Client                                                                        Date
Telephone/Cell Telephone

Dear Client:

This letter will confirm our agreement as to the preparation of a personal property appraisal to be done on Start Date. The property to be appraised is broadly described as follows: Residential Contents, Antiques, Decorative Arts, and Fine Art

The property is located at your home at the above address, where you will arrange for me to inspect the property and at which time you will supply me with any factual information I may request from you. On site, I will review the property with you and we will decide which items to appraise. I will provide an estimate of my time and fee. This is just an estimate. If there are more items to appraise or if there is more time needed in inspection, research and analysis, and write the report, this estimate could change. We will agree to sign this engagement letter. Then I will continue with a more formal inspection of the property. Subsequently, I will prepare a detailed description of the property, research and evaluate it and submit a written and signed report to you. In so inspecting and evaluating the property, I will principally rely on standard appraisal methodology including stylistic analysis and sales prices of comparable property in the appropriate marketplace, it being understood that methods of scientific testing are outside my particular area of expertise. Scientific testing will be performed only pursuant to your specific written authorization under separate agreement.

The appraisal will be prepared solely for insurance protection and will be used by you as the client, and your insurance company, solely for such purpose. Said appraisal shall not be disseminated to, nor relied upon nor used by, any third party unrelated to the immediate purpose of this appraisal. It has no other use or user.

The appraisal will represent my best judgment and opinion as to “Replacement Value-Comparable” refers to the price in terms of cash or other precisely revealed terms that would be required to replace a property with another of similar age, quality, origin, appearance and condition within a reasonable length of time in an appropriate and relevant market (Soucy and Smyth, eds. The Appraisal of Personal Property, 1994). However, the appraisal will not be a statement or representative of fact nor is it a representation of warranty with respect to authenticity, genuineness, or provenance. You shall indemnify, defend, and hold me harmless from and against any actions, claims, liabilities or expenses incurred as a result of claims based on or arising from the appraisal, by third parties unrelated to the immediate purpose of this appraisal.  In addition, we make every effort to protect your property but any damage incurred will be the responsibility of your homeowner’s insurance policy.

The conclusion of replacement value is based upon my research and analysis of the property and knowledge of the markets, market layers, and where the property is traded, as well as my background and experience as an appraiser. I will consider various factors in my analysis and conclusion including but not limited to the condition, size, age, style, and provenance of the property and recent sales of comparable properties. Any comment on the property condition will be reported as of the date of the inspection.

The fee for said appraisal shall be $175.00 per hour, with a minimum of $500.00. In addition, expenses for traveling at sixty cents per mile and other out-of-pocket expenses shall be charged to you. At the time of inspection we will estimate the time and work involved in the preparation of the appraisal report and I will request an advance of 50% of the estimated fee. This is just an estimate. If there are more items to appraise or if there is more time needed in inspection, research and analysis, and write the report, this estimate could change. The final invoice will reflect the time and actual costs and disbursements and this invoice will be payable prior to delivery of the appraisal report. A late fee charge will be billed if the balance is not paid within 10 days at $25 plus interest at 1.5% per month (18% per annum). An additional fee will be charged for any required future legal or other services pertaining to this appraisal.

Any controversy or claim arising out of or related to this contract, or the breach thereof, which involves less than $3,500.00, shall be resolved in the local Small Claims Court. Amounts in excess of $3,500.00 shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association, and judgment upon the award rendered by the Arbitrator(s) may be entered in any Court having jurisdiction thereof.

This will be a summary appraisal report that will be prepared to conform to the Code of Ethics of the American Society of Appraiser and the current version of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), published by the Appraisal Foundation. I have no past, present or contemplated future interest in the property included in my report. My fee is not contingent on any value finding. We consider the information in the report to be confidential.

If you are in agreement with these terms, please sign both copies and return one copy of this letter to us when we meet for the inspection of the selected items. In addition, by signing this letter, you agree to allow me to use your name to assist me in acquiring information about comparable property from third party sources.



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Nelson O. Clayton
Accredited Senior Appraiser                                    Client


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Date                                                                     Date 






Nelson O. Clayton is an Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers. He is designated in Personal Property Residential Contents-General and Antiques and Decorative Arts. He is also a Certified Appraiser of Personal Property of the International Society of Appraisers, Inc., approved to appraise Antiques and Residential Contents. He is actively engaged in the appraisal of household contents, and antiques and decorative arts and he is building his credentials in silver, and fine arts. With consultation with experts, he has appraised paintings and sculpture in the appraised range of $10-$550,000, individual items of silver in the $40,000 range, clocks in the $30,000 range, and furniture in the $125,000 range. His training at the Winterthur Museum helped him to develop these skills. In addition, he is trained in research and analysis, first as a senior bank-lending officer, and second, as an appraiser. In every assignment, Mr. Clayton continues to develop his skills by identifying and analyzing complete household contents, collections, and family heirlooms. Mr. Clayton’s appraisal business has been developed through personal referral and direct contact with families requiring appraisal of their household contents, primarily for estate tax planning and settlement, donations, divorce and insurance purposes. He has evaluated complete household contents as well as selected individual items.