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Sequim Buyers Pause

Sequim Buyers have paused slightly as we go into the fall months, but not because of the seasons of the year. There is a reason many Sequim buyers have hit the pause button on their plans to retire in the Sequim area and buy a home. Can you guess what that reason is?

Sequim Buyers

Sequim Buyers and Weather

The vast majority of Sequim buyers are retirees coming from all over the country and a small number are from Europe. That means that our buyers come from New York to California, from Alaska to Florida, and Hawaii and almost every other state in the Union. These buyers are typically selling their current home, or they’ve already sold it, and they have been looking at the Sequim area for months and very often for years. Such a move is a major transition for anyone, of course, and takes planning and time to coordinate the sale of a home, the purchase of a home, moving a lifetime of personal possessions, and making all the other transitional decisions necessary.

So what happens when there is a hurricane that devastates a major metropolitan area? It interferes with plans to sell homes and move to the great Northwest. What happens when there is a once in a lifetime hurricane that hits Texas and gulf states, followed up by another massive hurricane that hits Florida and eastern states? 

Sequim Buyers Pause

Epic natural disasters not only hits the pause button for Sequim buyers from those states, but look at how many states are effected:  Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. And now a third hurricane is threatening to hit the east coast, so add North Carolina, Virginia, and all the way up to New York. And Californians are on edge with the recent 8.1 earthquake in Mexico and a series of small quakes across the fault lines in California all the way up to Alaska.

Of course, none of this will affect the Sequim buyers who already sold their homes and are sitting on cash, need to find a home to live in, and can pull the trigger quickly when they find it in Sequim. But that is a smaller percentage of the buyers compared to all the buyers affected by the hurricanes. 

What does this mean for the Sequim real estate market? It means we are seeing a slight pause for Sequim buyers, and so the hot market is cooling a little for a period of months. Eventually, we will get back to normal and find balance in the demand and supply curves.

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  • Filed under: Buyers
  • How Does a Bump Clause Work?

    A bump clause is a special clause in an addendum to a purchase and sale agreement that gives a seller the right to continue to accept other offers and possibly bump the first offer out of the picture entirely. This means a bump clause can either help a seller or hurt a buyer. In this article I’ll explain when and how to use a bump clause.

    Bump Clause

    Bump Clause Favoring the Seller

    When does a bump clause come up? When you make an offer on a property, you may offer all cash or maybe you’re going to apply for a loan. There is no bump clause involved in those cases, but if you are going to make an offer contingent on the sale of your existing home, there is a bump clause in that addendum. 

    Not all sellers will accept an offer contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home, but if they do, the form in Washington is a “Form 22B Buyer’s Sale of Property Contingency.” The bump clause gives the buyer a specific number of days to get the sale of their current home under contract, and if they don’t have it under contract, the entire transaction is terminated. While it is pending, the bump clause gives the seller the right to accept better offers and give you, the buyer, a notice that you can either waive your contingency or the transaction is terminated and the seller will sell the home to the other buyer.

    Some buyers will cross this bump clause out so the seller cannot bump their offer, but a seller may reject that, too.

    Bump Clause Favoring the Buyer

    If you get a seller to agree to accept an offer that is contingent on the sale of your current home with a bump clause crossed out, like in the image above, then that clearly favors you as a buyer. Who wants to get bumped, right? On the other hand, a seller doesn’t want to take his home off the market for several months waiting for you to sell your current home either. 

    All of this boils down to whether it is a seller’s market or a buyer’s market, and how motivated the seller is to accept an offer with a bump clause. 

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  • Filed under: Buyers
  • No Building Permit Spells Trouble

    No building permit on a home can be trouble. What if you’re looking at a home in the mountains online in the MLS, and the home has no building permit? There are some homes that have been built intentionally “off the grid,” and some of these have no electric, no Internet and no public utilities of any kind. This article addresses how you can know if a home you’re looking at online has no building permit, and if it does and you are still interested, how do you do your due diligence before making an offer.

    no building permit

    No Building Permit

    Here’s the challenge with the MLS online. Far too often listing brokers do not reveal whether a home has no building permit. You would think that is an obvious piece of important information that would always be included, but it seems Realtors in the Sequim and Port Angeles area do not reveal that. The last two homes with no building permit did not mention that important detail in the listing information.

    I have learned to recognize key language that many Realtors use to give us clues. If you see these phrases in the property description, you will want to do further research: “off the grid,” “far from other homes,” “in the middle of thousands of forested acres,” “has its own generator and propane,” or “ultimate privacy off the grid.”

    Of course, you can always call or text me (360-775-5424), and I will be able to answer the question on any home and whether it has no building permit. It’s not illegal for someone to sell a home with no building permit, but if you ever want to get permits to make any improvements, you must first have an original permit, and if you ever want to sell the home years later, you might have trouble finding a buyer who will buy a home with no building permit.

    No Building Permit and Online Research

    You can also take the tax parcel number and plug it into this special website, which will show you if the property has building permits, septic approval, and much more: Building Permits

    If you are interested in a property “off the grid,” and you want to learn how to get it permitted long after it was built, call me or email me, and I can walk you through the county process to obtain a building permit. It’s not always possible, but if it is there is a way to get it done.

    By the way, this link I just gave you above is an excellent link to learn a lot about any property you are looking at. This will be a very useful link when you are researching Sequim real estate. Of course, I will always help you find out if there is no building permit, too.

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    Port Ludlow Golf Course Lot

    Finding the ideal golf course lot is not easy, but if you are an avid golfer, and you dream of building your own home, this video of a golf course lot will be candy to your eyes.

    Golf Course Lot Video

    Golf Course Lot on Beautiful Course

    The Port Ludlow Golf Course is in one of the most extraordinary retirement areas of the United States. The whole area on the Olympic Peninsula from Port Ludlow and Port Hadlock to Port Townsend to Sequim and to Port Angeles is one of the prime retirements areas of the country. People from all over the country have been moving to the Northwest to escape hot and dry places like Texas, Arizona, and Nevada, and cold places like Alaska and New York, and places where many are escaping from crime and the high cost of living, like California.

    See the full listing detail sheet and more photos of this golf course lot, or, email ChuckMarunde@gmail.com.

