Friday, February 17, 2017

What to Know before Attending Your First Art Auction

Afshan Lakha co-owns an investment firm focused on commercial real estate. In her free time, Afshan Lakha enjoys collecting contemporary art and attending art auctions. Attending an auction is a great way to gain access to rare pieces, but it can also feel overwhelming to people who have never before experienced one. Before attending your first art auction, you should:

1. Investigate the registration process beforehand. All auction houses work slightly differently. Some houses allow online registration while others will require bidders to fill out forms in-house, complete with banking information.

2. Ask about the buyer’s premium. An additional percentage charge is always added to the hammer price, and this fee goes directly to the auction house. Knowing the percentage prior to an auction helps buyers determine how high they can bid on a piece of art.

3. Always request condition reports. While auction houses sell items as is, individuals have the opportunity prior to an auction to review condition reports, which detail any damage or imperfections to artwork. Potential buyers can typically request condition reports over the phone or online.

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