Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

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Archive for the ‘Buyer’s Agent’ Category

Sequim Mobile App

This Sequim mobile app is a very powerful smartphone tool whether you use an Android or an iPhone, and you don’t even have to download an app. It’s free, and you simply use the browser on your smartphone to access it at anytime. We’re always trying to make it easier and more convenient for buyers to access our Sequim real estate Internet resources, the largest online presence of any Realtor on the Olympic Peninsula and possibly the entire Northwest.

Sequim Mobile App

Not only can you search over 2,000 articles written specifically for buyers right from your smartphone, you’re going to love the power, the easy intuitive navigation, the convenience, and all this you can do from your cell phone when you want to look at Sequim and Sequim homes.

Sequim Mobile App

Most people are now using smartphones over desktop computers to do their online research, and who doesn’t use their cell phone on a trip in the car or while sitting at the Dentist’s office? You can even listen to over 2,000 articles about Sequim and Sequim real estate with your cell phone speaker or earphones since each article is also a podcast. (more…)

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Negotiating in Sequim

Negotiating Price & Terms


Negotiating the purchase of a home is a skill set of its own. Even having bought and sold half a dozen homes in a lifetime while in a career unrelated to real estate will not automatically equip you for all the possible nuances of negotiating.

In four decades in real estate I have seen more mistakes made in negotiating a real estate transaction than I could possibly count. I’ve seen buyers overpay by $200,000. I’ve seen sellers chase a good buyer away. I’ve seen real estate agents give their clients bad advice about the home inspection response and kill the transaction. I’ve seen a buyer make a seller so mad, he refused to sell to that buyer at any price. I’ve seen far too many amateurs going back and forth on price until one of the parties just walks away. (more…)

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The First Sequim Chrome Extension

Chuck Marunde has created the first Sequim Chrome Extension. What is a Sequim Chrome Extension? If you use the Chrome browser, you may have installed extensions before. Extensions are little programs that perform a particular task and do it conveniently in your browser. 

Sequim Chrome Extension

Sequim Chrome Extension

First, what is the benefit to you as a prospective buyer, and why would you install this free extension? The extension gives you an instant link to the largest Sequim Real Estate Blog on the planet with over 2,000 articles written for buyers retiring to Sequim, another link to the best Sequim MLS site that was designed and programmed specifically to give you 100% accuracy in Sequim listings, easy navigation, and powerful tools for advanced searches of any kind, including sold properties that closed in the last 12 months. You’ll also see a link to the number one Sequim Real Estate Video site with many professional quality videos scripted and produced for buyers, walking you through the entire home buying process from A to Z. In addition, there is a link to Chuck Marunde’s Twitter site, and as a bonus, a link to the San Juan Islands MLS site. You also have access to all of Chuck’s books when you go deep in this Sequim Chrome Extension.

Second, why the extension? What’s so convenient about a Sequim Chrome Extension? (more…)

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Sequim Real Estate for Buyers eBook

    Sequim real estate is a hot topic among many retirees from California to New York and from Florida to Alaska. Sequim, Washington has been a favorite getaway for retirees because of its mild climate without temperature extremes (mostly between 50 and 70 throughout the year), with only 16 inches of rain compared to Seattle’s 45 inches, and Sequim is nestled between the gorgeous Strait of Juan de Fuca and the stunning Olympic Mountains.

    Sequim Real Estate Books

    This is why 25 year resident, attorney (ret.), and real estate broker Chuck Marunde creates so much content on the Internet for buyers. And among his many books for buyers, you might enjoy his latest entitled Sequim Real Estate For Buyers: Free Ebook Updates Forever.

    Be sure to enlarge this video and make sure your video settings are HD quality.

    Sequim Real Estate Market

    There’s a lot to know when you’re shopping for Sequim real estate. Every real estate market has its unique issues of concern. Sequim has incredibly pure water from private wells, but there is a Water Management Area in which the amount of water drawn from the wells has limitations. If you buy land and plan to build a home of your own, you need to know not all lots will be approved for a conventional septic system, which may require one of 24 different kinds of septic systems that can cost upwards of $24,000. If you build a home outside the city limits of Sequim in the County, you can save about $20,000 in fees and taxes. Water drainage and erosion tend to live in certain areas. Home inspectors are not all the same, and escrow companies are not all the same. There’s a lot to know at the local level, and these issues (and many more) are topics you need to research in advance to avoid a nightmare scenario later.

