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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How are art appraisals conducted?

A: Each work of art is thoroughly examined and photographed. Examinations are generally conducted wherever the art is located. After the initial inspection is completed, the appraiser conducts extensive market research and analysis before preparing a written report which conforms to the 2012-2013 Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

Q: How are fees determined?

A: 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 consultation with outside experts are the responsibility of the client. Travel expenses are charged for appraisals outside of Maricopa County.

Q: How long does an appraisal take?

A: A professional Appraisal usually requires three to four weeks for research, correspondence and writing. You will receive a full report with descriptions, photographs, valuation commentary, appraiser’s credentials, and usually the artist’s biography. We will also send you a second copy for your insurance company or other user of your choosing.

Q: Can’t I do my own appraisal with online information?

A: Remember the internet is full of lies, ignorance crooks conmen, misinformation, and E-bay does not police authenticity, let alone the pricing of artworks offered for sale on the site. Relying in what you find there can be extremely dangerous and possibly damaging. It is like diagnosing your own illness by looking up symptoms. I offer the most credible information and you can count on it totally. My reputation is based on my always being independent and demonstrating my integrity.

Q: Why go to a source that most certainly is based on only a fraction of the expertise I offer?

What appear to be comparable artworks may not be at all and you could lose significant money, cheat someone or incur tax fraud liabilities. The price of your tuition could be very expensive. At the same time, you could use a certified member of the Association of Online Appraisers, like myself who would do a fully professional appraisal at a distance, of artworks that are either unavailable for examination (lost, stolen or destroyed) or not of sufficient value to justify shipping them to the appraiser. Call us to talk over your options.

Q: How do I sell my artworks? Do you buy?

A: As a totally independent and disinterested appraiser, I don’t buy, sell or broker art, but I’ll always tell you everything I know about those who do and hopefully I’ll be able to give you some good recommendations and put you in touch with just the right brokerage service or dealer.

Q: Should I have my art appraised before selling it through a dealer, gallery or art brokerage service? 

A: Yes. That way you will know everything you should so that you can work with the seller to be sure he understands what you are offering and you can be sure you are asking and getting a fair price. 

Q: How often should I get my artwork reappraised?

A: The answer depends on what you have. The more value, the more frequently we should update the research and Appraisal Report. You would not want to let more than four years pass and for valuable art, a new appraisal should be done after two or three years. Art values can change a great deal (sometimes dropping but usually appreciating) and will be affected by various factors in the general economy, the career of the artist, exhibitions and publications and other factors. If you need to file an insurance claim, make a charitable donation, give art to a relative or do estate planning, you will want to be sure that you are working with accurate and updated values.

Q: Who appraises other stuff?

A: We have a wide variety of other trained and certified appraisers to who we will be happy to refer if we cannot help you. We will only refer you to good professionals who practice in conformity with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and whom we know will treat you well.

Q: How can I ensure that I get a high quality, accurate appraisal?

A: When you hire an appraiser, it is important to check the appraiser’s education, experience, and affiliation with professional organizations. 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 American Society of Appraisers. Therefore, it is important that you ask any potential appraiser fir her/his credentials.

Q: What should I look for in the finished product? 

A: Appraiser 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.



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