Sep 17, 2014

Have you ever wondered how much your family heirlooms are worth? Bring them to the Capital Home Show, taking place September 19-21, 2014 at the Dulles Expo Center, and find out! Todd Peenstra, President of Peenstra Antiques Appraisals will be offering free appraisals all weekend. Todd can help you determine what your items are worth and how you can sell them. He provides professional appraisals for valuation, estate planning, and insurance purposes. If you’d rather not bring your heirloom to the show Todd can also conduct his appraisal using a photograph. But before you find out the value of your treasures, enjoy our interview with Todd below.


Marketplace Events (MPE): What is the most valuable item you have been asked to appraise?
  • Todd Peenstra (TP): “About a year and a half ago we appraised a Monet painting – it had been inherited. Another woman brought in a letter from Patsy Cline with a set list and it was worth at least $30,000 – she was a little girl when Patsy Cline played in her father’s bar and Patsy gave her the list and she saved it.”
MPE: What do you use as a tool in your trade? Or what do you always have with you?
  • TP: “A jewelers loop, a flashlight, and a magnet to help test metals.”
MPE: What inspired you to do what you do?
  • TP: “I started working at an antiques store in New Orleans.”
MPE: Embarrassing on-the-job moments?
  • TP: “I had a customer hand me a glass figure and I turned it upside down to look at the mark on the bottom and did not know that one of the pieces was not attached! Luckily it did not break and it was not really that valuable to begin with.”
MPE: What’s your personal mantra?
  • TP: “The Golden Rule – and to work hard and be nice.”
MPE: What is the most challenging part of your job?
  • TP: “To constantly stay current as the market is always changing. Because I’m a generalist and I’m going into a house for estate sales, I have to know a little bit of everything and still stay current. Reporting can be very tedious too and I like interacting with people more than reporting.”
MPE: What is your favorite work-related phone app?
  • TP: “I have an appraisal app that shows current pricing for metals, etc.”
MPE: If you were not doing this job what would you be doing?
  • TP: “I would be working in an antiques store.”
MPE: What should people look for when hiring an appraiser?
  • TP: “Word of wisdom – when looking for an appraiser, make sure there is no conflict of interest. That they are appraising and not buying and or selling and pay for the time that they spend reviewing your item only.”
MPE: When should you have something appraised?
  • TP: “When people are downsizing they wait until the end – leave yourself enough time to at least sell the item or decide how you best want to downsize.”
Make sure to catch Todd at the Capital Home Show. And if you’re ready for fortune and fame, Todd and Steve Gouteman of Nova Gold LLC will be filming their local access program, Appraisals Roadshow, at the show on Saturday, September 20th - bring your heirloom for a chance to be on the show. 

Grab your show tickets now to get the best deals, we can wait to see you there!