    My online resources and books help you with honest answers to your questions, and if you hire me as your Sequim real estate buyer’s agent, you get a lifetime of knowledge and experience at no extra cost. I love that, don’t you? Meanwhile, may I suggest my book, Sequim Real Estate For Buyers: Free Ebook Updates Forever.

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    Sequim podcasts by the thousands! Who in the world would do such a thing? Who would create that much original content? And who would do thousands of Sequim podcasts? Golly gee, that would be me, aka yours truly, aka Chuck Marunde. Over 2,110 of a decade of Sequim real estate articles now live in the world of Sequim podcasts.

    Sequim Podcasts

    Sequim Podcasts on Your Computer

    Now you can listen to Sequim podcasts about buying real estate in Sunny Sequim on your desktop computer or laptop or on your iPad or Android device. You can still read my articles if you prefer, but you might want to give your poor eyes a break once in a while and just listen to an article.

    You may know this, or you will realize this as you browse and read some of the 2,110 articles on my Sequim real estate blog, but there is an article that answers almost every question buyers have been asking about buying real estate in Sequim for two decades. I know that because I’ve been answering those questions as a real estate lawyer and broker for over 20 years. These Sequim podcasts are my continuous effort to answer all your questions even before you ask me.

    Sequim Podcasts on Your Smartphone and in Your Car

    Of course you can listen to Sequim podcasts on your smartphone anywhere, including in your car as you are driving to work on that eight lane Los Angeles freeway. May God have mercy on your soul. Or maybe I should say, may Governor Gavin Newsome have mercy on your soul. Not to get side-tracked, but tell me why you are still in California and not in Sequim Washington.

    So how does this work? (more…)

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    Escaping California to The San Juan Islands

    Escaping California is quite popular among the middle class and upper class of California, and they are escaping California in large numbers every single day of the week. The documented (as opposed to undocumented) exit from California shows how there is a net decrease in this segment of the population. So many Californians are moving to the Northwest, including Sequim, WA, that I felt compelled to write about it in my latest book.

    Escaping CaliforniaEscaping California

    Escaping California to the San Juan Islands

    The book is really a fun little book that shares how incredible the San Juan Islands are plus how amazing Sequim WA is, too. This is an ebook, and I’ve included a number of videos showcasing the San Juan Islands. 

    I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is still in California. You’ve got to see how good we have it up here. The list of problems and nightmares in California is quite long, and seems to be getting longer, while Sequim has none of those problems. Not one. We’re very blessed for sure.  (more…)

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Sequim Realtor Publishes New Book

    Sequim Realtor pens another real estate book. Sakal Publishing is pleased to announce that Chuck Marunde published his newest real estate book. The title is Real Estate From Bricks and Mortar to High Tech Virtuality. As a Sequim Realtor, Chuck has created many valuable resources for buyers, also known on the Internet as content-rich resources. In fact, way back in 1997 Chuck received an award for his website because it was “content-rich.”

    Sequim Realtor Prolific Author

    Chuck is a prolific Sequim Realtor as an author and writer, having written over 2,000 online articles for buyers who are planning to move to the Sequim area. Real Estate From Bricks and Mortar to High Tech Virtuality is Chuck’s 9th real estate book, and his 18th book overall.

    Chuck’s other real estate books include:

    Buying & Selling Real Estate in the Rain Shadow
    Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide
    Sequim Real Estate for Buyers, Free eBook Updates Forever
    The Seven Myths of Selling Your Home
    The New World of Marketing for Real Estate Agents
    Buying & Selling Real Estate (iBooks)
    Buying Your Retirement Home (iBooks)
    How to Make an Offer (iBooks)

    It was 25 years ago when Chuck moved his family to Sequim and continued law practice as a real estate lawyer. In a rural area like Sequim, lawyers didn’t specialize. In order to survive in a small town, lawyers typically have a general practice, so they dabble in divorce law, business law, estate planning, and real estate. Chuck came from a real estate sales background in Alaska, and went to law school to specialize in real estate, so specializing in real estate law made sense, and his special expertise was a big hit among Sequim residents and Realtors who could call him and get free advise anytime.

