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#2070658 - 04/25/13 01:00 PM appraisals
mosspianotuning Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/10
Posts: 23
Recently I was asked to appraise a 1978 Mason and Hamlin A. I have 2 questions about this and could use some advice about appraising in general.

1. Is there a such thing as certified appraisals? I wonder how liable I would be with the value I determine for the piano as it relates to insurance purposes. If I give a number for the pianos value to the insurance company am I held legally liable for anything? As you all know it is difficult to give a dollar value on a piano and I find it more difficult on higher end pianos which brings me to question number 2

2. Other than searching the web for similar models that are being sold, are there any other things I am missing and should do when giving an estimate on value? I always inspect the piano and figure that into my estimation, but there seems to be so little to go off of in the world of pricing used pianos. I usually end up giving a range withing a couple thousand dollars, but even then I am not always confident with my estimate. Any advice on how to improve my accuracy with appraisals would be really appreciated. Thanks everybody.

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#2070667 - 04/25/13 01:13 PM Re: appraisals [Re: mosspianotuning]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23186
Loc: Oakland
Yes, there are certified appraisers, defined by IRS regulations. You may not qualify to do appraisals for some purposes. I would suggest contacting an auction house to see if they have a certified appraiser that you could discuss it with.
Semipro Tech

#2071452 - 04/26/13 11:39 AM Re: appraisals [Re: mosspianotuning]
mosspianotuning Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/10
Posts: 23
Well, the insurance company in this particular case was fine with my appraisal on letterhead. I believe that there is not too much of a difference when it comes to the premium for insuring a piano that is 10,000 or 20,000. I gave the best estimate I could from similar models. Also I thought about replacement value vs repair/restoration value (which I think could easily end up costing more than replacement). If anyone has any more thoughts I'd love to hear them

#2071554 - 04/26/13 01:49 PM Re: appraisals [Re: mosspianotuning]
Withindale Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 2331
Loc: Suffolk, England
The process you describe is much the same as valuing anything in a relatively limited market.

Three years ago someone drove into my car and wrote it off. It wasn't a common model. When it came to assessing its value the insurance company went to the Autotrader website, the largest over here. We then had an interesting discussion about how comparable mine had been to the three on offer.

Do you keep notes on how you arrive at each valuation?
Ian Russell
Schiedmayer & Soehne, 1925 Model 14, 55" upright
Ibach, 1922 49" upright (project piano)

#2072034 - 04/27/13 10:04 AM Re: appraisals [Re: mosspianotuning]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 389
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
Some insurance companies would rather replace completely rather than pay to have something restored or repaired. I guess it depends on what type of home-owners policy they have.

A couple years ago we went to take a look at a very basic late 1960s Baldwin 243 Studio that was directly under a water heater disaster upstairs. They wanted an estimate for repair and refinishing basically.

When we went back to the house to pick up the piano for the job there was a brand new Yamaha U 3 sitting there. The homeowners told me the insurance company just cut them a check for a brand new piano.

Wow !! What a deal losing a 1200 dollar used baldwin and getting a 7500 dollar brand new piano ? I'd take that deal too !!
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation


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