Yesterday, personal property was just stuff.
Today, personal property comprises objects that reflect the lives of those we remember. Objects outlive their owners.
Yesterday, anyone could be called an appraiser–even you, the reader.
Today, appraisers are required to have specialized education and credentials. Appraisers maintain their qualifications by writing exams yearly or every five years. Professional ethics and ethics committees keep appraisers in line.
Yesterday, appraisers were found at any dusty antique store or jewelery store.
Today, appraisers are respected and skilled professionals who have a commitment to life-long education.
Yesterday, malls and churches offered free verbal appraisals.
Today, appraisers know that off-the-cuff estimates of value are wrong 95 percent of the time. Careful research is required.
Yesterday, appraisers knew everything–and they made sure they told you so.
Today, true experts admit what they don’t know.
Yesterday, appraisers worked in isolation in their offices.
Today, technological change and advances have changed the way we do business.
Yesterday, you thought all appraisers were just like the ones shown on TV.
Today, you understand the difference between the work of appraisers shown on television and the real work of a professional appraiser.
Yesterday, an appraisal was a handwritten note scribbled on a piece of paper.
Today, an appraisal is a properly researched expert opinion of the value of an object that is typed up and accompanied by a photograph of the object.
Yesterday, people hired to be appraisers frequently offered to buy or sell items they appraised.
Today, you understand that if someone you hired as an appraiser offers to sell your item for you, then they are no longer a true appraiser–they are now a salesperson. If they offer to buy it, then you are the salesperson.
Yesterday, the values on the appraisal weren’t substantiated.
Today, appraisers study consumer behavior and the marketplace, and base appraised values on current markets governed by consumer behavior. And they carefully document the source of their values.
Yesterday, we saved everything–we just might use it one day. And we didn’t necessarily know or care that much about value.
Today, reduce, reuse and recycle are buzzwords of the baby boom generation. And before downsizing, clients want to know the value of what they have.
Yesterday, we talked about Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco periods and styles.
Today, we speak about designers and the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
We use terms like Op Art, fusion, “tablescaping” and handmade versus mass manufactured.
Yesterday, estate planning called for a will drawn up by a lawyer.
Today, lawyers, accountants and appraisers are the three main components of every estate.
Yesterday, appraisers asked to be under state and country regulations with standardized testing.
Today, not a single state or country has responded to this request, leaving the field of personal property appraising completely unregulated. At Value the Past, we want regulation, and all our appraisers are fully qualified and ready to take regulatory exams. We want to be able to say that we are part of a regulated profession. We also think that consumers want regulation. Wouldn’t you, especially when you are being taxed on a percentage of the total value of items appraised for probate value? It’s time for consumers to demand regulation too.