top of page

Fine Art Appraisal (Personal Property)


What is art appraisal, how do appraisers work, and how do they charge?

What is art appraisal?

Evaluating art requires experience and knowledge of art history and the art market. An appraisal is a legal document that involves a sophisticated research and investigation process, and each report is written for specific purposes. An Appraisal Report is not an indication or certificate of title ownership. It is based only on the readily apparent identity of the items appraised, and no further opinions or guarantee of authenticity, genuineness, attribution, or authorship is made. The owner needs to rely on an authenticator to test and prove the authenticity of their artwork or collection. An appraisal report does not constitute a certificate of authenticity.


How do appraisers work?

Appraisers research "comparables" to determine the market value of the artwork in their reports. Quality, provenance, condition, uniqueness, demand, and timing all factor into the valuation. Each appraiser works with a particular area of expertise. Each appraisal report is prepared differently according to its purposes and the appraised artwork or collection. Click here to see the sample of A Fair Market Value Appraisal Report for Non-Cash Charitable Contribution for IRS Income Tax Purposes. 

Appraisers of the Appraisers Association of America (AAA) work with private and corporate art collections and partner with collectors, attorneys, accountants, museums, educational institutions, trusts, brokers, and insurance carriers to reflect the highest industry standards. All members must be certified according to the highest professional standards, known in the field as USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice), and adhere to a strict Code of Ethics that ensures unparalleled standards of ethics, conduct, and professionalism.


How do appraisers charge?

Appraisers charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for their consultation and appraisal report writing based on the amount of research required for each artwork or collection. They never charge a price based on the value of an artwork or collection (a sale commission). 

When do you need an appraisal?


You need a professional art appraisal report for the following purposes:

i. Insurance

ii. Donation

iii. Asset valuation

iv. Estate with a surviving spouse

v. Estate with no surviving spouse

vi. Tax loss

vii. Equitable distribution

viii. Estate planning

ix. Inventory

x. Damage

xi. Loss

xii. Collateral

xiii. Liquidation

xiv. Net worth

xv. Gift

xvi. Others (to be specified)

How does appraisal process work?

Tell us about your art collection, find out if you need an Appraisal
Click the PDF icon to download and fill out a Client Work File, and send it back to us)
Sign an Appraisal Agreement Letter  with a down payment (30% - 50% of the total appraisal fee, depending on the project)
Inspection of your artwork, inventory, or collection (in person or remotely)
Screen Shot 2022-10-18 at 8.48.54 PM.png
Research, investigation, report writing, delivery
Your review and approval
Thank you for your trust and the payment. We loved working with you and hope you enjoyed our services!
Screen Shot 2022-12-07 at 12.50.35 PM.png
Related Fields
bottom of page