Estate Appraisals

For personal representatives and executors, settling an estate is a challenging, often complex and stressful job.

There are timetables and deadlines, requirements of the probate court, creditors, the IRS, and potential estate and transfer taxes to consider.

And, very importantly, there is the equitable division of the estate to the heirs that must be managed throughout the process.

As a Personal Assistant / Executor you have been entrusted to carry out the wishes of the deceased as swiftly and exactly as possible. 

As an experienced professional in this area of real estate appraisal, I am pleased to provide you appraisal reports that meet the requirements of these parties, the courts and various agencies. You can count on me to act quickly and with sensitivity to the feelings of everyone involved.


Personal Representatives, along with their attorneys, accountants and other team members rely on certified, real estate appraisal values. But, the time frame in which those values occur may vary.  

Estate appraisals are often retrospective, that is, they are required to be backdated to the date of the death of the decedent. An example is when a step-up basis in value for tax purposes is needed. Or, to show the probate court or creditors the value of the property the day the individual died. This can be 2 months ago or a year or more ago and requires specialized appraisal data, research and reporting techniques.  

Others need the current market value to establish an educated benchmark for an anticipated sale. An appraisal is the preferred method to find the true and realistic value as opposed to relying on real estate agents who though well meaning, are competing against each other for your listing which creates a conflict of interest. The result is a tendency to inflate the list price up front which creates unnecessary and sometimes painful, false expectations and disappointment later. This is underlined by statistics that show that properties listed high actually sit on the MLS system for much longer, undergo numerous reductions, become stale and ultimately sell for significantly less than if  priced properly in the first place.      

Conversely, many realtors need to be aggressive in order to make a living in the declining markets in which South Florida currently finds itself. The tendency here is to list properties at low numbers so the likelihood of an actual closing and a commission is significantly improved.

Both of these issues and other related problems unfairly cost the seller (the personal representative) in the end. This is not the best way to represent the wishes of the deceased and the interests of the heirs.

So where does this leave you? 

For the relatively small investment of an appraisal, the personal representative that is faced with selling the property, now has an accurate and objective understanding of the value and the local market. He or she possess an excellent evaluation tool to intelligently contrast and compare realtors in the search for the best one to list the property. Going into this selection process with eyes wide open is much more assuring, especially when the personal representative is out-of-state or otherwise unfamiliar with the property and local market.

The appraisal provides a third party, objective opinion of the property value.  I have, as an appraiser, "no dog in the fight". My only goal is to find for you, the personal representative, the realistic and likely sale price within your goals, whether they be to sell within the reasonable marketing time for the neighborhood or in a shorter time frame. 

Opinions of value used in documents filed with the revenue authorities must be supported by a detailed report as to how the appraiser arrived at his conclusions. Such a report demonstrates to the authorities that the numbers used are well founded and substantiated.

Having a professional appraisal done gives the personal representative solid facts and figures to work with in meeting IRS and state agency requirements as well as for the heirs involved. It assures peace of mind to everyone concerned because I stand behind the appraisal if it is challenged. The ethics provision within the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) binds me with confidentiality, ensuring the fullest degree of discretion.

Please be aware, the appraiser who completes reports considered by the IRS must now be a "qualified appraiser". This is defined as "designated”,  as in an SRA or MAI designation from the Appraisal Institute.




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