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Appraisal help


Guest DAVID RALPH
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Guest DAVID RALPH

I just had some mechanical and cosmetic work done on my 33,000 mile 1957

Dodge Royal. I also own several other antique cars and have never used the

services of a antique auto apraiser. I need some advice. What should I expect to see from the appraiser? What should I pay? What should I tell my

insurance company? Thanks in advance for you help. Happy Holidays to all!

Dave

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Just my opinion but I think the biggest contribution an appraiser can provide is (hopefully) an expert, non emotional evaluation of your car's condition. Unless you are talking about a very rare car or a collector who does not track market conditions on his or her own vehicles, I would think an owner would have a good general idea of the market range their car is in. If you follow this actively you have access to pretty much the same tools the appraiser would use. I think if you really know your car and marque pretty well, in many cases you will be more knowledgeable on the car itself than the generalist appraiser will be. Condition is key though, and helpful with insurance in some cases - depends on your arrangement with your insurer.

They have a certification system so I guess I would use someone who is "certified" and if you think, as I do that an outside evaluation is the service you are getting, I would not be inclined to have it done via distance. Last pro appraisal I had done was years ago and less than $100 using a local guy.

I think it works just like real estate, you get a number, but market really dictates the actual sell price. Does anyone ever base an offer on a seller's claim of "Appraised at XXX"? as is sometimes seen in ads for collector cars.

Personally, for consultation on value (other than for insurance or tax purposes), I would place more weight on the opinions of fellow club members very familliar with your particular marque - you know, the local "guru" everyone seems to go to for advice - as long as he is not negotiatiing to buy the car! :)

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT
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Guest DAVID RALPH

Steve:

Thank you very much for your input. I quess my appraisal thoughts are more

about major damage or total loss on a insurance claim. I have never had a claim with my insurance company (American Collectors) but, have heard night-

mare stories about collecting on insurance claims. Thanks again.

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If your car is now insured, they have allready accepted the value that you have put on the car.

In the event of a total loss, they are commited to pay that amount as long as it has not been damaged and not repaired, or if it has deteriated badly (such as vandalizem or a mad dog attack prior to the loss.)

Usually the "Classic" insurance companies pay very well.

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This has been discussed before, but it's very important, so I'll repeat.

If you state your car is worth X, and the insurance company takes your premium for that amount, and you suffer a loss, the insurance company DOES NOT have to pay that amount. This is a "stated value" policy, and the insurance company will value your car as they see fit, regardless of the amount you had it insured for......

An "agreed value" policy means that both you and the insurance company have agreed that your car is worth X, and that's what they'll pay, no questions asked.

Huge difference.....

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To David's critical point, Hagerty uses the term "Guaranteed Value" means the same thing as "agreed value" - they state it in plain English and define it, so no games. I would look for a company like that and avoid anyone selling a "stated value" policy, for what it's worth. Skip the appraiser if that is your only concern, and you should be ahead of the game dollars wise, especially with more than one car.

I would only imagine you would be in trouble (when you go for the policy, not later) if you tried to insure, say a $10K car for $50K - I would imagine that would raise an eyebrow or two. Again, most "mainstream" collector cars are not that hard to value for insurance purposes, I would give my business to a company that recognizes that and are less likely to play games. As David mentioned, search the site and you will find some historical discussion on insurance here.

Good luck with you cars!

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David,

This is a company that you might want to check out. My husband and I have known the founder of it for MANY years and also know and have judged with several of the appraisers.

I-VAN - Your Source for Fast and Accurate Auto Appraisals

Susan and others

Years ago I checked into this organization and found nothing but good comments about them. Most if not all are AACA members and many of them are AACA Judges. They have been also providing seminars at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia for many years also. I corresponded with many of the Appraisers and all were happy with the training and the organization. If I were going to have anything appraised I'd try them first.

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We've used a number of appraisers, and given five different appraisers, you'll likely get five different numbers on any car. I have a few that I use regularly, but I often step back from the process as a dealer due to my desire to have it remain impartial and honest as possible. I have no fear of appraisers with the cars I represent and the way I represent them, so I look at it as another layer of security for the buyer.

However, with that said, I've had more than one outside appraiser hired by a customer ask me during the inspection, "How much do you want me to say it's worth?" (It happened with frightening regularity at the large collector car dealership where I used to work). That sends a shiver down my spine, and compromises the entire integrity of the situation, integrity that I work overtime to preserve at all costs. It makes me very uncomfortable, to say the least.

