risking their professional relationships, and could also ruin your standing with dealers, adversely affecting your ability to buy works
Do: Request a condition report
It is not a matter of whether you are purchasing art from an auction house, gallery or directly from an artist. It is normal to ask for a condition report on the work.
particularly for works with a more historical focus that are part of the so-called "secondary market."
There are some general rules regarding condition reports. Many condition reports will include a diagram.
The art work must be noted for any marks, scuffs or tears. This is an example of a condition report from the Georgia O'Keeffe museum.
It might be worth it to hire a neutral third party to conduct the condition report depending on the item's value. However, this would raise the price.
The service will likely be at your cost.
Art collectors with an Artwork Archive Prime Collector plan can choose to store their condition reports using the "additional folders".
Don't assume that the work is signed by the artist.
Collectors might not know that certain artists don't sign their work. An unsigned work can cause issues down the road particularly in the case of a dispute.
In the event of resales. Before purchasing, confirm that you have received confirmation that the work has actually been signed.