Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

Welcome to the largest Sequim Real Estate Blog with over 2,000 articles.

Menu

Archive for the ‘Buyer’s Agent’ Category

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.

Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • 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. 

    Possibly Related Posts:


    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.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • 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 ChuckMarunde@gmail.com 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 Amazon.com for $9.95 shortly, but I’ll send it to you free.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 1 Comment
  • 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.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • 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.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • 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.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • 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…)

    Possibly Related Posts:


    Buying a home is no small matter these days. I’m using the phrase “no small matter” like the Vikings used it. In the movie The 13th Warrior starring Antonio Banderas, his Viking friends used the phrase “no small matter” to describe situations that rose to the level of life threatening. If something was a small matter, while it would be a major matter for you and me today, the Vikings were extraordinarily tough, and it took a lot for them to call something “no small matter.”

    Buying a Home

    Buying a Home Today No Small Matter

    The truth is that buying a home is no small matter these days. There are several reasons I say that. First, the extensive legal documents required today are almost overwhelming for most buyers and sellers. Did you know that when Realtors draft your offer with all the addendums and legal language, they are held to the same standard as licensed lawyers? That’s true, but unfortunately 99% of Realtors have no legal experience.

    Second, the negotiating skills required today are head and shoulders above the simple days of the past. You negotiate not just price, but a lot of terms now, including various “what if” scenarios. Third, as a buyer, you are obligated to do your own due diligence on the property you want to buy. The list of due diligence items are beyond the scope of this brief article, but this is where expertise is really needed. Today with all the complexities and liabilities of buying and selling real estate, you cannot afford not to have an expert in your corner. (more…)

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • You will be selecting a real estate agent. The purpose of this brief article is to share one tip with you–how to avoid the big mistake that some buyers make when selecting a real estate agent.  If you screw up selecting a real estate agent who can represent you well, it will cost you, not me. Take this advice with a grain of salt if you want to, but it comes with almost 40 years in real estate, including 20 years as a real estate attorney. I share this hard learned experience with you absolutely free. Do with it as you will, but it is solid and sage advice.

    Selecting a Real Estate Agent

    Selecting a Real Estate Agent

    I got a phone call a few days ago from a gentleman, but I was on the line with another person, so I didn’t pick up. I called back within 3 minutes, and the gentleman said, “I just went down the list and called the next agent, and he answered the phone, so I have an appointment to view a home with him.”

    I don’t doubt this gentleman was doing what he thought made sense, but he was making a big mistake selecting a real estate agent, not for me but for himself. Think about what he did. He was about to spend a large sum of money, and he was selecting a real estate agent by just grabbing the next name off a list. And not a refined list of highly qualified Realtors. Just an unfiltered list on the Internet. Really? Is buying a home like buying a pair of socks on a shelf? Is selecting a real estate agent like finding the next clerk at the Post Office, or the next Barista at Starbucks? Or is hiring an agent just a matter of cold calling people off a list, and the first one to answer wins? May I speak plainly? It’s hard to imagine that anyone would use such a reckless approach for such an important task, and with so much money at stake.

    Would you hire a financial planner and give him your life savings without some research on him and his company? Would you hire a babysitter without references? If you needed serious legal help, would you hire the first attorney to answer the phone in the Yellow pages with no interview, and no research? (more…)

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 3 Comments
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Packaging Sells Real Estate

    Packaging sells, and great packaging sells a lot more. This is true whether you are buying real estate or donuts. I was in one of Sequim’s local grocery stores, and as I often do, I was browsing the bakery department. Mostly I just look. I try to watch my calories (when I have the self-discipline). I didn’t buy anything on this day, and a few days later I was in the store browsing again. I noticed some of the same items on the same shelves, only the date was a few days older. All the bakery treats look so fresh and delicious, but appearances can be deceiving. All that glistens is not gold.

    Packaging Sells Donuts

    Packaging Sells

    Unfortunately all these bakery goods are just sitting on shelves for days at a time with no refrigeration. How fresh can they be? Every once in the while I lose my self-control and buy a box or package, and when I taste them at home, they are terrible. They look delicious with all the bright colors, but they do not taste as good as they look. I often throw away the whole package after the first bite. Considering all the artificial ingredients needed, that’s probably a good thing. I think most people buy this junk because attractive packaging sells. If these bakery treats looked as bad as they taste, I certainly wouldn’t buy them.