     

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  • Filed under: Sequim Golf
  • There has been a serious issue with private road maintenance agreements in Washington state. This issue has been unresolved for years now, and it can kill a buyer’s loan and kill the sale of a home for a seller in the Sequim area. I recently received this inquiry from a reader of my Sequim Real Estate Blog.
    “Good morning! Is there still an issue with private roads & shared driveways & easements requiring Private Road Maintenance Agreements in WA state? I’m finding many properties in Sequim that have easements / shared driveways and am wondering if this situation still comes up. I am under contract to purchase a SFR via conventional loan that is awaiting appraisal. Of course the subject property has an easement / shared driveway / private road. I do not believe there is a PRMA in place. Your blog is great, super informative and highly specific to Sequim and the Olympic Peninsula. Thanks so much for making your vast knowledge available to everyone.”
    Private Road Maintenance

    Private Road Maintenance Agreements

    Here is my answer to the question. Glad you find my real estate blog helpful. This blog is how I market to prospective buyers around the country, and it gives me a sense of satisfaction taking a lifetime of education and experience and giving it all away to buyers now.
    Update August 6, 2017:  For a current update on the status of this legislation in the State of Washington, which is taking forever to get done, go to this special update page (which is really cool) showing the complete status of this bill in the house and senate: Chuck Marunde’s Update on the Private Road Maintenance Agreement problem.
    As you will see, it is slowly working its way through the house and senate once again.

    Private Road Maintenance Agreements Original Article and History

    If you would like to read the original article with the full history and issues involved that can kill a buyer’s loan (and kill a seller’s sale of their home), go to Private Road Maintenance Agreements.

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  • Filed under: Easements
  • Electric Power Lines and Health Dangers

    Electric power lines near a home will usually raise questions about possible health dangers. In every city or town you’ll find electric power lines or high voltage electric lines. If you’ve found a home you love and there are huge electric power lines running along the property boundary, you need a way to figure out if there are health dangers. Now there is a way.

    Electric Power Lines

    Electric Power Lines in Sequim

    As a buyer’s agent, I’m always thinking about ways to help my buyers, and frankly we (iRealty Virtual Brokers) have more firsts than any other Sequim area brokerage. Some of our firsts include the first dedicated Sequim MLS site that is designed and programmed precisely the way buyers want it. We also have two other dedicated MLS sites with special functions for buyers. We were the first to write a book for buyers and sellers in Sequim (Buying and Selling Real Estate in the Rain Shadlow followed by Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide), which are in paperback and Kindle versions. We have written many more for buyers, and to help our buyers who need to sell a home, we wrote The Seven Myths of Selling Your Home. We were the first to create a vast online network of free resources for buyers, including this blog, Sequim Real Estate Blog, with over 2,000 articles written by an experienced real estate attorney and real estate broker just for buyers. And we were first with a number of professional quality videos for buyers, the first to create an iPhone app for Sequim real estate years ago, the first to have a professional on board to handle high quality photographs, aerial videos and 3-dimensional virtual tour cameras, specifically so buyers can get the best online experience.

    Electric Power Lines – Magnetic Tester

    Now we have another first–a tool to measure the precise amount of electricity (or electro-magnetic waves) near electric power lines. We can take measurements anywhere on a property, so now you can know what the electric power lines emit, and you can know if the levels are dangerous or not. 

    If you want to learn more about the dangers, here’s a dedicated website called Safe Space Protection where you can learn more about the health dangers of electric power lines.

     

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    The Ugliest House in Sequim

    Perhaps we should have a contest called the ugliest house in Sequim. That might create a fun photo album. I’ve seen some homes that could compete for the ugliest house in Sequim, but you could add Port Townsend and Port Angeles as strong competitors.

    The Ugliest House

    This 3-story home is the brightest yellow and a bright blue two tone wonder. As a real estate professional, I’ll tell you what came to my mind when I first saw this home. First, I wondered who in the world would paint a house such gaudy colors, and second a 3-story home will be almost impossible to sell since retirees want single level homes. Now every time I drive past this home, I try to look the other way, but a bright video plays itself out in my mind and I see it anyway.

    Ugliest House

    The Ugliest House

    There’s a purple house in the Sequim area, and I like to tell my buyers when we’re driving past that house that every town has a purple house, and we all laugh. I also have said, “Imagine being a neighbor and see that purple house every day!” But I just learned that one of the neighbor’s mowed his field with the words “A Hole” and an arrow pointing toward the purple house. Here is a photo from Google maps. While this isn’t funny for the players involved, you have to find some humor in all of this.

    Ugliest Homes

    Do you have any crazy photos of the ugliest house in your area? If you do, send me a photo of your ugliest house.

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    Is The Real Estate Market Seasonal in Sequim?

    Nearly every real estate market has a seasonal effect. Who hasn’t asked the rhetorical question, “Doesn’t the market slow down in the winter months,” or “Isn’t the real estate market seasonal, so that it picks up in the spring and summer?” That is true almost everywhere in the U.S., but it is not true in Sequim, Washington. I’ll explain why in this article, and how this effects a buyer like you.

    Seasonal

    Seasonal Real Estate Market

    Almost all buyers in the Sequim area are retirees, so Sequim buyers do not need to coordinate the selling of their current home and the buying of their next home in Sequim based on children getting out of school in the spring or planning for the start of school in the fall. Most retirees moving to Sequim are in total control of their time, and they have no seasonal restrictions.

    This means we have a steady number of buyers coming from all over the U.S., and they are coming every day of the week and every week of the year. Even in our small market during the recession of the last decade, buyers were closing on an average of 20 houses every month, even the winter months of December and January.

    Seasonal Effects

    This does not mean more people don’t show up in the summer months. They do, but beautiful sunny weather brings out everyone in greater numbers. But we don’t have the substantial seasonal market you might be used to in your part of the country. I sell homes all year long in the Sequim area without the seasonal impact I’ve seen in metropolitan areas.

    This is why it is a big mistake for sellers in this market to say, “Well, nothing sells in the winter, so we’re going to take our house off the market until the spring.” Buyers are showing up every day of the year. Sales do pick up a little in the spring and summer, but homes are selling all year in Sequim and the seasonal effect is not as great as metropolitan areas.

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    What If I Can’t Find The Right Home in Sequim?

