If we’ve learned anything from the Antique’s Roadshow, it’s that appraisals can be emotional events.
However, whether your hopes are high or low, everybody wants the assurance of knowing that they are using the best estate appraiser they can, one who knows their stuff, and who will give them accurate information about their goods and antiques.
Here’s our guide to what to look for in the best estate appraisal services.
When you want someone to inspect Grandma’s silver, it’s not a good idea to bring in a specialist in pre-Raphaelite paintings.
Particularly if you suspect you have items of value that require an expert’s opinion! Do your homework on local appraisers to find the particular specialty they work in.
Always check first that the appraiser you are employing is qualified and experienced in their field. You could ask them for examples of similar pieces they have valued in the past, along with their sale values.
Whole Estate Services
When you have a whole house of belongings to put values on and sell, getting each item individually appraised may not make sense.
In a case like this, you need an estate appraisal service. These services are generally offered by estate sale companies and will cover everything you might find in a home, or business.
Even if you have one or two items you believe may be of exceeding value, such companies could do separate appraisals of these. Since they do full-house valuations all day long and see a huge variety of different types of estates, they are very well equipped to quickly and accurately appraise a wide variety of items.
Beware of appraisers who seem to have dubious charging structures.
For example, some may offer to charge a percentage of the valuation. In rare cases, some have been known to offer to take goods in exchange for the valuation. Both of these should set alarm bells ringing.
Look for an appraiser who charges by the hour or charges a standard rate per appraisal. This takes away any scope for dishonesty and puts your mind at rest that you are going to get an accurate appraisal.
Many of the best appraisal services are also dealers, and there can be advantages to this.
They see a lot of merchandise and therefore often develop a good eye, and can make quick and accurate appraisals. The danger is that some may be tempted to make a low-ball appraisal and offer to take the goods off your hards.
You can overcome this by asking for, and offer to pay for, an appraisal with no strings attached.
If the dealer makes you an offer for the piece, keep your options open by going to at least two more appraisers before deciding whether to accept or not.
The Takeaway – Finding the Best Appraisal Services
The key to finding the best appraisal services is simple – look for accreditation, choose the right specialist, and keep your options open when working with dealers.
At Prestige Estate Services, we offer a range of helpful services to our clients, from antique appraisals to whole estate inventories and valuations.
Contact us to see how we can help you today!