Users of valuation services will want to know how to select a qualified and professional appraiser, what the appraisal process entails, and finally, how much the service costs.

Selecting an appraiser

Black’s Law Dictionary defines an appraisal as a “valuation … of a property by disinterested persons of suitable qualifications.” To meet the definition, an appraiser must be both objective and qualified.

Objective and qualified appraisers:

  • Are trained and tested in their areas of specialization
  • Have a solid understanding of the generally accepted principles of valuation
  • Are committed to ethical appraisal practices
  • Are trained and tested in appraisal methods and report-writing
  • Must re-accredit in recognized professional organizations
  • Are committed to ongoing professional learning and education
  • Never charge on the basis of a percentage of end value

When the time comes to select an appraiser, Appraisal Associates offers objective valuations of fine art, antiques, and decorative art by qualified specialists.

The appraisal process

Once engaged, we arrange an inspection of your items, either at your location or at our offices. During our inspection, we photograph your property and record its physical characteristics such as size, date, artist or manufacturer, condition, marks, etc. Additionally, we assess quality and other important characteristics of value.

If you have any relevant documentation, such as receipts, invoices, or old appraisals, we ask to review these. Documentation can provide a previous context of worth in the marketplace and enhance the value of your property.

In situations where a personal inspection is not possible as a result of theft, destruction by fire, or other circumstances, we rely on the client to provide us with photographs and/or detailed descriptions of the property.

After collecting the necessary data, we undertake the research phase of the appraisal project. When appropriate we consult with curators, dealers, artists, and appropriate experts. Our appraisers are highly experienced and efficient researchers.

Finally, the items are appraised using generally accepted principles of valuation, and we compose the written appraisal report. Reports address the specifics of the appraisal engagement and comply with professional standards.

Appraisal reports are issued in electronic form with digital signatures. Although we discourage it for environmental reasons, reports can be issued on paper if arrangements are made in advance.

Appraisal costs

The cost for appraisal services depends on the amount of time we spend on your project, as well as the complexity of the valuation and end uses of the document. Estimates of cost usually are expressed as a range and do not include applicable tax and disbursements. Appraisal Associates has a minimum charge for any appraisal or consulting assignment.

Terms of payment

All invoices are due and payable in full upon receipt unless other arrangements are agreed upon. Appraisal Associates accepts cash, cheques, bank transfers, and major credit cards. Credit card transactions and bank transfers are processed through the PayPal-hosted link included on our Payment Info page.