    Sequim Realtor

    Chuck spent a lifetime acquiring his real estate knowledge, and years of experience as a real estate escrow officer closing transactions, a real estate attorney in Spokane, and many years gaining experience as a real estate attorney dealing with nearly every aspect of real estate contracts and real estate conflicts and litigation. (more…)

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    Does Integrity Matter?

    Does integrity matter? If you could have a confidential and totally honest and transparent conversation with a politician in Washington D.C., or a used car salesmen in your town, or a lawyer in the city, or an employee at Google or Amazon, or a division head at the Department of Justice, or a supervisor at the USGS, or a journalist at the Washington Post, and you asked them, “Does integrity matter,” what would they say?

    Does Integrity Matter?

    We’d like to think they would all say, “Absolutely, integrity does matter.” While we can all acknowledge that there are some wonderful and honest people in all of these places, the sad and obvious reality is that we are living in an America where the answer might be a sarcastic question like, “Are you kidding?”

    Does Integrity Matter

    What is integrity? I’m a real estate broker who has 20 years of real estate law practice under my belt, and I can tell you that the legal profession is much worse than most people think, and most people already have plenty of lawyer jokes. “How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving?” We’ve all heard them for decades. And we’ve heard plenty of sarcasm about used car salesmen and Catholic priests.

    The phrase “fake news” has become one of the most recognized and used phrases of our day. Why? Because fake news is everywhere. It’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not true in the news, whether it’s news on T.V. or the print newspapers or on Facebook. And we see well documented news that is not fake being deleted and demonetized on Youtube because Youtube, like the major news organizations, no longer believes in freedom of the press or the right to express one’s opinion.

    What happened to the truth? Does no one care about the truth any more? Does integrity matter or not? I guess it depends on who you’re asking. (more…)

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • The home buying process in Sequim is a mystery to some who haven’t bought and sold a lot of homes over a lifetime, but even if you have a lot of real estate experience in Boulder, Houston, Miami, San Bernardino, Phoenix, or Anchorage, every real estate market is unique, and every area of the country has its own unique issues that requires caution on the part of buyers.

    I decided to put together a sweet little buyer timeline which lays out the home buying process in the Sequim WA area. Here it is, and my hope is that it will give you some guidance and reassurance as you will be better prepared to handle what comes down the road.

    The Sequim Home Buying Process

    Home Buying Process

    The Home Buying Process or Buying Timeline

    As you can see in this timeline when you enlarge it by clicking on it, there are many steps to searching for your ideal home, doing all the preliminary due diligence that you will need to do, and then drafting an offer, negotiating the price and terms, and then completing the various inspections and inspection responses, if required, to get all the way to closing. This home buying process shown on this timeline is really the tip of the iceberg since each step is sometimes quite involved.  (more…)

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • What if you had the ultimate Buyers Agent (apostrophe intentionally left out) who was your personal concierge helping you filter through homes on the Internet long before you arrived in Sequim, and then walked through your list of favorites with you discussing features and the true fair market value of each home with you? And what if your buyers agent helped you negotiate the best possible price and terms because he had decades of experience, and what if your buyer’s agent protected your backside throughout the entire process?

    Your Buyers Agent a Personal Concierge

    If you had a buyer’s agent who did all these things and truly took care of you and watched out for your best interests, including asking questions you didn’t know you should be asking, and if this buyers agent walked with you all the way through every detail to closing with the experience of both a lawyer and a Realtor, you would truly have a Real Estate Concierge. (more…)

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  • Your Sequim Buyers Agent Chuck Marunde

    Who will your Sequim Buyers Agent be? [I’m leaving out the apostrophe intentionally for SEO purposes.] I hope your Sequim Buyers Agent will be me. In this short video, I do something I’m surprised I’ve never done before, at least like this: I introduce myself and give you my little sales pitch.

