When you hire an appraisal service in Maryland, you want that appointment to be as productive as possible. There have been many instances where half the appointment is taken up looking for a particular personal effect, or where home interiors have become invisible due to clutter. If you have an upcoming appointment for appraisal services, here are five tips on being prepared:
- Know what you need appraised: The items requiring appraisal depend on your goals. If you need to appraise property for estate planning, you must maintain a complete list of items with potential value for a comprehensive inventory. This plan may require us visiting your home or storage unit. However, if you are considering downsizing for a move, that list will be more restricted. You may be able to bring the property to us, unless it is more convenient that we come to you. How you approach the appraisal will define the services you need and the items to address. Making an appointment to have us inspect and appraise “everything” may become an expensive waste of time.
- Make items accessible: If we are meeting on-site to appraise personal property, move it where it can be seen. That includes digging through the storage unit to move antiques up front, or moving furniture from a dark and crowded basement to a well-lit and cleared area. Spending time during the appointment digging around for items you “just know” are in a particular spot will cost you money and waste time—especially if you discover your personal property somehow disappeared and cannot be appraised.
- Clear the clutter: If we are appraising residential or commercial real estate, it helps if we can see it. Remove any personal property or furniture that is not required for day-to-day operations or living. Fix obvious damage, and in commercial buildings, activate safety equipment. If you know your property requires improvements, mention those upfront so you receive an accurate value. The more we can see in terms of condition and operation, the better appraisal report you will receive.
- Assure everything works: Cars, machinery and boats do not retain their value if they fail to operate. If you have not started that classic Mercedes in a while, fire it up before we visit. Do not be surprised if you need to charge or replace a battery—it is worth the effort to present us with a working machine. The same is true for industrial sites that contain machinery. Check equipment for functioning and serviceability.
- Keep information handy: If you have information that will help us, keep it ready. For example, if you believe that antique rug from Afghanistan was picked up by your great‑grandfather in 1895, prepare to tell us where the story arose and whether you verified it. Any certificates of authenticity also help and should be available to us. It helps you receive a better quality appraisal.
Jane Campbell-Chambliss & Associates, LLC is an appraisal service in Maryland. Call us today to help you with downsizing, estate planning or other projects that depend on securing a good estimated value for your property.