Equipment Appraisal Blog | Understanding Machinery Appraisals

Fair Market Value (FMV) vs. Actual Cash Value (ACV)

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, Sep 06, 2022 @ 07:30 AM


Fair Market Value Actual Cash Value Machinery Equipment Appraisals Insurance

When it comes to estimating the value of personal property and equipment, there are a number of premises, terms, and definitions thrown around in the professional appraisal realm, as well as areas such as insurance loss claims

Fair Market Value is the most frequently referenced when it comes to appraisers, however, insurance adjustors are tied to a less common term called Actual Cash Value.

Although you might think these two should be similar in their approach, they can be quite different, depending on the type of property being valued and the interpretation of their meaning.

As a direct comparison, here are the most often seen definitions:

Fair Market Value is an opinion expressed in terms of money, at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts, as of a specific date.

Actual Cash Value is the amount equal to the replacement cost (new) minus depreciation of a property at the time of loss. The actual value for which the property could be sold is always less than what it would cost to replace it.

Given there is generally room for interpretation with both of these definitions, there are times when appraisers and insurance adjustors can arrive at a very similar value and other times when there is a significant discrepancy between the two.

What approaches are utilized, and which data sources are relied upon will determine whether these values are comparable or far apart. How independent agencies measure useful life along with annual levels of depreciation, and whether they rely on direct market information or broader industry data can create any number of diverging estimates of value.

Before you select an appraiser or engage with an insurance company to protect your personal property and equipment, it is important to understand the company’s background and history with how they treat these approaches to value. Accredited appraisers have guidelines and quality controls in place by which they abide, while insurance companies will have their own internal methodologies based on past experience and actuarial data.

Regardless of these requirements, there will always be a subjective component to the concept of valuation with every business in both the appraisal and insurance industries. Seek to learn as much as you can about this topic so you can feel comfortable that the service being provided is the one that’s right for you.

Tags: actual cash value, fair market value, ASA accredited appraiser, Machinery & Equipment Appraisals, insurance

Equipment Appraisals: Fair Market Value-Installed vs Fair Market Value

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, May 31, 2021 @ 08:00 AM

Equipment Appraisal Fair Market Value Installed

In our last post, we discussed the most commonly used value definitions specific to bank financing and equipment leasing. In this installment, we are focusing on internal reasons for obtaining an appraisal, such as accounting, tax, and insurance compliance requirements.

Depending on the industry you work within, certain machinery & equipment can be large and complex, involving significant investments outside of the pure “hard cost” of the assets. These expenses include shipping, construction, installation, custom build-outs, and operator training, simply to get the equipment up and running.

For these reasons, the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) developed a definition of value to consider these costs as part of the overall capitalized value of the machinery. This expanded definition is called Fair Market Value-Installed and is similar to Fair Market Value with certain considerations added.

Here are the two definitions side by side, for comparison:

Fair Market Value (FMV)

Fair Market Value is an opinion expressed in terms of money, at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts, as of a specific date.

Fair Market Value-Installed

Fair Market Value-Installed is an opinion, expressed in terms of money, at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts, independent of earnings generated by the business in which the property is or will be installed, as of a specific date.

The highlighted words in the expanded definition are what allows the appraiser to include expenses, commonly referred to as “soft costs”, as a complement to the actual purchase price of the equipment. These additional investments will add value as part of the overall asset, as long as it remains installed, which is a consideration when valuing for any internal business purpose specific to your company.

Most machinery-intensive industrial manufacturing facilities and large process production plants will see these types of costs associated with their equipment. The requirements necessary to ship large assets, often overseas, add extra foundations to safely install the equipment on the facility floor, the electrical, plumbing, and process piping needed to work with the equipment, and paying the manufacturer representatives for weeks of on-site training, are some of these costs that can be capitalized as part of the overall value of the assets.

Not every business has equipment with high installation costs associated with it, but if yours does, don’t forget to consider these additional investments as part of the overall value when working on internal compliance projects related to accounting, tax, and insurance.

Tags: accredited appraisers, fair market value, Machinery & Equipment Appraisals, fair market value - installed

How to Determine Fair Market Value of Oilfield Equipment

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Mar 08, 2021 @ 08:00 AM

Oil and Gas Machinery Equipment Appraisals


Your oilfield machinery is a primary driver behind the success of your business. You haven’t considered how much your assets are worth in quite some time, however, you now need to update your insurance coverage, obtain refinancing, buy or sell some equipment or even purchase a new company to keep up with growth requirements. Understanding the current market value of your oil and gas equipment is critical for all these possibilities. Obtaining an independent valuation from an experienced accredited appraiser is equally important to you and the other parties involved in the transaction.

Factors Considered in a Fair Market Value of Oil and Gas Equipment

  • Physical Deterioration: An appraiser will review the equipment, taking note of its physical condition. The old adage about never judging a book by its cover applies well to machinery appraisals for oilfield equipment. Even if an oil rig looks old and shows visible wear and tear, it is not necessarily an indication of low value. Appraisers will review the history of the equipment with you before making a value determination. Machinery that has been well maintained, with components replaced as needed, regardless of age, will likely still have significant value.
  • Replacement Cost: An appraiser will estimate how much it would cost to purchase, for example, an equivalent rig, mud pump, or service truck new, and then deduct from this cost-based typical levels of market depreciation over time.
  • Useful life: The appraiser may estimate the useful life of the machinery by reviewing the age, physical condition, and depreciation of equipment. Effective age is typically weighed more than chronological age if the equipment has been well maintained over its life.
  • Market Data: The marketplace is where all relevant information is found during the appraisal process. We will look at recent sales and listings while gathering opinions of value from third parties who buy and sell new and used equipment every day.