    Sequim Buyers Agent Chuck Marunde, J.D.

    Hiring a Sequim Buyers Agent

    I think there is more to hiring a Sequim Buyers Agent than most buyers realize. I say this because the NAR (National Association of Realtors) did a national survey, and they concluded that 85% of buyers hired the first Realtor they talked to without any interview or other research. That’s a little surprising, isn’t it?  (more…)

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  • Why The Urgency to Buy a Home in Sequim WA?

    I think you should buy a home in Sequim. Why? In the past months I have strongly urged my readers to buy a home in Sequim after selling their current home. I follow the economy (nationally and Internationally), the real estate markets across America, and I am persuaded that many key areas of the U.S. are going to see a strong pull back in real estate sales and prices soon, especially in California and in many major metropolitan areas across the U.S. If prices are going to pull back, why buy a home in Sequim? Because the exodus is from California and other states to rural areas like Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula, and with a small inventory, the demand for homes retirees want will hold prices steady in Sequim, or even push them up a little.

    I include this video about the Australian real estate market, not because we are dependent on that market, but because it is a lesson about what can happen and how an entire nation of people can be caught off guard. What we have to watch for in International markets is what starts in one nation and then continues in a domino effect around the world. We are already seeing danger signs across metropolitan areas in the U.S., areas that were hot over the past two years but have cooled off dramatically in the past six months.

    Buy a Home in Sequim After Selling Your Current Home

    The best homes in the best areas have been selling in the Sequim area, despite the fact that real estate markets elsewhere have been cooling off. That’s because retirees are doing their research, and they are looking for a safe place to live, a reasonably mild climate (despite our recent bad weather in Sequim), a place far from terrible storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, fire storms, erupting volcanoes, and areas where a major earthquake could trap them in a city with no where to run. Sequim has none of these major problems plaguing so much of our country, and Sequim has an extremely low crime rate. All this, and more, is why I recommend that you buy a home in Sequim, and that you do so now. (more…)

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • This is a buyer checklist on what to do after you have reached mutual acceptance with the seller. In other words, once you have a fully signed agreement and you and the seller have agreed on the price and all terms and signed and initialed the purchase and sale agreement (PSA) and all the relevant addendums for your transaction, what happens next? This is the buyer checklist I share with my buyers as a Sequim Buyer’s Agent.

    Buyer Checklist

    Buyer Checklist

    After you have mutual acceptance:

    1. The countdown for all deadlines starts the day after you have mutual acceptance. So the day after is day 1.
    2. As your buyer’s agent I deliver a fully signed copy of the agreement to the designated escrow company the day of (if it isn’t too late) or the next morning.
    3. The escrow company opens a file and gives a copy of the agreement to their title plant. The title plant or the title company begins a comprehensive search of all records, liens, judgments, and encumbrances that effect the property.
    4. Once the escrow company has opened their file, you as the buyer need to deposit the earnest money with the escrow company right away. State law requires the deposit to be made within 3 business days, but I like to say that the deposit should be made without delay. You can deliver a check to the escrow company, but for most of my out-of-town buyers, it is more efficient to simply wire the earnest money into the escrow company’s trust account. When I email the title company your PSA, I ask them in that email to email you and give you wiring instructions, unless you are local, in which case you can hand deliver the check to them.
    5. If you’re getting a loan, you should immediately email a copy of the full agreement to your mortgage broker or loan officer. This is important, because the loan process is the longest process taking up to 30 days or 45 days for a VA loan. Your mortgage broker has to bring in other parties at his end, like a loan processor, an appraiser through an appraisal management company, and a loan underwriter.
    6. The next step that should be done right away is to call a home inspector and schedule the home inspection. You can do this yourself, or you can delegate this to me. I can refer you to a home inspector if you don’t know one, and for your information I never receive any referral fee or any benefit from any home inspectors. There are several good ones, but I can give you two right here who always do very thorough inspections and clients love them. One is Tyler Zimmel, and the other is Chuck Bishop. You can find both of them and their emails and phone numbers on a Google search. The cost of a home inspection is $350 to $400.
    7. The seller will be obligated under the standard terms of our agreements to order the septic inspection report at the seller’s expense. The seller will usually pay $150 to $250 for this inspection. This item is not so much a part of the buyer checklist, but it’s good to know who does what.
    8. If the property is on a municipal water system, you don’t have to worry about ordering a private well inspection, but if the property does have a private well, you have the option of ordering a water flow test and a water quality test for bacteria and nitrates. That inspection would be at your expense, and you can either order it yourself, or you can delegate it to me. Brother’s Plumbing and Integrity Pumps both do great work. The cost of this inspection is usually less than $250.

