Gregg R. Lewis

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Gregg R. Lewis
Trusted Family Law Services In Columbus

How do I find an ethical art appraiser?

| Jun 6, 2019 | Complex Property Division |

Some Ohio divorces involve splitting up assets such as artwork, which will require an appraisal to determine its value. However, if you have never had to appraise your artwork before, you might wonder how you can find a good appraiser. To avoid the problem of having your artwork incorrectly valued, it is crucial to be on the lookout for qualities that make an honest, ethical appraiser.

As Money.com explains, appraisers do charge for their work. You might be asked to pay an hourly rate or a flat fee for the appraisal. The appraiser will examine your art and write up a report that describes the artwork’s value, how the appraiser valued the art, and a complete description of your art. A suspicious appraiser, however, may ask you to pay a fee that is based on a percentage of your artwork’s value. These appraisers are best avoided.

You should also be wary of an appraiser who offers to buy your artwork. It is possible the appraiser is trying to scam you with a falsely low appraisal so that the appraiser can buy the art for less than what it is worth and then sell it later for a higher price. It is against the ethics of a good appraiser to try to buy an object that the appraiser has been hired to evaluate.

Perhaps surprisingly, an ethical art appraiser is one who may opt to not appraise your work at all. While some artwork can be valuable, other pieces of art have very little value, so little that you lose money by getting the work appraised. In this scenario, the appraiser will tell you that the value of your art is so low that it is not worth the effort to write up an appraisal. 

A good way to find an ethical appraiser is to seek out a major appraiser organization. These organizations provide member directories that include member profiles that should describe an appraiser’s background in valuing objects and levels of certification. This information makes it easier to look for a qualified appraiser that specializes in the kind of art that you want evaluated.

The information in this article is not intended as legal counsel. It is provided for educational purposes only.