

The preparation of an appraisal entails undertaking research,  analyzing all relevant information as well as the appropriate knowledge, experience, and judgment for making a  sensible and acceptable opinion of the worth of property.

● Why is it necessary to do an appraisal?

  • Appraisals are undertaken for a number of reasons ranging from buying a home to estate planning, finding out value for tax or insurance purposes. The most salient consideration is choosing the right appraiser to undertake the work.

● Why is the choice of a professional appraiser imperative?

  • It is not everything you behold on TV you should believe! It is impossible to undertake high-quality, professional appraisals within 10 minutes and they are certainly not free. Similar to any other field, what you get is commensurate with what you pay.

● What informs the choice of an ASA-approved appraiser?

  • ASA- approved appraisers offer superlative valuation knowledge and skill as they attain their positions only after successful completion of a rigorous course of study and a process of peer evaluation which requires experience, many years of study, commitment, and dedication. Appraisers who are ASA accredited abide by both the ethical standards stipulated by the ASA’s own Code of Ethics and Principles of Appraisal Practice and the Appraisal Foundation to provide an acceptable, objective opinion of value.

● How do I know the type of appraiser needed by me?

  • The type of appraisal is determined by the item you appraise ASA stands for appraisers of all forms of property ranging from gems and jewelry, personal property, real property, technical specialties, machinery, business valuation as well as review and management of appraisal. If you are in doubt, simply reach out to us – we are ready and happy to help.

● How can I locate a professional appraiser?

  • ASA has more than 3,500 approved appraiser members all over the globe. Our  tool (Find an Appraiser) will assist you to locate one easily and quickly.

●  What questions should I ask potential appraisers?

  • Ask an appraiser about their professional designations, appraisal education, and the steps they took to qualify for their For more information, read how ASA approved appraisers qualify.
  • Ask for evidence of achievements: An ASA-approved appraiser will provide their would-be client a statement of qualifications or résumé which incorporates their job history.
  • Ask for recommendations/references from former and current clients.
  • Ask how the experience of the appraiser and/or knowledge and skills relate to the appraisal you want them to undertake.
  • Ask whether they are a member of a professional appraisal society and whether that society teaches, tests as well as accredits.
  • Ask for the refresher course the appraiser has undertaken for the purpose of keeping them up-to-date in their field?
  • If they are a member of a professional society, inquire whether that society usually carries out a compulsory re-accreditation program to guarantee that their education, as well as knowledge, are up-to-date?
  • Ask whether the report of appraisal you are going to receive is USPAP compliant (USPAP stands for Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice).
  • Ensure that all your questions relating to fees are answered to your satisfaction before you enter into an agreement.
  • Ensure that the appraiser tells you exactly the things that will be included in your appraisal report.

● What are those things to look forward to?

  • Do not engage the services of any appraiser who desires to purchase the property you want them to appraise!
  • Do not engage the services of any appraiser that charges a certain percentage of the value of the item as the appraisal fee.
  • Do not engage the services of an appraiser that has either a future or current interest in the worth of the item if they do not disclose it to you and not disclose it in the report of the appraisal.

● What is the cost of an appraisal and what is its duration?

  • It is based on the type of property. An appropriate, credible valuation of jewelry, gems, and personal property can take weeks, whereas a professional appraisal of equipment, complex machinery, or a large business and can take months. The cost also varies considerably. Fees are dictated by an individual appraiser on a full-day, half-day, or hourly The appraisal fees are also based on expertise and experience.  The majority of appraisers charge for time spent on research and there can also be charges for professional consultation, photography,  and lots more.  Ensure that the appraiser offers you a schedule of fees or estimate prior to the commencement of work and ensure the agreement on your appraisal clearly states the scope of the appraisal and the time for the delivery of the report.

● What am I expected to get following an appraisal?

  • You are going to get a report of the appraisal.

● What does an Appraisal Report mean?

  • An appraisal report refers to a document which:
    • States clearly the type of value that is being determined, like replacement, which is used in connection with insurance coverage, fair market used in relation to taxes, liquidation used in connection with business dissolution or bankruptcy, etc.
    • Clearly explains the property that is being valued.
    • Writes in details the procedures employed in estimating the value; like:
      • Comparable sales analysis
      • Estimation and if applicable, analysis of income
      • Relation of the values of appraisal to a certain point in time,  for instance, the real estate’s fair market value as of January 1, 2019).
    • Incorporates the appraiser’s signature to show validity plus
    • Indicates the appraiser’s personal qualifications

● For how long will my appraisal be valid?

