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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is an appraisal?
    An appraisal is a comprehensive report providing an opinion of value which is arrived at through analysis of the market at a given point of time, which an item is sold. The appraisal is usually in a written format stating the appraiser’s findings, taking into account many factors.
  • Do I need an appraisal?
    There are situations where an appraisal is desired or even required in order to establish the value of one or more items. The most important reasons include the following: To insure you have sufficient and proper insurance coverage. Your insurance company may request an appraisal when you want extra coverage (a rider) for your coin collection. Estate or divorce settlement. During a divorce, you may need to establish the value of your personal property for the settlement. Documenting support for trusts. You’re considering possible sale of an item and wish to know its value. The IRS requires a written, formal appraisal when you donate an item worth more than $5,000. Pre-move appraisals; due to limited protection for damage or loss provided by a moving company, an appraisal can help you purchase the additional insurance necessary to protect your high valued items. Simple curiosity about the value of a collection or item.
  • What qualifies you to appraise my property?
    Formal education in appraisal theory, principles, ethics, and law. Membership with one of the three major professional appraisal organizations. Up to date on the latest appraisal standards with ongoing educational requirements and testing. Meets IRS regulations
  • What will be included in my appraisal?
    A statement of the purpose and intended use of the appraisal. A complete and accurate description of the property. Date and location of inspection and the effect date of value. The methodology and resources relied upon, including market analysis and market(s) used. Statement that the appraiser has no current or future interest in the appraised item. The appraiser’s qualifications and signature.
  • How should an appraiser handle items which may be outside of their specialty area?
    No one person can know about all types of personal property. A good appraiser knows his or her limits and is expected to consult with other experts when necessary. Cambridge Appraisals has a network of specialists available, which will be discussed and approved by the client if necessary.
  • Can you appraise an entire estate?
    Yes, Cambridge Appraisals can assist you with the valuation of your estate. Contact us today for a free consultation.
  • Do you buy or sell the items you appraise?
    No. Cambridge Appraisals does not buy or sell items. It would be unethical for an appraiser to buy an item in which he or she has appraised. An appraiser should be an unbiased professional who has no interest in the property.
  • What does the client need to do for an on-site inspection?
    Preparing for an on-site inspection saves time and money. Make a list of items to be appraised before the appraiser arrives. If there are items in the attic, closets, garage, or storage unit, make sure they are accessible. Unpack items in drawers, boxes, trunks. Group similar items together and place sets of dishes, glasses, and silverware together. Move large pieces of furniture away from the wall for easy inspection. If possible, it is preferable to remove paintings or other displayed objects from the wall. Provide any additional information about the items such as receipts, photographs, certificates of authenticity and earlier appraisals.

Did you know?

The same item may have many different appraised values depending on how you intend to use the appraisal. For instance, a value for insurance may be very different than a value for estate tax, consumer resale, or charitable contribution.

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