    Packaging Sells Homes

    Packaging sells homes too, and by packaging I mean marketing. Consumers are often sold on appearances alone. When you look at a home on the Internet, you’ll see the photos the listing agent took, but are they accurate representations of the home? Many buyers tell me “not so much” for some listings. And packaging sells real estate brokerages. Pretty building? Nice conference room? Agents who wear nice clothes? But what about the substance? Appearances alone do not guarantee knowledge, experience, professionalism, integrity, and loyalty. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of people who regretted their decision to hire someone.

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do your due diligence when you shop for a home, hire an agent, hire a home inspector, hire a well inspector, hire a mortgage broker, and work through the entire process. There’s no doubt that good packaging sells these days, but ultimately you’ve got to see right through the packaging to make wise decisions. Too bad I can’t get through the packaging at the bakery department and taste the goods before I buy them. My life would be so much better.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Bidding Wars

    Bidding wars among buyers have erupted in some areas of the country, areas like the Bay area in California and Seattle. We haven’t had these kind of intense bidding wars among buyers for homes in the Sequim area. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have multiple offers on some properties from time to time. We do, and so in this article I will discuss how to handle the Sequim version of bidding wars. As a buyer, when you find the ideal home and make an offer, you need to know exactly how to deal with a second or third competing offer.

    Bidding Wars

    Bidding Wars

    I drafted an offer yesterday for my New York buyer, and when I submitted it to the listing agent, she informed me another offer was coming in later on the same day. I always wonder what the odds of that happening are in a small rural market like this, but it does happen on rare occasions. I discussed this with my buyer, and laid out her three options.

    The first option is to just submit the offer and sit on our hands to wait out the seller’s decision. Of course, we have no idea how much the other offer is, and the listing agent is prohibited from revealing how much the other offer is.

    The second option is to submit an increased offer, which usually means offering full listing price, or offering slightly more. Of course, even then you don’t know if the other offer or offers will be more. The third option is to follow the original offer up with an addendum with an escalation clause. When bidding wars break out in metropolitan areas, an escalation clause is often used if a buyer wants to be sure that he or she is going to get the home.

    The escalation clause gives you as a buyer the right to match the other offer or offers and add a defined amount to the highest price offered by another buyer. Here is the exact language in that addendum:

    If Seller receives a competing offer for the property prior to accepting this offer, with a Price equal to or greater than the Net Price of this offer, then the Net Price of this offer shall be increased to $_______ more than the Net Price of the Competing Offer. In no event, however, shall the new purchase price of this offer exceed $_______. 

    Bidding Wars Can Be Expensive

    The challenge with using an escalation clause is that you still have to define a maximum price you would pay, and unless you choose a very high number above the listed price, you cannot be guaranteed you will be the highest bidder. Buyers who come to retire in the Sequim area to buy a home typically refuse to get involved in bidding wars.

    By the way, after several days of negotiating on behalf of my New York buyer, I am pleased to report that we were victorious over the other buyer, and my client is quite excited she has a binding contract with the seller. She has won her home in our local version of bidding wars. The key to successfully making this happen in my humble opinion, is an experienced, knowledgeable and professional buyer’s agent. Buyers normally listen to and rely on their agent’s advice when it comes to bidding wars.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • They Don’t Know What You Think They Know

    “They don’t know what you think they know” is a statement shared with me about 30 years ago at a seminar. The instructor made a fascinating point that I had never considered. This was a real estate seminar, and the instructor was talking about getting wise advice from experts. He suggested that the experts, or so-called experts that we often call on for counsel, well . . . they don’t know what you think they know. We assume they are experts and know everything about the subject, but they often do not. We have a tendency to assume that people know things they do not necessarily know. This can be such a dangerous trap, and in real estate it can cost you dearly.

    They don't know what you think they know

    They Don’t Know What You Think They Know

    Fast forward 30 years later to today. I’ve seen this played out time and time again, they don’t know what you think they know. I practiced real estate law for 20 years, and I learned that when new clients asked an attorney, “Do you practice real estate law?,” pretty much every lawyer answered, “Yes,” even though most did not. Clients never questioned their answer, and those same clients paid those attorneys a lot of money to learn the subject, which cannot be done quickly anyway.

