There are many circumstances in which you might wish to have some personal property appraised. Perhaps you’re looking at selling it, or donating it to a museum. Perhaps you’re interested in taking out an insurance policy on the item and need to get a sense of its value. In these types of cases, a personal property appraiser can help you better understand the item’s value.
Of course, before you work with a personal property appraiser, it’s important to have an understanding of the process so you can hire an appropriate appraiser for your specific item. Here’s an overview of some things you should know about personal property appraisals in Maryland:
- How they arrive at their valuations: Appraisers do a significant amount of research into each item, and have the experience and expertise to combine with that research that allows them to form a credible opinion of the item’s value. Appraisers will find similar objects to the one being valued, then consider differences based on factors such as the object’s condition, rarity, quality, importance and desirability. Based on these differences, an appraiser can get a reasonably accurate valuation of the item.
- Value can differ based on the circumstances: The reason for which you’re getting an appraisal can influence the value the appraiser gives you. An appraisal for insurance purposes, for instance, will have a value based on how much it would cost to replace the object in a reasonable time period. However, an appraisal for donation purposes will consider the fair market value of the item (how much it would sell for on the open market). Insurance valuations will tend to be higher than market valuations, especially for particularly rare items.
- Appraised value does not mean it’s guaranteed to sell for that value: When you’re selling an item, you have to consider more factors than just the appraised value. Sometimes you can get more for an item due to a buyer (or auction bidder) having an emotional connection to that item. Or, in an auction setting, the item could be shadowed by other, more unique or important items.
- Some appraisers have different specialties: While you’ll certainly find plenty of general personal property appraisers, you might be better served by looking for someone who specializes in certain areas. You’ll find people who focus their appraisal services on areas such as fine art, jewelry, certain types of collectibles, sports memorabilia and much more. Be sure to review an appraiser’s resume and credentials, and ask about experience they have in a particular niche to ensure they’ll be the right fit for your task.
- You may need to work with an authenticator: While an appraiser will go into great depth with the research of the object’s history and provide valuation, that might not be the final step for valuating your collectible item—in some cases, an appraiser may suggest the services of an authenticator so you can be sure you have an authentic item, which will increase its value.
For more information about personal property appraisals in Maryland, contact Jane Campbell-Chambliss & Associates, LLC today.