Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

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The Sequim Blue Hole Does it Again

The Sequim Blue Hole strikes again! Live Doppler Radar shows how Sequim and the little Sequim Peninsula is completely dry while all surrounding areas are raining. This became quite an object lesson this afternoon as the Sequim Airport sponsored their annual Sequim Air Affaire. At 7:00 a.m. the airport was nearly socked in and looking ugly, but by noon, the Sequim Blue Hole opened up, while rain clouds and inclement weather could be seen all around the airport.

Sequim Blue Hole

Sequim Blue Hole

To read more about this famous weather phenomenon, read this article at Sequim Blue Hole. You can learn more about the Sequim Airport and the Air Affaire at Sequim Airport.

Sequim Blue Hole Big Attraction

The Sequim Blue Hole has put Sequim on the map for retirees from all over the United States and the world. This brokerage has had buyers from as far away as the Netherlands, Japan, and China. Retirees are often looking for a climate without extremes, and a place where they can live comfortably and safely. The Sequim Blue Hole puts Sequim between Alaska and Nevada in terms of climate, and has no extreme temperatures and no extreme weather conditions. 

No wonder so many retirees have been researching Sequim and buying their homes here. For many, the first time they find out about the incredible Sequim weather is when they first read about the Sequim Blue Hole. 

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  • Filed under: Sequim Weather
  • Little Things to Look for When Buying a Home

    Buying a home is a massive undertaking, and if you’ve read some of my earlier articles about doing your due diligence as a buyer, you have a good checklist of major items to review. Things like the home inspection, the septic inspection, the well inspection, irrigation systems, traffic noise, driveway easements, view easements, the quality of construction, architectural obsolescence, kitchen designs, appliances, and much more.

    Buying a Home

    But there are also a number of lesser known considerations when buying a home. I like to say that something is a minor issue until it becomes a major issue. These are things a buyer and their buyer’s agent could easily overlook, but after buying a home, they could be major headaches for you.

    Major Issues When Buying a Home

    When you’re looking at homes, I recommend doing something most buyers do not do. It is quite normal to walk through a home looking at the floor plan, the quality of construction, the views from the windows, the appliances, and so on. That’s all good, but there are a few simple steps you can take that can save you from a nightmare scenario.

    For example, it only takes a minute to fill a glass of water in the kitchen and taste the water. Many buyers miss this important step. Sequim is very fortunate that nearly all our wells have very pure delicious water, but there are some pockets where mineral levels (magnesium, iron, sulfur) can be high. High in minerals does not mean the water is unsafe. The health concern is not minerals–it is bacteria and nitrates.

    Tasting the water is a good simple test, but you can do more. Smell the water, like you might if you were sampling wine. If there is a sulfur smell, look for a water filtering system. And there’s another important step. Tap water may smell pure and taste good, but if there is a filtering system for minerals, that just tells you the system is working properly. The next step is to go into the master bathroom and turn on the shower, and turn on the hot water. The smell of high mineral content, particularly a sulfur smell, may not be noticeable in the kitchen, but hot water that is atomized into the air has a way of accentuating any sulfur scent. This is a trick few people would think of when buying a home.

    If the well is deep, and there is plenty of water, and if mineral content is high, a good filtering system usually solves the issue entirely, and you can live happily ever after. But a good mineral filtering system can cost $4,500. By the way, here’s a nuance worth knowing. Mineral content can increase and decrease at different times of the year. In the rainy season, mineral content usually decreases.

    Caution When Buying a Home

    Another question worth asking when you’re in the process of buying a home is, “Is this property in or near a final approach to an airport?” You may not hear any planes overhead when you’re looking at a home, but after you move in, will planes be flying over regularly? And if so, how often?

    It is worth observing where the current owner’s cable or satellite TV is located, where their Internet connection is located, and whether there are connections in other rooms where you might locate those services. Find out about their Internet service. Is it fast or exceedingly slow? Also, check the bars on your cell phone. Will this location have good cell phone service, or none at all. That could be a crisis.

    While these are all minor issues, they could quickly become major issues, and you don’t need that. You don’t have to know everything when buying a home, but if you don’t, your buyer’s agent should if he or she is going to protect you. Clearly, the importance of doing your due diligence when buying a home cannot be understated.