    It may be hard to find the right home in Sequim, so what do you do if you’re having a hard time finding one? This article will give you the knowledge and the resources to find the right home in Sequim, and having helped many clients over the last two decades do exactly that, I’ve compiled some resources so you can find the right home in Sequim.

    Home in Sequim

    The Right Home in Sequim

    It is harder right now to find a home in Sequim than at any time in past years, and that is because of the low inventory. Builders were not building new homes for a decade during the recession, and yet retirees came with perseverance and bought homes nearly every week day over the past decade. That created the shortage of homes in the current inventory, and many buyers are having a hard time finding a home in Sequim. Here are several steps you can take to help you reach your goal as soon as practical.

    I wrote an earlier article entitled How to Find a Sequim Home, and it includes a video about using the best MLS listing site in Sequim. I recommend you read that article and watch that video. You’ll find Sequim4Sale.com very helpful, since it has the full inventory of all homes in Sequim, no matter who has it listed. There is a special data field that shows you if the home is still “Active” or pending (often called Active Under Contract or an abbreviation).

    Search the MLS site every day, and you can also set up an email alert for new listings that fit your search parameters. When you find one that you like, email me at ChuckMarunde@gmail.com to ask questions and learn more about the property. You can also text me or call me at 360-775-5424. 

    Home in Sequim

    I will help you gather information about any home in Sequim so you can make the best of your time when you come to view homes. I will also preview any home in Sequim if you are not here but need to know more about the floor plan, the area, or anything else. I can take additional photos for you, too. 

    If you email me and ask for my book, Sequim Real Estate:  A Buyer’s Guide, I’ll email you a digital copy you can download at no cost. Amazon sells paperback and Kindle versions, too.

    I recommend you watch my seven part video series entitled Real Estate Videos for Buyers on Youtube.  And you’ll find over 2,000 articles written specifically for buyers at Sequim Real Estate Blog, which has many more resources in the drop down menus and the right margin.

    I love what I do, helping buyers find their dream home, which for most here is their retirement home. Call me, or text or email anytime. I’ll help you find your next home in Sequim. 

     

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    From Sequim to Fishing in Alaska

    This young man is from Sequim but now he is fishing in Alaska, as he does every summer. This is my son, Brady Marunde. A lot of people who move to Sequim love fishing for Salmon, trout, and bass. My son loves fishing too, but since my family is from Alaska, it was natural that Brady would gravitate back to the greatest fishing holes in the world.

    Fishing

    Fishing in Alaska

    How about a huge Lingcod? This one was 62 pounds. Definitely keep the hands out of the mouth on this one. To put the size of this fish in perspective, Brady is 6’4″.

    Brady Fishing

    Fishing for Cod, Black Bass, and Salmon

    My son’s fiance is Gwen. The last time I was with Brady and Gwen, she cooked up a meal of Salmon, Cod, and Halibut. It was a phenomenal meal, and I commented to my son that the best restaurants in Seattle could not prepare fish like this. Then he said, “Dad, it’s gets better. She cleans the fish, too.” I laughed so hard. She’s definitely a keeper.

    Gwen Marunde Fishing

    Brady owns his own 40 foot fishing boat, and he fishes mostly outside of Sand Point, Alaska down on the Aleutian Chain. He calls me for weather reports from his Satellite phone regularly and tells me stories about the bears on the beaches, the wild fox, and curious whales that come to inspect his boat.

    Fishing as a commercial fisherman is hard work, and you have to live by faith, believing that the fish will come each year. It’s a tough business, but it’s a good life too. It takes a lot of self-discipline and an independent spirit. But I think fresh fish for dinner every night sounds pretty amazing.

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    Sequim Beachfront Property with a Private Dock

    Sequim beachfront property is hard to find, but if you want a private dock, good luck because a private dock these days is nearly impossible to find, and you can’t build one anymore either. But there is a Sequim beachfront property with a dock listed for sale, and here it is.

    Sequim Beachfront Property

    Sequim Beachfront Property

    Here is the MLS description: “This Sequim beachfront property has majestic views of the bay and beyond. A boaters dream with 114ft of beachfront access and tram access to a private 200 ft pier and 20’ X 60’ dock allowing ample yacht moorage and space for kayaks, sailboats, paddle-boards and more. This home boasts three master suites (one with en suite kitchen and sitting/dining areas), wine cellar, five fireplaces and a lower floor great room with additional (third) full kitchen – excellent for entertaining!”

    Sequim Beachfront Property

    And we cannot resist sharing this aerial video drone, which you’ll love if you want any kind of private dock and pier.

    Learn more about this property with photos and more detail at Sequim Beachfront Property.

     

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  • Filed under: Water Views
  • Sold in One Day

    This house sold in one day. After a decade of the worst real estate recession I’ve experienced in my life over the past four decades, the real estate market in the Sequim area has come back to life. Over this past decade homes sat on the market for months and even years before they sold, but we are living in a different world now. I’ve represented a number of buyers during this past year who bought homes that sold in one day.

    Sold in One Day

    Sold in One Day

    We are clearly in a seller’s market, but that doesn’t mean buyers are bidding against each other for homes in the Sequim real estate market, and buyers are not having to pay unreasonable prices either. You can still buy an existing home for less than it would cost to buy land and have a home built, but prices have been creeping upward, and since 2013 the best homes (the homes retirees love the most in the best areas) have increased in value by 20% to 30%.

    Sold in One Day – Harder for Buyers to Find Their Home

    All this means it is harder to compete in this market for buyers. Buyers are having to watch the Sequim MLS listings daily to watch for new listings, and when they find the ideal home on the market, they have to move quickly or it will be another home sold in one day . . . to someone else. 

