Equipment Appraisal Blog | Understanding Machinery Appraisals

Keep Your Farm Afloat with a Tractor Appraisal

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 @ 01:00 PM


When you run a farm, efficiency and economy go hand in fist with profitability and capability, especially with the weekly changes in market prices. By knowing exactly where you stand with one of your most significant investments, your tractor, you can make better business decisions, including knowing the point where you should buy or sell equipment, whether you have a case for a property tax appeal or similar areas of concern to today's farmer. But how do you know where those points are in terms of value? Getting a solid tractor appraisal can be a great first step towards keeping your farm afloat in an uncertain market.

How to keep your farm afloat with a tractor appraisal

  • Know the exact value of your operation: Sure, you could loosely calculate profitability when soybeans go sky-high, but what about when you need to grow a crop that may have a narrower profit margin by the end of the season? Knowing your operation's exact value helps you make better decisions, and your tractor is a big part of that value.
  • Determine the best buying or selling points for equipment: Should you sell that older grain drill now to get a newer piece of machinery or does it make more sense to wait a few months? What about that new combine? Getting a machine appraisal on your tractor helps you determine how much equity you have in your farm in a more accurate fashion, allowing you to buy or sell equipment with less risk to your operation.
  • Deal with income taxes more precisely: There's a problem with the standard depreciation tables used by the Internal Revenue Service - they're based on average lifespans for equipment. What if you take exceptional care of your machinery or have to run it more roughly due to soil conditions in your area? In both these situations, a standardized table will provide you with the wrong value for your tractor. Equipment appraisals take a solid look at the wear and tear your tractor takes as well as an estimate of how long it can reasonably remain in service. This allows you to report the correct level of depreciation on your taxes, which is an important picture of your farm's profitability and access to financing for expansion or improvements in your operation.
  • Fight a high property tax assessment: Because a certified equipment appraiser uses standardized methodology to calculate your farm equipment's value, it holds up against very strong scrutiny. Appraisal reports generated using this type of approach work well for insurance issues, legal matters and at tax agencies, making it much easier to prove that your tractor is worth a different amount than the amount calculated by your local or county property tax assessor. Many property tax appeals have been won through the simple inclusion of a quality tractor appraisal.

By knowing what your tractor equipment values are, you can make more informed business decisions that will help keep you and your family on the farm and operating in the black. If you haven't had the opportunity to get a quality tractor appraisal performed by a certified equipment appraiser, it's time to look into it.

Tags: tractor valuation, tractor appraisal

Understanding Condemnation in Equipment Appraisals

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 @ 09:30 AM


The concept of condemnation is one that comes up in a special situation for companies: Eminent domain. If your commercial property is facing eminent domain, your equipment values will be taken as part of the process. Learn what you can expect when this happens. 

What Does Condemnation Mean? 

When the government has evoked eminent domain for a piece of commercial property, the government assumes the responsibility to pay the private property owner for their property, which has been taken over for public usage. Eminent domain is often invoked for infrastructure improvements.

In cases of eminent domain, both the physical real estate itself and the property located onsite must be purchased from the private owner. To determine the purchase price for any equipment, the government will hire an appraiser to set machinery values. Condemnation refers to this particular process - appraising a piece of machinery for sale to the government in cases of eminent domain. 

For example, assume that a state government wants to expand the railroad and add a new station. Assume that several shops are located on a given street that lies directly where the government wants to put the railroad. The state may exercise eminent domain and purchase these properties from their owners, and all real and tangible property must be appraised so that fair market value can be determined. 

Why Does Condemnation Matter? 

Condemnation allows the government to assess the value of a piece of equipment and pay the property's owner a fair price for the item. The owner can then take funds received and relocate their business, start a new business, or retire. 

Without having a machine appraisal done, it would be difficult for the government to purchase property from the owner. A business owner, aggrieved over having to close or move their business, may fight the process of eminent domain or outright refuse to sell. This could derail the municipal project, cause expensive delays for local government while the issue is resolved legally, and also harm the business owner who may not really have the time or money to fight the issue. 

The appraiser acts as a neutral third party who is only present to do a job that is in everyone's interest: Determine the value of equipment used onsite. Having an independent person who understands the value of equipment and real property can take some of the stress out of the issue, while bringing the situation to a successful and swift resolution for all parties.  

Working With a Machinery Valuation Appraiser in Condemnation 

Whether you are hiring an equipment appraiser in a case of eminent domain or you are selling your business and machinery, the same considerations remain. It is important to work with an appraiser who understands your industry, is familiar with the equipment used, and can articulate the reasons for valuing a piece of equipment in a given manner.

An appraiser should possess relevant certifications and deep knowledge of the particular industry, be it auto manufacturing or food service. The appraiser should use some form of fair market value to determine the value of all equipment on site. Fair market value, as we have discussed, refers to the acceptable "going rate" that a neutral third party would pay for a comparable piece of equipment on the open market. Finally, the appraiser should be able to discuss the appraisal results with government representatives and with business owners to resolve any lingering questions or concerns.

