In addition to providing a fast and affordable resource for art appraisal online, we’ve also created the Internet’s largest directory of art and antique appraisers near your home. Using the tool above, you can search for an appraiser by city, state or zip code. This simple guide will help you choose the right expert for your art or antique appraisal.
Trust is paramount when you want to know the value of your art or antiques. There are a few credentials you should look for when hiring a professional independent appraiser. He or she should follow the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), which is a set of ethical and performance standards.
Appraisers should not try to buy your item, because it would be a violation of these ethical standards. Most professional independent appraisers also belong to one or more of the following organizations: the International Society of Appraisers, the American Society of Appraisers or the Appraisers Association of America.
It is also quite common for appraisers to specialize in certain categories of items, e.g. stamps, jewelry, antiques, paintings, Asian art, etc. You should be able to readily find this information on an appraiser’s website. Searching to find an appraiser that is a match in terms of your item's category, is time well spent, usually resulting in the most accurate appraisal for your art, antique or collectible item.
Items may be appraised differently, according to the intended purpose of the appraisal. For example, insurance value is the retail value, or what would it cost today to buy a similar item. However, if you want to sell the item, you would need the fair market value, or what someone would pay you for the item.
What are the different types of appraisals? Appraisers may offer a variety of art and antique appraisal services, including, but not limited to:
To calculate this value, recent auction records for comparable items from all over the country are taken into consideration.
After a person passes away, all of their belongings become part of an “estate.” This estate becomes an inheritance, which can be kept, donated or sold by the heirs of the deceased. An estate sale is an auction containing items from a single person’s estate. An appraiser can assess the fair market value for each item to help family members decide what to sell and what to keep.
In the event of a dispute between heirs, a probate court may order that the items be appraised so that the cash value can be distributed according to the terms of the will of the deceased.
People often wonder: Are art donations tax deductible? Donating a work of art to a public museum or university can allow the owner to deduct the full fair market value from his or her taxes. However, to take advantage of these benefits, a donation, or qualified appraisal, must be performed by an appraiser who meets the standards set forth by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and no sooner than 60 days before the item is donated.
If you want to include art or antiques in your homeowner’s insurance policy, they must be appraised. Appraisals are also important if an item becomes damaged - accidentally or in a natural disaster - or is stolen. In the event of a claim, this ensures that the owner gets a fair price for the item that was lost.
Online appraisals are the newest way to know the fair market value of your art and antiques. Using cutting-edge image-viewing technology and extensive databases of auction house results, experts are able to return results within a matter of hours and for a fraction of the price. Mearto is currently the world’s leading provider of online appraisals.
At Mearto, you can get an online appraisal of any item in 48 hours for just $24. If you need it faster, we also offer 24-hour appraisals for $25. Our experts provide a low and high estimate based on the item’s current fair market value and an automatically calculated insurance value.
If you need a professional independent appraiser in your area, you will find that their prices can vary. They might charge a flat fee starting at around $30 per item or an hourly rate that normally starts around $150. Do not engage with those that would charge a percentage fee of the value of the item, as this is unethical and violates USPAP.
For estate appraisals, the standard fee starts at $500. However, this depends on the size of your property and the number of items that need to be appraised. We always recommend contacting an art or antique appraisal expert by phone or email before you hire them to get a quote for their services.
It’s also important to know what to look for in an appraisal report: a clear and accurate description of the item, the item’s value and a detailed description of how the value was determined.