Are you ready to have your art professionally appraised? Whether you’ve collected pieces here and there over the years or have more recently decided to be a serious antique art collector, you do need to know the value of your collection. Even if you don’t think you have any really valuable pieces, you should still get your artwork appraised for insurance purposes. You may not even realize what you have until you talk to a professional appraiser. But how do you choose the right appraiser for your art?
One of the first things any antique art dealer needs to consider is the appraiser’s experience. How long have they worked as an appraiser? Are they an expert in art only, or does it seem like they try to appraise everything? Do they have specific experience appraising a collection similar to yours? If they don’t, they may not truly know what your pieces are worth. If you’re trying to find the best place to sell antique art, you want to make sure you have the backing of an experienced appraiser.
Are They a Professional Art Appraiser?
Someone who is a professional art appraiser will work primarily in appraising. They should also be a member of one of the various professional appraisal organizations out there. If you’re uncertain about their experience and their education, ask if they are certified and if they are continuing to take continuing education courses. They should be able to show proof that they are taking courses accredited by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
They Should Be an Impartial Third Party
If you’re working with antique art buyers who insist on doing the appraisal themselves, you need to walk out of the deal. Anyone you have appraising artwork you’re going to buy or sell shouldn’t be involved in the deal at all. They should be a third-party impartial appraiser who doesn’t have any conflict of interest. Appraisers should never buy pieces they appraise themselves.
Pricing Should be Hourly
When hiring an Antique appraiser, make certain they bill hourly, not per item or per value. This is the most impartial way of pricing. If they charge you a percentage of the value of the item, they’re likely to appraise everything higher than it should be. If they charge per item, they may not take the time needed to fully appraise each item. Also make sure the prices you’re being charged are reasonable. You can get quotes from several different appraisers to make certain you’re being charged a fair price.
You Should Receive a Written Report
When you receive your report, your appraiser should give you a detailed written document that you can take to any buyer. It should outline why the item was appraised as it was, and it should include professional photographs that clearly show any damage, identifying marks, and other important information. If you have any questions, the appraiser should be able to answer them and provide evidence backing up their answers.