You Don't Always Get What You Need
You will want to be as careful choosing an appraiser as you would choosing any other professional service provider. While one might assume that if you go to an experienced person, the valuation question will be effectively answered, this is not always the case. For example: an appraiser’s advocacy, or a financial interest in the property being appraised in terms of past or future sale, may not only cloud the resulting value, it may be based on a narrowly focused perspective, and in the end be of little service, depending on your needs. Beware of “bargain” or “low ball” fees. While it is tempting to use the services of an auction house or other entity that will appraise your valuable properties for free, the work product provided does not report the full picture and those doing the valuations may not understand the market for many types of properties. Be wary of appraisal firms that send inexperienced field representatives to photograph and inventory your valuable properties. This information can then be sent to the more “experienced” people in the firm who never actually examine the properties, but instead base valuations on looking at photos and the notes taken by staff who may not have an understanding of the properties. Be aware as a consumer of any product and service you buy. A simple comparison might be made to shopping at Costco or any other “big-box” store: what good is buying the jumbo size if in the end it can’t be used! Purchase what you need and enjoy its benefits.