Whether you are getting an appraisal for your entire home or a specific item in it, you want to know that the information you are receiving from your appraiser is ethically and legally sound. This is easily accomplished by doing a bit of background research on your potential candidates. Ultimately these are the four main things you want to look for in an appraiser before you make you’re appointment.
#1 – Are they accredited?
Because there is not a federal or state license for a personal property appraiser, it’s easy for people to pass themselves off as such. Their accreditation, however, is easily checked. A personal property appraiser is accredited or certified through their professional appraisal association, such as the International Society of Appraisers (ISA), the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), and the Appraisers Association of America (AAA). Before you consider hiring anyone, check his or her credentials. Accredited and certified are the highest levels in the field. It also doesn’t hurt for your appraiser to be IRS and USPAP qualified.
#2 – What Kind of experience do they have?
Once you’ve verified your appraiser’s credentials, ask questions about their experience. How long have they been accredited? What, if any, are their areas of expertise? And do those areas of expertise match your needs? These are all important questions to ask before the appraisal process begins.
#3 – Do they have any references of past work?
Success stories can be one of the most comforting things a business can provide for a potential client. Look around and see if you can find anyone singing the praises of your potential appraiser.
#4 – Is the appraiser you’ve found truly impartial?
During an appraisal, it is extremely unethical for the appraiser to give you an estimate and an offer all in one fell swoop. Make sure you’ve found an appraiser who will give you a legal, ethical estimate without giving you pause at the validity of their information.