3 Ways To Estimate Value For Your Inherited Art

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boosting home value during an appraisal

Five years ago, my husband and I flipped our first house. That project was one of the biggest learning experiences of my life. We had to find our way through a complicated project without losing the money that we had invested. One thing that we learned about was getting appraisals done on properties. Unfortunately, we had to learn this lesson the hard way. We didn't have an appraisal done before we started the renovation and when we finished, the value of the home didn't increase enough to give us the profit we wanted. Since then, we learned what projects will boost the value during an appraisal and what won't.

3 Ways To Estimate Value For Your Inherited Art

18 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog


Did you recently inherit a piece of artwork? Are you interested in estimating the value, possibly because you want to sell the art in the near future? Value can always be subjective and ambiguous for art. One person may view a piece of artwork as extremely valuable, while another may have less interest in the piece. However, there are indicators you can use to come up with a fairly accurate estimate. Below are three methods for determining what your art may be worth. Use them to develop a range for your piece's potential sale price.

Look up recent similar transactions. One way to gauge value is to look at similar recent transactions. There are a number of art websites that list transactions for certain artists. You can do a simple web search of the artist's name to find sales of other pieces. That should give you an idea of the level of demand and possible price range. If you can't find recent sales from the same artist, do some research to identify other artists from the same period or who were similar in style. Look at their sale prices to get a feel for demand.

When researching prices, be sure to look for whether a piece was sold by an individual or by a retail gallery. If you're selling your piece on your own, you likely won't get the same price as a gallery. Rather, you should look at wholesale prices. Your buyer may very well be a gallery who is going to markup the piece and resell it.

List it on an auction site. Another option is to go ahead and list your piece on an online auction site. Most sites let you set a reserve amount. If that reserve price isn't met, you don't have to sell the piece. Set the reserve price high and then watch to see what kind of bids come in. This is a great way to see what people are willing to pay for a piece. You may find that demand for your piece isn't as strong as you previously thought.

Get an appraisal. Of course, one of the most effective ways to get an accurate price estimate is to hire an appraiser. An appraiser will have experience in viewing and analyzing art and will know what the market will bear. Look for an independent appraiser who isn't tied to a gallery or other potential buyer. Also, try to find an appraiser who specializes in the type of art that you own. You'll have to pay for the appraisal, but it could be a wise investment. It could help you get a higher price for your piece of art.

For more information, contact an art appraisal service, CHICAGO APPRAISERS ASSOCIATION, in your area. They can help you determine the best sale price for your art.