    When it comes to retirement investing, the super majority of retirees or soon-to-be retirees, assume their registered investment adviser knows all about investing, how to protect their capital, avoid market crashes, and capture the greatest appreciation over the years. How wrong that assumption is. When I retired from real estate law practice, I was recruited by American Express Financial Advisers, now known as Ameriprise. I became a registered financial adviser, and I assumed they were going to teach me how to invest and trade. How wrong I was. They used computers to create “customized investment reports,” and we were simply salesman to close the deal. The investment community makes money off their 1.25% of funds under management, and their business model makes money even when all their clients are losing money like crazy. They don’t make money if you pull your money out of your account, so they recommend you keep it in the account even during a market down turn. They are fond of saying, “You invest for the long term.” Right. Investment advisers–they don’t know what you think they know.

    I’ve been in real estate brokerage for a long time, and I can tell you that if you assume that all real estate agents are experts and know everything you need to know, think again. They don’t know what you think they know. 

    They Don’t Know What You Think They Know

    Now here’s a trap. Every professional acts and looks like an expert. In other words, they look good, smell good, and smile at the right times. Unfortunately, most people assume too much about these professionals. My word of wisdom to you is simple. Do your own research. Ask questions, and be discerning when you hear the answers. Remember, they know how to overcome objections. They’ve learned all the scripts. They know what you want to hear. Your job to protect yourself is to listen to the answers and follow those up with more specific questions.

    Do not assume anything when you hire someone, including a Realtor. Because too often they don’t know what you think they know.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Sequim Real Estate Videos for Buyers

    Sequim real estate videos for buyers is now live. In this video, I introduce iRealty Virtual Brokers to buyers who are searching for content-rich information about Sequim real estate. As you’ll hear in the video, we offer more for buyers, more free information, more online articles, more books, more MLS sites, and more help for buyers online than any other Sequim or Port Angeles real estate broker, bar none. Check out our sites and watch our videos for yourself. And if you have any questions, we give away answers every day, absolutely free.

    Sequim Real Estate Videos Free Online

    We have many firsts as a real estate brokerage, and creating a series of Sequim real estate videos for buyers is another first. Our series includes videos that review the entire buying process for buyers of Sequim real estate and Port Angeles real estate, including the contracts, negotiating, the home inspection, the well inspection, the septic inspection, the escrow process, and much more.

    Sequim Real Estate Videos for Buyers

    I’ve learned that people love videos. Youtube’s massive success is proof of that. So consistent with our practice of putting our clients at the center of the Universe and giving them megabytes of free information that is accurate, truthful, and content-rich is just an extension of what we’ve been doing for years. These videos are intended to help people gather information that is accurate and without hidden agendas and zero manipulation. Would we like you to hire us as your real estate broker? Absolutely, but we would prefer that you do that only after doing your due diligence. 

    We will be adding many more videos in the weeks and months ahead so check back and peek at our buyer’s playlist, which you’ll find at SequimRealEstateVideos.com.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Beware Online Realtor Referral Sites

    Realtor referral sites are a major trap for the unwary consumer. Whether you are a buyer or seller, it would not be wise to rely on the many online sites that claim to offer you a reliable and credible Realtor referral. I’m about to tell you something few consumers know, and the implications are huge for you personally, not only financially but legally.

    Realtor-Referral

    Online Realtor referral sites do not filter and promote only Realtors who are experienced, professional, competent, and honest. Realtor referral sites have one and only one qualification: Money. Realtors who pay get promoted. The many referral sites claim to qualify Realtors or want to give you that impression, but they do not. You’ve heard the rule, “Follow the money.” Never was that more true than on these Realtor referral sites. Randomly hiring a Realtor from a Realtor referral site is like tossing the dice and hoping you just get lucky and end up with a qualified and honest Realtor.

    Realtor Referral Sites

    There are many Realtor referral sites online, such as Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Realtor.com, Homelight.com, AgentSearch.com, Yelp.com, AgentHarvest.com, MyAgentFinder.com, TopAgentsRanked.com, UpNest.com, and there are many others.

    HomeAdvisor.com is a similar type of referral site for home contractors, but it suffers from the same kind of disqualifying lack of credibility–whoever pays gets promoted. It’s all about money, not experience, not professionalism, and not integrity.

