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Appraisals...Do you need one?
An appraisal is not a "ball park" guess noted on the reverse side of the appraiser's personal card.  Additionally, not everyone seeking an appraisal actually needs one.

Scope of Work

An appraisal consists of a number of steps that take place with the outcome being a written legal document.  The report consists of the subject item(s) personal inspection, photographs, necessary research to support the value opinion and the written work product.  The report is generally utilized by insurance companies, for taxation purposes or the courts.

Appraisal Standards

The appraiser is required to follow the ethical standards of the professional organization or society the appraiser holds membership in.  Additionally, the appraiser must be complaint with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and must report the facts as an objective third party and does not act as an advocate for any interested person or entity.  The appraiser may not accept an assignment unless the appraiser can certify that USPAP standards can be met without conflict of interest, bias, or favor.

Appraisal procedures relative to research methods, market selection and value conclusions may differ depending on the purpose and function of the assignment.  A report prepared for insurance purposes would not be appropriate for estate purposes.

USPAP is a federal standard for appraisers.  Appraisers of personal property, antiques, art, and residential content are required to be USPAP compliant.  The client should only contract with a professional appraiser that has been trained and accredited in a professional appraisal organization such as the International Society of Appraisers (ISA), American Society of Appraisers (ASA), or Appraisers National Association (ANA).  The appraiser's standing and level can be verified by contacting these governing non-profit organizations.

  • Accredited Member, International Society of Appraisers (ISA)

    • Novotny 1996 to Present

    • Sonntag 2004 to 2010 (retired)

  • Accredited Member, Appraisers National Association (ANA) - Novotny and Sonntag


Contact Information:

International Society of Appraisers

BOX 95168
Palatine, IL 95168  

Phone: 312-981-6778

Appraisers National Association

921 N. Harbor Blvd. #174
La Habra, CA 90631

Phone: 562-697-3797



Copyright Terry D. Sonntag