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What is Personal Property?

When we first created our appraisal, estate sale & consignment firm, we initially called it Personal Property Consultants. However, we ran into a problem: No one knew what personal property was! Even today, I find myself explaining the term over & over & over & over. This blog was born out of the idea that maybe, just maybe, we could create an educational tool to refer all curious people seeking an comprehensive understanding of the term, “personal property”…

So…What is Personal Property?

Common definitions of personal property often include “movable property; belongings exclusive of land and buildings…Any tangible asset other than real estate.” After 25 years in the business, I find that the definition most people immediately understand is the simplest: “Stuff.” The only danger with this definition is that people often have a preconceived notion of their “stuff’s” value. Some underestimate, while others overestimate the monetary value.  Just look at these different examples of what you can own!

As you can see, there are a lot of types of personal property. And, the same type of item can vary drastically in price: Someone selling a “car” could have a $100 junker or the latest Tesla…”Stuff” can sell for six-figures or pocket change, depending on the particular items’ characteristics of value. How can you tell what your collection is worth, if you aren’t sure?

Call the Magnussons!

Our Appraisals Manager, Leslie Picinich, can be reached @ 973-425-1550


Co-Authors: Lynn Magnusson, ASA, AAA and Becky Lipnick, Communications Coordinator

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Showing 6 comments
  • Steve

    I always have fun at your estate sales. I find the staff to be very helpful as well as courteous and knowledgable. I have never gone to one of your sales, without finding one or more interesting things to bring home with me. I want to take this time to thank you and your staff for all of your hard work and the outstanding service that you provide.
    Thanks Steve

  • Magnusson

    Steve, thank you for the kind review! We strive to run the best estate sales in New Jersey. I just in the process of uploading information on a new estate sale happening next weekend (7/21-7/22) in Mendham, so stay tuned.

  • Cathy Perry

    As a trust officer, I have found that after a death, families squabble more about the distribution of personal property than anything else, even if that property is only worth a few dollars. I always advise my clients to either gift those sentimental or valuable pieces during lifetime or by a signed memorandum with a will to avoid some of those issues. And it’s always helpful to know what those items are worth to achieve equal distributions, if that’s a goal.

  • Magnusson

    Cathy, that’s excellent advice. Our team has been working on a blog to explain how to talk about personal property in a will to avoid such issues. Thank you for your feedback!

  • Tricia Hoekwater

    Great article. I provide comprehensive home inventory services and I also often run into confusion as the term “personal property”. Thanks for the great insight.

  • Magnusson

    Thank you, Tricia!

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