    Where there is an opportunity to make money, someone will create an organization that appears to help consumers by pre-qualifying professionals and filtering out the bad ones. It sounds like a good idea, and it is, but consumers are unwilling to pay for such a service, so where does the business make its money? From the professionals it is supposedly rating. Will business owners pay to be rated badly? No. But they will pay to show up on these sites so consumers will think they have been vetted and hire them.  (more…)

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 3 Comments
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Do Buyers Owe a Realtor Loyalty?

    Loyalty is earned, not automatically deserved. This subject comes up periodically because some buyers have the mistaken notion that they owe their undivided loyalty to the first Realtor they talk to, and other buyers will use several Realtors at the same time with no sense of loyalty at all. The first approach is not wise if you want good representation, and the second is unfair to the Realtors. So where is the balance?

    Loyalty

    How do we define loyalty, or where is the line in the sand that defines when a buyer owes their Buyer’s Agent undivided loyalty? This article is less concerned with a Realtor’s hurt feelings than it is on focusing on what is right and reasonable and courteous, consistent with a buyer’s best interests.

    When is Loyalty Owed?

    First, it is surprising that some buyers will hire the first Realtor they talk to with no research, no due diligence, and no idea if that Realtor has a foundation of real estate knowledge, or if they are competent, professional, honest, good with contracts and legal language, understand the extensive due diligence a buyer needs help with, are top notch negotiators, and have good communication skills. Believe it or not, according to the National Association of Realtors about 85% of buyers hire the first Realtor they talk to on the phone, no questions asked. With the power of the Internet today, there really is no excuse for not doing research on your buyer’s agent to help you filter agents in the very beginning, so the question of whether a Realtor has begun to earn loyalty should be addressed right away. Even if the answers are positive with your preliminary research online, an agent has not yet earned your undying loyalty. [Read about Loyalty at Buyer Beware.]  (more…)

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • What is your Realtor’s job when he or she is representing you as a buyer’s agent? This may surprise you, but as a buyer you probably have a more realistic understanding of what your Realtor’s job is than most Realtors. Today, I want to take a look at what you are entitled to expect of your buyer’s agent.

    Realtor's Job

    What is a Realtor’s Job?

    On the legal side your buyer’s agent owes you strict loyalty, agency and fiduciary duties. In other words, your Realtor’s job is to represent you well and protect you, too. Your Realtor’s job is not to act as a lawyer, but you cannot escape the fact that your buyer’s agent will be drafting a lot of contract documents for you, and so they had better know which ones to use and how to use them. 

    All this means your buyer’s agent should represent you honestly, competently, and professionally. You are entrusting your agent with a lot of money (possibly several hundred thousand dollars to a million), and that requires a level of knowledge and skill that rises to the same level of responsibility and importance as your CPA, your lawyer, your Registered Investment Adviser, and your doctor.

    Realtor’s Job is Critically Important

    Your buyer’s agent should know the subject of real estate upside down and backwards. He should be a master negotiator when it comes to your hard earned money. He should know exactly how to protect you with a buyer’s due diligence. He should be able to answer all your questions along the way, and he should be honest, articulate, and a pleasure to work with.

    Hiring a buyer’s agent is one of the most important decisions you will make as you go into your retirement years. Be careful. Be wise, and do your research before you hire a buyer’s agent. Your Realtor’s job is very important . . . to you.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Is There a Moral Obligation to a Realtor?

    The question today came from a gentleman who asked whether he had a moral obligation to work with a Realtor who had emailed him and talked to him on the phone about some properties. This gentleman clearly is a man of integrity, and it’s honorable that he would have a sense of loyalty to a Realtor. Loyalty is good. Honor is good. But does a buyer (or seller) have a moral obligation to work with a Realtor when he would prefer working with another Realtor? In other words, at what point does a client have a moral obligation to work with a Realtor? How much must a Realtor do to earn that moral obligation?

    Moral Obligation

    Moral Obligation

    A moral obligation does not exist just because someone emails and talks to you, or because they do some research, or even because they show you a few homes. None of that creates a moral obligation. A true moral obligation could be created when someone saves your life, or when someone does something so big that it changes the course of your life in a positive way. In less dramatic ways that moral obligation can be created at some point in a relationship, but where is that point with a Realtor?

