Finding a Qualified Appraiser


This article was published in the Claims Prevention and Procedure Council newsletter and in the October 1998 issue of the AntiquePrime Magazine & Journal.

Finding a Qualified Appraiser

Last month we covered what to look for in a qualified appraiser. This month we'll tackle how to locate one.

There are three major appraisal organizations: the International Society of Appraisers (ISA); the American Society of Appraisers (ASA); and the Appraisers Association of America (AAA). While membership in a professional organization does not insure quality, it serves to define those who take their occupation seriously. Likewise, if appraisers have chosen not to join, it doesn't necessarily indicate a lack of quality in their appraisal reports. It does make it more difficult to locate them if you aren't in their geographic area. Let's take a brief look at each of the three appraisal associations.

The International Society of Appraisers is a not-for-profit society comprised solely of appraisers of personal property. There are three levels of active membership:

  • Associate - an appraiser who has joined ISA but has not yet completed the Core Courses required for full member status.
  • Accredited Member - an appraiser with at least three years of experience who has taken and successfully completed the Core Courses offered by ISA. These courses and tests cover the principles and procedures of appraisal science. Upon successful completion of these courses, the appraiser earns the right to use the "ISA" designation after his or her name.
  • Certified Member - one who has earned the "Certified Appraiser of Personal Property" (CAPP) designation by completing a comprehensive program above and beyond the Accredited Member level, with emphasis on the legal, ethical, and theoretical aspects of appraising, as well as the fine points of an appraisal specialty, and who has submitted representative appraisal reports to peer review.

International Society of Appraisers (ISA)
16040 Christensen Road #102
Seattle, WA 98188
Toll Free - (888) ISA-5587
Fax - (206) 241-0436
E-Mail - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site - www.isa-appraisers.org

The American Society of Appraisers has members, all of whom are college educated or the equivalent, who appraise personal property, or real estate or businesses. The levels of membership for the personal property appraisers that you are likely to encounter are:

  • Candidate - appraisers and persons engaged in the appraisal profession who wish to become designated members.
  • Accredited Member - an appraiser who has passed written examinations, submitted representative appraisal reports, and undergone screening of appraisal practice and ethics. Upon completion and with two to five years of experience, the appraiser earns the right to use the "AM" designation after his or her name.
  • Accredited Senior Member - one who has earned the right to use the "ASA" designation by fulfilling the requirements of Accredited Member, and having five or more years of experience.

American Society of Appraisers (ASA)
555 Herndon Parkway #125
Herndon, VA 20170
Toll Free - (800) ASA-VALU
Fax - (703) 742-8471
E-Mail - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site - www.appraisers.org

The Appraisers Association of America (AAA) is a non-profit society comprised primarily of appraisers of personal property. There are three levels of active membership:
  • Associate - an appraiser with a minimum of 3 years of experience.
  • Member - an appraiser with a minimum of 5 years of experience.
  • Certified Member - an appraiser who has passed a certifying exam and has earned the right to use the "AAA" designation.

Appraisers Association of America
60 East 42nd Street, #2505
New York, NY 10165
Phone - (212) 867-9775
Fax - (212) 599-1128
E-Mail - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web site - None at this time

There are other professional organizations for appraisers, but the three above are the most widely recognized and each will give nationwide referrals if you contact their offices. Another way to find an appraiser is to check the Yellow Pages under "appraisers" or "estates". Or search the Internet. Once you have located an appraiser, ask the right questions to determine if the appraiser is qualified, and be sure to ask about their level of membership in their professional organizations.

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