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Five Keys to Selling Your Art Work

What Sells Your Art Work

Selling your art objects is not as hard as it sounds. Clear vision based on experience, some strategies, plus insightful advice will help you sell your art work for top dollar. Many owners of Asian art, ranging from paintings, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, furniture, to other objects, have come to me with questions regarding the sale of their art work. What is my art work worth? Where can I sell it? How can I get top dollar for it?

Motivation, persistence and patience sell art work. 
Sometimes, the representatives of the auction house may misjudge the nature of your objects due to their limited experience, knowledge and expertise, and reject your objects in the first round of conversation. Hence, you should not be discouraged if any auction house you contact expresses no interest, since the auction house agent is more interested in the auction appeal of an art work rather than its historical significance.  Their rejection does not mean that your objects are worthless.

Selling Your Art Work at an Auction House might help you better understand why your art works are rejected by auction houses and how to approach the art market.

Why Commission an Art Appraisal

Selling a fine work of art without commissioning an appraisal is a lot more difficult than selling real estate when you have no knowledge of the local real estate market.  To begin with, inspiring works of art have an aesthetic quality and a history that are difficult even for Ph.D.’s to appreciate and explain.  In addition, the art market is quite unlike the real estate market, in that it is mysterious, difficult to learn about, and subject to significant fluctuation.  You can’t just look up the previous sales records for the object you wish to sell (or buy).  These important pieces of knowledge, however, are provided in a professional art appraisal.

A professional art appraisal report usually provides you with the crucial information about your art work you need to know in working with an auction house or dealer. Many owners are overwhelmed by dealers who do not take the time to explain unfamiliar terminology from the worlds of Asian aesthetics and modern art sales.  A knowledgeable owner often stands a much better chance of profit when negotiating from a position of strength. 

An expert art appraisal not only prepares you to deal with professional buyers, but also opens new opportunities. Many people assume that an auction house will always offer the best value for their object, but that is often not true. You need to consider (and understand) an adjusted value estimate, the calculation of insurance costs, fees for catalog illustrations, buy-back reserve fees, and other extra charges and conditions typically subtracted from the hammer price of an auction sale.  A professional art appraisal alerts you to these possible charges in clear language and also helps you think creatively about other options, including museum donation, gift to charity, and other measures that can help reduce your tax burden.

Have you received a letter from an auction house that is vague or more complicated than you expected? Don’t panic! As independent art appraisers, we don 't represent our clients and their art work. However, the art appraisal report prepared by our art specialists will provide all the information you need to sell your art work at the most appropriate market place successfully.

Five Keys to Selling Your Art Work

Key #1: Curiosity. Be curious about the art object that you inherited, purchased, or discovered in your attic. Remember, experts do not have a monopoly on curiosity—simply trust your instincts and your own eye to tell you what is beautiful and interesting.  That is a crucial first step.

Key # 2: Motivation. You need to be motivated to learn about what you have and it vlaue potentialss. Whether you sell your art or keep it for many generations, you begin by knowing how to take care of our art or what to do with it. Be ready to educate yourself and seek help from a professional.

Key # 3: Responsibility. No matter how, where, and from whom you may have obtained your art, it is now your responsibility to take good care of it or find a new home for it. How can you find out if it is worth keeping, restoring, or repairing?  Should it be insured? You can get the information you need to answer all of these questions by with with a qualified art appraiser.

Key # 4: Confidence. Knowing what you have, what makes it special, how it compares to other objects, and what the current market is like will enable you to make an informed decision. Asking a professional to help you understand what you have and its value potentials is the best investment an art owner can make.

Key #5: Competent Sales Agent. After the appraisal is completed, finding a talented, experienced and honest agent to represent you and your art work is the key. If you find the right agent to help you sell your object, you will take advantage of the agent's knowledge of marketing and a special set of skills in articulation and negotiation for top dollar for your art object.

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