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appraiser codes and ethics


Codes and Ethics

Association members are required to have adequate knowledge of and agree to abide by the "USPAP" Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.
AAIA, ASA, AAA, etc. appraisers do not charge fees based on a percentage of the value or outcome of an appraisal.
AAIA, ASA, AAA, etc. appraisers must seek the aid of a qualified specialist appraiser if asked to report on items which are outside the scope of their knowledge or fields of expertise.
All members must abide by the laws and government regulations in the countries, states, counties and municipalities where they conduct business.
AAIA, ASA, AAA, etc appraisal reports contain all relevant facts including the following elements: a full description of items; a statement indicating the type of appraisal and its intended use; the appropriate limiting conditions and certification by the appraiser.

These are principles that every appraiser should respect.

For obvious reason of conflict of interest, a “respectable” appraiser can not be involved in the sale of an item to become his fee. The fee is always independent from any interest in the item that he appraises.
Now if you have a Picasso to appraise, is it enough to have 5 years experience, as required by most of these organizations?
We don’t think so.
A couple years ago, we introduced an application for a major Appraisers organization. We find out that we had to pay $ 500.00 yearly fee, respond to a questionnaire which had an attached documentation with the responses displayed, and show we had 5 years experience in our field! That’s it!
We dissociate ourselves immediately from this type of organization, because we thought that PHD art historians with almost 15 years cumulated university knowledge, with almost 35 years cumulated experience didn’t had to be placed with individuals that know very little about art history.
We never saw any Museum curator, or Sotheby’s or Christie’s expert, with an ASA, AAIA, AAA, label!
By example:
A Mercedes 500 SL, sold by a Mercedes dealer shows a quality warranty
A Mercedes 500 SL, sold by a local second hands car dealer shows another type of warranty.

Our conclusion: An appraiser for Fine Art, should have at least University qualifications in art history, an experience of 15 years, and able to show at least a couple million $ artwork that he appraised. We think this is a minimum a customer should require from an art appraiser.

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