Appraisers will factor all of these variables into the analysis and subjectively estimate value based on their opinion of the reliability of the data. The appraisal report will summarize this process, explain the criteria under which fair market value was determined, and provide the sources relied upon to support these conclusions.

If you are considering any business plans in the immediate or longer-term future where the value of your oilfield assets is a factor in the decision making, it is well worth the time and expense to engage an independent appraisal company to complete the task. It is important to hire an appraiser who is unbiased and experienced in the valuation of these types of assets. When your business is on the line, never settle for an appraiser who doesn’t have the right credentials or may have an interest beyond appraising your machinery. Equipment Appraisal Services is the perfect place to begin your search.

Tags: machinery appraisal, accredited appraisers, fair market value, equipment valuation, oil and gas equipment

What Do the Premises of Value Mean in the Resale Marketplace?

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Oct 05, 2020 @ 08:00 AM



An ASA accredited equipment appraiser most often uses one or a combination of the following premises of value in their reports:

  • Fair Market Value
  • Orderly Liquidation Value
  • Forced Liquidation Value

These terms are formally defined by the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) as follows:

Fair Market Value

Fair Market Value is an opinion expressed in terms of money, at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts, as of a specific date.

Orderly Liquidation Value

Orderly Liquidation Value is an opinion of the gross amount, expressed in terms of money, that typically could be realized from a liquidation sale, given a reasonable period of time to find a purchaser (or purchasers), with the seller being compelled to sell on an as-is, where-is basis, as of a specific date.

Forced Liquidation Value

Forced Liquidation Value is an opinion of the gross amount, expressed in terms of money, that typically could be realized from a properly advertised and conducted public auction, with the seller being compelled to sell with a sense of immediacy on an as-is, where-is basis, as of a specific date.

We are often asked how these definitions translate to the actual marketplace where the buying and selling occurs every day. To facilitate a response to this question, we will consider selling your used vehicle (car, pickup SUV) when it is determined you need to replace it. We will begin with the Fair Market Value premise.

Fair Market Value is considered the higher end of the value spectrum and can be considered comparable to a private party sale where you, as the owner of the vehicle, put an ad online or in a local paper in an attempt to sell to another private party. The key assumption here is that there is no immediate sense of having to sell or purchase and the sale is on an “as-is where is” basis with no warranty or other conditions of sale.

The ability to obtain Fair Market Value is more realistic if you are in the business of buying, selling, leasing or operating equipment in the applicable industry. That is why new and used equipment dealers will typically be a good source to best understand this “retail” level of value.

To summarize, fair market value while being an accepted level of pricing in an equipment resale effort, many businesses such as banks and other investors look to liquidation values as a more attainable figure in a typical resale scenario.

In our next blog post we will cover the two types of liquidation values as they relate to the sale of your used vehicle.

Tags: fair market value, forced liquidation value, orderly liquidation value, Premise of Value

What You Need to Know About Fair Market Value in Machinery Appraisal

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Tue, Oct 23, 2018 @ 02:24 PM

The term "fair market value" often comes up when discussing machinery appraisals. Do you know what it really means and why it's important? Find out how an appraiser determines the fair market value of a piece of equipment and why this matters for your company's bottom line. 

Understanding Fair Market Value in Machinery Appraisal

Fair market value represents how much a neutral buyer (i.e. someone who isn't personally invested in your company and who might overpay for that item) would be willing to pay for your equipment, whether you're talking about a bakery oven or a set of bicycle repair tools. 

Fair market value reflects how much the buyer would pay assuming there were no extenuating circumstances. A caterer would pay a lot more for that bakery oven if their oven failed the day before a large wedding than they would pay if time was not pressing. This valuation also assumes that all parties have equal knowledge -- that the seller is not attempting to hide any flaws in the equipment. 

Fair market value may affect the price of machinery installation or transit, notably with large items that must be installed before use.

Why Fair Market Value Matters

Assets are always in a state of flux in businesses: A new piece of equipment comes in and something old goes out. 

Maybe you decide to donate the old equipment, so you can take the tax write-off for dropping off that bakery oven at a soup kitchen that needs an oven. While this is a fine impulse, there is no way that you can write off the equipment on your taxes accurately without knowing the accurate valuation. 

Perhaps you decide to get some return on your investment by selling the old piece of equipment. If you're in a generous mood, you might even get that oven cleaned and serviced, so you're selling something that is clean, ready to use, and reads temperature accurately. What if you found out that your old oven had a very low value and you would not recoup what you spent getting the oven serviced? 

Alternately, maybe you have a favorite tool -- like those bike tools that fit your hand really well. What if there was a break-in at your bike shop and those tools disappeared? Or a fire that destroyed all of your equipment? How could you make an insurance claim not knowing the value of what you lost? 

As these examples illustrate, you can only realize the value of an asset when you know what it's worth -- which is subject to change in time. Without an appraisal of fair market value, you can't realize your equipment's value whether you're looking to sell it, donate it, or replace it. 

You may believe that you can look up the price of equipment online or use the tax documents, which take depreciation into effect. While this is a valid impulse, you can't compare your used equipment to a depreciation table or to the cost to replace the item new. It all depends on how often (and how well) you use the machinery in your work. An oven that's taken care of and serviced annually has a higher value than one that is never cleaned and never serviced. 

If you haven't had your equipment appraised recently, now is the time to get your business's critical assets valued. Find a machinery appraiser that has experience valuing equipment commonly used in your industry, whether it's culinary, sporting goods, or anything else. 

Tags: machinery appraisal, fair market value