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Archive for the ‘Buyer’s Agent’ Category

How to Find a Listing Agent

How do you find a listing agent who can help you get your home sold? The following is taken from a chapter in The 7 Myths of Selling Your Home. The book includes many insider secrets that homeowners have never thought about, and this topic on what sellers need in a listing agent is very likely a revelation for most sellers.

Listing Agent

I got a call from a retired couple who wanted to meet with me in their gorgeous home. They had listed their home for a year with another agent. It had not sold, and they shared that there had been very little activity, that they did not hear much from their agent, and they didn’t get satisfactory answers from their listing agent about what to do next to market their home. They came to the conclusion that simply putting it in the MLS was not enough. We discussed what a listing agent is expected to do, and too often what a listing agent does not do.

I met with them, and they asked me how I do what I do. They found me on the Internet and realized I had the largest Internet presence of any agent they could find on the Olympic Peninsula. After 40 minutes of explaining to them how I sell so many homes and how I connect with so many qualified buyers, the husband had an epiphany and turned to his wife, “Honey I know what we’ve been doing wrong. We were looking for a listing agent when we should have been looking for a buyer’s agent like Chuck who actually connects with so many qualified buyers.”

Listing Agent Revelation

It was a marvelous moment, a moment of truth and revelation. This gentleman had articulated something I knew but had never expressed so clearly. A home seller today wants an agent who is connecting with qualified buyers and selling a lot of homes himself. The revelation was that traditional listing agents are not necessarily that kind of agent today, if they ever were. This client came to the realization that the ideal listing agent today is most likely a great selling agent who also knows how to list and market homes.  (more…)

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A Virtual Tour

This is a virtual tour of a gorgeous Port Angeles home. What makes this virtual tour so incredible is that you literally can walk through any room in the house, go up and down the stairs, walk through the kitchen and around the island, and you can see every room just as you would as if you were there in person. It’s an astonishing technology. You use your mouse or your keyboard arrows to move throughout the house. It’s a lot of fun. Try it by clicking on this virtual tour:

Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour Helps Buyers

There’s no doubt about it: virtual tours are a huge help to buyers. Buyers have been saying for years, “after looking at the photos in the MLS, I can’t tell where the laundry room is with respect to the master bedroom, and is the master bedroom and the other two bedrooms on the same end of the house?” Clients also regularly ask, “is there a floor plan? I don’t see one in the MLS.” Notice that this virtual tour does have a 2 dimension and a 3 dimension floor plan. In the bottom right and the bottom left of the image are options for going to the floor plans, inside of the house, and moving from floor to floor.

Virtual Tour Helps Sellers

Sellers are going to be excited about these 3D virtual tours, because this is the newest and perhaps the most powerful visual way to promote a property, and when it comes to looking at homes online, we’re all visual.

By the way, you can learn more about this home by looking at the full MLS listing online at Port Angeles Virtual Tour.

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The Dream of Buying a Home in Sequim

Buying a Home in Sequim is a dream come true for many from all over the United States. It certainly was for John (not his real name). John went through some challenging times. He shared with me that, “life doesn’t go according to plan,” and he then said, “that’s not the exception; that’s the rule.” He was married and had children, but his wife divorced him. That rocked his world, but it also destroyed all he had built financially. Their home was sold, and he rented. He had to start all over late in life. It was very hard. His dream was to own his own home again, but first he had to pay off all the marital debts, finish paying years of child support until his youngest was 18, and rebuild his credit and save up the down payment. 

Buying a Home

Buying a Home in Sequim

His dream of owning his own home was more than just pride of ownership and being comfortable. For John buying a home would be symbolic of a new life and of feeling like a man again. For 10 years he worked night and day to pay off all the debts and rebuild his life. He spoke softly, “It’s been a long 10 years.” I’m very proud to have acted as his buyer’s agent and just put a house under contract for John. I can tell for him, it feels like a miracle, a dream finally come true. I’ve never done anything more gratifying than to help him find the ideal home and then buy it. It feels like a huge victory after great loss.

