your questions 

In short, an appraisal is an impartial, objective third-party evaluation.

The appraisal process is a little like fitting together the pieces of a puzzle. Once all the pieces are in place you have a clear, total, defensible picture of value. Every appraisal is a valuation question. The appraiser takes 4 important steps to answer it:

  1. Witness. The existence of property is verified and documented. This is the necessary first step.
  2. Identify. The property is correctly identified. What is it, who made it, how old is it and what is it made of? These and other relevant questions are answered. Proper identification and documentation includes detailed photographs.
  3. Value. What is your property worth? Multiple levels of the market are analyzed and the relevant ones determined. Comparables are located and researched.
  4. Support. The value conclusion is convincingly supported. By explaining the market, the value is clear and understandable.

A professional appraisal can resolve questions or disputes concerning value.

You may need one to:

  • Obtain Insurance
  • Settle an Estate
  • Dissolve a Marriage
  • Make a Donation
  • Buy or Sell an Object
  • Establish Damage or Loss
  • Provide an Expert Opinion in a Legal Matter

Or just because you want to know how much something is worth.

The first step is to contact us to confirm the assignment details and arrange an appointment. If possible, have the properties easily accessible for examination.

If you have supporting materials such as purchase information or documentation (bills of sale, old appraisals, family provenance letters, etc.), try to have them on hand as well.

There is no State or Federal licensing for personal property appraising. Therefore, diligent appraisers distinguish themselves through professional organizations. The American Society of Appraisers (ASA) qualifies its members through rigorous education, testing and peer review. ASA has over 5,000 members nationally, accredited in all appraisal disciplines. We are among them.

We charge by the hour, or on a project “flat fee” basis. We never charge a percentage of appraised value. Please contact us for a quote.

Typically, you can expect a 4-8 week period from the date of examination to the completion of the report. A shorter time frame may be arranged by contacting our office.

Appraisal assignments have 3 parts: Property Examination, Valuation Research and Report Writing.

Examination takes place wherever the property is located. (Generally, we come to you.) Research is done in the market place. The Report is written at our office.

An appraisal is valuation advice. We’ve found that most clients want that advice in a written report form. Currently, we deliver most of our reports electronically.

An appraisal report is a multi-page document that communicates value opinion. It should include at minimum, the type of value, intended use, effective date of value, names of the client and appraiser, the appraiser’s signature, fee structure, scope of work, property identification, photographs and a value conclusion.

Clients often ask us this question. The simple answer is that an appraisal is a value opinion that is only as good as its method and support. There is no absolute authority.

However, a Gillett and Caudana appraisal answers the appropriate value question with credibility and serves the needs of our clients. In other words, we do it right.

We work independently. We only do appraisals. We do not buy or sell property. We are unbiased professionals who do not advocate for anyone other than our own work. Therefore, there is never conflict of interest.

The basic methods of appraisal are research, comparables and judgment. A real estate appraiser researches sales of comparable homes when estimating market value for your home. We apply the same method to personal property.

A Gillett and Caudana appraisal is not an unfounded opinion, but one grounded in market facts.

Yes. Sheryl and Stephen have been recognized as expert witnesses in the Superior Courts of Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties.

Please feel free to contact us here with any other questions. We have no shortage of answers.