Equipment Appraisal Blog | Understanding Machinery Appraisals

Education and Accountability Creates Independence

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Mar 04, 2024 @ 07:30 AM

Indepoendent Accredited Machinery and Equipment Appriasers

Complete independence is something most of us long for when it comes to living our lives. Although the definition in this context is somewhat different as compared to independence in a business transaction, the same level of importance applies to the term. Without independence in business, there exists the possibility that one or more parties involved may be making decisions or influencing those who make them in order to attain a desired result.

When value is part of the equation in a transaction, the stakes are even higher, and the risks involved are much greater. Value equals money and we all know how money can drive a lot of poor decisions.

With that idea in mind, it brings us to the concept of an independent and unbiased appraisal. Believe it or not, it was only around 35 years ago that federal and state regulators began mandating that all independent appraisers become certified, accredited, and/or licensed to become qualified. Before that time, many appraisers were not governed by these rules, which essentially means they had no official oversight. Thus, their independence, as well as the formal knowledge and understanding of how to complete an unbiased third-party valuation were not evident.

Since that time, appraisal foundations that were already in existence began to prosper, allowing for expanded oversight as well as the creation of more formal educational and experience requirements for appraisers. Formal standards of professional appraisal practice become more entrenched into the process that formally certifies and accredits valuation experts.

These changes were welcomed by banks, insurance companies, investors, and business owners, as there was now a high level of confidence that their transactions would include a fully independent assessment of value with the associated companies and their underlying assets, such as real estate, machinery & equipment, and intangibles.

The additional costs associated with these fully independent appraisals were outweighed by the added benefits, as the risk of any possible bias in their deals was significantly reduced.

In summary, there are still companies out there who claim to be appraisal experts but do not hold the required certifications or licenses needed to comply with all the regulations currently in place. Ensure that you don’t engage with any business or individual who is not accredited by a reputable appraisal association as they are not governed under these rules of independence.

Tags: accredited appraisers, Machinery & Equipment Appraisals

As Long as There Are Disputes, 3rd Party Appraisers Will be in Demand

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Feb 19, 2024 @ 07:30 AM

Business Disputes Require Independent Machinery and Equipment Appraisers

There are a lot of reasons why companies and individuals need professional valuation reports as part of their ongoing dealings. Collaborative transactions, such as leasing and financing, donations and gifting, estate transfer, and mergers and acquisitions, will always be part of an appraiser’s practice. That being said, company and personal disputes will always be a primary driver of business for experienced valuation professionals.

Partnerships in companies once built to last somehow weaken and crumble when decisions can no longer be mutually agreed upon. Husbands and wives, who once enjoyed a happy relationship can no longer tolerate each other and have no interest in agreeing to negotiate a fair divorce settlement due to built-up resentment and anger.

Companies collaborating on an exciting joint venture suddenly become untrustworthy of the other’s intentions and can no longer work together as a team.

I could go on with general examples, however, the point is, that there will always be disputes arising between businesses and individuals because that’s just the way life is. People you thought you trusted show their other side and eventually betray you. Others decide they want to change their habits and opinions about important issues and begin to butt heads with the ones they previously were in sync with. It’s simply human nature. Some can adapt and resolve things between themselves, however, many cannot.

When individuals begin to disagree, a wall often builds up between the parties that is impossible to tear down. What was an issue that at first could easily be negotiated or compromised on, suddenly morphs into a problem that has no right answer. Common sense goes out the window and eventually, third parties are brought in to decide the fate of the situation.

This is where outside consultants, like appraisers and industry experts, with a high level of experience, have opportunities to work independently to assist in the dispute and play a part in the eventual settlement or ruling of the case.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, professionally or personally, first look to hire a good attorney. Then, when the time is right, discuss the case with experienced accredited consultants, such as an equipment or business appraiser, who can work with you to develop unbiased opinions about the assets involved with the case.

Tags: accredited appraisers, Machinery & Equipment 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

Equipment Appraisals: Weighing Experience with Research & Analysis

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Nov 27, 2023 @ 07:30 AM

Appraiser Valuing Machinery Equipment Assets

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.

Tags: accredited appraisers, Machinery & Equipment Appraisals, experienced

Appraisers as Expert Witnesses-Remote Testimony is the New Normal

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Oct 30, 2023 @ 07:30 AM

Expert Witness Testimony of Machinery and Equipment Appraisers

Many experienced and credentialed appraisers augment their services as expert witnesses in litigation matters such as prolonged business disputes and personal divorce cases. Working with clients and their attorneys leading up to a possible trial is common practice for valuation firms; however, these cases are often settled before testimony is required.

If the litigation does reach trial or arbitration, there is the likelihood that testimony will occur either during the trial or before, in a deposition format. As an expert witness, before the pandemic, it was generally a requirement to attend these hearings in person, which involved additional time and costs for travel and sitting in court waiting to testify.

Over the last 2+ years, there has been an abundance of “catch-up” work by the courts and attorneys given the delays in advancing cases during the pandemic. As a result, a high number of valuation assignments associated with these cases have moved to deposition or trial, creating an increased level of requests for expert witness testimony.

Fortunately, the opportunity to testify remotely online has allowed appraisers to avoid spending inordinate amounts of time traveling around the country to attend these in person and then having to sit idly waiting for their turn to appear as a witness.

One of the few silver linings associated with the pandemic was the widespread acceptance of a remote work model, which includes a significant amount of communication handled through an online format, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. This has now become commonplace for expert witness testimony and, as a result, has allowed appraisers to provide this service more affordably to their clients.

Based on my own recent experience, this process has by and large been successful, and the likelihood of creating a more permanent change to include remote testimony options at trial and deposition will continue to develop in the long term.

Like many other industries, technological advances over the last 15-20 years have played a significant role in creating efficiencies for appraisers to manage their workload and grow their businesses to new levels without spending a lot of additional time and expense to accomplish this. The opportunity created by remote expert witness testimony is one of these critical areas of advancement, and appraisers should take advantage of this as much as possible.

Tags: Litigation, accredited appraisers, Equipment Appraisal Services