Buying a Home – The Dream

I don’t know what you may have been through in your life, but I think John was right when he said, “Life doesn’t go according to plan.” If you’re in your 50s or 60s now, you’ve seen some difficult times, some losses, some heart ache. I hope and pray that I would have the privilege of representing you as your Sequim Buyer’s Agent when you search for and buy your dream home. Buying a home is more than just retiring, and more than just comfort. Buying a home is symbolic of major milestones in life. I think for some, buying a home means so much that even words don’t fully tell the story.

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  • The Busiest Sequim Real Estate Office

    Which Sequim real estate office is one of the busiest with an agent who represents more buyers (in sales volume) than any agent in the county? You might not guess. It’s not one of the big national franchises, and it’s not an office with a large bricks-and-mortar building. The correct answer would be a Sequim real estate office by the name of iRealty Virtual Brokers, also registered as Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate. Congratulations are in order for Chuck Marunde, who is the number one Buyer’s Agent in the area. Here’s the hard data below in this graphic, but why is this significant for buyers like you? There’s an important reason we share all this.

    Sequim Real Estate Office

    Busiest Sequim Real Estate Office

    Buyers from all over the U.S. have been selecting Chuck Marunde as their Buyer’s Agent, and since buyers are doing a lot of research online, that’s a significant endorsement from a lot of people. You can read more about his background at Sequim Real Estate Office. Learn about Chuck’s personal side at Who is Chuck Marunde? To find out how Chuck can help you, we recommend you email ChuckMarunde@gmail.com, and talk to him on his direct phone line, 360-775-5424.

    Sequim Real Estate Office – Hire Way in Advance

    We urge you hire your Buyer’s Agent (covering Sequim, Port Angeles, and Port Townsend) well in advance of coming to look at homes. Remember, you don’t need to hire the biggest Sequim real estate office–just the right buyer’s agent for you.

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  • Secret Agent

    How would you like a secret agent of your own? Wouldn’t it be great to have a real estate buyer’s agent you can trust to help you filter through the MLS listings in Sequim, Port Angeles, or Port Townsend? Since the best homes in the best areas are selling now, sometimes within a matter of days, buyers planning trips from around the country are often very disappointed to find the homes they had at the top of their list sold just days before they got here. So what can you do? Hire a secret agent.

    Secret Agent

    Secret Agent aka Your Buyer’s Agent

    In this market, it is a very good idea to have a secret agent who can help you filter through the listings before you arrive, someone you can email or call to ask about particular listings, and someone who can go out and preview properties for you. You also need a secret agent who can answer all your questions about real estate issues and questions you have about the area and particular homes. 

    Secret Agent

    “I love representing buyers from California and Texas and Colorado and around the country. The great thing is, I don’t charge my buyers a cent, and yet I get to represent them fully as their buyer’s agent, and the seller pays my real estate commission. With over three decades in real estate, including 20 years as a real estate lawyer, my clients get the professional representation they deserve. I love the way this works.”

    Contact Chuck Marunde by email (chuckmarunde@gmail.com) or text or call 360-775-5424 when you are ready to hire your secret agent.

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  • Did you know the first real estate agent buyers talk to is the one they usually hire? A National Association of Realtors’ survey indicated that 85% of buyers hire the first real estate agent they talk to on the phone without any pre-qualification, without any interview, without any due diligence. Hard to believe?

    Real Estate Agent

    Buyers Hire First Real Estate Agent

    Do you find this as interesting as I do? This means a lot of people are hiring inexperienced real estate agents. This means many people are entrusting their life savings to a total stranger they have not even pre-qualified. Does anyone else find that a bit shocking?