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    iRealty in Sequim Offers More By an Order of Magnitude

    iRealty in Sequim (short for iRealty Virtual Brokers) offers more than any other brokerage, not just by a little bit, but by an order of magnitude. This short article is the tip of the iceberg. The whole emphasis here is not on boasting about ourselves, but sharing how much we do for you. I honestly feel that if people actually knew how much iRealty does, they would not even consider hiring another broker. But you can be the judge of that.

    iRealty

    iRealty in Sequim Internet Resources

    iRealty has the largest volume of content-rich resources for buyers on the Internet of any brokerage in this market . . . by an order of magnitude. Our main Sequim real estate blog has over 2,000 articles written specifically for buyers. These articles have taken over a decade to write and four decades just to acquire the knowledge and experience to create them. The articles answer nearly every Sequim real estate question buyers have been asking for the last two decades in this market. Who does this? No one except iRealty. And all this is free. No registration is required.

    iRealty has three public MLS sites (multiple listing sites), each with a specific purpose for buyers, which you’ll find at:

    Sequim4Sale.com,

    SequimForSale.com, and

    LuxuryWaterViewHomes.com.

    iRealty has many paperback and Kindle books written for buyers and sellers specifically about the Sequim real estate market. Again, we’re the only brokerage that has written entire books about the local real estate market. You’ll find links to our books on the real estate blog, or you can find them on Amazon.

    iRealty has produced professional quality videos for buyers, including our popular 6-part buyer series. We’re the only local brokerage with a video studio with these kind of educational videos for buyers and sellers. See Sequim Real Estate Videos for Buyers.

    We are the only local brokerage to have a professional photographer on staff with the best cameras, lenses and lighting equipment. We are the only local brokerage to have a 3-dimensional virtual tour camera with 9 lenses that gives buyers an interactive online tour of homes. And finally, we are the only local brokerage with an FAA registered drone pilot on staff to produce professional aerial videos. Perhaps you can begin to understand why we feel that if people only knew what we do and how we do it, they wouldn’t hire anyone else. 

    iRealty Experience Unparalleled 

    What is the experience that backs up these resources? Chuck Marunde is the founder and Designated Broker of iRealty Virtual Brokers. He was first licensed 40 years ago as a Realtor, practiced real estate law for 20 years, and opened iRealty over a decade ago. Chuck has lived and breathed real estate, and he enjoys giving all this experience and knowledge to his clients. This business model has proven so successful that Chuck became the number 1 selling real estate broker for 7 years. [Read Who is The Number 1 Buyer’s Agent in Sequim?]

    The foundation of iRealty is built on values that are never compromised. Those values are truth, honesty, integrity, professionalism, and putting our clients’ best interests at the center of everything we do. These are not just cliches–these are values we live by 24/7.

    By the way, just because our name is iRealty Virtual Brokers, do not assume that we are not physical beings. In fact, we designed what I think is the best real estate office in Sequim. It is my idea of a private Starbucks without the noise and people, and it is more comfortable. We have all the media and wireless connections we need for great flat screen presentations.

    Sequim Real Estate Office

    Now you know much more about iRealty. Can you see why we feel so strongly that if people really knew what we do for them, they wouldn’t hire any other Realtors? But you be the judge. After all, it’s your money and your life. We just hope you’ll give us the privilege of serving you and proving that iRealty is above the crowd by an order of magnitude.

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    Sequim Mountain View

    This home has a Sequim Mountain View or what you could also call a Port Angeles Mountain view, because it is halfway between Sequim and Port Angeles.

    Sequim Mountain View

    Sequim Mountain View

    I suspect this home will not be on the market very long with this Sequim mountain view. This gorgeous custom built home is a brand new listing, and there’s nothing like this in the entire inventory. The main floor has everything you need to live in comfort, including the master bedroom, the laundry room, the kitchen, a second bedroom, and a den. The upstairs has two more guest bedrooms and a family room and the third bathroom. The garage is huge with room for 3 vehicles and storage. This Sequim mountain view is visible from many of the windows downstairs and upstairs.

    One of the extraordinary features of this home is the architecture. This design is clearly the work of a master architect, because it flows the moment you walk in the front door. I sometimes talk about floor plans as being chaotic or just neutral, but this floor plan connects with the soul. It may be difficult to articulate, but there’s no doubt there’s a big positive emotional feeling in this home. If you have the chance to view this home with me, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

    The property is located in a very peaceful location–far from the cacophony of the freeway, Highway 101. The yard is beautiful, but it’s not high maintenance, which is important for most retirees.

    Sequim Mountain View of Klahanne Ridge

    But there’s no doubt that one of the most appealing features of this property is the massive view of the Olympic Mountains, including Hurricane Ridge, which rises up in the back yard of this property revealing the majesty of creation. The photos cannot possibly do justice to what you see and feel in person.

    Privacy is also precious, especially if you’re coming from the hustle and bustle of the Bay area or 16 lane freeways in the L.A. area. There’s nothing behind this home except trees, so you’ll never have neighbors looking at you over the fence.

    You can learn more about this home, see more photos, and you can watch a three dimensional interactive virtual tour of the inside of the home at Sequim Mountain View Home. Be sure to watch the “Virtual Tour”. And you can also watch this short aerial video.

    You can pay a fortune for a water view, but a great Sequim Mountain View is very pleasing to the eye, too. If you want to view this home, I highly recommend you contact me post haste, because this is precisely the kind of home and property that will likely get sold to the first who makes a full price offer.

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    About the Sequim Area

    The Sequim area is extremely popular for retirees from around the U.S. from Florida to Alaska, and from New York to California (and Hawaii). I have represented buyers from over 35 states who have bought their dream homes in the Sequim area. Thank God for the Internet, because you can do so much online research on Sequim and the entire Sequim area. The purpose of this article is to share more about the Sequim area and to help you focus on exactly where you want to live.

    Sequim Area

    The Larger Sequim Area

    Is the Sequim area where you want to live? This is a key question, because before you decide to look at homes, you should already have decided on where you want to live. Okay, there’s nothing wrong with looking at some homes in an area you might like so you can get a feel for the homes available in that area, but the priority is choosing your retirement area first, and then shopping for homes in that area. The perfect home in the wrong area would not be good.

    The larger Sequim area consists of Sequim, Carlsborg, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Port Hadlock, and further south Quilcene and Brinnon, and a little to the southeast, Chimicum, Nordlund and neighboring towns. Sequim is the center of what I am calling the Sequim area. That’s because Sequim is where you find the major shopping and medical facilities (including the hospital in Port Angeles 15 minutes away), and Sequim is the dream retirement area because of the “Blue Hole” or the “Rain Shadow” and the perfect climate. Many find the Sequim area to be the ideal location for the ultimate quality lifestyle.

