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Personal Property Appraisal

Personal Property Appraisals: What’s it Worth?


This is often a question that comes up for varied reasons. Often you need a professional valuation of your property during estate planning or divorce negotiations to determine a fair distribution of assets. This is where a personal property appraisal can be useful.

Personal Property appraisal reports may be required for estate planning, charitable contributions, estate or gift tax preparation liabilities, insurance or damage and loss claims, equitable distributions, fair rental and sale decisions, collateral loans, tax audits (foundations), and legal disputes.

The IRS will also require a professional appraisal if you are donating items that have a value of more than $5,000.00. An appraiser develops and reports an opinion of value on a specific type of property. Personal property appraisers value all types of personal property. While some appraisers may choose to specialize in just one area of practice,many appraisers practice in more than one specialty. You can read more about the IRS rules here.

Appraisers most commonly look to past sales of similar objects to determine the value of an item. In this approach, an appraiser will find similar objects to the one he or she is valuing, and then account for differences based on a number of factors, including each of the item’s importance, quality, condition, rarity, desirability, and provenance. Based on these differences, an appraiser can begin to place an object into a hierarchy of value and ultimately arrive at a final valuation.