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Atlanta Appraisers - Betty Wilson Appraisal Firm - Atlanta, Georgia


By Melinda L. Wilson
Certified Appraiser and Consultant

Are You Moving or Being Relocated by Your Employer? If so, You NEED to Read This!

Did you know that one of the most “over looked” areas regarding a move by yourself or by your Employer can cost you a lot of money and a lot of pain? All of this can easily be virtually eliminated! HOW?

Get a Certified Personal Property Appraisal of all your items Before the Movers come to your home. The appraisal will be your defense if anything happens or goes wrong. That way, when the movers come in, you can hand them a copy of the appraisal which will have replacement cost values, condition reports and photographs.

When the moving company comes to your home, there are usually at least three people assisting with the move. One of those is the person in charge of the Bill of Laden, which is where they list line by line each item that is moved or boxed. Each item will usually get a sticker with the same item number to match to the Bill of Laden. BUT, what most people do not know is what else is on that page. Somewhere on that sheet, usually at the top, there are “check off points” or “boxes” with a term attached to them to be checked if needed. It will look something like this:

___ scratched ___ torn ___ marred ___ broken
___ split ___ peeling ___ cracked ___ dented

They will check all or as many of those boxes as they can in order to protect themselves from any liability. When you hand them a copy of the appraisal, each item will have the condition stated so that if there is a scratch “on the left upper corner of the table surface”, then it’s listed. But, if there is no scratch and one appears at the other end of the move, then you can prove it was done during the move and was not there before.

Also, you want to mark across the entire “Bill of Laden”, from top to bottom, “The condition of all items being moved is as stated in the attached appraisal report with photographs.

Let me tell you a story of some friends that moved from Atlanta to Florida about 5 years ago. They hired one of the top moving companies. The driver was the one in charge. When all had been loaded in the truck, except for some items they had packed in the car, the truck was on its’ way to Florida and so were they. My friends arrived first and the next day the movers arrived. The driver was the only one they recognized but he had two helpers with him. All was going well and the father left to get lunch for everyone, including the workers. The father came back with food and everyone ate and was happy. The workers finished unloading and they left.

The next day my friend noticed a leg was broken on the antique dining room table. After looking around they found scratches and other damage. Now, what do they do? At this point they had to contact the moving company, which was in Atlanta and here they were in Florida. They had no proof that the damage was done by the movers.

If they had a “Certified Appraisal”, with pictures, they probably would have received a check to cover the repair cost within 10 days.

My friends had $15,000 in repair cost and it took a lawyer six months to get a $10,000 settlement.


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