    Sequim Area Extended

    Port Angeles is a larger population, but it also struggles economically with no apparent vision or long term purpose. The leaders of Port Angeles have not defined a vision in half a century, and the good people of Port Angeles are paying a dear price for such a dreadful lack of leadership. The real estate market is substantially weaker than the Sequim real estate market as a result.

    Port Townsend is a great town, and there are some beautiful homes there. But there are also some very odd homes there. While Port Townsend is a fun town with some of the best little family owned restaurants on the entire Olympic Peninsula, it is also well known as one of the most liberal towns in the Northwest. Locals joke that the 60s hippies from Berkley moved to Port Townsend. Political views, dress and lifestyle preferences would tend to affirm the liberal bent. If you’re liberal, this is all positive news, but if you’re a strong conservative, this may not be such great news.

    Port Ludlow and Port Hadlock are quaint little communities, but like Nordlund, Quilcene, and Brinnon, most retirees consider these areas to be a bit remote and far removed from shopping and medical facilities. But if those issues do not concern you, you might find your piece of Heaven on a gorgeous little bay where the fishing and boating are great.

    Here are three great free online resources for you. The first is Sequim Listings online. Don’t bother with Zillow, because it is not nearly as accurate as this Sequim Listings site. The second great site has over 2,000 articles written specifically for buyers looking at the Sequim area, and you’ll find that site at Sequim Real Estate Blog. And the third MLS site is for all the listings outside Sequim, including all the little towns I mention as well as all the islands from the Olympic Peninsula to Seattle’s shoreline. That site is Island Homes for Sale

    If you need help narrowing down your choice in the Sequim area, you’re welcome to ask me questions on almost anything. I moved to the Sequim area 22 years ago, and I spend all my time looking at homes and exploring all of these areas I’ve mentioned. Now you know more about the larger Sequim area.

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  • Filed under: Sequim
  • I Need a Realtor to Draft an Offer Now

    Do you need to draft an offer now on a home that just came on the market? You know there is a sense of urgency in this market with such a low inventory and high demand, but you want to make sure you do everything right, and you need a Realtor who can help draft an offer today.

    Beautiful Home

    Draft an Offer

    Call me on my cell phone at 360-775-5424, and I’ll draft the offer for you, but we will still need to do all the due diligence you would do if you were here. You can learn more about what is involved if you are going to draft an offer sight unseen on a home by reading Buying a Home Sight Unseen.

    I got a call from a buyer recently who said she and her husband knew the area and found a home in the MLS online that was ideal for them and which they thought was a good listing price, but the real estate broker she called did not answer her phone or call back. This buyer wanted to draft an offer right away without delay, so that’s why she called me.

    Draft an Offer and Due Diligence

    I always recommend that a buyer get a home inspection by a professional inspector familiar with construction, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and heat pumps, roofing, and so on. A home inspector will thoroughly examine a home and produce a detailed 20+ page report with descriptions of any issues or potential issues he found.

    Many buyers attend the home inspection, so that gives you an opportunity to examine the home yourself after you have a signed agreement with the seller. 

    I never would encourage a buyer to make a decision to buy a home before they are ready and certain that it is the right time and the right home for them, and I can facilitate the conversation on all the issues that should be considered. But when you decide it is time to buy a home, and when you have found the right home, call me or text me, and let’s draft the offer without delay.

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • A beautiful home just came on the market, and it’s halfway between Sequim and Port Angeles, but still in the Sequim school district. This home has a Port Angeles address, but it is much closer to Sequim. It is 11 minutes from Costco in Sequim (6.8 miles), but it is 16 minutes from Safeway in downtown Port Angeles (9.3 miles). This beautiful home is what so many retirees are looking for right now, and because of the low inventory in the Sequim MLS, it is hard to find a home like this.

    Beautiful Home

    Beautiful Home

    Here’s the MLS description of this home: “Overlooking lush green fields with a water view on the horizon and located halfway between Sequim and Port Angeles, this is the ideal open floor plan, the perfect modern kitchen, and everything is on the main ground floor. The yard is low maintenance and the garage has a work bench. The laundry room is off the kitchen for convenience. There’s a deck with a stunning view of the fields and Strait where you can grill your steaks and relax on your own little piece of Heaven.” This really is a beautiful home.

    Call or email me to see this home. Look at more photos and learn more at: Sequim Beautiful Home.

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    Brand New Sequim Listings (and Port Angeles)

    Brand new Sequim listings are easy to see now on the home page of Sequim-Homes.com. When you pull up that home page, you will see all brand new Sequim listings (and Port Angeles listings) right there. But we’ve done some filtering for you to make it easy and quick to see brand new Sequim listings. 

    New Sequim Listings

    New Sequim Listings

    Here’s how I filtered these new Sequim listings for you on this home page. First, these are new listings less than 14 days old. Second, these are homes listed at $250,000 and above. If you want to look at homes listed at less than $250,000, you can easily do that search, but 95% of my buyers can’t find the kind of nice home they want to live in at those lower prices, so I’ve filtered them out on this home page.

    Third, these are “Active” listings, meaning they are not pending or “active under contract”. In the Olympic Listing Service, which is where you find all these new Sequim listings, pending and “active under contract” (or “Act. Under Contr.”) normally show up when you do a search, but not on this home page. Why is this an important filter? Because most public MLS sites will show even the pending sales in the “Active” category, and many sites do not tell you the pending status. Sequim-Homes.com does show you the status, and if the “Status” field on new Sequim listings shows “Active,” then it is still available and not pending.

    New Sequim Listings Notifications

    In this market where the inventory of perfect homes that retirees want is so very low, and when buyers around the country are intently watching sites like Sequim-Homes.com every day, when their ideal home does show up in the new Sequim listings, they are on the phone with me so I can go preview it and call them back to debrief. Many have set up e-mail alerts so they will be notified by email of new listings that fit their search parameters. The point is, if the right home shows up, you probably do not have time to book a flight two weeks into the future. If that home is truly a great listing, it may be sold before you get here, as many buyers have painfully discovered.

    So what is the quickest way to peek at brand new Sequim listings that are active? Just go to the home page of Sequim-Homes.com, and you’ve got a very fast vignette of new Sequim listings.

