3. Once you have a list of names, assess the level of experience of each appraiser.

4. Determine whether the appraiser is a generalist or specialist. For example, a collection of Old Masters paintings requires an appraiser with advanced education, sophisticated field experience and multi-language skills. If the collection includes highly valued jewelry, be sure the appraiser is, at minimum, a graduate gemologist and has access to a certified gemology lab.

5. For large or very expensive collections, it is generally recommended that the appraiser be a distinguished member or has achieved "certified" status in one of the three appraisal organizations.

6. Ask for the appraiser's curriculum vitae, or professional resume.

7. The resume should mention special training or graduate degrees, how much time he or she has spent in the field and the breadth of his or her experience.

8. If it is the first time you are employing an appraiser, ask for a sample appraisal. All appraisals should conform to the Unified Standards of Appraisal Practice. A minimum appraisal should include the following: statement of purpose (insurance, donation, etc.), sworn statement of objectivity from appraiser, signature of appraiser, full description and identification of objects or items, firm statement of value (not ranges or estimates), condition of objects and provenance, and discussion of how value was arrived at with supporting documentation.

9. Ask the appraiser to explain fee structure. Fees should be based on an hourly, daily or set rate. The fee should never be commission-based.

10. Develop good relationships with a few appraisers who have different skill sets and expertise. It's important to keep in contact with appraisers you may use because sometimes their professional profiles or services may change.

First « 1 2 3 » Next