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  • Finding That Special Sequim Property

    Are you searching for a special Sequim property? I think each of us searches for what we perceive as our ideal property, a home and property where we could be comfortable and happy forever. Over the past two decades I have jogged, bicycled, and driven thousands of miles on local back roads looking at Sequim property. I’ve shown and sold Sequim homes to many buyers from around the U.S.

    Sequim Property

    But I recently learned something new about Sequim property when I purchased my own home. It has been a very pleasant surprise, and I’m thinking you might like to know what I discovered.

    My Dream Sequim Property

    I bought a Sequim property about 6 miles northwest of downtown. My 2.58 acres are about half a mile from the bluff on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. If you tell anyone who lives in Sequim that you’ve bought a house out in this area, their immediate response is almost always the same, “Oh, it’s really windy out there.” But have they actually lived in this area? Most of the time the answer is no.

    In my first week on my Sequim property, it has been a little gusty in the afternoon, but guess what? Recently it has been gusty in and around most of Sequim, too. I talked to an old timer who lives near the bluff, and he said it’s gusty about 30% of the time. Many days it is perfectly still with no breeze at all. So it really isn’t windy all the time or even most of the time.

    Sequim Property Surprises

    Even though I knew the area well, I’ve had two big pleasant surprises on my special Sequim property. The first is the freshness of the ocean breeze that comes from the northeast. It is so fresh, it surprised me. Miles inland that breeze looses some of its ocean freshness. If you’ve ever stood on the shore of an ocean or sea, you know exactly what I mean. I love it. And when there is a breeze, it gently passes through my house when I open windows on the north and south sides.

    The location was very important to me. I wanted what I call “useable property.” All of my land is useable (not steep hill sides), and I got an added bonus of being on a large irrigation system, and as you probably know, water is worth its weight in gold these days. As the TV infomercials like to say, “And wait, there’s more.” I also have a delightful panoramic mountain view from my back deck and back windows.

    The second big surprise is that I can actually hear the waves crashing on the beach, even though I’m at least a half a mile inland. Holding a cup of hot gourmet Starbucks in my hand and walking my property early in the morning or in the evening with that fresh ocean smell and the sound of waves has added a whole new dimension to my life. And it is good. This is my kind of Heaven–my little Sequim property.

    Conclusion: Be cautious about free advice about where you should live. Such advice is often missing out on some of the greatest delights you may experience on your Sequim property.

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    Moving to Sequim

    Moving to Sequim is not a walk in the park. Moving is hard work, full of stress, and not something anyone looks forward to doing. I certainly did not look forward to moving to Sequim recently, and I already lived in Sequim. I only moved a few miles. It went as well as can be expected, although I am exhausted. I bought a gorgeous home on some peaceful acreage about 6 miles from downtown Sequim. Unfortunately, I made one bad mistake. This photo probably tells you the story well enough.

    Moving to Sequim

    Moving to Sequim Full of Challenges

    Moving to Sequim from anywhere in the country requires planning and perseverance. Apart from the schedule and trucks or trailers, there is the question of how much will you do yourself and how much help will you hire. When we are in our twenties, we can do anything and we are invincible, or so we think. But there’s a little surprise waiting for us when we reach our 50s or 60s. It translates into aches and pains in the back, or in the hip or the knees. We discover we have limitations we didn’t used to have, and so we can’t do it all any more.

    And there are a hundred little details to attend to when moving to Sequim. There is shutting off power, water, and other services. There is connecting utilities at your new home. There’s a public electric company, a water company and sewer connection, and there’s the telephone company and refuse service. Little items, like getting your Internet connected can become time consuming issues. Which Internet service gives you the fastest speeds for the best price? And what about your cell phone service? Will you get cell phone service at the location of your new home?

    When the seller moves out, did they take everything, or did they leave a lot of items, like my sellers did. I’m still cleaning out shelves. I’ll have a full trailer load to take to the dump. It’s not a big deal, but the sellers surely should have taken everything and cleaned the house thoroughly. Most Sequim sellers are diligent and do a great job cleaning, but a few do not.

    After the sellers moved out, I realized the walls and ceiling needed fresh paint, so that delayed my move as I hired a busy painter, who needed a week to completely paint the interior with two coats of paint. If you’re moving to Sequim from another state, you won’t necessarily have the option of delaying a week to paint when you’re paying the moving company by the day.

