5 Ways To Get A Family Heirloom Appraised

Some of the most valuable collectibles ever found were packed away and forgotten in someone’s home. If you are the person who is tasked with cleaning grandma’s attic, it is a great opportunity to learn how to help her value older family possessions. Here are five ways to get family heirlooms appraised today.

What Are the Most Common Family Heirlooms?

Any possession can be a family heirloom. The most common family heirlooms are homes, jewelry, books, furniture, hope chests, antique clocks, kitchenware, antique home décor, and collectibles like stamps, firearms, or art. As many family possessions have never been valued, it is best to hire an appraiser before selling these items to know what their assessments are, which these tips will help.

  1. Hire An Experienced Appraiser

If you are a novice at determining a fair market value for a piece that may be an heirloom, the smartest way to get an accurate estimation is to hire an experienced appraiser. Experts have the first-hand knowledge, industry sources, and tools needed to determine what a piece is worth. Personal property appraisers are also impartial parties, so you will get an accurate assessment.

  1. Perform Online Research

Some people choose to do online research to determine a fair market value. This choice can be risky as certain factors determine a piece’s current worth. Online tools and databases also require people to know appraisal data to receive an accurate assessment. There are also online sites that provide assessments that use a fair market value rather than a true appraisal value.

The fair market value is what consumers are currently buying and selling at. The appraisal value takes into consideration the age, history, condition, or artist to establish a piece’s value.  The US Red Seal $1000 Note was printed in 1891. At face value, it is worth $1000, but an appraiser assessed that the note’s market value was more than $2.5 million, which the seller auctioned.

  1. Visit An Auction House

Auction houses occasionally offer appraisal days because they want sellers to list family heirlooms through them.  After the valuation, auction houses hold onto the pieces until a future auction date and charge sellers between 15 and 50% commission. The process will cut into your bottom line. Auction houses also use a bidding system, which cannot guarantee a sale occurs.

  1. Ask An Antique Dealer

Antique dealers usually have a lot of skill estimating the value of family heirlooms from the experience of buying and selling. It is important to remember when choosing an antique dealer that they may be biased and may not provide the most accurate appraisal to pad their bottom lines. If you are going to use an antique dealer, you should research to learn about the appraisal process so that you know when the current market value is fair and when it is underpriced.

  1. Get A Free Appraisal

Some dealers and appraisers often provide free appraisal services on the spot. Usually, this appraiser works for agencies that do not get their revenue from the pieces they value. As a rule, any potential piece considered an heirloom should be appraised by an industry expert who is experienced in assessment, composition, and knowledge to reduce the risk of inaccuracies.

Manzi Appraisers & Restorer have served New Englanders for two decades. Regardless of whether we are appraising family heirlooms, consulting with collectors, or working with estate planners, our expert personal property appraisers use top-of-the-line authentication standards to determine current market value, which our appraisal report will certify.  To learn more about our appraisal services, you can contact our office at 617-948-2577 or visit us at https://www.facebook.com/ManziAppraisers/.