Category Archives: Appraisals for Estate Sales USPAP

Who Should Price Your Estate Sale?

esate sales Estate Sales News hears from sellers and estate sale companies about pricing at estate sales on  a regular basis.

When an estate sale company has a face to face interview with a seller this is the time to ask them about pricing. How do they arrive at the prices placed on merchandise, do they need the assistance of a certified appraiser, and what if the estate sale company and seller disagree on prices for various items.

An experienced estate liquidator should be familiar with the selling prices of most items in their local area. If there are unique or highly valuable items will they bring in a certified appraiser or research on the internet. An appraiser can provide insurable value, replacement value or market value. Each is different.

An estate sale company cannot give you an accurate value of the estate without spending a considerable amount of time (which most would or should charge for) because not only is research required, but time must be spent going through every cupboard, box, and drawer to ascertain there aren’t any hidden gems they are unaware of. Time is a valuable commodity for an estate liquidator and an accurate assessment requires time and that costs money in many instances. The best answer a seller should expect is that the estate or moving sale will produce financial results, but until the company is hired and working they can’t give an evaluation and even then factors such as weather, the local economy and other area activities and sales on the same weekend can also have a part in the economic outcome of the liquidation.


Personal Property Appraisers – several different associations

research booksThere are several appraisal societies and each one has certain criteria that members must meet. Some estate sales companies offer appraisal services, however, that does not make them appraisers. They may be experienced and knowledgeable, but belonging to one of these associations includes a code of ethics as well as specific appraisal education.

Here is a list of  many, but not all Appraisal Societies and their websites:

International Society of Appraisers –

American Society of Estate Liquidators –

Certified Appraisers Guild of America –

American Society of Appraisers –

Appraisers Association of America –

If you believe you may have a need for a certified appraiser check out any of these associations and find an appraiser in your area.


Hiring an appraiser – USPAP by Judith Martin ISA CAPP

The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)  is published by The Appraisal Foundation located in Washington DC.   This document is re-issued every two years and is the guidelines for Appraisers and the users of Appraisals.  USPAP involves real estate, personal property and business valuation.  

The document is broken into nine parts.  The first seven sections (Definitions, Preamble, Ethics Rule, Record Keeping, Competency, Scope of Work, and Jurisdictional Exception ) pertain to all those who use USPAP in their professional lives.   The following sections are The Standards which pertain to the development of an appraisal and the reporting of the findings.  The final section is the Statements which clarify, interpret, explain and elaborate the Standards.     

All  the parts of USPAP are important in an appraisers work.  However, USPAP does not state how reports are to be written.  The Standards only indicate what needs to be included in the report to be a USPAP compliant report.

Judith Martin ISA CAPP – Certified Appraiser Personal Property

Judith Martin, ISA CAPPOne of the guest speakers at the Estate Sales Conference in St. Louis last week conducted by was nationally known Appraiser Judith Martin ISA CAPP (International Society of Appraisers, Certified Appraiser Personal Property). Her lecture addressed appraising for estate sales and why an estate sales company might need an appraiser.

Ms. Martin has written a very informative and important article for Estate Sales News on USPAP and appraising that will be published here on Monday, April 8th, 2013. We are most appreciative for her time and expertise on a subject of major importance in the estate sales business.

To provide you with some background on Ms. Martin here is some of her information taken from the ISA website.