The appraiser examines the property for condition, identifying marks and characteristics; if the property is not available for inspection due to loss, theft, or water/fire damage, the appraiser has to make some assumptions based on the history of the item that is being appraised. Photographs of the property prior to the loss are often used.
Most people have an opinion of how much the contents are worth, maybe some history or how much was paid. Often times clients are surprised by the appreciation or value retention of antiques and fine art. Many rare, collectible, and specialized object types exist undiscovered in homes.
The research includes time taken to identify marks, dates, find comparable data, verify the appropriate markets for the items, and consult with various experts if need be. Locating extensive comparable auctions results, and all available sales data are necessary steps to evaluate the property.
The final appraisal report will provide a clear and concise explanation of the valuation. A title page includes the type of valuation and effective date, letter of transmittal giving the purpose and intended use, location and date of inspection. The contents of the report include definitions of value and limiting conditions, description of property with photos, a list of all the comparable property and their values.
Sections also include a narrative detailing the scope of the project and market conditions, a signed certification, an acknowledgment that the appraiser has no fiduciary financial interest in the items in question. Included are a glossary of terms, bibliography, and the appraisers qualifications/credentials.