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Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is an appraisal? An appraisal is the development of a fully researched written report for a specified purpose by a qualified appraiser, including measurements, description, photographs, condition report and specified value of the appraised object on a specified date.

Question: Why do I need an appraisal of personal property? An appraisal by a qualified appraiser is sometimes required by the IRS for Federal Estate Tax returns, or for a claimed tax deduction for a charitable contribution. In many instances, the appraisal document must be attached to the tax return when it is filed. Casagrande Appraisals' qualifications and documentation meet IRS requirements.

An appraisal is sometimes required by Courts of Law or attorneys in matters relating to civil and criminal law suits, inheritance and divorce. Individuals, corporations, institutions and museums may need an appraisal of personal property to determine adequate insurance coverage, or in the event of a loss or damage claim, to prove the claimed value of the property in question. Appraisals are often needed for estate planning and equitable distribution, investment planning, loan collateral, liquidation or resale. The same item will be valued differently according to the intended use of the report, and may require different types of documentation. We are not CPAs or tax attorneys, and Casagrande Appraisals LLC strongly urges clients to seek legal and financial advice from these professionals.

Question: Are personal property appraisers licensed or certified by any government agency? No. Unlike real estate appraisers, personal property appraisers are not licensed or certified by state or federal government agencies. Many people, including furniture, antique and art dealers appraise, and may even pay dues to a professional organization, but do not have professional credentials or the qualifications afforded by formal appraisal studies and testing.

Question: What qualifies an appraiser to value my personal property? A qualified appraiser is knowledgeable in his chosen field(s) and has studied appraisal standards, theory, ethics, principles and procedures, and is a member of one or more of the professional organizations that govern by peer review and require special examinations to remain a member. We are members of and trained by the International Society of Appraisers, the oldest professional group in North America devoted solely to appraisers of personal property, and have completed rigorous ISA classes and examinations. Our USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices) certification is current. A good appraiser attends classes, seminars and events regularly to stay abreast of developing market trends and new research and to keep up with new technology and information.

Question: Do appraisers charge for their services? Yes. Appraisers charge professional fees, which should be based on an hourly rate, flat rate or per item charge and NOT based on a percentage value of the appraised items. Professional appraisers often charge for travel, expenses or outside consultation. All appraisers should explain their fee structure in advance. We work under contract with the client and require a retainer fee prior to beginning research.

Question: Can I have an item appraised from a photo? Yes, but such an appraisal must be considered a hypothetical appraisal, because the appraiser has not personally examined the item being appraised and will state this at the beginning of the report text along with any other limiting conditions that might effect the validity of the stated value. It is always preferable to have an appraiser personally examine the article being appraised.

Question: Will the appraiser tell me the value of my items immediately? No. A formal appraisal is a fully researched written document. Instantaneous verbal approximations of value have their time and place but are not considered to be professional appraisals because little or no market research has been conducted or documented. Many appraisal needs cannot be satisfied without appropriate documented research.

Question: What types of items does Casagrande Appraisals appraise? We appraise fine art including paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints in all media and their frames and housing, as well as furniture, decorative arts, silver, china, collectibles, crystal, glass, rugs, ethnographic materials, and residential contents. If our expertise does not cover all of your needs we will refer you to other appraisers with expertise in the related fields.

Question: If I have items to sell, will the appraiser offer to buy them after he/she has appraised them? No. It is unethical and Casagrande Appraisals does not buy or sell items that we have appraised.

Question: What kind of report will I get when I have an item appraised? You will receive two copies of our formal written bound document with our professional qualifications and colored digital photographs. You may request the appraisal in computer disk form. The report will be signed by the appraisers and will list and describe in detail the appraised items. The report will include the appraisers' disinterest in buying the items, resources used for arriving at the values and any limiting conditions or other expert assistance used. The report will be divided into individual categories or a room-by-room inventory.

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