Personal Property Appraisals


What is a personal property appraisal?

Personal property appraisals cover “personal” property (vs. real property such as land and homes) including antiques, collectibles, furniture, glass, porcelain, pottery, silver, decorative art, or religious or other unique items.  However, personal property appraisals can also be done for misc permits, water rights, livestock and farm equipment, office equipment, and thousands of other items (also referred to as “chattel” appraisals.  Generally, if it is not land, a house, or a business, it is considered personal property.

Why do I need a personal property appraisal?

Personal property appraisals are typically done for resale situations and insurance purposes to protect against loss.  They are also necessary for division of assets (divorce cases), estate planning, and charitable donations.

Who does personal property appraisals?

It is important to choose a knowledgeable and certified professional appraiser.   Look for those with plenty of experience in valuing your specific types of property.  Some appraisers specialize in artwork, while others are more knowledgeable in antiquities.  Also look for professional affiliations, such as the American Society of Appraisers, International Society of Appraisers, or similar.  Do your research!

How long is an appraisal valid?

While it depends on the market and the specific item, typically an appraisal is reasonably valid for at least 1 year on average.

How does a personal property appraisal work? 

The appraiser will schedule a time to examine the items.  The appraisal process consists of an examination of the items, inventory of each (description, age, measurements, condition, etc.), photographs of each item, and then the necessary market research to determine a market value which is usually presented in a written appraisal report.

How to Prepare:

  1. Decide which items you want to have appraised. 
  2. Make a list of the items.
  3. Schedule a time for the appraisal when you can minimize distractions and focus on the appraisal process.
  4. Make sure you have quick and easy access to all related paperwork and documents, such as prior appraisals, sales receipts, certificates of authenticity, and similar.
  5. Make sure anything in a “set” is sorted accordingly.  Try not to mix and match.
  6. Make sure all items are unlocked.
  7. Empty any large furniture and make sure it is pulled away from the wall so that the appraiser can see all sides.
  8. Have good lighting available.



Copyright 2009 by True Value Appraisal Services LLC