Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ISA's Mentor Program

Karen S. Rabe, ISA CAPP
It has been over a year since ISA initiated our mentor program. This program enables our newest members and any member who is struggling through the CAPP process to reach out to an assigned, seasoned member for help.

ISA has close to 800 members. The word is out and we are growing. We have added 99 new members as of November. If you are one of those new members and are struggling to move through the accreditation process in ISA, please be aware that we are here to help you. Your assigned mentor can give you insight on their experience in dealing with questions you may have. Mentees are expected to initiate the communication with mentors they are assigned, as well as maintain the relationship for the length of time they wish. Both parties should make themselves available in a timely manner through a mutually agreed on method of communication. If you no longer require your mentor, please contact them and ISA HQ to let them know so we can reassign the mentor to a new individual.

Only appraisal-related questions should be asked. Here are some examples of questions which were asked of our mentors since inception of the program.

1.    How do I find comparable sales for a unique item?
2.    How do I deal with a difficult client?
3.    How do I market my appraisal business?
4.    How do I deal with a client who ignores my invoices and phone calls concerning them?

Being credentialed by ISA and having a CAPP can significantly boost your appraisal business. Let us help you achieve this goal. The IRS recommends using an appraiser who “has earned an appraisal designation from a recognized professional appraiser organization for demonstrated competency in valuing the type of property being appraised.” This is stated in Publication 561, page 10. ISA is one of these organizations. Consequently, tax advisors, attorneys, trust officers and clients are actively seeking only “qualified” appraisers.

We currently have 105 certified members. We are asking all willing certified members to become mentors to a CAPP candidate. This is a short term, fulfilling commitment. CAPP mentors can review reports prior to submission and point out errors, which if not found, would result in resubmission. We want you to succeed!

Christine Guernsey, ISA CAPP, summed up her experience as a mentor very well. “I found participating in the mentoring program extremely rewarding. Not only was I able to share knowledge I'd gained through the years from other senior and very generous appraisers, but I felt like I made a new friend and colleague through the process. I will definitely continue to participate in the program.”

I have personally helped many new members over the years and it has always been a very rewarding experience for me as well. Become a mentor or mentee by contacting our new ISA Membership Coordinator, Michelle VanAlstyne, at (312) 265-3750 or mvanalstyne@thesentergroup.com.

Thank you to all who are currently volunteering to make this program successful. If you have any questions feel free to contact me by email or phone.


Karen S. Rabe, ISA CAPP

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ask Leon: What is correct in determining fair market value?

ISA members are invited to send in their questions on all things appraising and education to Leon Castner, ISA CAPP. Leon will share his answers on the ISA Now Blog. Please send questions to leoncastner@comcast.net.

Question: The past three reports graded for D&R all used solely auction results for determining fair market value. The existence of a valid retail market was totally ignored. What is the current teaching of the concept in the core course?

Answer: The IRS definition of fair market value for an estate (Section 20.2031-1(b) adds the clarification that the determination should not be based on forced sales, markets other than that which such items are most commonly sold to the public, and takes into consideration the location of the item when appropriate. If items are most commonly sold to the public at auction then that would be the appropriate market. Many items, however, are sold in various markets. It is the appraiser’s responsibility to select the correct market and substantiate the value. Auctions are often used not because they are the most common market but because they are easy to locate and have published transactions. A dependence solely on auction sales is not correct. Where the most common market is retail every effort should be made to use those sales in the final determination. This is probably more likely in the fields of art and/or jewelry/gemstones than in normal used furniture and decorative art. Be aware that the IRS has written that even sales resulting from classified ads are acceptable.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What ISA Members are Saying about the Appraisal Profession

Steven R. Roach, ISA AM
Over the past several months, the ISA has been exploring ways to introduce our new online learning management system and the personal property appraisal profession to a broader audience. As part of that, we performed an informal poll of members on ISA’s LinkedIn group and had a rich discussion with participation from more than a dozen members.

The responses made clear that the appraisal profession is dynamic, and the reasons why people are seeking competent appraisers are changing. A larger theme that continues to emerge is that the downsizing of the Baby Boomer generation is shifting the intersection of supply and demand in the marketplace, which is impacting values that appraisers may place on an object. Continuing education on the part of the individual appraiser is more important than ever to keep up with these shifting trends.

