Art Appraiser - Brenda Simonson-Mohle
SIGNET ART has offered professional appraisal services for fine and decorative art since 1987. Based in Dallas, TX, we serve clients all across north Texas and throughout the country. Each of our clients receives professional and confidential treatment. You can rely on SIGNET ART to provide an unbiased, expert appraisal of
We specialize in the appraisal of the following:
- Art glass
- Fine collectibles
Appraisals are provided for:
- Estate matters
- Insurance qualification
- Pre-purchase advice
- Damage claims
- Divorce negotiation
We work with:
- Trust officers
- Estate planners
- Investors, bankers
- Claims adjusters
- Corporate officers
Brenda Simonson-Mohle, ISA CAPP is certified with the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) as a specialist in fine art. ISA CAPP is the highest level of accreditation offered by ISA, and signifies that the appraiser has both completed training and passed tests in three courses on appraisal theory and methodology, passed a course in their specialty area, passed a certification exam, submitted two sets of appraisals for peer review, completed required coursework and successful examination in USPAP rules, and has worked a minimum of 500 hours in their field of specialty. Ms. Simonson-Mohle received her ISA accreditation in 1990 and ISA re-certification was earned in 2000. Re-certification occurs every five years—assuring up-to-date familiarity with the latest changes in the law and ongoing professional development training.
Choose your appraiser wisely
Before you select an appraiser, you should be aware that there are no state or federal laws that regulate the minimum training of a personal property appraiser. This fact has allowed many untrained or under-qualified individuals to pose as appraisers. It is important that you make an informed choice about the appraiser you are about to hire. With that in mind, here are four key questions that you will want to ask prior to hiring an appraiser:
The appraiser should have years of experience combined with specialized training with the category of material you need appraised. No appraiser can appraise everything. You should be suspect of someone who claims that they do. Generalist personal property appraisers handle the broadest base of items. A good generalist would have familiarity with most of the furniture and personal property within your home. However, you will want to talk to a specialist for the appraisal of your artwork and jewelry.
There are three main personal property appraisal organizations: ISA, AAA, and ASA. Each has several levels of membership (accreditation), with higher levels signifying more training. These appraisal organizations provide training for their members and require that their members adhere to a strict code of ethics. You should always seek the best-qualified appraiser. Understanding the levels of accreditation is important!! A word of caution—in addition to the three main organizations mentioned above, there are a plethora of appraisal membership groups with impressive sounding names that sell accreditation to all comers. There are also lots of people who hold themselves out to be appraisers with absolutely NO training or testing. Be wise! Thoroughly check out the accreditation claims being made. A well-qualified appraiser will be happy to provide a copy of their professional profile for your perusal. You have cause for suspicion if one of the three main organizations is not mentioned.
Brenda Simonson-Mohle, ISA CAPP is certified with the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) with a specialty in fine art.
If you have just a few pieces outside the specialty concentration of the appraiser you have hired, it might be most efficient for that appraiser to take notes on the pieces, get a consultation with a specialist and include those pieces in the appraisal. When a consulting appraiser is used, the consultant’s qualifications should be included in the appraisal report along with the qualifications of the main appraiser. Large, diverse collections are often best handled by a team of appraisers whose qualifications match the needs of the collection.
Your appraiser should belong to an appraisal organization that has ethical rules that prevent charging “contingency fees,” –a higher appraisal fee for a prescribed outcome, or a fee based on a percentage of value. Most ethical appraisers charge an hourly rate for onsite time, research and report writing. A per-item fee is less common, but would be acceptable.
A note of caution:
Many people consult an appraiser before deciding whether or not to offer a piece for sale. This is a wise step since an appraiser can give the owner a realistic idea of the value of their items and can offer advice on the best approach to marketing a piece. However, there are some unscrupulous dealers out there who hold themselves out to be appraisers only for the opportunity to make a purchase bid to the owner disguised as an “appraisal.” Anyone who makes an offer to buy your pieces is NOT an appraiser. An offer to buy is not necessarily a fair reflection of the value of your item. An ethical appraiser should never have a financial interest in any piece they are appraising. Such a conflict of interest can result in the owner parting with their items greatly below their market values.
Art Broker Services
If you wish to sell your items, a quick verbal consultation is a good start. These short appointments are conducted in our offices and you are charged only for the time you are with the appraiser. We do not buy pieces we have appraised. However, if, after consultation on you pieces you decide that you do not want to handle the logistics of marketing the pieces yourself, we do provide brokerage services for higher quality pieces. We will act as a sales agent for you to find the best venue for sale. We charge a flat percentage of the sales price for our brokerage services and work to find the best venue so that your pieces will bring the absolute highest possible sales prices. If we act as your broker, Signet Art will handle all the upfront out-of-pocket expenses, such as crating and shipping, and will deduct these expenses from the proceeds of the sale.
Greater Texas & National