An accredited independent machinery & equipment appraisal needs to rely on several variables, utilizing components of both the sales comparison and cost approach to fully flesh out a balanced estimate of value. Researching and reviewing a reasonable amount of market sources that provide useful information is paramount to effectively working through an appraisal; however, it is common that all the pieces of data won’t consistently line up or even make logical sense in some cases.
An appraiser must understand that these market sources, while very useful, might not be entirely reliable and may even have a level of bias associated with them given the business and industry they operate in. A vital role of an accredited appraiser is to sift through the information they uncover and determine how best to put the pieces together to arrive at a conclusion of value.
This is where the level of experience an appraiser has comes into play. Determining which sources appear most consistent and reasonable, as well as making some commonsense decisions on how the particular assets being valued should trade in a secondary market throughout their useful lives will shed light on the situation.
There may be times when the equipment to appraise is very uncommon, with virtually no secondary market information available to research. In other cases, the appraiser will have dozens of sources available to them, each one marketing similar machinery for sale with a wide array of differing price points. Each situation will present challenges regarding how best to work through it and arrive at a reasonable assessment.
The purpose of the appraisal and the premise of value being estimated will also create different approaches that need to be thought through while completing the analysis. How an appraiser adjusts to each situation is based on their experience and overall understanding of the bigger transactional picture they are involved in.
The conclusion of value is ultimately the appraiser’s determination and theirs alone. The sources they rely upon are not responsible nor are they the ones being compensated to provide an independent estimate.
An opinion is always going to have some degree of subjectivity behind it, regardless of how much data supports it, and that’s okay. The more knowledge and experience an appraiser has backed up by a reasonable amount of supporting data, the better the final outcome will be.