What are the fees for appraisal services?

Services range from a verbal approximation of value to a certified appraisal report. Phone to discuss exactly why you need the appraisal, so we can help you know if a formal appraisal is required. A retainer of $175 is required to cover the cost of inspection.  After the inspection we are able to estimate the total cost of the appraisal. Half of the total fee is due upon signing the appraisal contract. The set up fee for a certified report for estate settlement, insurance, or donation ranges for  one work of art ranges from $750 to $900, This amount is increased depending on the number of objects. An estimate will be provided after the preliminary inspection of the items. 

Typically, appraisal reports are completed within eight to ten weeks from the date of property inspection. The complete Summary Inspection Report is delivered upon receipt of the final balance due.  A certified appraisal includes personal inspection of the art, photography, measurements, market research, valuation argument, and documentation and preparation of a bound appraisal report. A copy of the report can be provided in PDF or hard copy

Are all appraisers the same?

No. Following the financial crisis in 2008, the federal government established a congressional committee to oversee the appraisal practice in the United States.. Legal requirements were established with specific guidelines on how appraisals were to take place and what they should include. Individuals who are certified by the American Society of Appraisers or the International Society of Appraisers are trained and certified to conduct appraisals which follow I.R.S. and legal requirements.

How is Valued Collections qualified to appraise my property?

Dr. Seonaid (Shona) McArthur is an accredited member, and certified by, the American Society of Appraisers, the nation’s largest appraisal organization. ASA trains and periodically tests its members in the theory, methodology and ethics of appraising and the most current appraisal standards. ASA mandates and provides continuing education opportunities for members to hone their appraisal skills and deepen their knowledge in their specialties. Insurance companies and the I.R.S. require that an appraisal be completed by a board certified appraiser.

Why do I need to pay for the time that an appraiser spends to conduct research? Shouldn't appraisers be familiar with the value of most items?

The art and antique markets fluctuate just like the stock market. Research will investigate sales by the artist/type of art, as of the effective date of the appraisal. Sales records are maintained in our work files, and in some instances in the appraisals themselves, to support the valuations should the appraisal ever be challenged by the IRS, an insurance company or another third party.

Do you ever charge on a percentage basis?

No. Our ethics prohibit charging a fee based on a percentage of the value of an item. We charge an hourly rate or negotiate a fee upfront for large projects.

If I want to sell something, will you buy it?

No. We can make recommendations on the best way to sell your art or antique, or where to go. In this way you will never worry that your appraised item was undervalued so that the appraiser could profit by purchasing it at a low price.

Will you authenticate my work of art or special object?

No. Appraisers generally are not qualified to authenticate. Our research will bring you the current information on your work and whenever possible will provide justification for the presumed identity of an artist. 

Should a collection be disposed of in my lifetime or direct my estate to handle the sale?

It is generally best if a sale is handled during the collector’s lifetime. Who would handle the sale as knowledgeably as you would? If this represents a significant asset to your heirs, are they prepared to manage it properly? As properly as you would? There are also important tax consequences related to gifting assets during your lifetime versus bequeathing them at the time of your death. These are a few of the issues to be considered as we work to ensure that the collection provides as much value for others as it has for you.

Do I really need an appraisal?

If you are not filing a tax return, donating non-cash assets to a non-profit, preparing your estate, or obtaining insurance for your art, you may not need a certified appraisal report. The expense and time required to develop a formal appraisal may be avoided in certain circumstances. Very often you only require general guidance.

If your objective is to sell your collection, and you are interested in determining the amount a dealer would pay, many dealers will be pleased to make an offer or provide you with their best estimate of value without the labor and expense of creating a formal appraisal report.