St. Cloud FL Real Estate Appraiser Robert Bass Is Our Business Spotlight This Month
Robert Bass was interviewed by Jeanine Corcoran broker for Corcoran Connect in this month’s episode of Discover St. Cloud Florida the 36th episode. Jeanine started the interview by asking Robert to tell the audience about himself and how long he has been a St. Cloud FL real estate appraiser.
Robert thanked Jeanine for having him on as a guest. He said he was born and raised here in Saint Cloud and has seen quite a bit of change throughout his career. Robert said he received his real estate license back in 1988.
He said that is when real estate agents were just glorified taxis driving people around. Back then it pre-dated the internet. Robert decided that he wanted to get into the appraisal component side of the real estate industry and has been doing so for about 28 years now.
Robert owns Main Street Appraisal Service right here in Saint Cloud FL. He runs the residential side of his appraisal business and has a resource for the commercial side, so he covers it all when it comes to appraising homes and businesses.
Jeanine then started with questions for Robert Bass that came from the viewing audience of the Discover St. Cloud Florida podcast. The first two questions were from Eric D.
Video Podcast Of Jeanine's Interview With Robert Bass A Saint Cloud Florida Appraiser
What Things Sway An Appraiser’s Evaluation?
The first question is what typical things do you look for that could impact a sale dramatically? The second question was what are the little items that can sway your evaluation one way or another? Jeanine added that Eric, in reference to the little items, was painting, lighting, etc., and do they add value?
Robert responded that these items do add value but wanted to address the first question before getting into detail on the second one. He said the first three words that we learn in this industry are location, location, location. So, when we do the initial inspection of a home, we look for things that could influence the home’s value.
We look for things such as does it back up to a busy road, does it back up to a school, or some kind of nuance that maybe a comparable home does not have. He added that we may have to adjust for those types of differences if they exist. Robert said that as far as the home's interior they look for overall maintenance, condition, and quality.
Robert stated that first impressions mean a lot to him. When he pulls up to a home he can tell if someone has been taking care of the home or not. He looks at the landscaping although he doesn’t give value to it, however, it does give an overall impression of how the homeowner has maintained the home.
The 5 Categories That An Appraiser Uses And What They Mean
Jeanine asked if that falls into the categories relating to the condition of a home. Robert answered that it does. He said we have 5 categories, C1 – C5. C1 relates to new construction. C2 relates to a newer home that maybe had been purchased a year ago and now the owners are flipping it. C3 and C4 are where most homes will fall into, and C5 relates to homes that need a lot of repair and maintenance.
Jeanine then asked Robert about older homes that have been completely renovated. Robert said that is happening a lot lately in Saint Cloud. Robert stated that you could have a 1920’s home that could be in C3 condition and a home built in 2010 that is in C3 condition. He said it is all relative to the homes you are comparing it to.
Jeanine then asked Robert the next two questions which came from Tom H. The first question is when an appraiser does an actual appraisal is it based on both the interior and the exterior or is it a drive by or is it by recently sold comps in the neighborhood?
What Are The Different Types Of Appraisals?
Robert said there are different types of appraisals. We can do a full inspection of the interior and exterior. We can also do a drive-by inspection. A drive-by inspection would be appropriate for example if someone is doing a refinance and pulling $50K out of their home where the home is valued at $300K. Then a drive-by inspection is all that is needed because the equity is there.
Jeanine asked Robert on the majority of homes that are doing 20% down and financing 80% that they would need a full appraisal for their home, correct? Robert said yes, absolutely. He said they usually catch a lot of mistakes that maybe a realtor wouldn’t catch.
Jeanine asked the next question which came from Kim K. who asked Robert if he walked inside the home to take upgrades into account. Robert answered that he leans heavily on the realtor’s input as they have a relationship with the homeowner.
He likes to spend a little time with the homeowner himself. He asks them after he has measured their home and taken his notes if they could give him a list of improvements, they have done to their home in the last 5 years. He does this because sometimes they have a new roof or water heater or A/C unit. He likes to do this, so the homeowner feels he is listening to them. This list from the homeowners helps Robert as he is comparing similar homes which have those types of upgrades as well.
