The Importance of Photographic Inventories

-You’re Selling A Home
-You’ve Hired A Realtor
-You’re Planning to De-clutter and Stage Your House

What’s Next on Your Agenda?
BEFORE it gets boxed up and tucked away, take a thorough inventory of everything you wish to keep, sell or give away.

Realtors Note: To ensure the smoothest and most efficient Contents Sale process, we strongly recommend that the Client schedule an Estate Sale after they have chosen their keepers AND before the house gets staged.  If objects get removed from rooms, boxed and stored prior to the appraisal visit, they will need to be removed from storage, unboxed, and unwrapped for examination.  This will be a frustrating and time-consuming project for the Client.

The Magnusson Group specializes in conducting inventories and appraisals of personal property for Asset Management purposes.  The inclusion of Characteristics of Value is of critical importance to the assignation of prices.

Before and after individual rooms have been inventoried and staged

What are Characteristics of Value?
Descriptions of each item such as Artist, Maker, Manufacturer, Medium, Size, Age, Period, Style, Color, Condition, Provenance, Signature, Labels, etc.  If a critical characteristic is absent, a valuation can be worthless.

What is Asset Management?
High Net Worth Individuals typically have 20% of their assets in personal property! An appraisal will also be of great assistance with Estate planning and/or establishing Net Worth. This process helps you determine what items you wish to keep, donate, gift, distribute or sell by analyzing such things as marketability, valuations, institutional requirements, moving costs, conservation or preservation.   Fair Market Value is assigned for Donation or Estate Tax estimation.  Marketable Cash Value is assigned for Equitable Distribution or Sale.  Replacement Value is assigned for Insurance Scheduling Purposes.

The Magnusson Team examines and photographs each item or groups of items, along with organizing, tagging or marking items or boxes. A Magnusson visit can be as broad as learning about an item and how to sell it, or as specific as satisfying the IRS when making charitable donations.  Differentiating between a sterling silver or silver-plated tea service could mean a financial shift in thousands of dollars; a mistake you most likely do not wish to make. Knowing the contents of your home is also beneficial when it comes to claiming loss for antiques, fine art, silver, jewelry, wine, etc. for insurance purposes.

For those who don’t need to necessarily schedule items on their homeowner’s insurance policy, inventorying entire home contents in advance of any unforeseen damages will prove to be very beneficial when the time comes.  If you have ever had to file a home insurance claim due to a flood, fire, contamination or theft, you know that details matter. There are other reasons as to why one should conduct a personal property inventory containing characteristics of value. The main one being how to account for MISSING ITEMS that were never photographed in situ or appraised.

Unprepared for Pandemic Personal Property Loss
During the onset of the pandemic, an Executrix helped her healthy friend move into a new high quality, well-vetted assisted living home. Unfortunately, her friend became ill with COVID and died in the facility.  When she was eventually permitted access to her friend’s home, she discovered several items were missing.  Without the proof of a photographic inventory, her complaint to management was fruitless.

As president of The Magnusson Group, I extend my personal invitation to discuss your personal property needs with our team, today. We are at your disposal to offer affordable, bespoke solutions to your family.



To learn more about how to properly photograph your assets, enjoy this quick read HERE.

Co-authored by: Lynn Magnusson, ASA, AAA and Heather Zises, Director of Communications

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