    What was my big mistake? I secured everything on every trip, except the last trip. It was late, and I was tired after a week of moving and coordinating. I was by myself, and finished loading the trailer using a dolly to put a large dresser into the trailer. I used bungee cords to secure a headboard, but forgot to secure the dresser to the wall of the trailer. Miraculously, no marks were left on the wood anywhere, but I lost the glass in one large photo of my son playing college basketball. The photo was slightly damaged, but it’s okay. Close call.

    Advice for Moving to Sequim

    Moving to Sequim is challenging, but once the move is over, like me, you will be so darn happy to be settled. One of the big benefits of moving for me was getting rid of a lot of clothes and junk I did not use or need anymore. And I only lost one item. I can’t find the charger to my laptop, and I’ve searched every box. Hmm.

    I love Sequim and have for over 20 years. I think you will too. My only advice is to double check all your bungee cords or tie downs before moving to Sequim.

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    Dramatic Difference in Sequim Listings

    Sequim listings can be dramatically different. Do not assume that all sellers and their listing agents are on the same sheet of music. Similar homes can be priced substantially different. I showed homes today to a couple from Iowa. We had a great time, and every home we looked at was totally different, although each property had some acreage and offered some privacy, important criteria for my buyers. But the prices were all over the map.

    Sequim Listings

    Sequim Listings Compared

    For example, one property had a quiet location and beautiful level acreage, and it had a great shop, but the house is arguably a tear down. It is a vintage late ’60s or early ’70s home that has never been remodeled. There are some very bad smells in the house. My buyer estimated the upgrading cost at $100,000+, and yet this home was priced higher than another home that was absolutely immaculate with a perfectly landscaped property, albeit less acreage but still quite private. The word that comes to mind is “disparity.” Disparities are likely to happen in any market. Not all sellers and their listing agents will all value properties with the same standards. But today was a glaring example for my buyers that not all homes are judged in the same way, so Sequim listings may have dramatically different prices.

    Sequim Listings and Prices

    What does this mean? It means you should do your comparisons of Sequim listings in the MLS as best you can, and then communicate with your buyer’s agent before you arrive to filter out the homes that would be a total waste of your time. Then when you come to look at your short list of properties with your buyer’s agent, you will make the best of your time and increase the chances of finding the ideal home at the right listing price.

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    Real Estate Brokers Missing the Point

    Real estate brokers around the United States seem to be missing the point, at least from a client perspective. If you read the regular stream of articles published about how real estate brokers must change, and about the so-called “new brokerage models” that are supposed to give consumers better service or more choice, you’ll notice (if you have the discernment to see what is behind the curtains) that the emphasis is always on money, not the consumer’s best and ultimate interests. This subject may be a bit deep for most people just searching for a home online, but not for my readers. My readers are smart and sophisticated, and they like to know how things really work. If you read this blog, you know my personal passion is summed up in a little word called “truth”. Unfortunately in the real estate industry, many real estate brokers don’t understand how their own business model or corporate culture can play against consumers like you. As a result, they miss the entire point–serving your best interests, all the while claiming (and sincerely believing) they do put you first. It’s not necessarily the fault of real estate brokers you and I know–good people. They don’t always understand, because few of them have a background in business development, marketing and sales, real estate law, and customer service. They fall into the trap of believing the talking points of their brokerage. As a result, they miss the most important focus of all–how to best serve YOU as the client.

    Real Estate Brokers and Discounts

    Redfin is a example of good intentions gone awry. Redfin was created because real estate brokers thought by reducing real estate commissions to 1.5% on the listing side and 3% on the selling side (total 4.5%), and by offering buyers an additional refund of part of the commission, and by paying their agents salaries, they could give consumers like you something you really want. 

    Reducing fees always seems like a good idea to consumers, until you realize where the focus is NOT. The focus is NOT on attracting or hiring the most experienced professional real estate brokers in the business–it is about hiring real estate brokers who will work on small salaries. New and inexperienced real estate brokers may be attracted to a small salary with little room for career progression, but when you hire a listing agent to sell your home, do you really want that real estate broker? Of course not. You want the best who can most effectively market your property, who has the experience to negotiate the best price, and much more. Read the rest of this entry »

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    How to Prorate Propane at Closing

    How do you prorate propane at closing? When you buy a home, if the tank still has some propane in it, the seller is entitled to be reimbursed, and as a buyer you will be charged an amount on your closing statement to prorate the propane in the tank. But how does the escrow agent prorate propane? As a buyer, you should know how this works so you don’t get into an argument with a seller at the 11th hour.

