Anyone interested in estate planning or selling a piece of art needs to determine how much it is worth. The first step is getting it appraised.

“Generally what we recommend in the industry is that somebody go with an accredited appraiser from one of the major appraisal organizations,” said Justin Rogers, an accredited member of the International Society of Appraisers.

The three major appraisal organizations are the International Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Appraisers and the Appraisal Association of America. All train and accredit appraisers across the country and around the world.

“Those three organizations all have very similar requirements for training, ethics and just professional standards in general,” Rogers said.

Another step to assure that the appraiser is trustworthy is to find out whether the appraiser is knowledgeable about the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Proper training and testing is important for art appraisers, Roger said.

It’s important to be careful and deliberate when talking to appraisers.{

“If somebody has a clear intent to buy the work from you, that’s sometimes a red flag,” Rogers said. “I would say, talk to a few different people because the first appraiser you call may not be the best option.”

In addition to checking the training and accreditation of an appraiser, find out what they specialize in. If the art piece is more niche or specialized, the best place to get it appraised might not be the local option.

“In addition to those general standards we have to meet, it’s also good to know that somebody has experience with the particular field,” Rogers said. “If a person is specialized in a certain area, they may not do appraisals in other areas, or they may not be credible in other areas.”

While it may seem overwhelming to do so much research, it’s important to make sure to go to a trustworthy appraiser and get a fair price. But working with a good, accredited appraiser will be worth it when it comes to an accurate appraisal process.

“In general, appraisers want to do the right thing,” Rogers said, “and they’re required by USPAP to either be competent in the area or have enough competency to be able to educate themselves to a level that they are credible and reliable.”

  • Community and Special Section reporter, fall 2021. Studying news journalism. Reach me at mcb547@umsystem.edu or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

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