Home Inventory Service
Calling In The Professionals



Home Inventory Services are professionals that can perform a complete home inventory for you. Many people prefer to conduct their own home inventory but there are advantages to calling in the professionals. A few of those advantages are:

  1. Time saver – Most people are incredibly busy these days. To actually sit down and take the time to perform a home inventory is next to impossible. A home inventory service can save you this time. And as the saying goes, time is money!
  2. Enjoy Peace of mind – With a professional inventory service you will enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home inventory has been done with the utmost of care and diligence. This will be incredibly important is there is ever a major claim, or if your inventory records are subject to court examination.
  3. Assure your insurance coverage is correct – With a home inventory service you can be assured that your possessions are protected with the right amount of insurance. You will not be over insured or under insured when you have a professional opinion regarding the value of your possessions.
  4. Protect yourself while moving. If you are planning on moving you are vulnerable during the transition. Moving companies lose items and you will need to prove their value. A professional home inventory will provide that professional evaluation. Also if any legal action is necessary, the home inventory service will be able to testify on your behalf.
  5. Your estate planning will be accurate. An estate planner is only as good as the information provided. Make sure your estate planning is designed and will be implemented as you want. Knowing the value, location and other details of your estate will assure the planning is handled properly.
  6. Have a professional document your history – many people have items that reflect their personal family history. To have this properly documented, assessed and valued is critical for the following generations that will also enjoy these items. This includes collectables also.
  7. Are you married or thinking about getting married? Unfortunately many marriages end in divorce. Most individuals with valuable personal possessions are opting to have a pre-nuptial agreement. Make sure your possessions are correctly recorded in that legal document.
  8. Do you live where natural forces can destroy your possessions? If you like in a hurricane zone, tornado zone, fire zone, earthquake zone or many of the other natural disasters that can occur, a home inventory is an absolute necessary. If you live in this type of area, you are exposed to great loss if you don’t have a good list of what you possess.

Who Uses A Professional Inventory Service?

Most inventory services work with:

  • Homeowners
  • Estate Planners
  • Property managers
  • Estate trustees
  • Pre-nuptial and divorce investigations
  • People who are moving
  • Collectors and curators

How Does A Home Inventory Service Work?

First you need to find a company that you feel comfortable letting take your inventory. See discussion below.

Once you find that company they will set an appointment with you and review the extent of the work required to perform your inventory.

Next they will set a time to actually take the inventory. When they return there may be more than one person, depending on the extent of your inventory.

They will have a computer with some sort of inventory program and usually a video and still camera.

They could either perform the inventory by room or by category.

Read this discussion on the methodology of taking an inventory. It will help you understand the home inventory service. After the completion of the inventory you will receive a copy of the document. Usually the company keeps a copy of the document for backup.

Most companies offer a yearly update service where they will come in and update all your inventory files for any purchases you have made in the previous year.

What Do I Look For In A Home Inventory Service?

What do I look for in a professional service?

There are several factors to look for when considering engaging a home inventory service. The most important are:

  • Bonded - Any home inventory service you use must be bonded.
  • Business history - you will want to look for a company that has been around a number of years.
  • Referrals – you should ask around and get referrals.
  • Technology – the company should have technology to help them categorize, document, value, and prove your possessions. This will include computer programs, video equipment, camera equipment, and knowledgeable contacts in casts of collectables, etc.
  • Business presents – does the service belong to the Chamber of Commerce or other business clubs?
  • Associations – does the service belong to any professional organizations? The largest at this time is the National Association of Home Inventory Professionals (NAHIP). If yes, check them out.
  • Are you comfortable with them? - Remember, you are letting these people view and have knowledge of everything you own. Make sure you are comfortable with them.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of a service will vary with the amount of possessions you have. Generally inventory services will quote a rate on their first visit. It can depend on the square footage of your home, the number of rooms, or the number of hours spent.

I suggest you get at least 2 quotes before you make your decision.

What If I Don't Have A Home Inventory?

Hopefully you will realize you need an inventory before disaster strikes. Unfortunately many people don’t get to that point until it is too late. Often the emotion of loss and the stress of being under a deadline to compile their possessions will overwhelm a family. Sometime they are unable to take any action and it costs them everything.

A professional home inventory service is honest, fair, and knowledgeable and can help you pull together information before a catastrophe happens.

If this is not done, it could cost you everything.

A professional home inventory service can provide the level of professionalism you may need when it comes to getting that inventory done.


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