A piano appraisal is one way to determine the value of a Steinway piano. There are key attributes that lend themselves to establishing the integrity of a piano and, therefore, a fair price.
Piano appraisers employ a formula that helps determine an accurate valuation. The calculation estimates the condition, cost of necessary repairs and brand names and models. To obtain an estimated wholesale price, the price a dealer would offer, start with the amount the piano could sell for in mint condition, then subtract the amount needed to restore the piano to mint condition. For the retail estimate, the price a regular buyer would pay, multiply the wholesale price by two, or possibly three depending on location.
The age of the piano may also be employed as an instant indicator of value in some cases. The exact age can be identified by the serial number, typically found on the plate of the piano between the bass and tenor strings or on the top of the piano when opening the lid, and manufacturer name. These two pieces of information are sufficient to track a piano's age in an age calculation guide.
An alternative to using a professional is to conduct a Web search. Search for pianos that are of similar condition and age, the same model and are from the same manufacturer