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  • Filed under: Sequim MLS
  • A Home With Privacy

    Do you want a home with privacy? Many couples who move to the Sequim area do want a home with privacy, although how that is defined may vary slightly. When buyers tell me they would like “some privacy,” I asked more questions. This article will share some insights on what a buyer’s options are when it comes to getting a home with privacy, and how to find a home with privacy in the Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, and Port Hadlock areas.

    Home With Privacy

    Home With Privacy Defined

    I ask buyers who want privacy how much acreage that means to them. Almost 100% have told me that “it’s not a matter of acreage as much as it is how the lot is situated, the trees, and the vegetation that separates them from neighbors.” So that could be a half an acre in some areas, but many times it means one to 3 acres, or more. It’s rare that someone finds a 10 or 20 acre parcel out here that defines a home with privacy for them. It’s also nearly impossible to find a parcel of land that large these days. Five acres is the largest common size a buyer will find in the Sequim area, but even a five acre parcel in the right area is very hard to find.

    How to Find a Home With Privacy

    Here are a couple of suggestions if your ideal property is a home with privacy. First, use Sequim-Homes.com to search for homes with at least one acre and no more than five acres. If five acres would be a lot more than you want to maintain, than search one to 3 acres. On this Sequim MLS site, there is a map on the detail page, and you can look a property with the satellite view so you can see what is all around the property. The photo above is a home with privacy on 2.5 acres. What a gorgeous property, and with the trees on either side, total privacy.

    What about maintenance? Who wants a lot of acreage if you have to work outside all the time? You’re supposed to be retired, right? You can do what a lot of Sequimites do. You can mow a small fenced area around the house, plant some flowers, and leave the fields to grow naturally on the rest of your property. That’s what I do, although I do mow the fields a few times in the spring when the grass takes off after being dormant all winter. The cute home with privacy in the photo is my home. I absolutely love my little place. It’s my idea of Heaven on this earth. A home with privacy.

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    How Do I Sell My Home? Free Book for Sellers in Sequim

    How do I sell my home? Sequim homeowners have been asking this question. I’m about to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to give this book away to Sequim homeowners who are thinking about selling their homes. This is a 271 page paperback book written specifically to homeowners who want the truth about selling their home today. I share insider secrets you have never heard from a Realtor before.

    How do I Sell My Home

    If you sold a home 15 or 20 years ago, I have news for you. The world has changed dramatically, especially when it comes to marketing your home on the Internet and connecting with highly qualified buyers who may be on the far side of the country. How do I sell my home is a question homeowners are asking all over the U.S. Things have gotten complicated, and sometimes it’s hard to get straight answers from a Realtor about what works and what doesn’t work. Most of us abhor sales gimmicks and games. So I wrote a book that answers your question, “How do I sell my home?” Read on, because I’ll tell you how to get your free copy.

    How Do I Sell My Home – Free Book

    There’s a lot of content in this book. The paperback is $29.95 and the Kindle version is $9.95 on Amazon, but if you own a home in Sequim and you want a copy of this book because you are thinking about selling, and you’ve asked yourself, “How do I sell my home?,” I’ll come to your house and hand you a free copy of Seven Myths of Selling Your Home. I wont’ stay and visit, unless you want to visit for a few minutes. I’ve lived in Sequim for 22 years, raised my family here, and retired from a real estate law practice in Sequim. I now have what I call the largest virtual brokerage in Sequim and perhaps on the entire Olympic Peninsula. I share the most important things I’ve learned in real estate in this book, and I’m giving all this knowledge away–free! 

    How Do I Sell My Home

    To get your free paperback copy of Seven Myths, email me at ChuckMarunde@gmail.com. There is a serious demand for my time, and I’m thankful for that, but that also means I need a little lead time to deliver your book. I also have a limited number of paperbacks in stock as of this writing, about 50 copies. So when these copies run out, this offer expires. 

    By the way, you can also get a peek of what I do to help people sell their homes by watching this video at How Do I Sell My Home Video.

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    Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

    Sequim Buyer's Agent (Atty Ret.)
    Founder and Broker of
    Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate dba iRealty Virtual Brokers
    435 W. Bell St. Suite A, Sequim, WA
    (360) 775-5424
    ChuckMarunde@gmail.com

    From Los Angeles

    It's rare, but once in awhile life provides the perfect collaborator for an important endeavor such as buying your new home. For me that person was Chuck Marunde. His two decade background as a Real Estate Attorney, his prolific career as an author of articles and books on Real Estate and his forthright and moral character made choosing Chuck a no-brainer. Chuck is dedicated, thorough, incredible at the negotiating table, knowledgeable about all local laws & regs but, most importantly, Chuck loves what he does. And what he does is find his client the perfect property. Chuck isn't about making the sale, he's about making the sale that is OPTIMUM for his CLIENT and this makes Chuck a rare bird indeed. I love my new home in Sequim and I am indebted to Chuck for making it happen. Kevin E.

    From Seattle

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chuck over the past three years in selling my parent's estate. It was a tough time to sell during the housing recession, but Chuck always kept things on the positive side. With his real estate law background, he offers sound, practical advice. He helps you along with the process using discussions and reason, rather than opinions and speculations. If Chuck doesn’t know the answers, he will get them for you. In several instances, Chuck took the initiative to meet with county officials to get up-to-date facts about zoning and regulations. I was always impressed with his company’s tech savvy communi-cations and internet presence: weekly email updates, blogs, videos, links, Linked-in networking, etc. He is truly pioneering the future of buying & selling real estate. Brian M.

    From Florida

    We do our homework for the task at hand and we look for and expect to enlist partners that do the same. It was our good fortune to select Chuck Marunde of Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate to represent us as a buyer's broker in our search for a home in the Sequim/Port Angeles area. Chuck's site is all encompassing and super fast compared to many others, he knows the market at every conceivable level and his guidance through the process of selecting and purchasing a home is priceless - above and beyond that of anyone with whom we have ever worked. Add to all this his 20 year background in real estate law and you have discovered a superb asset in the adventure of purchasing a home. Greg and Marilyn

    From Gilroy California

    As an out of state buyer unfamiliar with the area, it was important to me not only to have a real estate agent who knew the area well, but also one who knew the value of the properties. I chose Chuck because he is also a real estate lawyer and it is reassuring to have that extra degree working for you. I selected the houses I was interested in on line before taking a two day trip to Sequim to look at them in person. I sent my list to Chuck, who gave me feedback, then organized our tour so we could see 16 properties in a short time. He was very accommodating, driving me all over Sequim, and rescheduling appointments when we fell behind on our time. On day two, I found my home and we drafted an offer on it that evening. By the time I arrived back home on the plane the next evening, my offer had been accepted. Chuck was honest about what it would take to get me into my new home, while having my back the entire transaction. Since I was unable to relocate immediately after closing, he and his assistant Ade, have been taking care of many additional responsibilities for me. He was a pleasure to work with. Chris D.

