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Before you talk to an estate appraiser . . .

auctioneerBefore you talk to an estate appraiser, have as much of the following information as possible ready:

1. your reason for an appraisal. Do you want to sell the item? To insure the item? To donate the item? These require different types of appraisals and will usually produce different values.

2. any information you have about the item: its description, measurements, artist/craftsman, age, when and where purchased, and for how much. You probably won’t have all that information, but every bit helps.

3. a photograph of the item and any identifying marks.

Why are estate appraisers better than auctioneers? They are usually more knowledgeable about the value of objects, especially antique objects. Some appraisers are also auctioneers; other appraisers work with specific auctioneers.