ABout Appraisals

Appraisal Services

A qualified appraisal is one that meets "generally accepted appraisal standards" and follows the principles of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice  or USPAP. The Appraisal Foundation is authorized by Congress as the source of appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications.  

Each appraisal report that we provide will fully meet the standards set forth by USPAP as well as stipulations set forth by International Society of Appraisers (ISA)  and the Appraisers Association of America (AAA). Our reports include digital pictures, full descriptions, measurements, condition and value.  Data on sales comparables is kept in work files or listed directly in the report when necessary. Once you have given your permission, we can also provide electronic copies of the appraisal by email for your insurance agent or attorney.

A formal appraisal requires that we schedule an appointment to view the items in person. Our fees are based on a rate of $175.00 per hour.   If you want a clearer indication of what the cost will be for an appraisal, please don't hesitate to contact us directly.


Insurance ApPraisals

The insurance appraisal is an important way to protect your investment in your personal property which includes furniture, antiques, porcelain, silver, paintings and collectibles.  An appraisal provides you with the necessary documentation you need to substantiate the existence, condition and replacement value of your belongings.

In the last few years many items have decreased in value as the baby boomers have started to downsize; selling some of their antiques and fine art.   Also tastes have changed and the demand for antiques has decreased.  Unfortunately that could mean that you are paying more for insurance than you need to be paying.  If something happens to an item that is not as valuable today as it was when you first insured it then your premiums may be higher than is necessary. It is for that reason that many insurance companies require an updated appraisal every 3 to 5 years. 


Estate Appraisals

Federal Income and State Taxes

An estate appraisal is often necessary in order to provide the taxing authorities with a fair market value of the personal property. When the estate is over a certain value threshold the IRS requires a room by room inventory of the complete residential contents.  Items of low value under $100 can be grouped together with similar items while items over $3,000 must include sales comparables.  In the state of Connecticut tangible personal property includes but is not limited to antiques, art collections, automobiles, boats, clothing, coin collections, household furniture and furnishings, jewelry, and stamp collections.

Sale to A Relative or Buyout of an Heir

Sometimes a Will will state that the property from the estate should be divided between heirs.  When that happens it is often necessary to have an appraisal done which provides the fair market value so that all of the items can be divided accordingly.   

Establishing a Basis for Capital Gains

Often times you must establish a basis for capital gains so that if you sell the property in the future you have a basis to determine any future gain on the property. When you sell a capital asset, the difference between the adjusted basis in the asset and the amount you realized from the sale is a capital gain or a capital loss. Generally an asset's basis is its cost to the owner, but if you received the asset as a gift or inheritance then you may have to turn to a personal property appraiser to establish that basis.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is also useful for individuals to plan in advance for tax, distribution or donation.  It can provide you with information so you can instruct your heirs on how you would like items in your estate to be handled in the future.

Probate and Trust Inventory

Often the probate court will require an inventory and appraisal of the estate assets.  Sometimes when a trust is established an inventory and appraisal must be done to establish the value of the property at the time it became subject to the trust.