Here are some of the takeaway points on some of the types of objects that appraisers are seeing more often:

  • Asian art continues to be a hot area for the appraisal market. Daphne L. Rosenzweig, ISA CAPP, said, “As an Asian art appraiser, I appreciate all the increased interest in Asian art appraisals!  Right now I have a flood of modern Japanese prints. Asian art appraisals - thriving field.”
  • However, members continue to be concerned with valuing ivory in light of laws limiting the ivory trade. Richard John Meliska, ISA AM, wrote, “Our recent ivory appraisals were pretty easy…zero value, regardless of age, content or provenance.” Rosenzweig added, “It’s not a time to appraise ivory (Client’s hate to be told this!)”
  • Midcentury modern objects continue to be the subject of more appraisals. Cindy Charleston Rosenberg, ISA CAPP, finds strong demand for appraisals of American regionalist painting.
  • Other areas that were noted as being particularly busy include sterling silver, art glass, rare coins, inherited furniture, collectibles (although, people are often disappointed to learn what the market value of their Lladro and Hummel figurines are in today’s market), musical instruments and Oriental rugs.
But why are people getting appraisals today and how does that impact appraiser business? Here are a few of the answers.

  • Many people are seeking fair, impartial guidance because they’re looking to sell their items. However, increased value requirements on the part of insurers are reducing insurance appraisals for some. Donna Einhorn, ISA AM, writes that while she’s finding fewer estate appraisals because of the high limit on value for tax requirements, other areas are providing opportunities. She’s finding additional work in charitable donations, divorce work and bankruptcies. Vicky Nash Shaw, ISA CAPP, explains, “Most of my clients now want valuations for resale, and of course, I see a lot of fine art. The insurance carriers are not requiring appraisals for most "stuff" now so the volume of insurance appraisals are down.” Thomas M. Helms, ISA CAPP, concurs, writing, “More collections, estimates for what an estate would garner at orderly liquidation value for the courts, jewelry especially for banks and fiduciaries. Less taxable estates this year.”
  • Appraisers continue to need to educate clients, especially in the legal and banking sectors, on how appraisers can help them and what a “qualified appraiser” is. Shaw notes, “As far as estate work goes, many executors and trustees only want appraisals completed for tax purposes; they don't realize the value of them for equitable distributions. Lots of upside marketing potential with insurance firms, especially the big ones!” Meliska adds, “We still get a lot of estate appraisals, although not necessarily for tax, but for ‘inventory’ by corporate fiduciaries and equitable distribution. We're seeing a lot of jewelry and silver for insurance. The need for ‘qualified appraisals’ done by ‘qualified appraisers’ in compliance with (something like) USPAP has grown tremendously.”
Finally, when asked why they would recommend the appraisal profession to a new appraiser, Christine Guernsey, ISA CAPP, shared the sentiments of many when she said that appraising meant more than just money. She wrote, “What is important to me is not the money. What is important to me is staying busy with something I love and being able to work around other things I want to do ……because after all life is too short to ‘work for the man.’ I like working for ‘the woman’- she’s the best boss ever.”

It’s that independence, combined with being able to help people and work in a field that is ever-dynamic, that makes the personal property appraisal profession so attractive to new appraisers. The ISA continues to look for new ways to introduce people to the rewarding field of appraising.

Steven R. Roach, ISA AM

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Congratulations to course attendees!

ISA recently hosted a Live Online 7 Hour USPAP Course. Please join us in congratulating our course attendees on taking the necessary steps to maintain their education and ISA credentials!

Sept. 10-11 Attendees

Elodie Cardon, ISA
Pensacola, FL

Richard Casagrande, ISA AM
Ellinwood, KS

Michelle Castro, ISA
Dallas, TX

Elizabeth Dore, ISA
Glendale, AZ

Genae Fields, ISA CAPP
Houston, TX

Susan Gaze
Houston, TX

Judy Herman-Appelbaum
Sarasota, FL

Nancy Huff, ISA
Winter Haven, FL

William Irvin
Petersburg, VA

Brian Kathenes, ISA CAPP
Hope, NJ

Brenda Murray
Murfreesboro, TN

Shell Payton, ISA
Montgomery, AL

Natalie Ribkoff, ISA
Toronto, ON

David Sanders, ISA
Mobile, AL

Terry Stubbs, ISA
Abilene, TX

Shel Trost, ISA AM
McHenry, IL

Natalie Waechter
Chicago, IL

School is in session!

Make sure to take advantage of the many upcoming ISA Fall Courses:

Nov. 6-7: Oriental Rugs (Dallas, Tex)
Nov. 9-10: Requalification Course (Dallas, Tex)
Nov. 12, 13, 17-19: Live Online 15 HR Personal Property USPAP Course 
Dec. 2-4: Live Online Requalification Course