    Qualifying Your Real Estate Agent

    I don’t think it is a particularly insightful recommendation on my part to suggest that you do your due diligence before you hire a real estate agent. You certainly don’t have to hire me as your Sequim Buyer’s Agent, although I hope you do, but whomever you hire, do your research for your own sake. The good thing is you can do that research on the Internet right now from home. You’ll find checklists on this site, and many articles that will answer questions buyers have about Sequim and real estate agents. Know what kind of qualifications you want in a real estate agent, and hire the best one you find, not necessarily the first real estate agent who calls you.

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  • Be Careful with Research

    Buyer’s are doing a lot of research online these days, and there are many free online resources to do a tremendous amount of research on homes and land, but there is a huge trap for the unwary. This real estate blog with almost 1,800 articles, the free online tools (including mobile devices), the books, the great links, and the affiliate sites for buyers that are all linked from this blog, give buyers more resources than any other broker on the entire Olympic Peninsula. But there’s a huge caution that I want to share today that you need to know about. 

    Research

    Do Not Destroy All Your Research

    This is how you can throw away all your months of research in just a few minutes. It doesn’t happen to very many buyers, but I believe it happens periodically, and it’s a tragedy. Here it is.

    You spend months online looking at various properties on a host of sites, and you do numerous Google searches on specific subjects to learn more about what you want. You might even use many of the links on this blog to examine a specific property, boundaries, maps, topography, restrictions, and so on. And to further your research before you arrive in Sequim (or Port Angeles or Port Townsend), you talk to someone on the ground, a broker, and you gather more information and insight. And then after months of research you throw it all away in a few moments by talking to someone who tells you something that is either not true, a misrepresentation, or even a lie. And you believe it. And you cancel all your research, do a 180 degree turn, and decide to go a completely different direction based on one person’s misrepresentation about a property or about an area. What a shame!

    Research Wasted

    Why would someone tell you on the phone or in an email something that is not true? I’m not a psychologist, but let’s face it, we are part of a human race that is dysfunctional. I like to say, “we are all dysfunctional, it’s just a matter of degree.” Here’s a word of wisdom for you. If you spend weeks or months doing research, and a single person tells you something that completely obviates your work on a particular property or an area, you owe it to yourself to find out the truth. Do not let one dysfunctional person steer you into a completely different direction. I like to say that data is important, but your interpretation of that data is just as important.

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  • Buyer’s Closing Checklist

    This Buyer’s Closing Checklist is intended to give you as a buyer an idea of what is involved once you have reached an agreement with a seller. Once you agree on the price and all the terms, and once you and the seller have signed the purchase and sale agreement and all the addendums, you officially have mutual acceptance. That starts the clock ticking for all that follows, and there is a lot that needs to be done.

    Closing Checklist

    Download Buyer’s Closing Checklist

    You can download my full Buyer’s Closing Checklist. You will notice that I call this a “Brief Buyer’s Closing Checklist,” because there are many tasks that happen behind the scenes for every player. Consider all the players in a real estate transaction. There is a buyer, seller, listing Realtor, selling Realtor, listing side Brokerage, selling side Brokerage, loan officer, loan processor, loan underwriter, appraiser, home inspector, septic inspector, well inspector, escrow company, and the title company. And there may be other people helping either the buyer or seller, like financial advisers, attorneys, trust officers, contractors, and moving companies. Every one of these players has their own internal checklist to do their jobs.

    Buyer’s Closing Checklist

    As a buyer, you don’t need to get overwhelmed by all that goes on between mutual acceptance and closing, and even my brief Buyer’s Closing Checklist is a lot to take in. The key for a buyer is to have a buyer’s agent who will essentially be the adult supervisor to make sure everything goes smoothly for you all the way to closing. That takes experience, hard work, and professionalism. But uncertainty is a great source of stress, so I hope this Buyer’s Closing Checklist is helpful to you.

