Updated: May 27, 2019
People should ask a lot of questions of appraisers! We perform an important service that in many cases must hold up to legal or governmental scrutiny, and our ethics, training, and background are crucial. Here are some of my answers to some of the following questions that are posted on the website of the International Society of Appraisers:
What qualifies you to appraise my property? Each ISA appraiser completes an appraisal methodology course and is tested for competency, in addition to having documented professional references and thousands of hours of professional experience. At this time, ISA members are also required to have 30 semester hours of coursework completed from an accredited college or university, and as members we are collectively committed to continued education. As you can see on my CV page, in addition to my BA from the art history program at UW Seattle, I have nearly five years experience in a very high-volume auction house, and recent employment with an experienced appraiser writing appraisal reports to ISA standards nearly full time - setting eyes on hundreds of items per week. If you require an expert in the type of item you wish to have appraised and I do not feel I am qualified to appraise that type of item, I am happy to assist you in finding the perfect appraiser that also has appropriate appraisal experience. Are you USPAP compliant? Yes, I have taken the 15 and 7-hour USPAP (the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) courses required of appraisers, which is required of ISA members but are not compulsory for appraisers who choose to be subject matter experts without belonging to an appraisal organization. What is your fee and on what basis do you charge? I charge by the hour, with a one hour minimum. ISA appraisers abide by a code of ethics that prohibits fees based upon the value of an item. What will the appraisal report be like? Every ISA member is trained to write appraisal reports with full descriptions based upon the type of use for the report, with color photos and clear, complete documentation to support our valuations. Do you buy items you appraise? I do not purchase items people present for appraisal. The ISA's Code of Conduct prohibits conflicts of interest, and taking an assignment with a financial interest in your property would be unethical. In my work for Portland Jewelry Buyers I serve as an inspector for a buyer to characterize condition and authenticity of items and take photographs, but I do not purchase the items I inspect.