    Prorate Propane

    How to Prorate Propane

    You would think that it is super easy to prorate propane. Like anything else, you simply calculate how much the propane is worth per gallon, multiply by the number of gallons, and you reimburse the seller that amount. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and there’s a very logical reason.

    If you call a propane distributor and ask how much propane is per gallon, you won’t be able to get a short answer. In fact, your conversation will probably be at least five minutes, and if you clarify the answers with more questions, you may be talking for 10 minutes before you understand. I know, because I’ve done this.

    Prorate Propane Per Gallon

    Here’s why it is hard to calculate how to prorate propane. Propane companies will quote a current retail price, which may be $2.39 per gallon. But that’s not necessarily what you will pay if you’re filling a residential propane tank. The price you pay will “depend.” It will depend on how big a propane tank you have, how often you refill it, and how long a contract you are willing to sign. There isn’t just one fee–there are multiple fee schedules based on all these variables. With three variables, that means there are nine possible fee schedules. And there’s another price they will quote. It is the first time customer price, which may be as low as $1.69 (in the current pricing model). But you’ll only see that price once. Now you know why it is so hard to prorate propane.

    The standard real estate contract (Form 21) that is used in Washington states in para “h. Closing Costs and Prorations and Charges and Assessments,” the following:

    Buyer shall pay for remaining fuel in the fuel tank, if, prior to closing, Seller obtains a written statement from the supplier as to the quantity and current price and provides such statement to the Closing Agent.

    Everyone assumes that this language includes propane, and I won’t challenge that assumption, except to say that it is not 100% clear that propane is “fuel” in this contract. Let’s assume it is, and move on to the bigger ambiguity. The language refers to “current price,” but does not define the formula for determining what current price is. As you read above, current price can be any of multiple prices from various price schedules, and even those prices can vary from company to company. How to prorate propane is not so easy.

    The local Sequim practice has been to reimburse the seller for the seller’s actual costs as calculated from his propane company. That makes sense from the seller’s perspective, but what if a buyer says, “Well, as a first time propane customer, I can get $1.69, instead of the seller’s cost (which may be $1.85 per gallon). Why should I pay the higher fee?” 

    Going with the seller’s actual cost is probably the most objective approach if you have to prorate propane, but there is room for differences of opinion here. At least now, you know what to expect when it is time to prorate propane on your closing statement.

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    Bell Hill

    Bell Hill in Sequim has always been one of the most popular developments on the Peninsula, largely because Bell Hill has such a great perch above Sequim Bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca with views of the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker, and British Columbia. Here’s an excellent example of a Bell Hill home currently for sale with a wonderful view from the windows and from the deck. Take a look at this 3 dimensional virtual tour, which allows you to talk through the entire home with your computer mouse or the arrows on your keyboard. Just click on this 3D virtual tour, and be sure to widen your browser so you can see the full virtual reality.

    Bell Hill

    Bell Hill Water Views

    Bell Hill homes are known for having incredible water views, the kind of views that would bring millions of dollars in California at a fraction of that in Sequim. While the market has been shifting slowly from a buyer’s market toward a seller’s market, you can still buy a home on Bell Hill for substantially less than you could build the same home. Many of the homes that have been selling recently on Bell Hill are selling for 5% to 15% less than the cost to replace. Of course, that doesn’t take into consideration the lengthy time and all the stress of building a home.

    Bell Hill Listings

    You can view the Sequim MLS data sheet on this Bell Hill home at 413 Doe Run, and you can pull up all the homes listed for sale on Bell Hill at Bell Hill Homes for Sale.

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    Another Sequim Home Sold

    Another Sequim home just sold. This home was only on the market for 22 days before it sold. It sits on a beautiful little one acre parcel with an old but small barn. With 2,082 square feet, three small bedrooms, and a kitchen that could use remodeling, it sold for $200,000. It isn’t the home that most retirees are looking for, but it was an ideal starter home for a younger couple. It was listed at $209,000. Homes in this price range seem to be flying off the shelf lately.

    Sequim Home

    Sequim Home for Sale

    There’s another Sequim home available that has been completely remodeled, and while it isn’t large in square footage (1,400), it is on almost an acre and totally updated like new. The three bedrooms are larger than the other home, and the kitchen is a brand new modern kitchen. In fact, the entire interior of the home is brand new, new everything, including new appliances (stove/oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, and washer and dryer). You can see this home online at Sequim Home for Sale with acreage.

