When you're trying to secure a business loan, many financial institutions require bank financing collateral. One option you have available to secure the financing you need is by offering your equipment as collateral. However, how do you document the value of your equipment? The best way is through an equipment appraisal. Here are some details about how it works.
How an Equipment Appraisal Helps You Document Bank Financing Collateral
When you're using your equipment as collateral in a bank loan, it's important that both you and the bank agree on how much it's worth. If the bank undervalues your equipment, it may tie up more equipment than is fair in your loan. If you default on that loan, you may lose more machinery that would be reasonably required to cover the loan. If you overvalue your equipment, you may feel that the bank is taking advantage of the situation when they're being reasonable about the situation.
But how do you and the financing company reach an agreement on how much the equipment is worth? Do you use average resale values in the area? What if the industry in your region is depressed, causing equipment values to be driven down? Do you settle for low equipment values when you've maintained your equipment in excellent condition over the years? Do you hope the bank doesn't notice the poor condition of that one or two pieces of equipment or that they never need to call in the loan and realize the problem? An equipment appraisal helps you avoid this issue by preparing a solid report on the calculated value.
But when you have an appraisal report prepared by a certified equipment appraiser, you get much more than a report that satisfies everyone in regards to your equipment values. Is this round of financing just the first step in a larger expansion? What if your equipment fails before you get to that point? When should you replace the equipment as part of the entire process? An appraisal report will look at the condition of the equipment. Because an equipment appraiser spends significant time studying equipment on a regular basis, they have a good feel for how long the equipment is expected to last, providing you with an estimate of the estimated useful lifespan. This allows you to plan for equipment replacement as part of your larger expansion or upgrades.
What if you have a fire, vandalism or theft of your equipment? If the amount of collateral and the insurance settlement don't match up, you may find yourself having problems down the road. When you use a certified equipment appraiser, the report they provide is developed using standardized appraisal methodologies. These calculations have been tested in court, by insurance companies, by tax agencies and in financial circles, so they stand up well to heavy scrutiny. This means they'll work well for both securing the financing you need as well as providing reliable documentation of your equipment's value for other purposes.
When you get an equipment appraisal to document your bank financing collateral values, you can prove what your machinery is actually worth. However, to ensure that your appraisal is accepted at face value, you'll want to be sure that you use a certified equipment appraiser. Why? The process of becoming certified ensures that the appraiser is using standardized methodologies that will stand up well to scrutiny in legal, financial and insurance circles.