Value and Authenticity
Commissioning an Art Appraisal
Can I Ask An Appraiser to Be My Agent?
No! An art appraiser is NOT an agent. A professional appraiser is required to follow the code of ethics in his or her practice. It is considered unethical and unprofessional if an appraiser shows interest in the property that is the subject of his/her appraisal. Hiring an independent appraiser for you art work is essential, since professional integrity is rare in the real world.
Can You Represent Me after I Commission an Art Appraisal from You?
We don't buy or sell art works. We limit our professional services to Asian art consulting & appraisal to maintain our professional integrity. Our job is to provide an independent, honest & objective art appraisal that meets your needs.
Can You Guarantee that My Art Object Will Sell for the Price Proposed in the Appraisal?
NO, we can not guarantee a specific sales price. The value conclusion provided in our appraisal report is an educated guess, based on our knowledge, experience, market research, and careful reconliation of the sales data of similar art objects in its most appropriate market place. Depending on the market conditions, the marketing strategy of your sales agent and the quality of his clientele, receiving a higher or lower offer is part of the selling procedure.
Are There Any Hidden Fees in Selling My Art?
Almost all forms of sale entail costs over and above the sales price--sometimes up to 50% of the gross sale price! Auction houses typically charge fees for commissions, advertising, cataloging, insurance, taxes, unsold fees, seller's premium, etc., some are deducted from the hammer price. Auction houses vary considerably in the amount and structure of their fees, so be sure to ask for a full explanation. The fees charged by auction houses often make it unprofitable for an average owner to sell his or her objects at auction. Selling directly to a buyer (whether a collector or museum) also involves additional costs (insurance, shipping and commissions) typically borne by the seller.
For many sales you will need to depend on the resources and services of an agent. The agent serves as your representative in the sale. It is his/her job to represent your interests in contacting prospective buyers, negotiating with buyers or auction houses, arranging for shipment, payment of registration fees, and so forth. All agents collect commissions from the seller or both the seller and buyer, typically in the form of a percentage of the sale price. It is essential that you chose a honest and experienced sales agent, be able to trust him/her completely. You should always investigate a prospective agent's qualifications, experience and merits before you sign a sales contract.
Why Do I Need an Art Appraisal to Sell My Art?
No, you don't need an appraisal to sell your art work. However, obtaining an appraisal of your art object from a qualified art appraiser will give you an upper hand in price negotiation. Without it, a good original art may sell for far less than its potential value, because you don't know what to expect from the sale and how to negotiate with the buyer.
Working with an independent art appraiser is better than workinging with appraiser/art broker/dealer, if you undestand the rule for "a conflict of interes." An art appraisal prepared by a qualified appraiser help you appreciate your art work in an articulate and professionial manner. A typical consultation appraisal for disposition will explain what you have, the quality of your art work and its marketability, as well as some marketing strategies regarding the sale of your art work in its the most appropriate and relevant market place.
What Should I Do If I Need to Make an Insurance Claim?
1) Prepare a set of photos of the damaged object and contact an art appraiser for a replacement value appraisal.
2) Commission an appraisal from a qualified art appraiser specializing in your type of art work. Qualifications of your art appraiser matter.
3) Schedule an on-site inspection or bringing the damaged item to your appraiser for a proper inspection. You also need to provide the original provenance documentation and previoius appraisal report for insurance for your appraiser's review. Important documentation includes photos of the property before damage, sales receipt, estimated value, insurance policy, etc.).
4) If you do not have an appraisal prior to the damage, you can still commission an art appraisal that estimates both the value of the object before damage and the after-damage value of the art work.
5) Present an appraisal report signed by a qualified art appraiser, together with a cover letter addressed to the insurance company from the appraiser for insurance claims.
My Art Work Is Damaged. Should I Repair It Myself?
Restoring a valuable object of art requires difficult skills, age-old techniques, training, and experience. For conserving Asian art, very few craftsmen possess the necessary skills and experience. Remember too that imperfect restoration often results in the devaluation of the art work. Therefore, unless you are working with a qualified art restoration specialist specializing in Asian art conservation, it is almost always better to maintain a damaged object in its current condition.
We recommend that unless you know exactly what you are doing, you should not attempt to repair damaged Chinese art yourself. Many old art objects, simply by virtue of their age, are in slightly damaged condition. This need not be a cause for alarm, and you should never move to "correct" or "repair" damage or wear without first consulting a qualified expert.
If your art object is considered "altered" or "damaged," its value will be decreased significantly. A scroll painting, for example, would be more valuable if the painting keeps its original rollers or mounting style. Other damage, such as mildew, stains or cracks on the surface of a painting, you need to consult a painting conservation specialist for guidance.
Can You Appraise My Art Work for Free?
No professional can work for free. Like other professions, art appraisal requires years of education, decades of experience and a set of special skills, and each appraisal assignment takes time for study, research, market analysis, and writing. Therefore, you need to pay for good professional advice.
Our Preview service reflects our efforts on proving affordable services to art owners prior to commissioning a full appraisal. Our preview comments identify the origin of your art work or artist, quality, marketability, or suitability for appraiser. After a preview, you should be able to make an informed decision.
May I Pay You after I Sell My Art Work?
No, we are not allowed to receive payment from the sale of the art work we appraise due to a conflict of interest. Professional art appraisers do not premise our livelihood on the outcome of any particular sale--this would compromise the very independence from market forces on which the profession depends. You need to pay a professional to help you achieve your goals.
Do You Offer Discounts on Art Appraisals If I Have More Art Objects for Appraisal?
The appraisal cost is determined by the scope of work necessary to complete the assignment that meets your need. We are efficient and cost-concious art professionals. While making an appraisal proposal, we do our best to offer the best option to our clients without compromising the quality of services.
What Methods of Payment Do You Accept?
For most appraisal assignment, we prefer a certified check or money order made out to WEI YANG ART, LLC, 274 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08540. For previews, PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org is available. If you are an international client, a bank wire transfer is recommended. Please Contact Us for our bank information.
A signed engagement letter and a retainer are required to engage our services. When the appraisal report is completed, you will receive an email notice for the final payment. Once the final balance is paid in full, you will receive a hard copy of the appraisal report via first class U.S. mail or an express delivery method at your cost.
Return to Levels of Art Appraisal
Asian Art Consulting & Appraisal: Questions and Answers
Value and Authenticity
Commissioning an Art Appraisal