Appraisal Basics – Appraisal Costs

What does an appraisal cost?

The answer to this question is, of course, it depends!

Full professional appraisals by a qualified personal property appraiser involve detailed research requiring onsite inspections followed by significant offsite data collection and analysis. A single item appraisal can easily result in an appraisal cost between $250 and $300 depending on the level of research required to value it and the level of detail the appraisal report requires based on its intended use.

Fortunately, there are significant economies of scale that can reduce your appraisal cost when multiple items are included in the appraisal. This is especially true when they have some commonality such as art by the same artist or artistic period, furniture in a similar style or multiple items in a collection. Also, some items can be grouped together to help reduce your appraisal cost such as entire china sets, furniture sets, or collections of things like books, coins, Barbie dolls, or antique perfume bottles.

Furthermore, not everything may need to be appraised. Depending on the intended use, type of object and its anticipated value, sometimes a simpler estimate of value may suffice. Instead of a full appraisal report with a final appraised value, we provide some basic information about your item, our estimate of its value and some recent past sales of comparable items. These can run between $35 to $75 depending on the level of work required to research it.

Appraisal pricing is typically by the hour and may include other fees such as travel, printing and mailing expenses, consulting fees with specialists and costs for administrative assistants and other members of the appraisal team. The total appraisal cost for a particular project can be estimated, but not guaranteed as unanticipated extra work may be required on one or more items.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.“

~ Thomas Merton

Tip 1

Always document the existence of your significant items of personal property whether you have a prior appraisal for them or not. Save all receipts and correspondences and photograph your items both by themselves and in their locations in your home.