Appraisal Basics – Personal Property

This Royal Austrian cup and saucer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is an example of the type of personal property appraised by WorthWise.

All About Personal Property Appraisals

Many of our clients have never worked with an appraiser before and know very little about personal property appraisals. To take some of the mystery out of the process, here are some helpful definitions pertaining to personal property appraisals in general and about what to expect when you hire WorthWise for your personal property appraisal needs.

So, What is Personal Property Anyway?

To understand personal property appraisals, it helps to first know what personal property is!

Generally, personal property is defined as the identifiable, moveable, and tangible assets like furnishings, artwork, antiques, jewelry, equipment, and collectibles. In essence, it is everything but the house, land and any permanent improvements to it. Those things are considered to be real property rather than personal property.

Next, it helps to know that personal property can be depreciable or appreciable. Depreciable personal property decreases in value over time and with use such as most automobiles, typical contemporary household furnishings or electronic equipment. Appreciable personal property is property that generally increases in monetary value over time such as fine art, antiques, and collectibles.

What is a Personal Property Appraiser?

Obviously, a personal property appraiser is someone who provides an opinion of value or cost of personal property. But more than that, it is someone who is qualified to do so in a manner that is competent, independent, impartial, and objective. And since appraising rules and requirements change on a regular basis, it is important that an appraiser maintain the most current credentialing available through their professional appraiser association, engage in required ongoing education, and adhere to the strict codes of conduct and report writing standards established for the profession. Appraiser certifications expire every few years, and must be kept current!

Personal Property Appraisals

Personal property appraisals are then numerical opinions of value or cost of clearly defined articles of personal property as of a particular point in time.

These opinions are normally delivered in a formal, highly detailed appraisal report. Such reports must include a clear statement of the intended use of the report, the scope and types of analyses performed by the appraiser, a clear description of the properties appraised, and the resulting appraised value or cost opinions for each property. Furthermore, appraisal reports must comply with detailed and rigorous established professional criteria as set forth by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and with the ethical codes of the profession.

WorthWise Personal Property Appraisals

When you hire WorthWise Art and Antiques Appraisers to perform your personal property appraisals, we will help you make sure you are including the right personal property in your appraisal report. Not all personal property, even appreciable personal property, is a good fit for a formal appraisal process. For example, properties with values anticipated to be below certain IRS established thresholds may not need to be appraised for donation purposes. Similarly, properties with anticipated values below certain insurance policy limits may not need to be appraised for special insurance rider coverages. And properties that are particularly worn or damaged may simply not be worth the cost to appraise them. If you aren’t sure which properties to include in your appraisal, WorthWise will help you sort that out. 

“Art is something that makes you breathe with a different kind of happiness.“

~ Annie Albers


Just because certain kinds of personal property like art and antiques are classified as appreciable, it doesn’t mean they will necessarily increase in value over time! Values for such items can fluctuate up or down significantly as economic conditions, marketplace supply and demand, demographic preferences and tastes change!

What to Expect Working with WorthWise Art and Antiques Appraisers

Our Practice

– is ethically driven, client centered, quality oriented, and USPAP compliant

Our Expertise

– is up-to-date, technically based, relevant, and always expanding

Our Communications

– are collaborative, respectful, timely, and listener-oriented

Our Approach

– is systematic, analytical, and aligned with appraisal objectives

Our Conclusions

– are research based, impartial, and fully documented

Our Reports

– are meticulous, thorough, well organized, and informative

Our Prices

– are competitive, fair, and document supported

A tremendous knowledge of art and collectibles

“Candace has a tremendous knowledge of art and collectibles and is a good listener. She appreciated both the collectibles she appraised and the stories associated with them! She provided a thorough and objective appraisal, and is a wonderful person to work with.”

J.D., Lafayette, CO

Objective appraisal and considerate communication

“I would recommend Candace to anyone who is looking for an appraisal. She is passionate about what she does and truly cares about the people who are connected to the items she is appraising. I particularly appreciated the way she communicated to my husband about some items that weren’t as valuable as he hoped with honesty and objectivity while also being very sensitive to his feelings.”

T.D., Broomfield, CO