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What Is Personal Property Appraising?

We can prepare you for a rewarding career in Personal Property Appraising...

What is Personal Property Appraising?
Personal property appraisers value personal items of all sorts: antiques of any kind, glass, furniture, pottery, primitives, metals – everything, in fact, except real estate and buildings. In addition to traditional antiques, fine arts and collectible items, appraisers are also needed to evaluate vehicles of all types, heavy equipment, even furnishings for entire businesses.

The list of personal property is virtually endless, and the field is in need of thousands of appraisers with basic knowledge who can specialize in one, two or more of the hundreds of special areas.

What You Need to Know
Successful appraisers of personal property share many qualities. They are first of all persons with educated opinions. They are willing to spend the time to research the items they are appraising, and they need to know how to produce professional reports. Finally, successful appraisers need to understand and honor the ethics of the profession.

Appraisals are done for:
• Insurance
• Dissolution of Marriage
• Family Law Documents
• Probate and Living Trusts
• IRS deductions for gifts to heirs or non-profits
• Individuals for many purposes
• People planning to downsize
• People considering the acquisition of a valuable item

In fact, appraisals are done for any purpose in which there is a need for a person (or group/entity) to be certain of a professional valuation/appraisal of the item(s).

Training and Education For Certification
There are no Federal or State requirements for licensing of personal property appraisers as there currently are for real estate appraisers. You will find, however, that lawyers, insurance companies, and others feel far more secure when their appraiser is be certified. In 2007 the IRS changed its rules to require that appraisals be written by professionally educated appraisers for non-cash charitable deductions over $500.

College for Appraisers is the only educational institution we know that is specifically devoted to educate and certify personal property appraisers. The College has been approved by the State of California Bureau for Private, Postsecondary and Vocational Education (BPPVE) to award both certificates and degrees.

Becoming a Personal Property Appraiser
Dr. David Long founded the College for Appraisers in 1980. There was then no consistent way to acquire both the breadth of knowledge of personal property or to learn how to prepare professional and ethical appraisal documents. To this day, we know of no other institution that dedicates itself solely to preparing people to become appraisers, or that offers this certification.

Our course offerings are comprehensive
• Glass, metals, furniture, fine arts, primitives, jewelry, pottery, collectibles, textiles, and automobiles.
• Thorough instruction on how to research and write professional appraisal documents.
• We will show you how to prepare your professional appraiser’s resume.
• We offer
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) 15 hour and 7 course updates twice each year. We urge all professional appraisers to become and remain USPAP credentialed.

Job Market and Employment Opportunities
The job market for appraisers has been and remains strong. This is both because the field is expanding (an increase in poverty has caused many to loose their homes and to sell of their possessions creating a large increase in the need for estate sale professionals) and because there are simply not enough appraisers.

Employment growth in the last 20 years has been higher than in many other occupations. Growth and professional security results from the increasing desire of people to insure their personal property and the insistence of insurance companies that appraisers be trained and experienced. What’s more, courts (on a case by case basis) and all levels of government are continually increasing standards for accepting valuations of personal property. The IRS rules now stipulate that appraisers must demonstrate professional level training.

Consequently, the demand for certified appraisers continues to increase. The vast majority of appraisers, up to 95%, are self-employed. Most attorneys, insurance companies and financial institutions that require these services hire independent appraisers.

Growing as a Professional
Personal reputation and contacts are of course critical to your long-term success. To assist you as you create your own networks, College for Appraisers makes available directories of our graduates and staff, and makes referrals.

Professional associations also exist that you will want to join after you have entered the field of personal property appraising to enhance your networking and professional development.

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