Equipment Appraisal Blog | Understanding Machinery Appraisals

Equipment Appraisal: Why Experience is Important

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Jan 22, 2024 @ 07:30 AM

Machinery Equipment Appraisers Collaborating on a Valuation

After almost 40 years of working in the machinery and equipment markets, I find it fascinating how so much has changed but many things remain the same. Whether it involves financing and leasing, asset management, buying and selling, or independent valuation, the methodologies and mechanics of these industry sectors working together to be successful have been consistent for decades.

From an appraisal perspective, you don’t need to be an expert in any one type of market or industry to estimate value effectively. The principles and methodologies learned and practiced within the M&E appraisal profession do not change as the asset types vary. Gaining experience and developing a sound and supportable technique for appraising is the key to becoming a well-regarded appraiser.

Here are a couple of topics to think about that might help you along the way as you continue to develop your valuation skills and expertise:

Initial Information Gathering:

Obtaining the details behind the equipment you are appraising is a critical first step in providing a credible appraisal. Variables such as the year, make, model, serial number/VIN, hours/mileage, original cost, and any relevant specifications and documentation are all important to obtain. Communicate with the current owner to gain a basic understanding of the history of the machinery and gather any detailed itemized listings and support data that might be available.

Gather a Broad List of Sources

During the research process, try not to put too much weight on any one source when it comes to estimating value. Multiple perspectives from varied market sources can provide you with a balanced amount of information that you can review to ultimately form your own opinion. Remember that this is your appraisal, not simply a parroted version of someone else’s.

Don’t Rely on One Approach

From my experience, it is beneficial to consider and weigh the appraisal from both the Cost Approach and Sales Comparison Approach. Regardless of how much resale data might be available for any piece of equipment, it is also beneficial to understand the new replacement cost, useful life, and typical market levels of depreciation and obsolescence that occur with machinery and equipment. Combining the elements of both approaches can create a check and balance type system for your analysis and provide a sanity check to all the data gathered.

Like anything else in life, experience is gained by doing, and each year you can continue to hone your skills to become a better equipment appraiser.

Tags: valuation, machinery appraisal, accredited appraisers, Equipment Appraisal Services, experienced

Donating Older Equipment vs. Trying to Sell

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Jan 08, 2024 @ 07:30 AM

donating used equipment versus selling machine appraisal

We see many instances where business owners and individuals no longer need to operate used machinery or have recently acquired older equipment and personal property as part of a larger purchase or estate settlement. In any of these cases, the assets are no longer useful, and there becomes a need to decide the best option for transferring ownership.

The first thought is usually determining the ability to sell or liquidate the assets; however, this process may be difficult, especially if demand is limited or the owner is unfamiliar with the potential resale markets. As an alternative, donating the property to a local business, university, training school, or non-profit organization might be a better choice. The benefits of a tax deduction and supporting your community or alma mater might outweigh the uncertainty and time-consuming process of trying to sell the items on your own.

Before you decide which options are best, it is a good idea to consult with your accountant as well as an accredited professional appraiser, especially if you know the total value of the donation will be significant. The IRS rule is that an independent appraisal is required as part of any deduction claim in excess of $5,000. You must also include Form 8283 as part of your income tax filing. The form needs to be signed by you, the appraiser, and the party you are donating to.

The cost of the appraisal can sometimes become a challenge in comparison to the tax benefit. For example, suppose you have dozens of small items that are being donated together, and all need to be appraised. In that case, the total value might not support the cost given the valuation process will be time-consuming. You need to broadly calculate your expected tax deduction by approximating the total value of your donation and multiplying it by your estimated adjusted income tax percentage.

As an example, a $50,000 donation would result in a $10,000 deduction for someone in the 20% tax bracket. If the appraisal costs $5,000, you will end up with a $5,000 overall benefit for the donation. A lower overall value for your donation will create a more price-sensitive situation regarding the appraisal cost, and vice versa.

It is important to review and discuss these scenarios with your accountant and the appraiser to try and create an affordable option that makes sense for you. Grouping together some of the less expensive items for the purpose of valuing them might be one viable way to save on the time and cost of completing the appraisal. The focus can then be placed on the higher-valued property for the purpose of detailing and itemizing the report.

Tags: donation appraisal, selling equipment, used equipment, equipment donations, used machinery