Appraisal Witness: Qualified Expert

Appraisal Witness: Qualified Expert

Appraisal Witness Frequently Asked Questions

Appraisal Witness FAQs

What is an appraisal witness?

    An expert appraisal witness is an appraiser who is accredited, compliant with the latest government USPAP rules and laws, an expert who has testified in litigation environments (deposition, courtroom, mock trial, and administrative hearings) and has been deemed by the Judge to qualify to testify on matters pertaining to appraisals. An appraisal witness is a person that has specialized training, education, or experience that has allowed them to develop skill or knowledge in valuations, so that they can form an opinion that will help the fact finders of the case.

What is an accredited appraiser?

    An accredited appraiser is a person who has fulfilled their qualifications to be an appraiser through experience, education or specialized training and has successfully completed the government-sponsored 15 hour USPAP course and passed the USPAP test with at least a 70 point score.

What is a certified appraiser?

    A certified appraiser is usually a real estate appraiser that is licensed by the state in which they reside. A certified appraiser is seldom qualified to appraise personal property.

When would I need an accredited appraisal?

  • You should always seek an accredited appraisal, if there is the slightest chance that the value of the assets appraised will be contested or that the appraisal will appear in court and need to be defended.
  • You will need an accredited appraisal, if you deal with the IRS or any government agency that will review your appraisal.
  • You will need an accredited appraisal, if a bank or lending institution will use the appraisal in conjunction with the lending of moneys.
  • You will need an accredited appraisal in the case of divorce, mergers, partnership dissolution, liquidations and for the valuation of machinery and equipment of public corporations each year, such as power and light companies.
  • All donations that exceed $5,000, will require an accredited appraisal attached to your tax return to qualify as a legitimate deduction.

What kind of appraisal, do I need to satisfy the IRS?

    Only an accredited appraisal will be excepted for the IRS and all Federal government agencies.

Can I get an appraisal from my CPA or auctioneer?

    You can get an estimate of value from any person or authority of your choice. However, to get an appraisal from any person who by law holds themselves out to be an appraiser, this individual must meet the federal qualifications of accreditation and must have taken the government 15 hour course and passed the government USPAP test within the last two years.

What are the new laws that apply to appraisers?

    Federal rules of evidence 702 require that each individual that qualifies as an appraiser must have met the specialized training, education or experience requirements, and must have taken the 15 hour current USPAP course and passed the test. Individuals that hold themselves out as appraisers without these qualifications can be fined $5,000 and a percentage of the over or under valued items appraised.

What is the difference in a real estate and personal property appraiser?

  • A real estate appraiser is licensed to appraise homes, commercial buildings and land. A residential appraiser usually charges $300- $350 to appraise the house and lot.
  • Personal property appraisers are accredited to appraise tangible and intangible objects that are usually movable and require different qualifications to appraise than land and buildings. An example of personal property, would be antiques, machinery and equipment, businesses, vehicles, paintings, coins & gems, logos, trademarks, copyrights, client lists, intellectual properties, boats, pension plans, trusts, annuities, stocks & bonds, collectibles, professions (attorney, doctors, CEOs), careers(actors, comedians, models, professional sports etc.), timber, animals, guns and all chattel. If you can think of an object that is tangible or an intangible item that can be owned that is not included in this list and that does not include land or buildings that are secured to the land, then it also qualifies as personal property. The personal property appraiser usually charges $175-$500 an hour.

Durkin Valuation Associates have the experience, 70 combined years, the accreditation, 2012 -2013 USPAP compliant, and continued education, ASA, NAPA & NAA to exceed all of your appraisal needs including testifying as an expert appraisal witness should your appraisal need irrefutable defense. Call us at (617) 720-0332. Or contact us at:

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