Friday, April 8, 2011


BROWARD COUNTY, Florida - Usually, the antique, classic or custom car or truck you want most is located somewhere far away. You found in on eBay, or in Hemmings. Do you buy it sight unseen or hire an appraiser to check it out for you? There are hundreds of stories about how cars were misrepresented by sellers but after the vehicle is paid for and shipped across country, there's little a buyer can do about it. Making sure you'll get exactly what you've paid for is easy. Here are a few suggestions for both buyers and sellers of used cars in South Florida.

If you are selling a car to a prospective out-of-state buyer it is important to provide honest, accurate information about the vehicle. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to give them a list of appraisers, with a State of Florida DFS Adjuster and Appraiser license, who will inspect the vehicle and answer any questions or concerns the buyer might have. Your chances of selling that street rod to an out-of-stater who hasn't actually seen the car are much lower but that's where you'll find most of your customer base. A recent appraisal and inspection report is a great seller's tool. Think about having it done because you can send the same report to every potential customer.

When a buyer calls St. Lucie Appraisal to evaluate a car or truck, the first thing we do is try to arrange for the vehicle to be test driven and inspected on a lift. The seller should be able to provide this for free at his mechanic but do you trust his mechanic's word alone? Too often, it is when you first get your new car in the air that buyer's remorse sets in. If a buyer has to spend an extra $75  for these additional garage services, he can avoid a potential $30,000 mistake. Sellers rarely include photos of leaks or undercarriage damages in their eBay adverts.

Documentation such as invoices or receipts for parts, repairs or customization are important. If something seems questionable, we'll even call a shop to talk about repairs or other operations that were done years ago. Some customizations and fabrications simply don't work, especially relating to performance-enhanced vehicles. By making a few calls we might learn that a former owner changed the suspension so radically the car wouldn't go in a straight line any more. We do not want the next owner of that car to be you.

Appraising the value of an antique, classic or custom car or truck car is only half the job. Making sure you get what your paying for is the other part and every bit as important. Buying or selling a motor vehicle in South Florida? We can help you with that.

P.O. Box 2700
Fort Pierce, FL 34954
Phone: (772) 359-4300
Fax: (772) 466-8400


Our service area includes St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, Brevard, Palm Beach, Broward and Dade Counties. Cities include Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hollywood, Hallandale, Miami, Opa Locka, Hialeah, Coral Gables, Kendall and Homestead.

Automobile Diminished Value Appraisals throughout Florida including, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, St. Augustine, Lakeland, Panama City, Orlando, Pensacola, Fort Myers, Key West, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Clearwater, Kissimmee, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Gainesville, Lake City, Sebring, Bradenton, Titusville, Panama City, Bonita Springs, Naples, St. Petersburg and Tallahassee.

Our rates for services are as follows:

Auto Appraisals (Donations, Bankruptcy, Divorce, Insurance Disputes) $125.00

Stated Value Appraisals (Antique & Classic Cars, Street Rods, Motorcycles, RVs, Trucks) $175.00

Auto/Truck/RV Condition Reports $225.00 and Up

Diminished Value Appraisals (Determines how much less your car is worth after accident repairs) $225.00

Personal Property Appraisals (Contents, Collectibles, Art, Antiques) $225.00 and Up

All other services and additional time when necessary  $75/Hr.

Expert Witness - Court Appearances, Depositions, Mediation $225/Hr.

You may obtain appraisals for Financing, Charitable Donation Tax Credits, Collateral, Damage Claims, Equitable Distribution, Bankruptcy, Estates, Insurance Stated Value, Purchase & Sale and Diminished Value.

Appraisals of Personal Property, Art, Boats, Classic & Custom Autos, Antiques, Collectibles & Memorabilia, Electronics, Machinery, Motorcycles & Choppers, Furnishings, RVs, Trucks & Heavy Equipment. Business Valuations specializing in all types of small businesses.


Keywords for this article: antique, appraisal, appraiser, autotrader, broward, buy, car, classic, custom, eBay, florida, Hemmings, investment, motor vehicle, performance, sell, ST. LUCIE APPRAISAL CO., Street Rod, truck, used,
Revised 08-29-2012
Updated 06-19-2013