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  • Please Do Not Mistake My Kindness for Weakness

    “Do not mistake my kindness for weakness.” A young man was dating an assertive woman, and he wanted her to know that she should never mistake his gentleness and kindness for weakness. The young man was a professional fighter, but he was also a humble and kind personality. That kind of personality can be misunderstood, and what appears to be weakness may actually be greater confidence and strength than meets the eye at first. That fighter is the young man in this photo. I share this lesson here, because in real estate negotiating, it would be easy to mistake my gentle and happy personality for weakness.

    Kindness

    Kindness for Weakness

    By the way, the young man in this photo is my son, and this is one of my best photos of him in the ring. He really is a kind person outside the ring, but in the ring or in the cage, he is one of the most dangerous men in the world. 

    My friendly personality is no indication of my assertiveness. As an attorney in the U.S. Air Force in the Judge Advocate General’s Office, I had 40 hard fought trials. After leaving the Air Force, I returned to private practice as a real estate attorney, and as an attorney for 20 years I fought with some of the toughest Seattle attorneys, and not once did I compromise a client’s position. Ten years ago I retired from law practice to come full circle back to real estate brokerage.

    Kindness and Negotiating

    I am confident, competent, and experienced. I share all of this to put something in perspective for my clients. If you don’t know my background, you might meet me and think I’m too kind to be a strong negotiator. Please do not mistake my kindness for weakness. I am a tough negotiator, and I know how to represent my clients well. If you think that the best negotiator is someone who acts like a mean person or a jerk, think again. That kind of behavior has nothing to do with effective negotiating or competent professionalism. Too often the person who acts tough is the person with low self-esteem.

    So don’t be surprised by my happy personality and my positive outlook. I love what I do, and I love working with my clients. I just wanted to emphasize that kindness and strength are not mutually exclusive. My clients can testify to that. So can all the fighters my son defeated in the ring.

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  • Sequim Buyer’s Agent Testimonial

    If you are in the market for a Sequim Buyer’s Agent, this video testimonial may be of some help. Larry and Shirley Jeffryes were kind enough to share their experience working with one Sequim Buyer’s Agent, Chuck Marunde.

    Sequim Buyer’s Agent

    Buyers are much more sophisticated than they used to be, but maybe that’s because buyers now have powerful tools on the Internet to search for real estate and their Sequim Buyer’s agent. It’s amazing how powerful the Internet is, and buyers are making good use of it. This means buyers can do a lot of due diligence in order to decide which agent they want to hire as their Sequim Buyer’s Agent.

    Learn more about Chuck Marunde at Sequim Buyer’s Agent.

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  • iRealty Virtual Brokers

    iRealty Virtual Brokers is a real estate brokerage like no other.  Intentionally.  iRealty was created with an entirely new approach to real estate brokerage.  Our founder, Chuck Marunde, designed our business model around our clients’ needs.  Everything we do is based on our clients’ best interests.  That includes everything about how we communicate and serve our clients from the first day to closing and beyond.  When clients are placed at the center of the business, it changes everything about how they are served.

    We bring several critical components of our business model together for our clients.   Imagine the best technology in the world, the best Internet tools and the best marketing strategies.  Imagine bringing these tools together with a total focus to provide clients everything they need and want. Anything irrelevant to our clients’ needs is discarded.

    iRealty Virtual Brokers

    Then imagine a commitment to hire only brokers with the highest standards of honesty and integrity, and who also agree with our mission to put our clients at the center of our Universe in every way.  We will walk away from a commission before compromising our clients’ best interests.  Add to that some of the most experienced and educated brokers in the country, and you have a level of competence and professionalism that is almost unheard of.

    iRealty Virtual Brokers has been in business for many years. In Sequim the business is also legally registered as Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate. Founder and owner Chuck Marunde started in real estate over 30 years ago and practiced real estate law for 20 years. iRealty recently opened a Sequim office at 435 West Bell Street. Online you can see our site at iRealty Virtual Brokers.

    iRealty Virtual Brokers for Clients

    We believe the best technology, knowledge and competence and experience, and the highest commitment to honesty is the best way to run a real estate brokerage. A brokerage with that commitment and structured with clients at the center with today’s powerful technologies would be a brokerage on steroids. That describes iRealty Virtual Brokers.

