In these difficult times how do we continue to offer important services whilst looking after the safety of our employees and clients?
Our clients, in particular professional clients, still need advice on collections and managing estates including valuations tax planning, IHT and possible sales. These issues are often time sensitive and need to be enacted within a reasonable timeline.
Like all responsible employers, Dreweatts’ main concern at present is the health and safety of our staff and clients. This has meant that we have closed our offices and our staff are working from home in line with the government’s guidelines.
Dreweatts’ valuations team however have remained active, advising customers throughout the pandemic, working with lawyers and other clients to provide a new Virtual Valuation Service for market valuations. Clients are able to book online appointments via their smartphone or tablet using their chosen video app enabling them to give our specialists virtual tours or details of individual items.
For individual items, detailed images can also be used and where possible it is helpful for clients to also provide background information, such as receipts or previous insurance valuations. This has enabled clients to move forward with their plans even if on the basis of a provisional valuation at this stage.
This online service has been useful for both larger collections and individual items.
Case study 1: The owner of a 7.25 inch gauge working model steam locomotive sent in images and a full history. Lovingly scratch built to scale by hand and with a boiler history and certification and full history, our leading expert Michael Matthews was able to provide an auction estimate of around £25,000.
Case study 2: We were also able to value a Rolex Air-King Steel Gentleman's watch, valued with an auction estimate of £3,500-4,500 subject to having a certificate, original box and further examination.
Case study 3: In the case of a larger collection, an Executor was able to send a file of images comprising room shots and images of individual items room by room. With additional information such as images of labels and artists signatures, we were able to submit a probate valuation on items worth up to £10,000.
Following guidelines and remaining at a safe distance at all times, our valuers can attend properties. Where possible keys have been sent to us or collected by us to enable our valuers to visit without others having to be there.
The security of a property can be a concern. When a collection needed a market valuation, one of our valuers responded quickly. We carried out the valuation which included a number of high value works of art and as the property was unoccupied we were able to arrange for the more valuable chattels to be removed for safe storage all within the space of a few days.
These solutions have enabled us to continue to carry out important valuations for our clients whilst working responsibly within the government’s guidelines and, where practicable, it has enabled our clients to receive timely advice.
As many of us have been at home over the last 6 weeks, we may have taken the chance to have a spring clean and some are thinking of selling items. We are also able to provide free auction estimates. Simply submit photographs through our online valuations forms. For more details, please click here.