    Sequim Home Search

    When you do your Sequim home search, be sure to use an accurate MLS site that includes all the local Sequim listings. Yes my friend, there are syndicated MLS sites with terribly inaccurate information. Sequim-Homes.com includes all the Olympic Listing Service homes for sale, and you’ll notice at the bottom of Sequim-Homes.com there is a second MLS site that you can use, which includes any Northwest MLS listings in the Sequim area. All local Realtors uses the OLS, and while it is rare that an outside Realtor will list a Sequim property, if they do, it would be in the NWMLS system.

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    If You Get, Give: If You Learn, Teach

    “If you get, give: if you learn, teach,” is a quote from Dr. Maya Angelou who was a remarkable woman, an author and a civil rights leader. She died last year at the age of 86. Why do I quote her on this real estate blog? Because her philosophy and the way she lived her life echoes my beliefs about how I work with real estate clients, and how I live. 

    Teach

    Dr. Angelou also wrote, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” This statement describes how I live every day. I may be lacking in humor, but I am passionate and compassionate, and I hope along the way I have a little style.

    If You Learn, Teach.

    I recently helped a buyer purchase the home in this photo. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath single level home is about 5 miles outside of Sequim on a little over 2.5 acres, all fenced and with a couple of outbuildings, including two beautiful horse stalls. The back deck faces south, and what a peaceful spot to enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee and the Sequim sunshine. There’s an irrigation system for outside watering and a pond on one end. At $385,000, this buyer is not just pleased–he’s giddy. This is what I do. I teach buyers how to buy and guide them through the entire process. I’m a buyer’s agent.

    Another favorite Dr. Angelou quote is, “Courage is the most important of all virtues, because without courage, you cannot practice any of the other virtues consistently.” When I first read this quote, it really hit home for me. A person might work hard regularly, and might be honest most all the time, and generous at times, but it takes courage to practice these virtues consistently. 

    Teach and Give.

    I find that my own daily practice takes all my emotional energy, because I pour myself into my client’s best interests, and that often means working from morning ’till night, and often seven days a week. But I love what I do, mostly because it helps improve the quality of my clients’ lives, and that is why I teach and guide buyers. It is my gift and my pleasure.

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    Sequim Homes: Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market?

    Sequim homes are hot right now. Many buyers are experiencing some frustration, because when they find what they think could be “the one,” it is either pending or goes pending before they can get to Sequim. One of the advantages of using Sequim-Homes.com to monitor Sequim listings is that you can see the “Status” of all listings. In other words, you can see if a favorite on your list changes from “Active” to “Act. Under Contr.-Cont.” This stands for “active under contract” which means it is pending. You can also have email alerts sent to you if a listing changes status.

    Sequim Homes

    Sequim Homes and Days on Market

    This home in the photo was on the market for almost 70 days before it sold. I represented the buyers. It’s always unpredictable when Sequim homes will sell or how long any particular home will be on the market before it sells. What has been happening this spring is that Sequim homes have been selling much quicker than they have been over the past 8 or 9 years.

    While prices have not substantially increased, the time on market (days on market or DOM) has been decreasing, and more Sequim homes are selling for the full listed price. It’s not clearly either a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, but it is tilting toward a seller’s market. The Sequim real estate market (and Port Angeles and Port Townsend) is a small market with a slow but steady pipeline of buyers. That means it is statistically hard to define the market until a trend has been long established.

    Sequim Homes Recommendation

    My recommendation to my buyers is to know exactly what you want in a property, the kind of location you want, the floor plan, and much more. Then watch Sequim homes on Sequim-Homes.com and save your favorites and monitor them until you come to view your short list of favorites. Email me questions, and I will help you filter the homes on your list so you don’t waste your time when you get here. As you know, the photos and information in the MLS do not always give you a complete and accurate representation of what you will see in person.

    And lastly, when you do find the ideal home, don’t dilly dally. Draft the offer and get it submitted right away. In this market, if you love a home, you can almost bet that one or two other buyers with similar preferences have been looking at it, too. We haven’t seen Sequim homes sell like this for almost a decade.

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    A Different Kind of Realtor

    A couple from Silicon Valley recently traveled to the northwest to consider Sequim and view some homes with a Realtor. I had a delightful time visiting with them and answering their questions about living in the Sequim area, the recreational activities, volunteer opportunities, the true size of the Sequim Blue Hole, and many other lifestyle questions. We also looked at some beautiful homes. Like many buyers, they had done their research online long before they came, and they chose me as their Realtor and Buyer’s Agent. But I’m a different kind of Realtor, and I thought today would be a good time to explain why I see myself as a non-traditional Realtor. While this is certainly a shameless self promotion, what I have to share is genuinely true and unique.

