Who We Are
The International Society of Appraisers (ISA) is a not-for-profit, member-driven association, formed to support our member needs and serve the public by producing highly qualified and ethical appraisers who are recognized authorities in professional personal property appraising. Our members include many of the country's most respected independent appraisers, consultants, estate liquidators, auctioneers, gallery owners, and dealers.
ISA offers a comprehensive professional development program designed to build and enhance performance in the area of personal property appraisal practice as well as specialty studies. Our four main divisions are comprised of antiques and residential contents; fine art; gemstones and jewelry; and machinery and equipment.
ISA’s professional development and credentialing programs, along with its strong code of ethics and professional conduct, serve as the foundation for the organizational mission - to advance the professionalism and effectiveness of personal property appraisers.
At ISA you can find the most skilled Personal Property Appraiser for your needs.
The hundreds of members of the International Society of Appraisers include a broad range of qualified professions. Whether you’re looking for an antique appraiser, jewelry appraiser, art appraiser, automobile appraiser, furniture appraiser, or anything else in the world you would like appraisal services for – we’ve almost certainly got someone to fill your needs.
Our qualified professional appraisers have expertise in all types of appraisals and appraisal-related services including estate tax appraisals, insurance damage claims, estate liquidations, estate probate, business valuations and more.
Not only do we have the most skilled Professional Personal Property Appraisers, but our members offer many other services as well...
Their services don’t stop there! Many are experienced in auction services and auctioneering, estate sales, expert witness testimony, and work as consultants in many areas including art and furniture conservation, restoration, and repair.
Please visit our Find an Appraiser page to see the many appraisal and appraisal-related services our appraisers offer.
Be Certain of Its Value
Make an educated choice
Whenever there's a question about the value of your personal property, there's also a risk involved. It may be the risk of selling too low, or of paying too much; the risk of being under or over insured; the risk of not getting your fair share in a division of the property; the risk of incurring tax penalties or being audited when claiming a deduction for charitable contribution or when calculating estate taxes.
A professional appraiser helps you manage these and other such risks by providing a written opinion of value upon which you can base your financial decisions. Rather than being just an "educated guess," the professional appraiser's value conclusions are based on prescribed methods or evaluation, research, and report writing. Bankers, financiers, investors, insurers, adjusters, estate managers, trustees, executors, attorneys, judges, federal and state tax agencies—all are dependent upon the knowledge and expertise of the appraiser, and so are you.
Too often and too late, people find out that the appraisals they have are inaccurate or misleading, resulting not only in greater risk to themselves but also in an annual waste of millions of consumer dollars. A competent appraiser helps you manage financial risk.
ISA training makes an important difference to you
The International Society of Appraisers trains appraisers with the most comprehensive personal property appraisal education program in America. An ISA-educated appraiser is well equipped to give you an accurate and complete appraisal that will stand up in court, if necessary. The foundation of ISA's Appraiser Education Program is its course on appraisal principles and procedures; the ISA Core Course in Appraisal Studies. Additional specialty courses are available.
A person enters the ISA as a Candidate. Upon completing and passing the core course (or equivalent) and with three years related experience, the candidate becomes a member. Within five years, the member becomes an accredited member (ISA AM) by demonstrating advanced knowledge in a specialty field. This forms the basis for further studies that can lead to Certified Appraiser of Personal Property (ISA CAPP), the highest level of membership within the International Society of Appraisers.
The University of Maryland University College reviews all ISA courses and certifies that the courses meet the University's high academic standards. UMUC also awards continuing education units (CEUs) to the ISA student.
A competent appraisal report has:
- A cover document explaining in detail what type of value is being sought ("purpose") and how the appraisal is to be used ("function" or "assigned use").
- The methodology and resources relied upon, including market analysis and market(s) selected.
- A complete and accurate description of the property written in such a manner that it can be identified without photos.
- The date(s) and location of inspection, and the effective date of value.
- A statement by the appraiser that he or she has no financial interest in the property or that such interest is disclosed in the report.
- The appraiser's qualifications and signature.
Do not accept an appraisal if:
- It is handwritten or unsigned.
- The fee is based on a contingency or upon the value of the property.
- The appropriate "purpose" and "assigned use" are not stated.
- The item is beyond the appraiser's expertise.
- The appraiser is not willing and able to defend it in court (subject to the appraiser's availability, and separate fee arrangement).
Accredited Member — ISA AM
- Satisfy all "Member" level requirements.
- Demonstrate essential knowledge in his/her chosen specialty field(s) in one of the following ways:
- Present documentation of successful completion of an ISA approved course of study in the specialty field, (e.g.: GG, FGA, college degree in specialty field, certificate of specialty study from a recognized ISA approved continuing education or vocational program, etc.). Or
- Successful completion of an existing ISA general survey course with exam in the specialty. Specialty courses include Antiques & Residential Contents Course or Fine Art Course.
- OR -
- Present specialty expert work product for analysis and approval by an ISA peer group review panel made up of members from the applicable specialty division. Additional information may be requested as deemed appropriate by the review panel. or
- Pass an ISA specialty examination in his/her chosen field if one is available.
- Present documentation of successful completion of an USPAP National Course.
- May use the ISA AM designation on printed materials with the member's name, with or without the ISA logo. Must include ISA AM followed by ISA Accredited Member under their signature line.
- Write to the ISA Appraisal Report Writing Standards and abide by the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct in his/her appraisal dealings. Non-compliance will be subject to discipline by the Ethics Committee.
- Fulfill the ISA requalification requirements for Accredited Member every five years or the designation will revert back to "Member, ISA".
- Will be listed on the ISA searchable database and used for referrals.