I am a potential client, and I just want an idea of the estimated value of my art—I don’t need a written appraisal. Can you help me?
A reliable appraisal is a written document prepared by an individual who complies with the regulations of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and is knowledgeable in the type of art under evaluation. The appraisal includes certain elements such as a scope of work, property description, and the appraiser’s certification and resume, and contains statements, limitations, and carefully developed analyses and conclusions. I do not provide verbal estimates or verbal appraisals. If an appraisal is needed only for the information or education of an individual client—and not for the use of a lawyer, accountant, Internal Revenue Service, family members, or other individuals or organizations—a “restricted” use appraisal report may be appropriate, but it too is a written appraisal.
As a client, how can I expedite the appraisal process?
If I am visiting your home, please remove objects from walls before my arrival. Any information you can share will be helpful including sales receipts, invoices, exhibition records, publications, insurance documentation, and previous appraisals of the property. I may ask you questions about the history or provenance of the property, i.e., how and when you acquired it, etc.
Can you perform an appraisal from a photograph without a personal examination of the property?
It is always preferable to see the property in person. An appraisal can be performed without an on-site visual inspection, but that limitation will be noted in the report and may affect the appraisal outcome.
What is your fee?
The fee will be quoted in the contract letter. 50% of the fee is due when the client signs and returns the contract. 50% is due on the completion of the appraisal.
If a preliminary visit is necessary to determine the scope of the project before the contract is signed, the fee is $250, which is absorbed into the total charge. If the client does not wish to sign the contract after an on-site preliminary visit, the fee is $250.
What is value and how is it determined?
Value is never a fact, but an opinion of worth at a given time, according to considerations including the purpose/intended use of the appraisal, the physical traits and historical circumstances of the object(s), and the economy and state of the art market. Values of art may vary from year to year, depending on the art market and place of sale, which is the reason that insurance and some other types of appraisals require revisions every few years. The value of an object depends on whether it is being considered for insurance, charitable donation (IRS), estate appraisal, damage or loss, or for some other reason.
Can you authenticate my painting?
Appraisers are not authenticators, but may be able to direct you to a scholar or expert who has studied the artist for years, and is a recognized specialist in the field. The appraiser may be able to help guide you through the process of authentication.