ValueThisNow.com makes use of professional personal property appraisers as well as subject matter experts who make use of their extensive experience, knowledge and research abilities to develop their opinions of replacement value (comparable) and fair market value. Values are provided in US dollars.
Our appraisers take several factors into consideration when developing their opinions of value. Included are the item's rarity, the material from which it is made, quality of construction, age, provenance (i.e., its history of past ownership), condition, its aesthetic appeal, whether or not the maker if well known or famous, etc. External factors such as the level of demand (or lack thereof) or trends/fads, or regulations prohibiting ownership or commercialization (such as those that affect ivory or trafficking in parts of endangered species of flora and fauna) may also impact on value.
Other factors might be taken into account as well depending on the nature of the item you are having appraised. For instance, often excessive size or weight can have a negative effect on value such as might be the case of too-large Oriental rugs or too-heavy player pianos!
As noted, ValueThisNow.com appraisers provide two types of value: fair market value and replacement value (comparable).
Fair market value reflects the amount of money most buyers pay and most sellers accept for a comparable property sold at retail, i.e., to the end consumer. It is the value level that is developed in the US to support a claimed tax return charitable deduction or to establish a value basis for estate tax purposes. Fair market value is not a wholesale value. Technically, fair market value is defined as “The price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. The fair market value of a particular item of property is not to be determined by a forced sale price. In addition, the fair market value of an item of property must be determined by the sale price of comparable properties from within a market in which such items are "most commonly" sold to the public, i.e., the end consumer.
Fair market value is what most buyers have paid and what most sellers have sold a comparable item for IN THE PAST. Fair market value is not replacement cost, which might be higher than fair market value. Nor is it a forced-liquidation value, which is usually lower. Fair market value is based on your personal observations, or records of comparable sales from, say, auction catalogs or from speaking to dealers who HAVE SOLD comparable items in the past within the most usual marketplace where such items are most commonly sold at retail to the end consumer. It is not based on what dealers are asking for something (which is often artificially high), but rather on what things have sold for in the past. Past consummated sales provide the best argument in support of fair market value.
Replacement value (comparable) is the worth of an item based on the amount of money necessary to obtain a comparable substitute property that would provide the same enjoyment, usefulness and other rights of ownership as did the subject property. Replacement value (comparable) is based on the substitute property's replacement cost (comparable) which is defined as the amount of money necessary to replace the item being appraised with a comparable item of property of like kind, age, quality, and utility having similar wear and tear, obsolescence, and value-relevant characteristics as the item being appraised. Replacement cost (comparable) is useful, for instance, when estimating replacement value (comparable) for acquiring insurance coverage of items not capable of being replaced with a brand new property such as antiques, collectibles, or works of art by a deceased artist. Replacement value appraisals make use of the retail market in which typical clients most conveniently and most customarily shop and in which they can obtain a replacement property within a reasonable amount of time.
Online appraisals take into account the limiting condition that the appraiser did not personally inspect the property. That limiting condition may lead the appraiser to take "extraordinary assumptions" into account. Go here to learn more about limiting conditions and extraordinary assumptions.
ValueThisNow.com online appraisal reports are prepared in conformance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) as promulgated by The Appraisal Foundation of Washington DC.
Depending on whether there are intended users of the online appraisal other than the client, the online appraisal will be prepared making use of either USPAP "Restricted Appraisal Report" option of the "Appraisal Report" option. Go here to learn more about using online appraisal reports.