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  • News Bulletin: The all new 2nd edition of Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide is now available. This Buyer’s Guide has been hugely popular among buyers considering Sequim, including buyers in more than 25 states from Alaska to Florida and Hawaii to New York.

    Buyer's Guide

    Buyer’s Guide Packed Full of Valuable Information

    You’ll learn about “secrets” that agents know, but few buyers ever learn. You’ll discover the real estate issues that are unique for the Sequim area, the major issues of concern, tips on negotiating from a nationally recognized expert on negotiating, how to deal with due diligence concerns, and much more. With over 200 pages packed full of concise tips and hard learned lessons from the school of real estate knocks, this is an excellent read before you come to look at homes in Sequim, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, or Port Hadlock.

    A Buyer’s Guide

    Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide is the culmination of over three decades in real estate, including 20 years as a real estate attorney. Chuck is the founder and broker of one of the most successful virtual real estate brokerages in the northwest. He’s the author of several real estate books, thousands of articles for Sequim home buyers, and he’s a top selling buyer’s agent. Chuck was just awarded the prestigious Five Star Real Estate Award for 2014, an award granted to less than 7% of over 25,000 Seattle area agents.

    If you’re going to spend $275,000 or $1 million on a home in Sequim or Port Angeles, $24.95 for Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide is a bargain. You can order directly online from the publisher at Sequim Real Estate: A Buyer’s Guide, or in a few days you will be able to order directly from Amazon.com, too.

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  • Peter and Minnie Buy a Home in Sequim

    This is the story of Peter and Minnie who bought a home in Sequim. I thought you might like to know the process that another buyer went through before they moved to Paradise, I mean Sequim. This will give you a brief overview of what you can expect when you buy a home in Sequim. They had briefly thought about buying a home in Sequim long ago when they visited Sequim the first time. Since then Sequim kind of got stuck in their craw, and they couldn’t stop dreaming about the idea of retiring in Sequim.

    Home in Sequim

    Searching For a Home in Sequim

    First, they started searching online to learn all they could about Sequim. That turned into a long term research project for them, and they said it was a lot of fun. They added real estate to their online research, and that’s when they found Sequim-Homes.com for the Sequim MLS search, and they also found a Sequim Real Estate Blog with over 1,700 articles written for buyers coming to Sequim. They read and watched videos and filtered information so they could ultimately decide if Sequim was to remain on their short list of eternal destinations.

    Second, they made contact with a Sequim Realtor they thought could help them find a potential home in Sequim when they did come. They still were not 100% sure about Sequim, but they thought it made sense to visit again and look at half a dozen homes. Over the months before arriving, they emailed and asked their Sequim Buyer’s Agent questions about different properties and about buying.

    Third, these buyers had a very smart approach. They objectively filtered out homes that did not meet their specific parameters, although they got help from their Realtor, because not all MLS listings have complete information or great photos.

    Time to Buy at a Home in Sequim

    Fourth, they came to Sequim and spent a day and a half with their Buyer’s Agent looking at homes, and they did find the ideal home. It’s not quite the miracle it may sound like, because they had spent months pouring through listings, examining features, comparing prices and locations, and they narrowed down their list by saving their favorites on Sequim-Homes.com. So when they came, they had a nice final list of homes to look at.

    Fifth, when their Realtor drafted the offer, he included every contingency and addendum they needed for their own protection. He attended the home inspection on their behalf, and he helped them interpret the report, make an appropriate response, address septic and well issues, proactively address lender concerns, collect and review the preliminary title report, the covenants, and the homeowner association documents. They had confidence that all the T’s were being crossed and all the I’s were being dotted. They needed that confidence, because at this phase in their life the last thing they needed was a dispute or a nightmare.

    Sixth, since they would not be in Sequim on the closing date, their Realtor and their escrow agent coordinated everything via digital signatures and with an overnight express package in time for closing.

