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What is a qualified appraisal?


When you are considering an appraisal, it’s important to find a qualified appraiser who has a meaningful education, including appraisal theory, ethics, principles, procedures and law. Continuing education is important to ensure the appraiser is up to date on the latest appraisal standards. Many “experts” can identify an item but not understand how to decipher the complicated marketplaces used to determine values for specific uses.


How do I know if someone is a qualified appraiser?

The Appraisal Foundation, a Congressional subcommittee, identifies qualified appraisers through their rigorous appraisal qualification requirements for personal property appraisals. Members of sponsoring organizations, such as The International Society of Appraisers, are required to adhere to these standards. Accredited or Certified membership in such an appraisal organization indicates commitment to an agreed upon standard of professionalism. It is important to ask a prospective appraiser specifically about their qualifications. Many self-proclaimed appraisers have no formal professional education. Asking for a resume will help you evaluate their qualifications.

For more detailed information see “Questions to Ask an Appraiser.” (Insert link from ISA website here)


Continuing education is vital for qualified appraisers as regulations and procedures are frequently changing. Even if an appraiser is a member of a group that trains and tests its members, you should ask if their credentialing is current. Some organizations allow members to retain status without updating their education.


To learn more about the credentials of our team members, click on the ISA icon below.


Why does it matter how I’m going to use the appraisal?


It’s important for the appraiser to know your purpose for the appraisal. The same item may have different values depending on how the appraisal will be used. For example, the value for consumer resale will be different than for the purpose of obtaining insurance, loan collateral will be different from charitable contribution.


A qualified appraiser will be educated in the various appraisal uses, values and marketplace and should ask you appropriate questions to determine and ensure the proper type of value for your needs.


What about items that are not your specialty?


Be wary if anyone claims to be an expert at everything. Appraisers are not authenticators unless they have demonstrated experience in a specific area recognized by their piers. Aletheia Appraisals relies on a wide network of qualified appraisers to handle property requiring multiple types of expertise and in so doing ensures the quality of the appraisal.


How are fees determined?


Never hire an appraiser who charges a contingency fee or percentage of the appraised value. This would be a conflict of interest and the IRS will not accept an appraisal of this type.


Like all professional and trustworthy appraisers, Aletheia Appraisals will base fees on a set hourly rate or a per item rate. We may consider a total flat rate (for a predetermined number of items or project) or a daily onsite rate for large projects. Additional reports and court appearances may be subject to an additional fee arrangement. Please contact us to discuss a plan for your individual project.

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