Piano Appraisal Myths

Piano Lessons / piano facts / Piano Appraisal Myths

Piano appraisals are not what you might think. Many people seek out appraisals to determine selling prices for instruments, but this is not the purpose of piano appraisals. A piano appraisal is a legal document drawn up by an expert in the field which assigns value to an instrument, often for the purposes of insurance protection or estate settlements. In cases of tax fraud, an appraiser is held legally liable, since an appraisal is a legal document. Although this value is well researched and legally binding, it has little to no bearing on the potential selling price of an instrument.

Selling a Piano is Not Like Selling a Car or House

Selling a piano can be a bit overwhelming at first, so naturally one compares the process to selling other large items, such as cars or houses. There are some key differences in the valuation of pianos. When selling a house, you can access the selling history for a property, and coupled with current market values, this will give a fairly accurate idea of a reasonable sale price. In the case of automobiles, there are reliable valuations available from Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds which provide a general idea of sale prices. When it comes to pianos, there are several factors that affect a potential sale price. The age varies greatly in pianos, from being brand new, to pianos that are over 100 years old. This will affect the sale price. Condition and brand play an even bigger role.

Why You Can’t Use Appraisals to Determine Selling Prices of Pianos

As we discussed earlier, an appraisal is a legal document that assigns value to an instrument, often for the purposes of insurance claims or an estate settlements. However, this value does not necessarily reflect the current market value. There are countless piano brands out there, many that no longer produce instruments. So, the replacement value can be difficult to determine. Also, the type of sale will often affect the sale price. For instance, the price for a piano in a store, where instruments are tuned and regulated will differ greatly from the price on Craigslist, and consignments will vary as well. If you are curious, go to eBay and compare the asking prices for pianos with the prices of pianos that have already sold, and you will find the values are often drastically different.

Your Selling Price is Up to You!

When it comes down to it, all these factors will affect how much you can sell your piano for, but ultimately the selling price is whatever someone is willing to pay for your instrument. Generally, the more work you are willing to put into the sale, the more money you can get for the instrument. For example, if you have the piano put into top shape, take high resolution pictures, post online on several websites, show the piano whenever someone wants to see the piano, offer to help arrange the move, and are patient, you may get top dollar for your piano. On the other hand, if you just want to list on Craigslist and sell fast, or sell the piano wholesale to a piano dealer, you will get far less for your piano.

Piano appraisals are important legal documents. For example, if you lost your piano in a fire and you had to replace it quickly going to the nearest piano store and finding a similar replacement, you might pay appraised value. That’s the whole purpose. You shouldn’t be put out in that kind of situation. You also want an equitable solution in an estate settlement that everyone can agree upon. These are where appraisals have great value. But they really doesn’t have much to do with what you can sell your piano for.

This is Robert Estrin at LivingPianos.com Your Online Piano Store. 949-244-3729 info@LivingPianos.com