The Real Value of Asset Valuation

When would you call on the services of professional valuers, and what skills can they offer? We asked the experts from Doerr Dallas

A professional valuations firm can be called in for many reasons – including insurance, assistance in obtaining probate, family settlement and valuation for sale. Each one of these specific areas requires different knowledge of the item in question and the purpose for the valuation, as there are many different factors that need to be considered when placing a value.

How should I choose a valuation company?

When considering instructing a valuation company, we strongly suggest applying due diligence on the business and looking at their professional credentials, the biography of the specialist(s) who will undertake the valuation, and ensure they have professional indemnity insurance in place for a minimum of £5m, which is an insurance company requirement for valuation professionals – and not all individuals hold this. It is also important to understand if they share any data with any third parties outside their valuation team. Where is your data stored, and is it secure and protected?

What are the essential qualities of a valuer?

At Doerr Dallas, we require all our valuers to be personable and committed to their role – it is said by many that work in this field that “it is not a job, it is in fact a lifestyle” and we are inclined to agree. A constant curiosity for their chosen discipline is essential along with being aware of current market trends.

A valuer needs to know how the client purchases and would purchase again – the purpose and methodology of an insurance valuation is a totally different entity to that of an auction house sale valuation.

What sort of range of items can a valuer handle?

At Doerr Dallas, we believe that the right specialist is vital to achieving an accurate valuation – there just isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ scenario in the arts world, in the same way you wouldn’t trust your Sunseeker with your Ferrari mechanic – just because they both have an engine.

The right valuer is key to making sure that you have a precise and cost-efficient valuation.

We would always suggest asking any prospective valuation firm for a detailed quote and a biography of the suggested valuer, so you can ensure you know their promise to you.

What types of experts can they call on?

We pride ourselves on having the best specialists in the industry with a wide and varied knowledge base, and to know that we can offer our clients a published Faberge expert, a doctor of furniture design, a world-renowned Constable expert, and many more leaders in their subjects means we can offer our clients an unrivalled expertise.

What other sorts of services should a Valuation Company be able to provide?

At Doerr Dallas we offer our clients not just a Valuation offering but the ability to store their Collection on our own database; we don’t share our data with anyone, and our security is at the highest level.

As a bespoke company we regularly sign ‘Non Disclosure Agreements’ with our clients as part of our offering. To provide comfort to my of our clients – we also have access to recommended insurance brokers, restoration companies, storage facilities, lighting companies, private client bank vaults and many more…This ensure our clients are looked after in all areas of our ever expanding industry.

What interesting projects has Doerr Dallas worked on recently?

We are fortunate enough to work with some of the world’s best collections of art and antiques and as such we are often let into many exclusive establishments that are only open to a very select few. The Reform Club on Pall Mall is undoubtedly one of the most famous clubs in London and has amassed a phenomenal collection of art, furniture, books, and a cultural and political archive that has nearly as much heritage as its most esteemed members. Doerr Dallas took up residence in their historic corridors for a week last year documenting and inventorying this important piece of British history with some incredible results.

See the testimonial on our website!

How has the work of valuation been made more challenging during lockdown?

The pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. At Doerr Dallas we have been lucky enough to be able to perform a lot of valuations for institutions, museums and private clients in Covid safe surroundings, the very nature of valuation means that in some instances it can be a solitary task.

We have however seen many clients use this time at home to re-assess and evaluate their collections, with some clients coming to us for a valuation for the first time in nearly twenty years – there have been many shocks and surprises! The market has also changed drastically – there perhaps has not been a year-long period in living history where so many values have changed due to market influences, so ensuring the values of your possessions are up to date has never been more important.

We see huge issues of underinsurance on a daily basis, and clients regularly forget that the information they provide to an insurance company is reliant on them and not their broker – so should they suffer a loss, it can be a struggle to claim adequate compensation.

Rachel Doerr and David Dallas and our team of industry recognised specialists work together to offer you an independent service to provide valuations of fine art, antiques, jewellery, watches and classic cars, we also offer a full range of other art related advisory services.

We offer our clients a personal, professional, friendly, discreet and completely confidential service. Working closely with leading firms of insurance brokers, insurers, solicitors, wealth managers, private banks and professional advisers to provide an efficient and timely service.

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