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#2224770 - 02/02/14 05:45 PM Piano Appraising
dadof3g Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 7
Loc: New England
Hi, my first post :-) looking for feedback on my thoughts on appraising:

I have been a technician for 26 years, and have appraised many pianos for resale, ie a client wants to know how much to sell their piano for, or how much to pay for a used piano; in this case I usually say that the piano is worth what a buyer and seller agree on, ie market value; and in this case, there is no intrinsic value to a used piano, they are worth in my area what people are usually selling them for. I often go on craiglist and use that as a guide to the current market value of used pianos in my area. Other thoughts?

But one type of appraising has always left me scratching my head, and that is appraising for insurance, or replacement if damaged by fire, etc; should the appraisal of value be that of a brand new similar piano? or that of a comparable used piano in similar condition? or used in much better condition?

Not sure how to handle this type of appraisal; appreciate your thoughts.

Also, how about donating a piano; the doner wants to know how much the piano is 'worth' for donation purposes.

also, is there a different way of appraising, valuing, for an estate sale?
Peter Poole

Piano & Music Accessories
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#2224806 - 02/02/14 06:54 PM Re: Piano Appraising [Re: dadof3g]
anrpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 207
Loc: Chicago

Nice can of worms you have there.

Appraisals, when if gets right down to it, is a best guess, subject to all sorts of interpretations.

I think you can get yourself into trouble if you use different standards based upon different circumstances. I don't think it is likely that you would ever be called into account for your appraisal, but you never know. Pianos are such a peculiarity to most people that they will usually take your word for it.

I usually have a conversation with the appraisal seeking party as to the subjective nature of my appraisal and how the circumstances (such as urgency of selling) can impact what they may ultimately sell the piano for. "If you give it a year, you could expect to sell it for X, but if you need to sell it in the next couple of months you should expect X-"
Andrew Remillard
Downers Grove, IL 60515

#2224817 - 02/02/14 07:09 PM Re: Piano Appraising [Re: dadof3g]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 24242
Loc: Oakland
There are different standards for different purposes. The IRS has changed its standards for appraising property, so if it is for a donation and you do not have the certification, you are probably better sending the client to a professional appraiser, such as an auction house may have.

For insurance, it would depend on the type of insurance the client has.

It might be better these days to find someone who is a certified appraiser and send your clients to that person, who can then call on you for help. That removes your liability, as well.
Semipro Tech

#2225176 - 02/03/14 11:55 AM Re: Piano Appraising [Re: dadof3g]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Peter, there was a comprehensive and researched article on exactly this topic in the PTG Journal last year. Interesting and important reading!
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply

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#2225653 - 02/04/14 08:46 AM Re: Piano Appraising [Re: dadof3g]
dadof3g Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/20/12
Posts: 7
Loc: New England
thanks Jurgen and others; I am going to call some insurance companies as soon as I get over this cold and stop hacking, and hopefully let you know what they say; I have a feeling that will be a good source for answers on the 'appraising for insurance' situation. From them I would ask if they are 'normally' looking for a 'like new', or 'as is' value.
Peter Poole

#2225668 - 02/04/14 09:10 AM Re: Piano Appraising [Re: dadof3g]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10779
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Most people buy "replacement value" insurance in which the company agrees to replace it with a new equivalent. If so, the appraisal should be for the local selling price of the equivalent.
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.


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