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Irene Morales Ward


Realtor, Virginia (14 years experience)

11 Recent Sales (last 12 months)

Buyer's Agent,
Listing Agent,


  • (51 Contributions,
  • 1 Best Answers,
  • 9 Helpful)

Contributions are sorted newest to oldest.

Deck and fence addded - value?


Zillow's value is simply a point of departure and is not used by real estate professionals to determine value.  Depending on the materials used and the size of the deck and fence, most appraisers will give a flat value of around $2500 for each.  If the deck were made of composite materials and was over 120 sq ft, then that value might be more.  But don't look to Zillow to accurately give value to your home or the improvements you make to it.  Their methods for valuation are a very imprecise science in the "real" world as no subjective analysis is taken into consideration.

does seller need to notify buyer of flood plain issues?


Well, that is just an awful thing to have happen!  FEMA changes flood zones all the time but when you got your homeowner's insurance you should have been notified by your agent that your property was in a flood plain zone.  If it changed after the fact, and that's a possibility, it might be hard to prove the seller had knowledge of it if their insurance company didn't flag the property when he had his policy.  As for the CO, I don't know what type of home this is but that sounds fishy to me.  Did you do a home inspection?  Did you check tax records (or your agent) prior to buying the home?  If there was misrepresentation, then you'll have to prove it and that might be tough but not impossible.  I'd contact a good real estate attorney if you are looking for recourse.  Give him a copy of your contract (with all addenda included) and let him know all the details.  Support everything you can with documentation - the notification from the county/town that the property has no certificate of occupancy, notice from your insurance company that the property is in a flood zone and the consequences of such, names and addresses of all parties involved in the transaction - seller, seller's broker/agent, your broker/agent and the name of the attorney who "assisted" you with your purchase transaction, and any and all correspondence during the transaction.I wish you the best of luck!

Provided bad roof inspection during buying processe


To be realistic, you should have gotten the roof inspection yourself prior to the purchase to know that the vendor of YOUR choice made the assessment.  But in this instance, it sounds as if you may have some recourse by approaching the vendor who certified the inspection as there may be some liability for their misrepresentation.  I'm assuming you got an invoice for the inspection specifying what type of inspection was done and what condition the roof was in?

How soon should I talk to a real estate agent to place my home on the market in May 2014?


Ditto to the above....speaking with a local agent can help you prioritize your "to do" list so you can do it in a more cost effective way.  He/she can also assist with preparing that list after a formal assessment is made.  You'd be surprised how many tips you can get that will save you thousands in costs but net you tenfold when it's time to sell!Good luck!

Is it hat Important to get pre-approved before start my home buying process?


Would you go shopping for groceries without a CLUE what you had in your bank account?  YES!! It is very important.  Not only for you but for the buyer agent representing you when taking you into seller's homes.  They have a responsibility to bring qualified buyers and the only way to do that is to get a lender to run a preapproval or prequalification.  It will help you in the long run - I promise!!  You will have an idea of what funds you'll need for down payment and/or closing costs, what rates are (although they changed frequently), what programs you have as an option, and what will make the most sense for you and your situation.  Talk to a lender - either one you trust or one recommended by your buyer's agent and remember - your buyer's agent works for YOU!  Make sure you interview them and get a good feeling that they are representing your best interests and that you are both compatible.Good luck!

Realtor Commissions


Like the previous post stated, all commissions are negotiable.  You just need to make sure you have an addendum to your listing agreement that specifies exactly what services you will be receiving for that commission amount.  Also, remember that the commission is normally split between the listing broker and the selling broker/agent so a 5% listing could be 2% to the listing broker and 3% to the selling agent (which could very well bring in more buyer agents) or 2.5% split, etc.  If your home is in good condition, in a good area, and does not need much staging for the virtual tour, then the agent you select should be very anxious to negotiate on the commission.  The easier you make their job by having a great home that is decorated nicely, then that should be reflected in the commission.  On the other hand, if the listing agent is going to face challenges and require additional marketing and staging time to sell your property, then I would think a higher commission would be warranted.Bottom line - know what you are paying for and that the agent gets results and also acknowledge whatever challenges your property may bring to the table (if any).Good luck!