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Settling an estate can be a complex job. Following a loss, the personal belongings of the deceased may need to be independently evaluated for monetary worth. An unbiased professional appraiser can provide an objective assessment of property for probate, dispersal, family division, donation or resale.
There are two types of property: real property and personal property. Real property includes real estate, land, and buildings. Personal property includes things like furniture, antiques and collectibles, household goods, and vehicles.
When hiring an appraiser, there are several things to consider:
- Qualifications: Unfortunately, there isn’t a special license or certification required for someone to print up business cards and say they are an appraiser. So, if you want to have property evaluated by a qualified independent third party, inquire about his or her affiliation with professional appraisal organizations.
- Cost: Does the appraiser charge an hourly, flat rate, or per item rate? Don’t hire someone that charges a percentage of value. Request that final payment be made after receiving a completed report.
- Deliverables: What kind of a report will you receive? Make sure you receive a signed report that the appraiser will defend in court if necessary. It should include the appraiser’s qualifications, an accurate description of the property, the methodology used, and a defined value.