Whether you are a collector who wants to sell a few pieces, an executor faced with the fiduciary duty of monetizing an estate, an heir who has inherited pieces they don’t want or need, or an institution deaccessioning pieces that no longer fit the mission – the process can be daunting, complex, and even emotional. Having an independent advisor by your side to guide you through the often-complex sales process can ensure successful results.

Kerry-Lee Jeffery, Senior Director of Sales Agency & Advisory at The Fine Art Group, offers 10 reasons to work with an advisor for a successful sales process.



  1. What do you have? 

    Begin by identifying what you have and understanding the market value of the items.

  2. When is the best time to sell?

    Learn as much as you can about the art, jewelry, and collectibles markets. Your chance of selling successfully largely depends on the market’s current demand as well as other contributing factors such as an increased focus on an artist’s work due to a retrospective exhibit, a world record etc.

  3. How do you determine the best venue for sale?

    Is it better to sell at a specialized sale at a large international auction house or will a regional auction house have better results? Even selecting between the different departments of an auction house is crucial; one house may have a stronger American Art department but a weaker jewelry department. In addition to venue and department, it is also important to choose the best geographic location. Should a luxury watch collection sell in New York, Hong Kong or London?

  4. Are estimates accurate?

    It is important to have an understanding of the true market value of the asset and allow the auction estimate to serve as a tool to generate competitive bidding.

  5. Are fees negotiable?

    Everything is negotiable when selling tangible assets. Be open to negotiations on pricing, fees, logistic costs and terms. 

  6. How can an auction house promote your work?

    Discuss with the auction house the catalogue description and positioning of your lot in the context of the sale. Will it have a prominent place during the exhibition?

  7. Have you considered transport restrictions?

    Depending on the work and its location, its transport may be subject to cross-border trade restrictions (for instance, works made of ivory or exotic skins on handbags require special export licenses). It is also important to use established movers who specialize in art, jewelry and valuable collectibles.

  8. Do you have insurance?

    You can keep your valuable objects insured on your home owners insurance policy until the sale occurs.  If you do not have the items insured on your homeowners policy then the auction house can also provide insurance.

  9. It is important to read and scrutinize the terms and conditions on the sales contract.

    Seller’s beware – there can be a range of terms contained in a contract and you want to make sure that you understand all the conditions prior to entering a legally binding agreement with an auction house. 

  10. It is important to work with an advisor on the sales process.

    By seeking the guidance of an independent advisor, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a successful selling experience.


The Fine Art Group’s dedicated Agency team can add significant value through seamless sales management, financial reporting and marketing optimization.

We take care of every detail of the sale process, from initial valuation all the way through to post-sale reporting and analysis, ensuring that the client communication and involvement is tailored throughout.

See our Sales Agency Case Studies to learn more about our services.