    If you have not signed a Buyer’s Agency Agreement with a Realtor, you have no contractual obligation. [Never sign a Buyer’s Agency Agreement.] That’s the law. Judges have also ruled that just talking, emailing, or driving around and looking at houses does not create a binding agency relationship. At the core of the legal analysis is whether there is a moral obligation.

    You do not create a moral obligation with one phone call to an agent, nor with two or even 10 phone calls. Nor does one or a dozen emails create any kind of obligation. The Realtor owes you nothing, and you owe the Realtor nothing at that point. Realtors answer hundreds of emails and phone calls throughout the year to clients all over the country, and Realtors understand that is part of the business, but it certainly creates no moral obligation for anyone. 

    Moral Obligation with a Realtor

    Now suppose you have talked to a Realtor for a long time and emailed many times, and the Realtor has done many favors for you during the past six months or a year, such as taking additional photos of listings with insufficient photos, previewed a number of homes for you before you could arrive in Sequim, and perhaps he has incurred some costs sending your printed information in the snail mail. What we have here is a Realtor who has demonstrated a commitment to you with his own precious time on many occasions, and with his own money. He has clearly proven that he is willing to earn your trust, and if you have come to the conclusion after many phone calls and emails that he is competent, professional, trustworthy, and looking out for your best interests above and beyond, then there is some kind of moral obligation at that point.

    Let’s take this a step further. Suppose a Realtor does all of that, but you learn that this Realtor is not so competent, or that she is not very professional, or perhaps you come to the conclusion that she has not been entirely upfront with you. In such a case, if you ever did have a moral obligation to her, she has effectively terminated that obligation. 

    The first obligation on your part is to protect yourself and your spouse by making wise financial decisions, and that includes who you hire as a Realtor. So here’s a rhetorical question for you. Why would you hire any Realtor but the best one you could find after you have done your due diligence? There’s a lot at stake when you buy or sell a home–mostly your money, your liabilities, and your stress and happiness. Do not underestimate the importance of hiring the right Realtor, or avoiding hiring the wrong Realtor.

    What is peace of mind worth to you? Do not create an artificial moral obligation when none exists. You have the right to hire the best Realtor you can find, and that’s the truth. If the first Realtor you communicate with is not “the one,” then find and hire the best. End of story. Some kind of artificial moral obligation should not become your ball and chain.

    Possibly Related Posts:


    Why Emotional IQ is Important for Your Realtor

    Your Realtor’s emotional IQ (intelligence quotient) is far more important than most people realize, and I’ll tell you exactly why. Most people certainly realize that their agent should have a lot of real estate knowledge. They also realize that competence, professionalism and honesty are critically important. So now that we’ve just eliminated 50% of all Realtors (just kidding), let’s look closely at the importance of the emotional IQ when it comes to your real estate transaction and your Realtor.

    Emotional IQ

    Emotional IQ

    Daniel Goleman is the man who first came up with the idea of emotional IQ, and he wrote a best seller on the subject. It woke up a lot of us and confirmed our suspicion that intellectual IQ was not the answer to success and happiness. We knew there was more, and Goleman articulated what it is. It is the emotional IQ, which includes empathy and compassion, and the ability to identify with someone in a genuine way at the deep emotional and psychological levels. 

    What happens if someone does not have a normal or high emotional IQ? They do not have the ability to have compassion or empathy for you. They won’t understand how you feel. They can even go the wrong direction on you, and stab you in the back with no remorse, because they can’t begin to feel what you would.

    Emotional IQ in Your Realtor

    Now you know why it is so important that your Realtor not only have the requisite real estate foundation (knowledge, competence, negotiating experience, honesty, integrity), but it is vitally critical that your Realtor have a high emotional IQ. Imagine for a moment what your real estate transaction could be like without that high emotional IQ. 

    If your Realtor has a low emotional IQ, he/she would have no idea how important this transaction is to you emotionally and psychologically. He/she would be incapable of identifying with your stress, your frustrations, your hopes. As a result, your Realtor with a low emotional IQ would not feel compelled to stay up worrying about taking care of you or the details of your transaction. In one sense, a person with a low emotional IQ is a cold person, although they may get very good at pretending to be an empathetic person. Sales people can learn to be effective, even if they are not genuine.

    If you’ve had the opportunity to read my book, Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide, Chapter 12 includes a 15-Point Interview Checklist for buyers. And my book for sellers, The Seven Myths of Selling Your Home, includes a 26-Point Interview Checklist for sellers in Chapter 8. The vast majority of consumers do not know how to do their research on a Realtor and do not know how to interview them. That’s why I created these checklists. 