Tags: condemnation, eminent domain

Handling Department Upgrades through Testing Equipment Appraisal

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 @ 11:30 AM


When you work in academia, you often have a lot of older laboratory and testing equipment taking up space in your facility while having to scrimp and save for that great updated equipment that your department really needs. How do you free up space while raising the money for upgrades without leaving money on the table because you're not sure of your equipment's value? The answer: a testing equipment appraisal.

How a testing equipment appraisal helps when handling department upgrades

  • It tells you the current value of the equipment. Sure, that spectrometer was a serious investment in the 1970s, but does it still have any real value? Our equipment appraisers know what your equipment is worth now, so you can make smart decisions about what equipment should remain in use and which pieces should be retired. A piece of equipment that still provides significant use to your department that has retained a higher resale value would be a better option to hold onto than piece of equipment that has been dormant and has very little resale value, which can be sold without fear of having made a poor decision.
  • It helps you set a fair price for the testing equipment you need to sell. Without a good equipment appraisal, it can be very difficult to determine exactly what value fits the equipment you're considering selling. Are you asking for too high or too low of a price? If you let this interested buyer walk away because you think they may be offering too little? When you're in negotiations on a piece of equipment, being able to pull out a machine appraisal that backs up your asking price helps ensure you're on solid ground for the negotiating phase of the sale and that the interested buyer is more likely to come around to your figure.
  • It can help you determine when lab machinery needs to be replaced. One area of an equipment appraiser's report that is commonly overlooked is the estimated remaining lifespan. Because a well-qualified appraiser who specializes in machinery and equipment works with those types of machines on a regular basis, they can often make a good general estimate of remaining useful life on your lab testing equipment based on history of very similar machinery, wear and tear, signs of abuse, the conditions it's being kept in and many more factors that come into play. This is especially important as it allows you to plan ahead for estimated replacement dates. Though the dates are not set in stone, they can act as a handy reference point to plan around, especially for expensive equipment.
  • It provides solid proof of equipment values beyond simple conjecture by people in your department. When you need to justify getting rid of older equipment, having equipment appraisals that hold up to strong scrutiny in legal, insurance and financial sectors can mean the difference between a simple piece of paperwork and an academic department politics falling out of epic proportions with long-lasting repercussions long into the future.

By having a quality testing equipment appraisal performed on your older equipment, you can best use your department's funds where it's most needed.

Tags: testing equipment appraisal

How Equipment Appraisals Help You Get the Most out of Your Business Planning

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, Oct 04, 2016 @ 01:00 PM


When you run a business, you know that to roughly paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, failing to plan is planning to fail. If you don't know what direction your company is going in, how to respond to changing market conditions or even where your company is strong and weak, you can't take advantage of opportunities and avoid risks when they come along. But even for those business owners or managers who do business planning for their enterprise, there can be some areas where you don't know exactly what you're working with. One of these areas is equipment values.

How Equipment Appraisals Help You Get the Most out of Your Business Planning

Often typing up significant amounts of equity, deciding on a timeline for equipment purchase or replacement and what type of transaction to undertake can be difficult to determine. Here are some examples of how an equipment appraisal can help in the business planning process:

  • When to purchase machinery. Should you purchase new equipment before starting that new contract or after it's completed and paid? The biggest part of that answer hinges on how much longer your equipment is expected to last. Though a exact point of failure or the point at which it becomes unprofitable to continue repairing is hard to determine, a qualified machine appraiser can estimate a piece of equipment's remaining usable life will be. By knowing this, you can determine whether the existing equipment will make it through the contract or if it has potential to break down and cause serious delays and financial burden.
  • When to sell equipment.  If you're hitting a problem point in your cash flow, should you sell equipment or take out a line of credit to cover the lean times? An equipment appraisal allows you to know what your machinery is actually worth by looking at the current market conditions. If your industry is going into a bust cycle, you may not get much money for the equipment you'd need to sell. If, on the other hand, it's going into a boom cycle, you may want to hold onto the equipment regardless to take advantage of favorable conditions. A machine appraisal could help with this type of information.
  • Buying new or used or trading in. What type of purchase should you make? If you're considering buying new, can you save significant money by buying used instead? If you're thinking of buying used, would a new machine provide a significantly longer useful life for just a little more cash? Should you buy more equipment or just upgrade by trading in your old machinery? A good machine valuation specialist can help answer those questions by letting you know what your equipment is worth. By going into a dealership prepared with the current machinery values, you're able to negotiate from a position of strength.

When you have a machine appraisal performed, that information helps lead to better business planning in the future. By having a solid plan in place that reflects accurate information for your business, you can successfully grow your business.

Tags: Equipment Appraisal, business planning