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What to Make Available to the Appraiser

What to Make Available to the Appraiser
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What to Make Available to the Appraiser

You have taken that first step and made an appointment to have some possessions valuated. When you come face-to-face with the appraiser, she immediately asks you for any receipts, old appraisals, certificates or anything else that may help her better value the items. Wait a minute! Isn't she supposed to be the expert?

Professional appraisers have specialized knowledge but they use it in their research to determine proper values. That research involves analyzing specific markets as well as identifying the items being appraised. The more information you arm the appraiser with, the more accurate the resulting report. Appraising is a subjective process and the less subjectivity, the better.

Paper Trails
Receipts can be a blessing if they are accurate. Often they disclose the vendor - who may have additional information necessary to the valuation process. Sometimes vendors will scribble a mini-evaluation on a receipt. For example, that the item was displayed in the World's Fair or is part of a notable person's estate that was sold at a major auction. These small details alert the appraiser where to look and can dramatically increase an item's worth.

Laboratory reports, especially with fine art, gemstones, et cetera, can significantly affect value. In fact, an item accompanied by a laboratory report is often worth more than the very same item without such a coveted report.

Although not all appraisers are equal in experience and education, nevertheless, appraisal reports can contain useful information. Often information was revealed to a previous appraiser that is not known now and that will have an impact on the final outcome.

Items that can be associated with a historical event are more valuable. Sometimes a family member was involved in just such an event. A photograph, for example, that links that person to the item being appraised establishes provenance.

Frankly, most items are without provenance but you may want to keep the photographs and the appraisal together if the item is a family heirloom. Most often, items of family importance do not survive into a third generation because they lack documentation.

It would be impossible to detail each type of item and what may be proper to give to the appraiser. Therefore, describe to the appraiser what items you want valued and ask what you should bring to the appointment.

Contact us today to discuss your appraisal needs.