How do I prepare for an appraisal?

Appraisers ask many questions because we must determine the scope of research needed, such as why the appraisal is needed. There is not just one type of value for one object. Value depends on the most appropriate market for the use of the appraisal to analyze prices of other similar properties. An appraisal of one article for insurance coverage requires a different definition of value, a different approach, and an analysis of different sales data than if the same article is valued for donation or estate tax, sales advisory, or for bankruptcy.

Ethical appraisers charge per hour or per diem. We prefer to be as efficient as possible. The property to be inspected should be readily available during the inspection — artworks removed from the walls and items laid out in easily accessible, well-lit areas — to be examined, measured, inventoried, and photographed. Any paperwork pertaining to these articles, such as sales receipts, acquisition records, conservation reports, catalogues or monographs that include information about the work or item, will save you time.

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