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What are Fair Market Auto Appraisals

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Contributed by Jim Berger, Owner/Operator of CFL Auto Appraise

Jims 1958 Edsel

“It’s only worth what someone is willing to pay you for it”. How many times have we all heard this old
adage? But it is about as close to the textbook definition of a Fair Market Value as we can get when
explaining it in simple terms. Sometimes though we run into certain situations where a number needs to
be written down and have justification behind how that number was reached. Here in lies the Certified
Fair Market Auto Appraisal. Let’s look at when this may be necessary.

  1. BUYING/SELLING/TRADING: Many lending institutions now require a Fair Market report before
    they are willing to finance cars. I see this to be very common among classics, exotics, and specialty
    vehicles of all kinds. When selling, sometimes people are not sure of what to ask, especially if a car was
    left to them in a will by a relative or going through dad’s collection that sat in the barn for 30 years. In a
    volatile market, make sure you know the value of your trade-in before heading to the dealership.
  2. BANKRUPTCY/DIVORCE/ESTATE/DISPUTE: Many times, courts will require a Fair Market analysis
    of cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, ATVs, etc… all in an effort to reach a fair settlement if legal matters
    should arise. They may also call the appraiser to testify under oath, maintaining the claims made in the
    appraisal report.
  3. CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS: Donating cars can be a great way to help those in need. Not to mention it is a great tax deduction. Having a Fair Market Appraisal along with the correct IRS forms that need to be filled out by a certified appraiser, can help you next tax season. Fair Market Appraisals are essentially opinions. They are justified, educated, and researched opinions backed up by current market data, book values, and trends. The results are then compiled into a format that can be easily accessed by the end user.

Where can you get more information on the Certified Auto Appraisal process? Contact Jim at CFL Auto Appraise for a FREE consult. 407-791-4034 or online at

 Jim Berger – Owner/Operator of CFL Auto Appraise

 Licensed Independent Adjuster & Appraiser 

 Florida License #W694344

 Certified Auto Appraiser

 ASCAA #10952837

Author: Tara

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