Minerva Appraisal, LLC offers written appraisals, verbal appraisals, consulting, expert witness and brokering services. Minerva Appraisals does not buy any item it appraises, nor does it offer estate sale or auction services. Instead, we provide a completely independent, professional assessment of your items. You hire us to serve you!
Our owner, Kirsten Rabe Smolensky, ISA CAPP, JD, is a generalist appraiser with experience appraising full estates, antiques, collectibles, fine art, silver, office furniture, fixtures, and specialized collections. While she does not personally appraise fine jewelry, guns, coins or stamps, she has developed a network of qualified experts whom she calls upon to assist her as needed. If an expert is necessary, we will discuss this either before we accept the assignment or during the on-site inspection. You will be able to approve any additional fees charged by the consulting expert appraisers before they are hired.
All of our written appraisals conform to the 2018-2019 Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and to the standards and requirements set forth in the International Society of Appraisers’ Code of Ethics and Appraisal Report Writing Standard.
Minerva Appraisal is located in Brentwood, TN but serves Nashville, Franklin, Belle Meade, Green Hills, Murfreesboro, and beyond.
A written appraisal is required for many appraisal purposes. If you need to insure items or you are involved in a legal dispute, you will need a written appraisal by a qualified professional. Written appraisals are made by initially conducting an on-site inspection. During the on-site inspection, we record the item's condition, measure it, describe it, and take digital photographs. Back in the office the descriptions are finalized, necessary research is conducted, and appropriate values are assigned to each item. Reports are delivered electronically. If requested, two color, printed and professionally bound reports are complimentary. A copy of the final report and work file is retained in the secure files of Minerva Appraisal. Files at Minerva Appraisal are retained for a period of five years or two years after the final disposition of litigation (if applicable), whichever is later, as required by USPAP.
If you are downsizing and curious about the value of your items or considering the sale of items, a verbal appraisal may be the best and least expensive option. Here, the appraiser verbally communicates to the client everything that would normally be written in a report, including the type of values sought, the markets explored, the values obtained, etc. Nothing written is provided to the client, but the client may take notes. We are happy to discuss by phone which service might fit your needs best.
EXPERT WITNESS & APPRAISAL REVIEW
Kirsten Smolensky has provided expert witness services in divorces, bankruptcies, insurance bad faith claims, damage claims, etc. She has experience at both the state and federal level. Her legal background as a former litigator and law professor allow her to assist in the assessment of complex valuation claims. Kirsten is also one of ISA's Core Course instructors and Requalification instructors. She understands all aspects of the appraisal process and appraisal methodology. She has provided appraisal review services in accordance with USPAP.
Fees are generally billed at an hourly rate. A not-to-exceed bid may also be requested. For every hour spent onsite, there is generally two to four additional hours needed in the office. Off-site time is spent inputting collected data and pictures into a professional appraisal program, researching each item using our extensive reference library and subscription-based electronic databases, and preparing the written report. Payment for on-site time is due upon completion of inspection. The remaining fees are billed and due when the report is complete.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE ON-SITE INSPECTION
• Decide which items you want to have appraised.
• If there are items in the attic, closets, garage, or storage units, make sure they are accessible.
• Unpack items in drawers, boxes, trunks.
• Put things of like kind together.
• Arrange china and glass by patterns.
• Sort sterling from silverplate if possible.
• Gather receipts, certificates of authenticity, photographs, or earlier appraisals and place them with the appropriate items.
• Move large pieces of furniture away from the wall if possible.
• If this is an estate appraisal and if there is a will, make sure that all items specifically bequeathed are available for inspection.
Taking these steps will streamline the appraisal process and ultimately save you money.
A COMPETENT APPRAISAL REPORT HAS . . .
• A cover document explaining in detail what type of value or cost is being sought ("purpose") and how the appraisal is to be used ("intended use").
• The description of the methodology and resources relied upon.
• A definition and description of the market(s) selected.
• A complete and accurate description of the property written in such a manner that it can be identified without photographs.
• The date(s) and location(s) of inspection and the effective date of the report.
• A current USPAP certification statement. Competent appraisers must take a USPAP update course every two years.
• The appraiser's qualifications and signature.
DO NOT ACCEPT AN APPRAISAL IF . . .
• It is handwritten or unsigned.
• The fee is based on a contingency fee or on the value of the property.
• The appropriate "purpose" and "intended use" are not stated.
• The item is beyond the appraiser's expertise.
• The appraiser lacks training in appraisal methodology.
• The appraiser is not willing and able to defend the appraisal in court.
• The appraiser prepares the appraisal report in anticipation of buying items from you after the report is completed.