    Buyer Checklist Additions

    There are other addendum that we use, depending on the transaction. There’s a Title Addendum, a Feasibility Addendum, and at least 80 more legal addendum that we have in our documents inventory. It’s critical that your buyer’s agent knows exactly which addendum you will need for your own protection. I’m thankful I was a real estate attorney for 20 years, because this gives my buyers a huge advantage.

    Depending how each inspection goes, there will be inspection responses we need to put in writing, and there may be sub-inspections we add to the buyer checklist that need to be ordered if a red flag is triggered. But you don’t have to have all this figured out in advance. This is one of the reasons you hire an experienced buyer’s agent.

    Of course, part of what I do is answer my clients’ questions along the way, help them with the inspections, attend inspections they cannot attend on their behalf, and advise them at each step. I hope this little buyer checklist is helpful to you.

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Sequim Broker Reaches Out to Sellers

    This Sequim broker is reaching out to homeowners to find listings for buyers. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that our home inventory in the MLS is very low, and buyers are having a hard time finding the ideal home. 

    Sequim Broker Marketing System

    The ideal home most retirees are looking for in the Sequim area is a single level, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,800 to 2,200 square foot home, open floor plan, and a modern kitchen on a nice lot with some privacy. Unfortunately, this home doesn’t exist in our inventory. Buyers from around the U.S. have been hiring Chuck Marunde as their Sequim broker to help them find their home, but many cannot find it, because it doesn’t exist in the inventory. 

    As a result, Chuck Marunde is reaching out to homeowners in the Sequim area to seek home listings for these buyers. With the largest marketing system online of any Sequim broker, it only makes sense for iRealty to find homes for our buyers. 

    Sequim Broker Marketing System for Sellers

    Sequim Broker

    Click on Image to Open Full Size

    To help homeowners understand how they benefit from a large marketing system built over a 10 year period specifically for buyers, Chuck is offering local Sequim homeowners a free copy of his latest eBook, The Seven Myths of Selling Your Home. If you are planning to sell your home, you can also get a free copy of this eBook, even if you are in another state. See the instructions on the bottom of the enlarged image above. 

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    Buyer Expectations

    Buyer expectations are an important part of the algorithm for buyers coming to the Sequim area. This is also true for my buyers buying in Port Angeles, or Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Port Handlock, or also Brinnon or Quilcene. I’ve seen buyer expectations that were not realistic, and that can really derail your plans if you want to buy a home and retire in Sequim. Let me expand on this, because as a buyer you may not be aware of this trap for the unwary buyer, and I’ve come to realize how important this is for buyers to understand.

    Buyer Expectations

    Buyer Expectations #1

    If you are coming from another area in the United States, which almost all of our retirees are, you may have been living in a real estate market that is totally different than the market in Sequim, and that can color your buyer expectations. I’ll give you some real life examples.

    I showed a couple homes over a two day period some time back. They couldn’t find their idea of the “perfect” home, so they had to compromise, and they decided to make an offer on the one that best suited them. Of course, there probably isn’t such a thing as the “perfect home” for anyone. We reached an agreement with the seller and proceeded to do the necessary due diligence. I attended the home inspection on their behalf because they went back to Temecula. The inspection report showed a few minor things that were normal in a home that was 22 years old, but nothing major. Nevertheless, the buyers decided to terminate the transaction because they decided it was too far out of town. It was a 22 minute drive to Safeway from the home. Apparently they were having conversations at home about that, and one of them felt that it would be too far to run to town for a half gallon of milk, because according to the wife, “By the time you go to town, shop for milk, and drive back home, it will take an hour.” 

