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Before you hand over the goods

While real estate appraisers are licensed in every state, neither states nor the federal government license personal-property appraisers.

You can, however, turn to these groups for more information:

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*Appraisers Association of America (386 Park Avenue South, Suite 2000, New York, NY 10016, 212-889-5404).

*American Society of Appraisers (Dulles International Airport, PO Box 17265, Washington, DC 20041, 703-478-2228).

*International Society of Appraisers (16040 Christensen Road, Suite 320, Seattle, WA 98188, 888-472-5762).

*Art Dealers Association of America (575 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022, 212-940-8590).

Another tip: Ask an appraiser to provide the names of recent clients, so you can check up on his or her work.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society