    From Corona California

    The best decision I made, once I settled on Sequim as the ideal place to spend the rest of my days, was to hook up with Chuck Marunde as my broker/go-to guy. He happily took on the entire complicated merry-go-round associated with a long distance move that involved selling in Southern California (with a different agent) and buying in Sequim – all in the span of just over a month. The unexpectedly quick sale of my previous home was already a week into a 30 day escrow when I got to Sequim for my house hunt. We had two days to find my slice of heaven. And day one was less than stellar, each home having at least one major issue. The killer was the dream home that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster once we got inside. I was crushed. Chuck had his work cut out for him that night. And he worked his magic. On day two there was one beautiful possibility, but not quite right. Suffice to say, in the early afternoon we pulled into a driveway and the first words out of my mouth were “That’s my house.” 29 days later I took possession of my new home. Every sale has its issues, but throwing in the complications of a short escrow on top of 1200 miles of separation from all documentation, etc. gives new meaning to “challenging”. Thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge coupled with a great sense of humor, Chuck was able to keep me on an even keel when things got dicey. He knows when to step in and when to let it evolve. I cannot imagine making this move without him. Rebecca B.
    Sequim Real Estate

    From Bakersfield California

    "During the months of February and March 2012, Chuck showed my wife and I over two dozen homes from Port Angeles to Port Townsend. We found Chuck to be very helpful, friendly and courteous. With Chuck there is no pressure; It is all about finding the best home for the buyer. As a Buyer's Agent, Chuck will give you his honest opinion of a property, including a fair market price. In one instance Chuck wrote up an offer for us which was accepted. Chuck was very helpful arranging for home and well inspections which involved multiple trips to the property. Unfortunately, escrow failed to close when, during the home inspection process, it was determined that a septic system repair was needed which the seller was unwilling/unable to make. We will continue to work with Chuck as there is no better Buyer's Agent on the North Olympic" Bert and Sally
    Sequim Real Estate Q&A

    From Los Alamos New Mexico

    "Over a year ago, during a visit to the Olympic Game Farm, we developed what we eventually called the “Sequim Syndrome.” We live in New Mexico and decided Sequim was where we wanted to live in retirement. On our second visit to Sequim, we met with Chuck and asked him to help us. Chuck's web site provides such amazing search capabilities. Chuck's site also contains a 1000 blog postings and a real estate video series detailing buying real estate in Sequim. We bought Chuck's book about Sequim real estate and set out to follow his advice carrying on an ongoing email and phone conversation with Chuck. Doing our due diligence “Marunde style” and using his MLS search site, we came up with about 50 homes that met our needs. We narrowed the list down to 15 properties that best met our needs. We came back to Sequim a third time with our list in hand, and Chuck spent two days with us showing us all the homes on our list. Not only did Chuck help us find that dream home, he spent time to educate us about the quality of construction, fair market values of various properties, home layouts, and the joys of Sequim living. We had a great time as we traveled from house to house. By mid afternoon of the second day, my wife said we had found “the house.” Chuck helped us draft our offer and sent our offer to the seller's agent. It turned out there was a second offer made on the property at the same time. Chuck's help to make a clean offer paid off. At breakfast two days later, we got a call from Chuck saying our offer had been accepted by the sellers. We are now back home in New Mexico. Chuck attends every inspection on our behalf, updating us at every turn by email and phone. Our dream home is becoming a reality because of Chuck and because we were smart enough to follow his advice. We absolutely would NOT have been able to do this without Chuck Marunde's expertise and enthusiasm. We recommend Chuck to everyone planning a move to Sequim, Port Angeles, or anywhere on the Olympic Peninsula. Chuck is a gold mine of information and expertise for home buyers everywhere, not just on the Olympic" Larry and Shirley
    Sequim Real Estate Bookstore

    From Sun Lakes Arizona

    "We are ex-Washington residents who currently live in Arizona. We had been searching the Puget Sound area four years for a waterfront property to build a retirement home when we first contacted Chuck Marunde through his website. We had made multiple trips to various areas but most of the Realtors we contacted simply sent us an email, provided no follow up and did next to nothing to help us locate a property. On our first trip to Port Angeles, after connecting with Chuck, we purchased our dream property. We now own a high bank waterfront lot overlooking the Straight of Jaun de Fuca, and are excited to become part of the Peninsula community." Paul and Linda

    From California

    "Andy Romano is a successful motion picture character actor with over 40 years in 'the Biz.' Mr. Romano has a home in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, but he chooses to live most of the time in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula in the great Pacific Northwest. Why? In his own words, 'Because it's even more beautiful and surrounded by more beauty in this incredibly peaceful and quiet place. With respect to real estate agents or brokers, well my friend Chuck Marunde, owner of Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate, is hands down the best there" Andy R.

    From Sequim

    I’ve known Chuck Marunde for several years. My wife and I bought and sold one house through his services, and now have another listed through him for sale. Whether Chuck was representing us as the buyer or seller, I am confident he always had our best interests at heart. He helped us set or negotiate a reasonable price, and made sure there was a clear and open line of communication. He responded rapidly to email and phone calls and always knew the best person to contact for the various services involved in a transaction. I have worked with quite a few real estate agents and Chuck is right at the top of my list of good ones. Actually, Chuck is first and foremost just a good person, and he carries his personal honesty and integrity over into his profession. He has the greatest depth of experience in real estate of any agent or broker I have known. His years of practicing real estate law prior to becoming a broker are evident in the meticulous care he takes with the process and documentation. I am impressed by the way Chuck has integrated internet services into his real estate business. He probably knows more about this process than any other realtor in the country. In this tight market it is important to use every possible means to spread the word about available properties…to reach the few people who might be interested in a particular property. Steve L.

