Hypothetical Appraisals


This article was published in the February/March 1999 issue of AntiquePrime Magazine & Journal.

For What It's Worth ...

Q. We moved but some of our things did not arrive on the moving van. Can we still have them appraised?

A. Yes, you can. Hypothetical appraisals are used to estimate the value of property which is no longer available for inspection, such as property that has been stolen, destroyed by fire, or misplaced by the moving company. The value conclusions reached are based on critical assumptions, any one of which could render the appraisal useless, if inaccurate. All hypothetical appraisals must be clearly labeled as such and the reason for the appraisal being hypothetical must be included. In addition, all critical assumptions must be thoroughly identified.

These critical assumptions will be based on verbal descriptions you give to the appraiser, and through the use of photographs, invoices, receipts, cancelled checks, catalogs, sketches, etc. If you don't have photographs, perhaps your friends, old neighbors, or relatives might have some that were taken in your home. If you cannot adequately describe what was lost, the appraiser will not be able to determine replacement values.

Consider having your valuable items appraised before you move again. If these objects become lost, stolen or destroyed, a moving company or insurance company claims adjuster can rely on the appraisal to settle your claim. Things that have sentimental value that cannot be replaced, such as photo albums and family heirlooms, should be moved by you and not packed and loaded onto the moving van.

For a free copy of the brochure Be Certain of Its Value, contact the International Society of Appraisers at (888) ISA-5587.

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