The Recent Real Estate Market Saw A Number Of Appraisals Coming In Below The Contract Amount
Jeanine then started talking about all the homes that were built in 2005 or 2006 whereby insurance standards all need new roofs now. If you are comparing 3 comparable sales to the subject property and the subject property has a new roof and the 3 comparable homes do not have a new roof and are within a year of age, then does that fall into the C1 – C5 category evaluation? Robert answered that yes, it does.
He continued that it falls back into your condition and quality of the homes. So, if a home has a new roof when you’re looking at your comparable sales that is when I do my best to contact the listing and the selling agents of those comparable homes and ask them, is it the original roof, has it been replaced? A lot of the time the realtor will do a good job of putting those types of things in the MLS comments. If the roof on this comparable home is at the end of its useful life, then you can make a condition adjustment.
The next question came from Denise C. who is actually Jeanine’s sister. She asked how does the appraisal affect the selling price of my house? Robert answered that question with a question and said how does the selling price affect the appraisal. Robert said that in the current market he has been dealing with a number of his appraisals coming in below the amount of the contract.
The Bank Will Loan On The Contract Price Or The Appraisal Whichever Is Less
Robert’s advice was before submitting the appraisal if it is coming in below the contract value is we stop what we are doing and invoke “tidewater” contact the lender and the lender then reaches out to the realtors and the realtors come back and give me additional information, if they have any, to help support the value. This process allows us all to communicate a little bit better before the appraisal submission.
Robert said this happens frequently when the appraisal comes in below the contract price and the bank is going to loan on the contract price or the appraisal whichever is less.
Jeanine asked the last question from the public which is from Deborah. She asked how seller concessions affect the appraisal. Jeanine gave an example i.e., the buyer asks the seller for $5K for closing costs. If the seller agrees, that is a concession. Robert answered that going back just two years ago seller concessions were a lot heavier than they have been recently. The reason for that is sellers have not had to give any concessions because of the hot market.
Robert continued that prior to this hot market there were quite a bit of seller concessions and he had to adjust for that. What happens often is for example if a home is listed for $200K and you have a buyer for wants $10K in concessions, they will bump the price to $210K. That $210K is not really the true value of the home, the true value is $200K. Robert would then make an adjustment downward for those concessions.
The Purpose Of An Appraiser Is To Report To The Lender What The Market Is Doing
Jeanine then moved on to the questions from realtors for Robert to answer. The first question is from Jennifer G. Why wouldn’t the appraiser use a cost approach in a new subdivision over a sales comparison? Robert answered that cost and value are not necessarily synonymous. He is seeing a lot of uptick in cost with new construction and what happens is, especially with our current supply and demand issues, the costs of the upgrades homeowners choose increase the cost of the home exponentially.
Robert said the entire purpose of an appraiser’s existence is to report to the lender what the market is doing. If that particular buyer is to default or can’t make the payment and the bank has to take it back, they need to make sure they can sell it and recoup their money. They don’t want to lose money.
The next realtor question came from Kris V. She asked how many times have you been asked to re-evaluate an appraisal because the listing agent didn’t agree with your value. Robert answered that it is not as often as you would think but it does happen. Sometimes it is very legitimate because we miss things. He said that’s why he likes to lean on the realtors.
Does A New Pool Increase The Value Of The Home?
Robert stated that there are some appraisers out there that once they submit their appraisal that is it, and they are not going to change their mind. He is not of that opinion because we are all human. If you can convince Robert that a certain feature of the home has a certain market demand that is not represented, then he would be willing to look at it.
The next realtor question comes from Cindy F. who asked Robert when an owner decides to sell their home after recently installing a $35K pool, does the newer pool hold more value than an older pool? Robert answered that you can do the same thing in a $35K swimming pool as you can in an $80K pool. He said at the end of the day, the utility is the same, it’s a swimming pool. So, to answer Cindy’s question, if there is any adjustment at all, it wouldn’t be much.
We hope you enjoyed Jeanine interviewing St. Cloud FL appraiser Robert Bass of Main Street Appraisal Service as our featured St. Cloud FL business spotlight. This will continue to be a monthly focus for the Discover St. Cloud Florida podcast.