I hear this line all the time from select antique dealers, auction houses, and resellers, but was determined to clear this up here after a fan’s recent post on my Facebook page. This fan mentioned that “some” (the quotes are my addition) antiques appraiser was quoted as saying that stuff is way overvalued and there is too much old stuff around. Of course this is all bunk, and I’ll tell you three reasons why somebody might say this to you.
1. Antiques Reseller posing as Appraiser
An antiques reseller is not an appraiser. And they may not be ethical either! It is a mistake to assume that this person is an appraiser when in fact they are a reseller or dealer. This is a big difference. An antiques reseller will provide values based on what they want to pay. That is not what your piece is worth. It is worth more and here is why. Remember, an antiques appraisal should be based on an actual sales record where a similar piece sold just like with real estate appraisals. For example, your house was appraised at $250,000 because other houses in your neighborhood sold $250,000 to an actual buyer, not to a reseller. So, a true appraisal is the value of an antique that somebody really paid for that antique. Again, that somebody is not a reseller, it is a buyer like the person who buys that house. Nothing overvalued about that!
2. Buyer wants to buy it Cheap
Who doesn't want a bargain? The appraised value might be considered high to a buyer who doesn't want to pay what everyone else is paying for similar antiques. Who wants to pay top price if they don’t have to? We all like to get something cheaper. I like a bargain too! Buyers are hoping you will accept the line that antiques are overvalued and there are too many of them around in order to try to shake your confidence and to negotiate a lower price for your antique. I hear about this all the time when dealers come to people’s houses and when people are selling stuff online. If the appraisal is based on actual sales records like my appraisals, you can get that price or more if you find somebody who HAS to have it. My clients have done this. Everyone has had a moment when they have paid more than what they should have because they had to have it. You just have to find that person for your antique and you will if you keep trying. I've seen it happen.
3. Seller doesn't want to Work
If you are selling your antique, it might take you some time and some work to get that appraised value. As time passes, sellers start to doubt the appraised value forgetting it should be based on actual sales records, again like my appraisals. The easiest thing to do is to lower the price thinking that is the problem. Don’t fall into this trap. If your neighbors sold their house for $250,000, would you not keep trying to get that for your house too? Or would you just reduce the price to $100,000 and lose your shirt. Of course, you wouldn't do that.
Have you heard this line too? Share your story and antique that somebody said was overvalued on the Dr. Lori Facebook page. Don’t forget to share this blog with your friends and family! To help with accurate values, I can appraise your items from photos with an Online Appraisal or you can bring it to one of my events.