Understanding the Cost Structure of Appraisal Services at Antiquestor

Understandably, one of the first questions that most clients ask is “How much is it?” Unfortunately, it is impossible to estimate appraisals on a phone call or even from pictures. There are many factors that go into estimating an appraisal: the number of items, the scarcity of past sales, the rarity of the item, and/or a unique history association.

The base hourly fee is $150. Costs are based on time estimates depending on the detail required, but services can be customized or packaged depending on budget. Below is an attempt to break down relative costs, depending on the type of report, complexity and intended use of the appraisal. Please reach out to Antiquestor to learn more about how we can suit your needs.

Cost Structure

Type of reportDescription Example Intended UsesCost
Appraisal ReportThis is a document that stands up to the scrutiny of the IRS for federal estate taxes, the Illinois Attorney General for state estate taxes, or the courts. It includes a market analysis, a full inventory with description, valuations of individual items, a summary of values and typically photos. Each item is fully researched, identified and multiple comparables are found. For items valued over $3,000, comparables are included with explanatory rationale. It isn’t that this type of report is billed at a higher rate. The time it requires complete due diligence and document the information at this level of detail takes longer. A workfile with all research, sources and assets is kept for 5 years by the appraiser. Federal estate tax, Non cash charitable donations, Insurance coverage$$$$$
Restricted Appraisal
This is a document that is for only named clients. The report contains less detail and explanation than Appraisal Reports (as it is not intended for taxing bodies or the courts). The same due diligence is applied as what an Appraisal Report would receive, but more is kept in a workfile in the event that information needs to be retrieved. Equitable distribution, Family division; Loan collateral$$$$
This version of an appraisal is exactly as it sounds. The valuation is communicated verbally. The client doesn’t get anything in writing. The same due diligence is applied as what an Appraisal Report would receive, but more is kept in a workfile in the event that information needs to be retrieved. A drafted report isn’t necessary. This service is typically selected by clients who have one to a few items they are curious about.Personal knowledge, Marketable value$$$
This is a service where the appraiser helps to identify an unknown artist and collects past sales from gallerists, auction houses, and sometimes, the artists themselves. The information is shared with the client so they can make their own educated estimate based on past sales transactions. It is a good service for investigating a value on which a future decision about selling, insurance or loans can be made with minimal investment. No specific dollar values are communicated by the appraiser, no report drafted, no workfile kept.Personal knowledge, Marketable value$$
This document identifies and describes researched items in list form, often with photos. It is a more economical option and can form the basis of an in-depth report in the future. No values are researched or provided.Residential content documentation; Personal collection documentation for posterity$$

All of the above types of appraisals conform to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). At Antiquestor, we pride ourselves on providing professional, transparent, and ethical appraisal services. Our fee structure is designed to cater to a wide range of needs, ensuring that whether you require a detailed report for legal purposes or a quick valuation for personal knowledge, we have a service to match. And, starting from the bottom up, services can be built upon (ie. the Collection Inventory needs to be used as the basis of a full Appraisal Report) and costs phased over time and applied to future services (you will not be double-charged if done within 6 months.)

For any inquiries or to schedule an appraisal, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help you understand the value of your cherished possessions with accuracy and care.