Fortunately it hasn't happened for a while and we do have a few with whom we have a relationship that seems healthy, but bear in mind that you're buying nothing more than an opinion. A half-hour on the Internet will give you an idea of what your car is really worth just as well as a professional appraiser can. As someone else pointed out, they're really best when used as remote eyes for a potential purchase, and at that point, I'd recommend one of the bigger outfits since they have more to lose by being dishonest and are less likely to care about a single appraisal's chances of developing into future business.

It sounds like there's at least one very good recommendation here, and I would trust the folks on this site, since they have nothing to gain from sharing their experiences. That's an awesome resource we should all be grateful to have!

I'm rambling now. Sorry. Hope this helps.

Edited by Matt Harwood
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I second Susan's recommendation of I-VAN. A few months ago I used them as per her referral and I was very pleased. The appraiser, an AACA master judge came to my shop, spent over an hour accessing my 61 Impala convertible and along with the appraisal gave me some friendly pointers on what to correct for the upcoming Hershey fall meet.

The report that I received in the mail was multi pages with pictures and very detailed.

The price for his service was very fair and my insurance company accepted it without question.

impala

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I second Susan's recommendation of I-VAN. A few months ago I used them as per her referral and I was very pleased. The appraiser, an AACA master judge came to my shop, spent over an hour accessing my 61 Impala convertible and along with the appraisal gave me some friendly pointers on what to correct for the upcoming Hershey fall meet.

The report that I received in the mail was multi pages with pictures and very detailed.

The price for his service was very fair and my insurance company accepted it without question.

impala

I am very pleased that you were happy with the job that I-VAN did for you. Bill and I have done three inspections for them. Two for divorce settlements and one as a pre-purchase inspection. All were pleased with the results. The pre-purchase inspection revealed that the Caddy was not in the condition the seller had said it was. It was not purchased.

Edited by Shop Rat (see edit history)
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Guest Dick Whittington

However, with that said, I've had more than one outside appraiser hired by a customer ask me during the inspection, "How much do you want me to say it's worth?" (It happened with frightening regularity at the large collector car dealership where I used to work). That sends a shiver down my spine, and compromises the entire integrity of the situation, integrity that I work overtime to preserve at all costs. It makes me very uncomfortable, to say the least.

Fo.

That is a violation of the Ethics section of USPAP (Uniform Standard Property Appraisal Practice) An appraiser is to be totally unbiased, not an advocate for any party involved, but express an opinion of value based on research that can be validated.

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David,

There are dozens of appraisers in my area. The vast majority are what I consider "academics" and very, very few what I consider "practicioners". What makes the difference in my view, is how actively does the appaiser buy and sell collector vehicles. I have never used the services of an academic appraiser and never will. I want my cars insured for their current value, period.

Once you decide what you expect from an appaiser, start interviewing with very specific questions. I don't think it will take too long to short list a few prospects.

Mike

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Matt

It's unfortunate that you had to experience some unethical appraisers. It happens in all walks though. Several years ago I had a contract to investigate Mortgage Fraud allegations that occurred during the big real estate boom of 2004-2006. Most were here in Central Florida, but when I reviewed the mortgage package, I was astonished on what some real estate appraisers were saying the properties were worth. Way over inflated so the individual could quality for the mortgage. All these appraisers cared about was to do as many as they could to cash in on the money with their fees. It's in all areas. Hopefully the business weeds out many of these shady characters via word of mouth etc.

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Guest Dick Whittington
David,

There are dozens of appraisers in my area. The vast majority are what I consider "academics" and very, very few what I consider "practicioners". What makes the difference in my view, is how actively does the appaiser buy and sell collector vehicles. I have never used the services of an academic appraiser and never will. I want my cars insured for their current value, period.

Once you decide what you expect from an appaiser, start interviewing with very specific questions. I don't think it will take too long to short list a few prospects.

Mike

An appraiser should research the market, not just use limited personal knowledge, to give an opinion of value.

I do not know if you were directing that comment about academic appraisers toward me, if you were, I do not fall in that category. I was raised in a dealership environment, worked in fleet management (performing appraisals in my job responsibility), restored my first car in 1963, restored cars for a vocation for 15 years. I just hold myself to a higher standard than some appraisers. I can and have defended my appraisals in court and to the IRS.

I also do pro bono appraisals for one major automotive museum, mostly dealing with charitable donations.

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Guest DAVID RALPH

Everyone:

Thank you for your help. I am still new to this forum and the Dodge I inherited from my

father is the most valuable collector car I own. Many good points were made in the posts

and I will take them to heart. Thank you all again.

Dave

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