Frequently Asked Questions About Appraisals

What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is a statement of value which is arrived at through an analysis of the market in which an object is sold. This is considered the market value.

Why would I need an appraisal?

There are many reasons for acquiring a professional appraisal, among them are for insurance coverage, estate taxes, estate liquidation, gift tax and equitable distribution in divorce. Another reason is simply because you want to know what your belongings are worth. Perhaps you are thinking of selling some things that you acquired and no longer want, or maybe a relative bequeathed a valuable oil painting that may be worth a fortune, and you would like to buy insurance coverage and need a value. Whatever the reason, a professional appraisal can be beneficial.

What does the appraiser consider in making a judgment?

The appraisal is a valuation in which a diverse number of factors are considered by the appraiser. These factors include the market in which the object is being valued, the market in which the object was purchased or its provenance, the country of origin, age, material, maker marks, dimensions and condition of each item.

Which type of appraised value is used?

The purpose of the appraisal will in part determine the valuation approach employed by the appraiser. Each of these purposes requires a different type of value, such as replacement value, fair market value, marketable cash value and liquidation value. For example, in appraisals for the purpose of estate tax, the appraiser would use fair market values. In appraisals for insurance coverage, the appraiser would use retail replacement values.

Is an appraisal a legal document?

Most appraisals are written documents and as such will assume legal significance and may ultimately be called upon to be defended in a court of law.

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Mr. Ragazzi is an accredited appraiser of Antiques, Fine Art and Personal Property and has served the legal community, estate executors, estate administrators and private individuals for their appraisal needs. He is a member in good standing with the Appraisers Association of America since 1980. Serving New York City, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau County. Please feel free to contact our office for references.

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