Appraisers are frequently asked to participate in fund raiser Appraisal Fairs. This is a real challenge as even though an appraiser may specialize in a particular item, that item may not show up at the appraisal fair. Instead you see various items from Grandma’s teapot to Uncle’s picture that hung on the wall forever. If you are under thirty, forever may only be you remember it being there for 20 years! The Appraisal Foundation has adopted The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice requires an appraiser to be “qualified” to conduct an appraisal. Among the qualifications required are education, experience, membership in a recognized appraisal or auction association, and product knowledge. Few of us can give an estimated value off the top of our heads. Just as we do research in preparing written appraisals, research is often required in estimations of value. Because few people remember the low end of a value, the appraiser must be very careful to document what the individual was told. According to USPAP an appraiser who gives a verbal appraisal is as liable as one who has a written, research appraisal with notes and documents to back up the value. Next time you want an appraisal, ask the appraiser what standards do you write to and are you experienced in valuing this kind of item. Remember the tv show appraisers have access to computers and other appraisers to assist them in estimating value.