  • This is determined by the property type and market conditions. As several appraisers recommend an update every  2 to 3 years, you should request a recommendation in the course of the initial valuation.
  • The first appraisal happens to be the most significant Once the property is stolen, destroyed, or lost, the determination of its value becomes very hard.  Insurance companies often request credible and professional appraisals prior to their approval of reimbursement— memory and pictures are not sufficient. Usually,  making an appraisal report up-to-date needs an alteration only in the conclusion of value.  A professional appraiser should offer an informed and helpful suggestion regarding the necessity and how often an appraisal report should be updated.

● What if I’m not satisfied with what I get?

  • A benefit of engaging the services of an ASA-certified appraiser is their compliance with professional standards such as ASA’s Principles of Appraisal Practice & Code of Ethics – the code of conduct that all members of ASA must abide ASA is very active in its efforts at ensuring that all its members abide by ethical practices as well as procedures.  The Society has a way of enforcing the Code of Ethics, which enable clients to file written complaints in the event that they are of the opinion that an appraisal done by a member of ASA violates healthy professional practice.
  • If there is a need for you to file a written complaint, please send a mail to:
  • Reston, VA 20190
  • 11107 Sunset Hills Rd, Suite 310
  • Attention: Chief Executive Officer
  • American Society of Appraisers

 What is the cost of an appraisal of personal property?

  • Appraisers charge based on the nature of the project or the time spent on the project. Generally, fees include the time spent to inspect, research and identify, photograph, analyze, conclude valuation, and prepare the report of appraisal. The rates charged as appraisal fees vary,  based on the region as well as the level of accreditation.

● Am I expected to call an appraiser prior to selling an artifact or Item?

  • Appraisers can offer unbiased advice with respect to relevant markets where an item can be sold. Not all property requires an appraisal prior to their sale. For instance, many appraisers are of the opinion that items which have lower values be offered for sale at regional auctions.

● Can’t I simply e-mail pictures of my item?

  • Ideal circumstances demand that the appraiser be physically present to inspect the property in order to come up with an accurate value, premised on identification as well as condition. However, if the item is lost or damaged,  a photograph may be the only available This unusual circumstance is a limiting factor which the appraiser has to disclose in the appraisal report.

 What is the duration of an appraisal of a personal property item?

  • The process of an appraisal varies based on the needs of a client, how complex the job is, and the current caseload of the appraiser.  The majority of reports of appraisal are released between four and six weeks following the inspection. More complex appraisal projects may take longer.

● Why is it that an appraiser asks a number of questions about my item?

  • An appraiser needs to ask questions to find out the scope of research which will be required. A Tiffany lamp appraisal for the insurance coverage of the owner requires much more dissimilar data than  when the same lamp is  valued for the trustee of a bankruptcy

● What is the meaning of “ASA”?

  • “ASA” is an acronym for  “American Society of Appraisers”  as well as  for members  having the  title of “Accredited Senior Appraiser.”

● Who are qualified to be  ASA’s members?

  • The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) has to its credit two categories of membership, namely Candidate & Member. Candidates refer to entry-level appraisers not yet certified. The Member class of accredited titles includes Fellow Accredited Senior Appraiser (FASA), Accredited Senior Member (ASA), and Accredited Member (AM).

● What conditions must be fulfilled to become accredited?

  • An appraiser has to invest in academic pursuit and full-time, hands-on experience; and must demonstrate competency through excellent performance in qualifying exams in valuation ethics, theory, and at least a specialty, as well as peer-review approval of the reports of appraisal.  Two years of full-time experience in appraisal are required to qualify for AM designation while ASA designation demands five years. FASA  happens to be the highest designation, which is only awarded by the Board of Governors to ASA-level members for notable contributions to the appraisal profession and the society. For additional information, click here.

● Why should an independent appraiser be hired instead of an auctioneer or dealer?

  • Independent ASA appraisers often support their opinions using relevant evidence and explanation. The IRS, as well as others, regard ASA appraisers as “qualified” as they are well-trained in valuation and assessed for competence in certain categories of personal property.

● What  If I am not satisfied with an appraisal done previously?

  • One good option is to engage the services of an ASA appraiser to review the appraisal confidentially. For instance, a reviewer can verify the level of compliance with the existing Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

● Can an appraiser assist me to sell a collection or object

  • ASA appraisers are better informed about the market and may decide to undertake appraisal-consulting assignments, in line with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

● What if an appraiser is interested in purchasing an item he has carried out an appraisal on?

  • An offer by an appraiser to buy property they just appraised is likely to be termed a conflict of interests. When this occurs,  simply say, “No thanks.”

● When making donations to a museum,  who should I call first: an appraiser or officials of the museum?

  • First, identify a museum, which is willing and ready to accept your gift. Next, call the appraiser.

● If I were to donate any item to a museum,  at what stage would an appraisal be required?

  • Ask your legal advisor or accountant or read the most recent edition of IRS Publication 561.


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