    From The Netherlands

    "We contacted Chuck about six months ago to help find a retirement property in Sequim. We had visited Sequim several weeks before and decided that this was the place for us to retire. We liked the friendly people and the natural beauty of the area. We had been looking for some time in other parts of the country - California, Oregon, North Carolina, and Vermont. In most of these other areas, we found real estate agents that were knowledgeable but did not follow up with us to continue narrowing down real estate possibilities. Once we were out of earshot, communications would stop. That is one of the reasons we were interested in working with Chuck. Besides having great knowledge of both the local real estate market and of law, his testimonials on the internet indicated a willingness to actively communicate with his clients. Chuck demonstrated this immediately. Even before we met, he responded very quickly and helpfully to any email question. After arriving for a second visit to Sequim in September, we finally met Chuck face to face. He was friendly, encouraging, and readily shared good practical information. We worked with him on a number of candidate properties - including an offer on a property while visiting that week. Although we could not come to terms with the owners on the final property price, we look forward to continuing to work closely with Chuck. He is an invaluable resource to help us identify and purchase the retirement property that's right for us." Paul and Virginia

    From Fremont California

    We can't say enough about working with Chuck Marunde. Luck would have it that we discovered his web site, spoke with him on the phone and had an instant feeling that we had found our realtor. And we were right. With Chucks help and expertise, our longtime dream to retire to the Pacific Northwest came to fruition with Chuck assisting us in finding the perfect home for us. Buying a home is always a big decision and these days can be complex with unexpected delays etc. In fact, our whole experience from offer day to closing, was very smooth. Chuck took all the time we needed to explain processes and made us feel at ease, even though we lived 800 miles away, tying up loose ends and getting ready for the big move to our new home in Sequim. We were impressed with Chuck's ability to listen to our needs and understand our concerns in buying from a distance. Chuck kept us informed all along the way, during the process and was so good at getting right back to us if we had another question. All went so well and Chuck really went above and beyond for us, taking time out from his busy schedule to assist us with some details regarding our beautiful property, even after the closing, because we were not yet arrived there. Without hesitation, our son and his wife will be contacting Chuck this summer, as they plan to follow us to paradise in this lovely town. Thanks again Chuck, for everything! Mary and Jerry

    From Fontana California

    My husband and I went to Sequim intending to interview several realtors to find one to help us locate and buy a home in Sequim. We knew we wanted someone we could trust and who would have our best interests in mind. Since we would be handling the transaction from S. California this was very important to us. We met Chuck and looked no further. We felt a connection right away and spent some time looking at homes together so Chuck could get a feel for what we wanted. Well, we left Sequim having made an offer on a home which the owner accepted. Chuck has helped us through the purchase process. We are positive it would not have gone so smoothly without his help. We give him 4 thumbs up. Wally & Cathy

    From Tacoma

    Chuck Marunde’s level of expertise in real estate investment is amazing. His knowledge, experience and legal training have given me a dramatic advantage in real estate investing. He works hard to stay on the cutting edge of real estate marketing, sound advice and value-added service for his clients. Kirk Wald, Financial Planner

    From Wendell Idaho

    My wife and I moved to Sequim six weeks ago, and prior to our move here I contacted Chuck Marunde and enlisted his help as our buyer's agent. Once we got here, it took us about two weeks looking at houses, and Chuck did a superb job of showing us places and letting us make our own decisions and guide us through the purchase of our home. We now completed our transaction and are very happy. We would recommend Chuck to anybody. Don & Marilyn

    From Sequim

    "Buying property either commercial or residential can sometimes be a tricky proposition. That’s why I would recommend Chuck to help you with purchasing or selling property. His background as a real-estate lawyer and his no nonsense to the point advice will help you make the right decisions. Experience and Integrity, what you need when you can’t afford to make a mistake. Dail Hurdlow, CEO, Hurdlow Enterprises

    From Seattle

    I am an experienced real estate buyer, but I am not from the Sequim area. I am somewhat flexible, realistic, but also particular. So the question was, “how do you choose the RIGHT real estate agent?”

    I made my appointment with Chuck on a Sunday morning in March, 2013. He showed me 5 houses. Every house he showed me was within my parameters! I was amazed: a real estate who listened, did his research, and didn't waste my time showing me houses I would never buy! I made an offer a few days later. That was the easy part…

    Buying a house is always a stressful time in life. Advice to Buyers: choose an agent who is competent, communicates well, and has exceptional follow-up and follow-through! You will spend a lot of time with your agent during the process. Choose someone likable. Go with your gut. I got to know Chuck during the process, and he's a great guy!

    You need an agent who is competent to handle and help you negotiate the issues that come up during disclosure, home inspection, appraisal, etc. Chuck's competence is superb! I got truly professional, sound, straightforward advice.

    Chuck's communication skills are exceptional: phone, email, fax. He has a wonderful ability to stay "on-point" with what is actually important and doesn't lead you astray on issues that aren't so important.

    Chuck's turn-around time on questions, issue resolution, etc. was virtually always within 24 hours. He follows-up, follows-through. He does what he says he will do timely. This relieves a lot of Buyer stress!

    Having a difficult time finding the right agent? Simplify your life! Choose Chuck Marunde. I did. [Name withheld by request]

    Intro by Chuck Marunde

    From Sequim to California

    "In our Sequim real estate broker Chuck Marunde we found a Realtor who knew not only how to list a property, but most importantly, he knew how to sell a property. Chuck is very skilled in current technology and uses that skill to advertise your property nationally. We were very pleased with Chuck, his honesty and integrity." Jerry Levitan and Donna "Teva" Tetiva

    Who is Chuck Marunde?

    Chuck Marunde is the #1 Sequim Buyer's Agent, having sold more homes (by volume) to buyers than any other agent or any "team" of agents for the past seven years. He is the author of thousands of articles for buyers on this real estate blog, and he is the author of several real estate books for buyers and one for sellers. He is the creator of many free tools that buyers use and love every day. He is recognized as a national expert on real estate transactions, marketing, and negotiating. Please schedule your appointment to view homes with Chuck well in advance of arriving in Sequim.
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    Chuck Marunde Text or Call 360-775-5424