    It is my strong conviction that emotional IQ is a qualification you should add to your filtering process before you hire a Realtor. Now you know why your Realtor’s emotional IQ is important to you.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 1 Comment
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Who is the Number 1 Selling Agent in Sequim?

    Is your Realtor the number 1 selling agent? If you’re a buyer, you want a real estate agent who has a proven track record, but be careful about statistics. They can be misused. This article will show you what the single most important statistic is if you are hiring a buyer’s agent or a listing agent.

    What is the Most Important Statistic for the Number 1 Selling Agent?

    The single most important stat is the one that shows who sold the most homes representing buyers in your relevant price range. That person is called a “selling agent.” In other words, a selling agent is a buyer’s agent. This often confuses people. Think of it this way. An agent who represents the buyer is the one who actually sells the home. An agent who lists is a listing agent. A listing agent does not sell the home, unless he is a dual agent and also represents the buyer. So we have a listing agent (also known as a seller’s agent which is different than a selling agent), and we have a buyer’s agent, aka the selling agent.

    The relevant price range in Sequim for buyers who want a nice home is going to be above $200,000. You can’t buy much of a home for less than that. So if you are a buyer, you want a real estate agent who has a great track record selling the kinds of homes and the price range that you want. For example, you wouldn’t want to hire a Realtor who sells a lot of mobile homes if you want to buy a custom built $300,000 home.

    Number 1 Selling Agent for Sellers

    If you are selling a home, you also want a real estate agent who sells a lot of homes, not just one who lists a lot of homes. The difference is night and day. You want a Realtor with a fantastic marketing system [know what that means because nearly all Realtors say they have one] who actually sells homes like yours. So you might want the number 1 selling agent to list your home, because he doesn’t just list–he sells.

    I work hard and rarely check on the MLS statistics to grade myself against other Realtors. Statistics are relatively unimportant to me. What is important is taking care of my clients, and doing that better than anyone else. That can’t really be measured with a statistic. However, this morning I discovered for the first time that I am the number 1 selling agent of single family homes above $200,000 for all homes sold over the last seven years in Clallam County which includes Sequim and Port Angeles. That didn’t really surprise me, but it did make me laugh. This goes to show how UNIMPORTANT statistics are to me. Obviously I have not focused on being the number 1 selling agent in Sequim and Port Angeles. But sometimes when priorities are right and you don’t focus on the wrong things, you get what you did not seek.

    Beware of agents who tell you they are number 1, because you have to ask what statistics they are using. To prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am telling the truth and that I am the number 1 selling agent in this market for homes that sell above $200,000 for all sales going back to Jan 1 of 2009 through Dec 31 of 2015, I’m including this graphic from the Olympic Listing Service.

    Number 1 Selling Agent

    What does this show me? It shows me that my virtual marketing system is the largest in the entire county and maybe the Olympic Peninsula. It shows me that my business model is working exceedingly well. It tells me I’m doing a lot of things right, and that’s encouraging.

    If an agent tells you he or she is the number 1 selling agent, tell them that when another agent sells one of their listings, that does not count as one of their personal sales. The most important statistic is the homes they personally sell by representing a buyer. The agent who represented the buyer is the one who actually sold the house. The listing agent only listed the house. I mention this, because listing agents are counting my sales of their listings as their own sales in their listing presentations. Isn’t that interesting?

    What is more important than whether an agent is ranked the number 1 selling agent? Honesty, integrity, knowledge, experience, competence, skill, and truthworthiness. So here’s a thought. If an agent is willing to misrepresent statistics, doesn’t that kind of indicate there’s a problem with honesty and integrity?

    So here’s what’s so ironic. I don’t really care that I am the number 1 selling agent, because there are other more important character traits and values in my business model. Being the number 1 selling agent is just confirmation that my business model is a good one. And that brings me a great deal of satisfaction.

    Possibly Related Posts:


  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Search Sequim Blog

    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
    ChuckMarunde@gmail.com

    From Los Angeles

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

    From Seattle

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

    From Florida

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

    From Gilroy California

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

    From Corona California

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

    From Bakersfield California

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

    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.
    Sequim Real Estate Logo
    Sequim MLS

    Archives

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