If you need to get appraisal work done, no matter what kind, you should first check with several appraisers before picking who you want to work with. Any legitimate appraiser will understand this and knows that not everyone works well together. You should even be able, if you are not comfortable with someone you picked, to let them know you are not and ask if they would refer you to someone else whose style might mess better with yours. Of course, we all want your business, but true professionals understand, in all professions, that in order to make the job work the best for both parties that comfort is a part of that.
So, if you find that you are not comfortable with someone you are working with, it is okay to terminate the process, even appraisers themselves have to do this some times too – yes, really. We must also be comfortable with you. Being comfortable allows us to do the best job possible for you and also motivates any human being to want to do their best.
So, first, call several appraisers and interview them. Ask them where most of their experience is, find out if you like their style in talking on the phone and except a truly professional appraiser to some times answer with the words, “I do not know, will need to look into that” – this is one of the best answers you can hear. As the old saying goes, if it is too good to be true, it probably is! The same goes with an appraiser. Any appraiser who says they know it all is lying to you, so, do you really want them appraising your important art and antiques? And, if you are not comfortable with them for any reason, do not hesitate to at least say that you do not want to complete the project, and understand that even more than this, you can say, “I am not comfortable working on this project with you, can you recommend someone who might be a better fit with me to work on this with? Thanks.” A true pro will not be offended!
Greg C. Brown, MS, ISA.