    Apparently the buyer expectations for them involved being very close to convenient shopping. Okay, I get that. Why did they have those buyer expectations? They had lived within 7 minutes of a grocery store for the last 35 years. I terminated their transactions according to their instructions. They never did buy a home in the Sequim area. Interesting.

    Buyer Expectations #2

    I represented a man from Thousand Oaks, and he had lived in an expensive gated community for over 24 years. He was used to having everything in his neighborhood immaculate and maintained to perfection. He wanted to be up high where he could have both a view and some privacy in Sequim. When we looked at homes in the hills around Sequim, he expressed frustration that the driveways to the homes he liked were gravel and some were “steep” compared to the perfectly level roads he was used to in Thousand Oaks. He worried about being “remote” and getting in and out when it snows. His buyer expectations ultimately killed his move to Sequim. He now rents a small home in Edmonds, north of Seattle. Interesting.

    Buyer Expectations #3

    I had a buyer from a large metropolitan area, and after struggling for months, she finally found the right home. We wrote an offer and reached mutual acceptance with the seller. The home was in nearly perfect condition, and it was in a premium Sequim area. Immediately after the home inspection, she decided to terminate the transaction. Why? She shared that the home had been poorly maintained and there were too many issues of concern. The truth is the home was in extraordinary good condition, had passed the home inspection with flying colors, and the home inspector told me himself he had rarely inspected a home that was so clean and had so little to report. After 23 years in Sequim, I felt the same way. This was the perfect home, if there is such a thing, yet the buyer terminated. Why? Buyer expectations. She expected something that had no blemishes whatsoever, even though this was a “used home” and not brand new construction.

    I’ve also had buyers who did not have a good understanding of roofs, HVAC systems, concrete, septic systems, private wells, drainage, and so on, and yet they didn’t listen to my counsel or the inspector’s opinion. They assumed they had knowledge they did not have, and ultimately they made decisions that were not based on what is true and what I would call “reasonable practices.”

    There are many verses in Proverbs that say we should “surround ourselves with wise counselors.” I am a strong believer in the idea that we should surround ourselves with wise advisers who are also trustworthy. You need to collect all the relevant information you can, and then ultimately you must make the decision that you feel is in your best interests. So here’s my advice for buyers who want to avoid false buyer expectations.

    First, know what you want and what you can afford. Be realistic. Second, find the best Realtor you can with the knowledge and experience you feel will give you what you need. Third, make sure you’ve done your due diligence and that you know how to interview a Sequim buyer’s agent who is absolutely honest, has integrity, and is trustworthy. You would think all buyers would know this, but they do not. Fourth, once you have wise counselors in your corner (your buyer’s agent, your loan office, your home inspector, your well inspector), listen to them. It’s in your own best interests, right? Ultimately, you get to make your own decisions, but make sure your decisions are based on reality, on true facts, and on solid advice.

    I hope this helps you align your buyer expectations with reality and make wise decisions for your future. I’m here to help.

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Sequim Buyer’s Agent

    If you could find a Sequim Buyer’s Agent with the qualifications that would assure you that you were well represented, would you hire that agent? Let’s assume you are retiring to Sequim and you want to find and buy your ideal retirement home. Doesn’t it sound like a good idea to find the best Sequim Buyer’s Agent you can possibly find after a great deal of due diligence? [See my Bonus Gift at the end of this article.]

    Sequim Buyer’s Agent

    Why am I asking this question? Because I’m sometimes surprised by how many retirees move to Sequim but do zero due diligence on their agent. I know I don’t have to remind you how much is at stake here for you. A huge portion of your life savings, a lot of stress as you work through the move from your current home to Sequim. You are leaving familiar ground, your grocery stores, your favorite restaurants, your church, and friends. When you get to Sequim, you start all over on all of these. Then there’s the financial challenges, because you’re trying to buy the best home you can while keeping your retirement account and savings to levels that won’t put you at risk years from now when you don’t know how much health care cost are going to increase.

