Terry D. Sonntag

Personal Property Advisor and Artist


Antiques Appraiser (Retired) and Current Market Consultant

Terry D. Sonntag has been a collector, buyer and seller of antiques, decor and collectibles for over 50 years. He has been a dealer of antiques since 1968, working on a part time and hobby basis, at swap meets and with friends. In the late 1970s, he became a dealer in the Country Antique Fair Mall in Saugus, CA and eventually became co-owner and Operations Director of the 12,000 square foot retail antiques outlet. This was home for over 100 dealers of antiques and collectibles. To venture out into a new direction, he sold his interest and established the Santa Clarita Antique Center; a 60 dealer retail antique mall. He retired from this successful business in 2004 to pursue his interests in antique appraising and continuing his education in the field of antiques, fine and decorative arts. He remains active in various marketplaces as a buyer, seller and consultant. In addition, he was an adjunct professor at College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita), in an unrelated discipline from 1994 to 2015. He facilitated Antiques Learning Seminars in the Santa Clarita area and Community Extension Program, sponsored by College of the Canyons. He has been a member of the Santa Clarita Valley business community since 1970.


Upon graduating from Citrus College in music, Terry continued his formal education at East Los Angeles College, Cal State University Los Angeles, Rio Hondo College, Chapman College and College of the Canyons. In 2010, he completed The Specialized Studies Program in Fine and Decorative Arts at the University of California at Irvine.

Professional Studies and Affiliations

In 2003, Terry was accepted as a part time assistant to William Novotny, a highly respected appraiser in the field of antiques, fine and decorative arts and expert witness in said fields. Terry was mentored relative to the importance of accurate inspections & research, the correct approach to valuation and the ethical aspects of appraising and report writing. He became an Associate Member of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA) in 2004. Upon completion of the Core Course of Appraisal Studies, (affiliated with the University of Maryland), Terry was elevated to the position of Accredited Member, in the field of Antiques and Residential Content Appraisals. In 2005, Terry joined Appraisers National Association (ANA) and achieved the level of Accredited Appraiser and Certified Accredited Appraiser. In 2009, Terry retired from the ISA.

Continuing Education

Recognizing the importance of education, he enrolled in a course of study in Antiques and Fine Arts at the University of California-Irvine and completed course work and achieved the Certificate of Connoisseurship of Fine and Decorative Arts. This program was developed for Appraisal Studies and meets the requisites of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). He participates in educational programs affiliated with the ISA, ASA, ANA and the College for Appraisers (CFA). In 2007, Terry successfully completed course and testing for the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP), and is compliant with the Standards of the Appraisal Foundation requirements as to Ethics and Competency. He recertified in 2010, 2012 and 2014. In 2019, he retired as a Certified Accredited Appraiser Emeritus (ANA) and now enjoys being an independent market advisor and discontinued writing legal reports and appraisals. He currently provides advise to clients requiring assistance and guidance. He provides referrals to Certified Appraisers of ANA, in the event a client requires either a formal or informal appraisal.

Ongoing Projects

In 2005, Terry was a member of the Rose Bowl Antiques Appraisal Panel, sponsored by ANA. He also chaired an Appraisal Clinic at the Santa Clarita Swap Meet; 2006-2013. He participates with Antique Roadshow type events for charity fund raising, is a public speaker for community groups such as The Questers (an organization for the care and preservation of antiques) and conducted a series of educational seminars sponsored by the William S. Hart Park and Museum.

He is an avid oil painter of traditional California Impressionism and sells at various California galleries and venues. He is a member of the California Art Club, Santa Clarita Artists Association and Bear Valley Springs Cultural Arts. Terry frequents antique and collector shows, swap meets, flea markets, auctions, appraisal events, antique malls and thrift shops to remain current in moving values and trends. He maintains an extensive research library and is connected with various online research sources viewing comparative values, trends and market activity. Terry is a paid advisor and does not make offers to obtain or purchase client’s items nor will he accept merchandise in lieu of fees. Terry currently holds ANA title "Certified Accredited Appraiser Emeritus". He no longer writes legal documents for appraisal clients. He provides Verbal Market Advisory and Downsizing Assistance for clients based on his personal knowledge.