The first step is to establish the current market value of valuables.
When distributing the assets of a deceased estate, you may first have to establish the current market value for a range of collectables and valuables, such as antique dolls, books, clocks & furniture, art works, jewellery, silverware, glassware, wine, stamps, coins, memorabilia etc.
It is important to first obtain expert advice, including an accurate identification, age and condition of your objects and a valuation based on an appropriate valuer’s experience and knowledge of current prices, for either insurance purposes or before selling to dealers or at auctions.
Before making inquiries, you should be aware that there are several different kinds of monetary value associated with each of your valuables, so you must decide which type of value is actually needed, for example:
- The retail value is the price the item sells for in a collectible or antique shop.
- The wholesale value is the price that the dealer usually pays for the piece – this price is generally 33-50 percent less than the retail value.
- The fair market value is the selling price of the item that is agreed upon by both the seller and the buyer. (Please note that neither party must be under any pressure to make the sale and both parties must be made aware of all information that is relevant to the item.)
- Generally, the insurance value is the highest monetary value given to an antique or collectible. This is the cost of replacing the item if it were destroyed, lost or stolen.
- The tax or estate value of an item is determined by averaging the auction prices paid for a piece that is exactly the same or very similar to the piece in question. (eBay may be of assistance here.)
- The auction value is known as the open market price. This is the price the item would sell for when neither, the seller or buyer is in a position of forced sale.
It would be prudent to ensure that whichever auctioneer, dealer or appraiser who you decide to engage with, is a member of a reputable association, depending on the type of valuables involved, such as:
- Antiques – You should also be aware that most insurance companies require a certified appraisers’ report before they will insure an antique. To locate a professional, you can check with the International Society of Appraisers for a member near you.
- Antiques & Fine Art etc – The AVAA is the leading National Body of Auctioneers & Valuers of fine art, antiques and collectables, goods, chattels, plant and equipment. You can contact the Auctioneers & Valuation Association of Australia (AVAA)
- Jewellery – You should contact the National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV)
- Stamps – You should contact the Australasian Philatelic Traders’ Association (APTA)
- Coins – You should contact the Australasian Numismatic Dealer’s Association (ANDA) or the Numismatic Association of Australia
- Wine – You should contact either Langton’s Fine Wines or Wickham’s Fine Wines