Questions to Inquire Before Hiring an Antique Auctioneer or Appraiser
Are you in need of professional antique appraisal services or an auctioneer for your antique collection or inherited estate? It’s essential to ensure that you’re working with an expert in the field who can get you the best value for your pieces. Before hiring an auctioneer or appraiser, there are several questions you should ask to ensure they’re the right expert for you.
# -1 Have They Appraised Similar Antiques?
Firstly, ask if they have appraised similar antiques before. Being an appraiser doesn’t automatically mean they have experience with the type of antiques you own. Practical experience is often more valuable than theoretical knowledge.
# -2 Are They Seasoned Antique Auctioneers?
Secondly, ensure that the antique auctioneers you’re working with are experienced and have connections with the antique collector community. This will help them bring in people who understand the value of your pieces and bid accordingly.
# -3 Do They Have A Good Reputation?
Thirdly, research their reputation online, talk to others who have had estate auctions, and ask any collectors you know. You can determine if this particular auctioneer or appraiser has a good standing in the community by doing so.
# -4 What Is Their Process?
Fourthly, ask about their process. For example, an appraiser may conduct a visual inspection of your pieces or ask for detailed photographs. An auctioneer may want to preview your items to determine if they’re appropriate for a particular auction or if they would do better in a specialized auction.
# -5 What Are Their Fees?
Fifthly, it’s important to ask about fees upfront. Understanding the fees involved can help you make an informed decision. Appraisers may charge a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a percentage of the item’s value. Auctioneers may charge a commission on the sale of the item, which can range from 10 to 20 percent or more.
# -6 What Are Their Qualifications?
Sixthly, ask about their qualifications. It’s crucial to work with someone who has the proper qualifications and credentials to appraise or auction your antiques. Appraisers may have certifications from organizations such as the International Society of Appraisers or the American Society of Appraisers. Auctioneers may be licensed by their state and have membership in professional organizations such as the National Auctioneers Association.
# -7 Can They Provide References?
Seventhly, asking for references from past clients can give you an idea of the professional’s experience and how they interact with clients. You can ask for references from similar estate auctions or appraisals to ensure they have experience in your specific area.
# -8 Can They Provide A Written Agreement?
Eighthly, Having a written agreement outlining the scope of work, fees, and timeline can help ensure both parties are on the same page. This agreement can also protect you from potential misunderstandings or disagreements down the road. It’s important to ask if the professional can provide a written agreement and review it carefully before signing.
In conclusion, hiring an antique appraiser or auctioneer can be a great way to ensure you get the most money for your antique collection or inherited estate. However, it’s important to do your research and ask the right questions to ensure you’re working with a qualified professional who has experience in your specific area of antiques. By asking about their experience, process, fees, qualifications, references, and written agreements, you can make an informed decision about who to hire for your antique appraisal or auction.