    Realtor

    Realtor Guides Buyers

    The Silicon Valley couple loved one home we looked more than the others, but they weren’t ready to make an offer. In fact, they went back home and decided they weren’t ready to buy a home in Sequim. We debriefed on the phone afterward. They shared that they had a wonderful time in Sequim and enjoyed their time with me, but they felt guilty, because they thought they wasted my time. My response to them might surprise you.

    Realtor With Different Mission

    The time I spent with them fulfilled my mission. In other words, the time I spent with this wonderful couple was not wasted, because my focus is serving others, and in this case serving this couple meant answering questions, showing them around Sequim and viewing some homes. Whether their decision was to buy or not to buy, I was fulfilling my mission, which is serving their needs. By serving their needs, I am serving mine.

    Why is this dramatically different for a Realtor? Because for the average Realtor the goal line is closing the sale. It is earning the commission, which will only happen if the buyers sign an offer, and a sales person will want to get that done asap. Time is money, right? The problem with that kind of personal mission is that it often drives a Realtor to be a high pressure sales person, or to push their buyer into a home to earn a commission. That might lead to compromising the negotiations, and maybe even pressuring a buyer to pay more for a home than they have to. It could mean not paying attention to important details that could hurt a buyer later, such as not doing the due diligence the buyers need done. 

    As a Realtor, my personal focus is always to place my client’s best interests at the center of the Universe. My commission is not a consideration. I cannot tell you how many hundreds of buyers have loved this kind of focus. They tell me they find it refreshing. So when I told my Silicon Valley clients that our time was well spent and a success, even though they are not going to buy a home in Sequim, they were a little surprised but very appreciative. My time with clients is never wasted, regardless of the outcome, because my mission is to spend quality time with each client, and ultimately to help my clients make wise decisions for the next exciting phase in their lives, whatever those decisions might be. 

    Now here’s what I find fascinating. I don’t focus on the close, but I am the number one selling Realtor in the entire county for the past two and a half years. I don’t even advertise. I have always said, “serve your clients faithfully, and the money will take care of itself.”

    Don’t get me wrong, the Realtor you hire should have a good resume (the real estate knowledge, experience, competence, professionalism), and he or she should have integrity [See Chuck Marunde Resume]. Of course buyers want those qualities in their Realtor, but I also think character matters. Whether you hire me as your buyer’s agent or another Realtor, I strongly encourage you to choose a Realtor who genuinely puts your interests at the center of the Universe above his or her own commission.

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Who is Your Escrow Officer?

    When you get mutual acceptance on your home purchase, who will be your escrow officer? This an important question, because the answer does matter. Most buyers don’t realize how much it matters.

    Escrow Officer

    Escrow Officer Role

    I’ve written elsewhere about the importance of hiring full time professionals who are experienced, competent, and who have integrity. That’s true of any professional you hire, including your Realtor, your loan officer, and your escrow officer. But most buyers have little knowledge about the important role that your escrow officer plays in your purchase.

    When you have your Realtor draft an offer on a home, you fill in a blank to identify the title and escrow company you will have handle your transaction. Title companies search the title and all documents associated with your property, and they insure that you get a clear title. The bigger and more important decision involves your choice of an escrow company and perhaps the specific escrow officer. Once your Realtor delivers your signed agreement to your escrow officer, that person runs with the ball and coordinates many critical details on your behalf. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

    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
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    Who is Chuck Marunde?

    Chuck's background includes real estate sales going back 37 years, including 20 years as a real estate attorney. He has closed hundreds of real estate transactions, authored thousands of articles on Sequim and Port Angeles real estate, and written several books on real estate. He has lived in Sequim for almost 20 years. Buyers from around the country seek Chuck out and retain him as their buyer's agent. Local homeowners list their homes with Chuck because he has the most powerful Internet marketing system that reaches highly qualified buyers around the country, and that sell homes. Chuck is consistently one of the top individual selling agents of single family homes by volume in all of Clallam Country for 2013, 2014, and so far in 2015.

    How to Search the Best MLS

    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.
    Sequim Real Estate Market Report

    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
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