Desktop Equipment Appraisals

In simple terms, Desktop Equipment Appraisals refer to an appraisal conducted without a physical inspection. In this scenario, the appraiser relies on provided information about the equipment and machinery under assessment, eliminating the need for on-site verification.

While desktop appraisals may not offer all the advantages of site visit assessments, they do present key benefits, including:

1. Cost Efficiency:

  • Desktop equipment appraisals typically come with a lower fee compared to a site visit appraisal. This is primarily due to the absence of travel expenses and reduced responsibility for asset identification. As a result, clients can benefit from a more competitive rate.

2. Speed:

  • Contrary to the perception that site visits are faster, well-prepared and organized information from clients can expedite desktop appraisals. Efficient scheduling allows the appraiser to complete the work promptly alongside other assignments.

3. Confidentiality:

  • Unlike site visits that involve a stranger wandering around the business premises, desktop appraisals offer confidentiality. There’s no intrusion into daily operations, minimizing inquiries from employees and avoiding suspicions about potential business transactions.

Despite these advantages, desktop appraisals come with inherent downsides, such as:

1. Client Involvement:

  • Conducting a desktop appraisal demands more time and effort from the business owner compared to a site visit. The onus is on the client to provide comprehensive and accurate information.

2. Lack of Independence:

  • Without a physical site visit, there’s no independent verification of asset conditions, quality, or even existence. Issues like deferred maintenance and potential “red flags” may go unnoticed.

3. Lower Valuations:

  • Business owners might focus on major capital investments, neglecting smaller assets that contribute significantly to the overall appraised value. Inexperienced employees tasked with cataloging may overlook crucial value factors.

4. Skepticism:

  • Desktop appraisals can face challenges in legal proceedings, audits, and reviews. The absence of a physical inspection makes it easier for parties to question the accuracy of the appraisal.

Choosing between a site visit and a desktop appraisal often boils down to convenience and trust. While site visits offer a comprehensive and verified approach, desktop appraisals provide cost and time savings, with increased client involvement. For example, if you are obtaining a loan guarantee from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), an on-site visit may be required.

When deciding which approach suits your needs, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons. Seek guidance from your appraiser, who can provide quotes for both options and discuss their suitability for your specific situation. Choosing an appraiser capable of offering clear insights into your choices ensures a confident and informed decision as you proceed with the assignment.

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December 20, 2023 7:10 pm

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