    Sequim Buyer's Agent

    So here’s my rhetorical question, “Why do well educated and intelligent retirees hire a Sequim Buyer’s Agent without any interview or due diligence in advance?”

    I think the simple answer is that they don’t know they should. I think good people assume that all real estate brokers are the same, or that they all have the same real estate education, experience, competence, professionalism, and integrity. Of course, just by phrasing that issue like I just did will immediately make you say to yourself, “No, I don’t assume that.”

    Granted, you may not, yet many still hire agents without any idea whether they can protect their interests, negotiate the best price and terms, help them through the legal contracts, properly do all the due diligence necessary, and get to closing safely.

    Recently, a couple were in Sequim to visit because they were considering moving to Sequim. They were parked somewhere in Sequim and finished their business when the wife said to her husband, “Honey, there’s a real estate office across the street. Why don’t we see if they can help us?,” to which he replied, “Sure.”

    Sounds harmless enough, right? So they waltzed into the office, and sitting just inside the front entrance was a woman doing “desk time” at a clean desk with nothing but a telephone. She was watching the phone in case it rang. [I’m having fun here with my meager attempt at dry wit, so bear with me.]

    They asked the desk agent about homes, and she said she would take them out and show them some homes, to which they readily agreed. They had never met her, never talked to her before, never emailed with her, and did no interview of any kind. These folks did buy a home through that agent.

    Their agent apparently had very little experience in real estate or dealing professionally with other agents, because she made one huge mess, got everyone frustrated, even her own clients, and put the entire transaction at risk. If I told you the details, you would really understand the point even more. 

    A Sequim Buyer’s Agent I Am

    I’m not trying to pick on real estate agents. My goodness I am one! But this story I’m sharing is far too common all across the fruited plains, and guess who is responsible for hiring inexperienced agents? Buyers.

    Please don’t risk your peace and money by not doing your due diligence. I don’t plug myself a lot on this blog, although I notice that I have in a few recent articles. It’s taken me 10 years to post the 2,000 articles on this blog, produce the Sequim Buyer’s Video Series (and others), write many Sequim real estate books for buyers, record audios for buyers, and create the best programmed Sequim MLS sites for buyers.

    So after doing all this for buyers for a decade (and having 20 years as a real estate attorney behind me and sharing everything I know with buyers free), I think I’ve earned the right to toot my horn once in a great while. There’s not another Sequim Buyer’s Agent that does all this for buyers like I do. No one has worked harder or longer to earn your business than I have.

    I would appreciate your vote! Of course, what I mean by that is I would appreciate you hiring me as your Sequim Buyer’s Agent. I don’t charge you anything, and you get a lifetime of experience in your corner. Seriously, is that not a great offer? Why would a buyer not take me up on this offer unless you just don’t like bald guys?

    I respect anyone’s decision to hire whomever they want as their Sequim buyer’s agent. What I’m talking about here is a very fundamental concept. It is in your best interests as a buyer to find and hire a Sequim Buyer’s Agent based on their knowledge, experience, competence, professionalism, and integrity. No?

    You can interview me on the phone or in person. You can ask me any question you want, professional or personal. I am Mr. Transparent. There is no question I will duck, and you will know right away exactly what kind of person I am, and you’ll know whether you want to work with me or not.

    BONUS GIFT: I just published my new eBook with almost 100 chapters, all focused on buying a home in Sequim. It is entitled Sequim Real Estate for Buyers, Free eBook Updates Forever. If you plan to hire me as your Sequim Buyer’s Agent, I will email you my new eBook absolutely free. Just email me at and let me know what format you are reading, iBooks, Nook, Kindle, Kobe, or Google Play. Be sure to type “Send eBook” in the subject line. This book will be on for $9.95 shortly, but I’ll send it to you free.

