PUTTING A VALUE ON STUFF.........by Steve Duhl 
Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 06:49 AM
Posted by Administrator
Filing bankruptcy requires the filer (debtor) to value their own property...reasonably and honestly. Divorce requries the same thing...so do loan applications and college financial aid applications. Here are some guidelines:
-Usually, the question is what you could sell it for...not what you bought it for. You are not a used furniture dealer---though you do have a front lawn ready for a yard sale. What would someone pay? Depressing that the couch you paid $2,000 for is likely worth $200 on your front lawn? Nobody says you have to sell it.
-For popular cars and trucks, look at what people are BIDDING on ebay. Not what sellers are asking but what is being bid in by prospective buyers towards the end of the auction. Your stuff is worth exactly what you can find someone to pay for it.
-Small businesses usually have two possible values: A higher value if the "goodwill" goes with it---that is, if you introduce the buyer of your pool business to your customers ("My cousin, Tony, from Staten Island is taking over the business because I'm moving to Tahiti---Tony was always better than me, you'll love him.") and a lower value if you are going to walk away and let your customers pools go green with algae. In a forced sale, you will walk away. Will there even be a business in a few days?
-Houses are worth what your neighbors sold for; stocks are worth what the market says they are...at the moment you sell; your dog is worth $1. Sentimental value doesn't count because it is your sentiment---not the sentiment of the prospective buyer.

Of course, it doesn't really matter what you have. You can't take it with you. And, nobody really cares what you've got...except the courts, the spouse who is divorcing you, your creditors...and the people next door.
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