As a preface, I must make the distinction between two different services:
Piano appraisal inspection + appraisal document – includes a written appraisal document for a piano, which states the monetary value of the instrument. This two-step process requires that a piano technician perform a first-hand appraisal inspection of the instrument, and then a Qualified Appraiser generate the official appraisal document(s) using the data and photos from the technician’s appraisal inspection. Appraisals are typically requested for one of the following reasons:
FMV (Fair Market Value): the customer would like to know the monetary value of the piano
Noncash Charitable Contributions: i.e. piano is being donated to charitable organization, and customer would like to take a tax deduction for their donation
Insurance: the insurance company requires a official appraisal from a Qualified Appraiser to properly insure your instrument
Piano technical inspection, condition report, and post-inspection consultation – These services are designed to assist a buyer in the potential purchase of a piano, by providing a detailed perspective on the condition of the piano being considered, warn of any red flags, and suggest any treatment or repairs the piano might benefit from. These services are supplied solely by a piano technician, and do not involve a Qualified Appraiser. As such, the condition report does not state a monetary value of the instrument, and is not an appraisal. If this is the service you are looking for, please see my page for these services at this link.
piano appraisal faq
How do I find a Qualified Appraiser to prepare the appraisal document?
I am happy to recommend a Qualified Appraiser that I've worked with, who specifically appraises musical instruments, and will be appropriate for your piano appraisal.
After the appraisal inspection has been performed, can the technician give me an idea of the value of the piano?
No. During an appraisal inspection, unfortunately the inspecting technician cannot provide feedback about the piano. The technician’s report and photos of the piano are sent directly to the Qualified Appraiser, who will provide this information to the appropriate party via the appraisal document.
How long does it take to receive the appraisal, after the piano technician has performed the inspection?
I usually send my report and photos to the appraiser within 24 hours of completing the inspection. From there, the length of time necessary to generate the appraisal is dependent on the complexity of the appraisal, and how busy the Qualified Appraiser is. In my experience, the entire process (including mailing the appraisal) usually takes somewhere between 1-2 weeks, but I’ve seen the process take over a month in certain scenarios.
Is there anything I need to do before the technician comes to inspect the piano for appraisal?
Please be sure there is good lighting in the room, the piano is not against a wall (so the technician can inspect all sides of the piano and capture appropriate photos), and please remove all items that are on top of the piano (sheet music, lamp, picture frames, etc.).