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What Estate Planners Should Know When Needing An Appraiser

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As an estate appraiser with many years of experience, I am often asked the same questions about appraisers. In this blog, I will go over some points and answers to questions I have been asked.

Aren’t All Estate Appraisers The Same?

No. Not all appraisers are the same. Appraisers come in all size and shapes just like any other group of professional. Some have numerous accreditations, deep experience with auction houses, advanced degrees in the arts and history.  Moreover, many appraisers tend to focus on a particular period, style or category of property. Moreover, some appraisers offer other services related to property and estate appraisals. All things being equal, ask for and verify references. Additionally, specifically ask for references from clients that had similar items as you. With this information in hand, you are ready to retain the right appraiser for you and your project.

Look for Appraisers With Accreditations And Certifications With Recognized Appraisal Organizations

It is important to look for personal property or estate appraisers that belong to professional organizations that serve to foster transparency, ethics and continuing education. Hiring a qualified appraiser who is a member of a nationally recognized professional group make good sense.  It’s good to note that The Appraisal Standards Board (ABS) – develops, interprets and amends the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), the generally accepted standards for professional appraisers.  Look for appraisers that adhere to the USPAP.

Some of the recognized professional organizations for appraisers include the following:

  • Appraisal Institute
  • International Society of Appraisers
  • International Valuation Standards Council
  • The Appraisal Standards Board (ABS) – develops, interprets and amends the USPAP, the generally accepted standards of the appraisal profession


Hire An Appraiser Who Is Knowledgeable About The Type or Category of Personal Property That Needs Appraisal

Anyone that has watched the Antiques Roadshow has seen the wide array of antiques, collectibles and other high-value property appraised. Due to the breadth and depth of the items featured on the program, there are appraisers that focus on just a few or one particular type of property. From Louis XVI, Chippendale, sports memorabilia, manuscripts and correspondences, paintings of numerous periods and styles to modern art, china, crystal, and even high-value collectible toys many appraisers focus on a few areas and build deep expertise in those items. If you have an estate full of mid-century modern items, it makes sense to engage an appraiser with expertise and experience in that area and not one with expertise in 18th-century English antiques.

Should I Have A Current Appraisal?

Depending on the size of the estate and the dynamics therein, it can be helpful to have an appraisal done on a regularly scheduled basis. This can be particularly advantageous should an unexpected loss such as a sudden death, fire or theft. Having a current appraisal in hand can help expedite a resolution and help lift additional burdens from those affected by the loss. In a time of loss, with emotions spiraling, making financial decisions is the last thing your clients should face.

Get Local Expertise From A Houston-Based Estate Appraiser

As a native Texan and lifelong Houstonian with deep experience in the antique, auction house, and appraisal industries, I understand the local market for valuable in depth – from trends, buyers, sellers and everything in between. If you are looking to partner with an appraiser that understand and respects your role and your client’s needs, contact me today to learn how my services can benefit you and your client.