What’s It Worth

I just want to know “What’s it worth” is the most common response when a person calls to make an appointment for an appraisal and I ask what is the purpose of the appraisal.  One of the definitions of “Worth” is value.  This is really what the caller wants to know.  I will repeat the question “How are you planning to use this appraisal?”  Most of the time I still get the answer “I just want to know if it’s worth anything or not.”

The dictionary defines “worth” as “value”.  There are different kinds of values.  There  is a resale value, replacement value, market value, a pre-move insurance value, and sentimental value. Therefore, the purpose of the appraisal – how it is going to be used determines the market the appraiser is going to use to estimate value.  Is it going to be a liquidation value and how soon will it have to be liquidated? Is it fair market value – willing buyer, willing seller under no compulsion to buy or sell? Is it insurance replacement value?

With downsizing and deaths many people are inheriting from parents and grandparents property that in today’s market has either a low or minimum value or is still of value and worthy of an appraisal before deciding to keep or sell it.  This can only be determined by an honest discussion with the appraiser of the purpose of the appraisal.  If you want to know if it’s worth keeping or if you want to sell it, say so.  An appraiser can assist and advise you as part of our job is to keep up with the current market in their area.  Keep in mind certain property will sell better and markets will differ in different parts of the country.



About askbeverly

Who am I? I am an individual who values the contents of people's homes for a variety of reasons. I'm called a "personal property appraiser" and certified by the International Society of Appraisers which requires educational courses, examinations, keeping up with current tax laws and every two years taking a course called the Uniform Standards of Personal Property Appraisals. Every five years, I am required to keep up my ISA certification by proving I have a minimum of 100 personal property development credits - that's course hours and actual research time spend on appraisal work. As a long time collector I have turned a hobby into a profession and for the last 22 years worked as an independent appraiser. My specialties include china, pottery, sterling silver, crystal and glassware, costume jewelry, Carnival Glass, Belleek Irish porcelain, collectibles and furniture. Why do you need an appraisal? The purpose of an appraisal may be for obtaining insurance, probate of an estate, equitable division of an estate or divorce, or a damage claim. I also give lectures on several different topics to antique clubs, provide consultations in person, by phone and through email. No my service is not free! But I will also advise you if I believe it is in your best interest to do research on your own if you just want an idea of what something is worth rather than pay for an appraisal.

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