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • 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
  • How to Buy a Home in Sequim

    How to buy a home in Sequim is a query of many retirees who are currently living all over the continental United States and Hawaii and Alaska. If you live in Temecula, Denver, Honalulu, Miami, or Fairbanks you will undoubtedly have many questions about the Sequim real estate market. Every market has its own unique real estate issues, and you can’t be expected to know what the traps for the unwary are in the Sequim real estate market. That’s my job, and that’s why this blog has over 2,000 articles written specifically for buyers, and it’s why I made my Sequim Buyer Video Series. Your need for information on how to buy a home in Sequim is also why I’ve written six books on the subject. Here’s a short video you might enjoy.

    How to Buy a Home in Sequim

    How to Buy a Home

    There are so many issues that you need to be aware of if you buy a home in the Sequim area. You don’t necessarily have to know it all yourself, but my book Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide will be helpful in preparing for the transition. I also wrote Buying and Selling Real Estate in the Rain Shadow, which you might find helpful. As you may know, Sequim is known as the Rain Shadow or the Blue Hole because we only get 16 inches of rain per year, one-third that of Seattle.

    I recommend watching this short video, buy one or two of my books, and then you have me as a resource while you gather information and when you come to see homes. You can email me, text me, or call me anytime. I promise, I’ll help you unpack the whole issue of how to buy a home in Sequim.

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • A Real Estate Broker Who Puts Clients First?

    A real estate broker has a business model and personal values that guide how and what he does for his clients. Too often a real estate broker is focused purely on his commissions, and so everything he does is deeply influenced by the profit motive. The average client would assume their real estate broker is putting their interests above all else. Today I want to share for the first time the core principles that guide this real estate broker, and this is really more about than it is about me.

    Real Estate Broker

    Real Estate Broker Principles

    First, my clients are at the center of the Universe. This means my entire business, all my marketing, my customer service, what I do and how I do it for clients is guided by my client’s best interests. They are at the center of the Universe and everything I do revolves around them, not me. I never compromise my clients’ needs and preferences.

    Second, life is all about relationships. Life is not about things and money. Life is about people living their lives and enjoying their relationships. Buying a home is about quality of life, and that means relationships with your spouse, children, and friends. As a real estate broker I understand my small but important role in my client’s life.

    Third, at the end of every decision is a person. I love this principle, because it puts what I do in perspective and reminds me that everything I do for my clients affects someone’s life. 

    Fourth, this real estate transaction may be the most important transaction of my client’s life. Every real estate transaction is important, but for my client, this transaction is everything. That makes what I do in each transaction far more important than myself. 

    Real Estate Broker Focus on Clients’ Best Interests

    Every single client gets my undivided attention, and I give each of my clients all my all my focus and all my emotional energy. I hope this is helpful, and I hope this is a gentle reminder that your real estate broker should be more than just a sales person.

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Buy a Home in Sequim Sight Unseen?

    The idea of buying a home sight unseen is most likely not your first choice. Normally, I would not recommend buying a home until you’ve walked through it and around it yourself. But the Sequim real estate market is a strong seller’s market with a very low inventory, and demand far exceeds supply. Buyers from around the United States are watching the Sequim real estate market closely, and this means by the time you arrive in Sequim, the home you saw in the MLS and planned to see is probably sold.

    Sight Unseen

    Buy a Home Sight Unseen

    I’ve helped nearly a dozen clients purchase homes sight unseen. As a buyer you will have to rely on your buyer’s agent to do everything you would do and a lot more. I just sold a home sight unseen this week to a couple from New York. Here’s how we did it.

    For months my clients searched the local listings using the best Sequim MLS site, which includes every home for sale in Sequim and Port Angeles and the entire county. I recommend this site because it is much more accurate than Zillow, and in this market, you need accurate information on homes. As my clients planned their trip to Sequim, they saved their favorites. Unfortunately the homes on their short list were all selling before they could get here.

    They were under a lot of stress, because they had already sold their own home in New York, and the closing date was coming soon. They had to be out of that home, and would be driving to Sequim with a big moving truck full of everything they owned, but they had no place to live, and every home they liked was selling before they could even see it. (more…)

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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
    125 Olympic Ranch Ln, Sequim, WA
    (360) 775-5424

    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

    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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    Sequim Real Estate Agent
    Chuck Marunde Text or Call 360-775-5424