Frequently asked questions
Questions about antiques
Can you assess an old item I have from my grandparents’ home?
Yes – we are always happy to assess any item. You will always receive our honest, professional opinion.
I have an old piece of china, is it valuable?
Not all old things have value. Collectability, condition, and quality are huge factors.
Questions about appraisals
How are art appraisals conducted?
Each appraisal is thoroughly examined and photographed. Examinations are generally conducted wherever the items are located. After the initial inspection is completed, the appraiser conducts extensive market research and analysis before preparing a written report which conforms to the 2014–2015 Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
How are fees determined?
Professional fees are based on the amount of time involved in the appraisal. In accordance with good ethics and IRS regulations, appraisal fees are not based on the value of the property being appraised. Estimates are provided prior to the inspection. Additional fees associated with authentication or consultations with outside experts are the responsibility of the client. Travel expenses are charged for appraisals outside of the Metro Detroit Area.
How can I ensure that I get a high-quality, accurate appraisal?
When you hire an appraiser, it is important to check the appraiser’s education, experience and affiliation with a professional organization. Fine art appraisers are not licensed, and they are not required to have any specific education, experience or membership in a professional organization, such as the Appraisers Association of America (AAA) or the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) for example. Therefore, it is important that you ask any potential appraiser for his/her credentials.
What should I look for in the finished product?
Appraisal reports must meet a large number of criteria in order to be considered acceptable by many parties (including the IRS) and to hold up in court. Appraisers who do not have the education, experience or affiliation with a professional organization may not have the training necessary to write a comprehensive appraisal report. An appraisal should clearly state the type of value being determined. It should describe the properties being valued. It should detail the procedures used to estimate the value, such as analysis of comparable sales. It should be signed by the individual who made the appraisal and is responsible for its validity and objectivity. It should further specify the qualifications of the appraiser.