There are a number of reasons why it might be wise and/or necessary to consult a professional appraiser who can give you an expert, unbiased opinion on the value of your clock.
You may desire an appraisal if you have any doubts about the identity or value of your clock, especially if you want to sell it. A written appraisal may actually be required by your insurance company if you want to insure an antique clock. Appraisals may also be needed to settle an estate, for equitable distribution of property amongst heirs, for collateral on a loan, for various IRS tax related functions, and so on.
We do not appraise clocks. However, you might be able to get an opinion of value that will help you from one of the following sources. The links provided to these appraisal services should not be construed as an endorsement or recommendation of any of these services and are provided only as sources of information. It's wise to check the appraiser's credentials and familiarity with your type of clock before making a hiring decision. Find out what formal appraisal training the appraiser has received, if any; what professional organizations he or she belongs to and/or accreditation received, and what method(s) the appraiser uses to research values.
Warning: Anyone can call themselves an appraiser! There are few, if any, local, state or federal laws requiring an appraiser be licensed or even trained in appraisal methodology. If an appraiser says or advertises that he or she is "licensed" they may be trying to deflect further questions about their qualifications. Although they may not tell you, they could mean that they simply have a standard business license required by their local municipality.
However, there are three major professional appraisal societies in the United States that require their members to have at least a basic level of training and testing in order to qualify for membership. Using an appraiser who belongs to one of these organizations will increase the chances that you will receive a fair, unbiased and accurate appraisal.
These professional organizations list their members and specialties on the following web pages. You may be able to locate one near you who can examine your clock in person:
International Society of Appraisers (ISA)
American Society of Appraisers (ASA)
Appraisers Association of America (AAA)
Warning: Under no circumstances should you rely on an appraisal provided by someone who also wants to buy your clock. When buying for resale its generally accepted as good business practice to pay as little as possible for an item and sell it for as much profit as possible. While this practice may benefit the buyer of your clock, it may not benefit you as the seller.
An appraisal should always be sought from someone who has no vested financial interest in the item being appraised and who is willing to put the appraisal in writing. If the appraisal's value conclusions are challenged, as it may be by an insurance claims adjustor or in a court situation, the appraiser should be able and willing to defend the appraised value. He or she should be able to provide solid reasons as to why the value was chosen and to clearly explain the methodology used to do so. At best, it's difficult for even the most ethical of people to give you an objective opinion of value if they stand to gain financially from a related business transaction. At worst, you may become the victim of a dishonest person who only has their best interests at heart, not yours.
There may be circumstances wherein the appraiser may ethically act as a selling agent for you. This may be the case when you get an appraisal from a reputable auction house that subsequently auctions your item. Other situations may apply as well. Just remember that, in the case of an auction house or sellers agent also acting as the appraiser there may still be a conflict of interest. If the appraiser wants to represent you as your agent in the sale, he or she may not tell you that another auction house is a better place to sell your item.
Why you may need an appraiser and where to find one.
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