Chad Riley offers a variety of fine art appraisal services for various functions and all our appraisal reports follow International Society of Appraisers (ISA) standards for appraisal writing practice as well as USPAP 2018-19. If you require a formal written appraisal report for insurance or a donation, you are in the right place. If you purchased a work of art at a thrift store or at a yard sale or inherited a work of art, please read this page carefully and see our FAQ section below for more information about appraisals and what it entails.

The International Society of Appraisers (ISA) is the largest of the professional personal property appraisal associations representing the most highly trained and rigorously tested independent appraisers in the United States and Canada. Read More…

Appraisal Services Offered

  • Written appraisal reports for charitable donations + acquisitions, insurance coverage + claims, resale + liquidation
  • Identifying most suitable markets for resale of fine art
  • Description, identification and arranging authenticity when required

Types of Property Appraised

Fine art such as paintings, lithographs, drawings, photographs, sculpture.

Types of Property Generally Not Appraised

Entire estates, antiques, jewelry, silver, furniture, china, ceramics, figurines, rugs, baskets,Asian and European items, real estate or business valuations.

Appraisal Services Not Offered

Chad Riley is not an auction house or commercial dealer gallery seeking to sell your artwork. He is not a “Antiques Road Show” appraisal service as seen on TV and we do not give information or values over the phone or verbal values to walk-in clients. He does however offer comprehensive detailed written and justified appraisal reports for specified intended use which follow the ISA standard for appraisal writing practice, as well as Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and Revenue Canada guidelines.

If are are inquiring about an appraisal for the purpose of donation to an accredited institution such as the Leamington Arts Centre, we can assess and discuss all options, including possible acquisition to permanent collections or as a consignment.  Learn More…

Be Certain of Its Value. Hire a Qualified Appraiser

Read more…ISA Appraisal Brochure

Find an ISA Member – Chad Riley


What is an appraisal?

An appraisal is the process of developing an opinion of value, estimating cost, or calculating the present worth of future earnings (ISA, 2014) based on an informed opinion by a qualified appraiser and supplied in a formal written or oral report. Value is obtained using a variety of information including but not limited to: the artist, provenance (history of ownership), purchase price, recent selling prices of similar comparable items, condition, rarity, historical significance, aesthetic beauty and authenticity.

When is an appraisal required?

An appraisal is required for determining adequate theft or fire insurance coverage, various tax functions with the Canada Revenue Agency such as income tax deduction for charitable contribution, and for equitable distribution of property in divorce or estate division . It is recommended that an appraisal be done every three to five years, or sooner if market changes are evident, to keep values current. Appraisal reports are generally accepted by government, insurance companies, banks, lawyers, galleries and museums.

Artwork donations valued over $1000: when you donate property to a registered charity (such as the LAC), you qualify for a tax credit based on 75% of the fair market value of the property. If the deduction is $1000 or greater, you are required by Revenue Canada to have a fair market value appraisal and the charity’s policies should also require an appraisal. Capital gains taxes must be paid on the difference between the fair market value and the price at the time of purchase.

What is the difference between an appraisal and a valuation?

An appraisal is an opinion of value based on specific criteria around a specific intended use, objective and purpose. Different uses of appraisals require different approaches to determine value and result in different value amounts. An appraisal is a formal valuation service completed in a manner that is independent, impartial and objective. For example, a patron would like to donate a work of art to the LAC and would like a charitable donation income tax receipt in exchange.

A valuation is a more informal estimate of current market value that can be determined by a variety of professionals in the art field. For example, a valuation can often more broadly  answer the question: “How much do you think I could sell this for?”

What does it mean to be a qualified appraiser? Do all appraisers have similar qualifications?

Appraising requires an understanding of the theory, principles and standards that pertain to both valuation and evaluation. Appraising is an inexact science requiring study and the application of a learned methodology (ISA, 2014). The profession is governed in both Canada and the United States by standards set by the Appraisal Standards Board at The Appraisal Foundation called the Uniform Standards for Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), and theories and principles set by professional associations such as the International Society of Appraisers (ISA). Appraisers keep their skills current with each organization and formally update them every two and five years, respectfully. A qualified appraiser can appraise any type or period of art provided they have or acquire the necessary knowledge. ISA appraisers work together in a network of fine art experts who hold specializations in various types and periods of art and are called upon when required to provide expertise.

How much does an appraisal cost?

In-person appraisal consultations are $50 and an appointment must be scheduled. Should you choose to have a written appraisal report completed, appraisal costs are based on the time and scope of work required to complete the assignment according to the clients intended use of the appraisal, i.e.: for insurance or the CRA, etc. Therefore each appraisal fee is determined case by case and an estimate is given in advance based on the hours to complete the assignment. Hourly rates are as follows: In Office $100/h, In Field $150/h. The more information about the work of art supplied in advance by the client, such as photographs, receipts for purchase or repairs, previous appraisals, identification, etc..  that can aid in the report may help to lessen the time and costs associated. It is against ISA code of ethics and USPAP to charge a contingency fee or a percentage based on the value of the artwork, please keep this in mind should you seek the services of another appraiser. Additionally, appraisal reports for income tax for the Revenue Canada must be completed by a “qualified appraiser” and be USPAP compliant in order to be accepted. Read More…

What information should I prepare and what do I need for my in-person appraisal consultation?

A personal inspection of the work is required in most cases to identify, condition and photograph, so plan to bring the work with you for inspection. You will be asked to fill out an intake form/questionnaire to aid the appraisal process.  For an accurate appraisal, it is important to provide as much information as possible in advance regarding the artwork including the artist’s name, title of the work, date created, media (i.e.: oil paint on canvas), damage, wear or repair, is it signed, numbered, how you obtained the work and what you know about its history.

What are the service term?

All in-person appraisal consultations are $50 and require an appointment. Due to the time and nature of the services, walk-ins will not be accepted.

A written estimate will be prepared for all appraisal services and signed by both parties and a 50% deposit will be required on all services before any work begins. Fo larger assignments over $1000, payment in full is required.

Travel costs within the surrounding ares of Leamington are charged at the standard hourly rate for travel time plus mileage using the accepted Revenue Canada rate of 54¢ per kilometre.

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