    Buying a home in Sequim for Peter and Minnie was exciting and a bit scary, but ultimately it became a dream come true, and now they live in their very own home in Sequim, or should I say Paradise? Oh, who was their buyer’s agent? Me, of course.

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  • Do Not Randomly Call a Sequim Realtor

    What is the best way to hire a Sequim Realtor? First, I do not recommend randomly hiring a Sequim Realtor by just driving around and calling off signs. That approach is fraught with potential problems that could come back to bite you. There is a better approach to hiring a Sequim Realtor.

    Sequim Realtor

    The Random Sequim Realtor

    I recommend approaching your home shopping with a little advanced planning and some order. Just showing up in town and calling any Tom, Dick, or Jane Realtor who answers the phone is a little chaotic, and that approach can get you in trouble. You’re going to hire a Sequim Realtor to be your consultant on one of the largest investments of your life, and I’m sure you want someone who is very capable. Calling randomly off signs could get you a Realtor who worked at McDonald’s last week.

    Sequim Realtor

    If you like to arrive in town and drive around and explore, which can be a lot of fun, do yourself a big favor and do a little due diligence before your arrive. Find a Sequim Realtor by going online before you come, and keep that agent’s phone number in your wallet, so when you do see a For Sale sign, you know who to call. 

    Better yet, coordinate your trip with a Sequim Realtor so when you do come, you will have a short list of nice homes to look at. That means you won’t waste a lot of time spinning your tires while calling Tom, Dick, or Jane about homes that are pending or sold, or that don’t have the features you want in your retirement home. Use Sequim-Homes.com to do your home research and read from the largest collection of online articles about Sequim and buying homes in Sequim at Sequim-Real-Estate-Blog.com. This is a proven and successful approach for thousands of retirees. Then after you’ve done some research, reach out and contact a Sequim Realtor.

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  • Showing Homes in Sequim

    Today is December 16th, and I’m showing homes in Sequim. It’s 8:00 in the morning, and the temperature in Sequim is about 50 degrees. This is what a winter day feels like in Sequim. Not bad, and for buyers out looking at homes, it’s another day in Paradise. I’ll be driving my buyer around to look at half a dozen homes today, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. It always is, and we shall see if this buyer finds their ideal retirement home. Some homes in Sequim come with a nice shop building like the one in this photo.

    Homes in Sequim

    Homes in Sequim MLS

    It’s not easy to find the right property with a shop like this. I recommend using the number one Sequim MLS site to search for and filter properties. You’ll find the advanced search page at Homes in Sequim. This search page is perfect for searching the entire MLS in Sequim and Port Angeles. The data on this site is 100% accurate, because all the data comes directly from the source data, which is actual listings from all the local Realtors. This site is far more accurate than Zillow or Trulia, and when you are shopping for a home, you want to be sure you are looking at accurate data on all Sequim homes.

    Homes in Sequim

    Summer, spring, fall, or winter is a good time to look at homes in Sequim. Buyers are coming throughout the year, even in December. Come and see Sequim and Port Angeles and have fun looking at homes in Sequim. You can use the button “Book Your Appt Online” in the right margin of this blog to schedule showings when you plan to be here. 

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  • What is good customer service in the real estate business? How would you define good customer service? I have some ideas on that subject, and I’ll share them here for your consideration. Customer service does not exist in a vacuum. It is a function of many factors that make up a business and the people. What are those factors?

    Customer Service

    The Foundation of Good Customer Service

    Good customer service is built on a business model that puts clients first. This is huge. Some businesses are not focused on their customers. They have their own agendas. How they market, how they sell, and how they treat their customers is based on the almighty dollar. Granted, making money is what a business is supposed to do, but when money making becomes the dominant philosophy that rules all other decisions, you don’t have a system built on good customer service.

    That kind of business model compromises customer service in a hundred little ways. Customers are generally happy as long as their transactions go smoothly without a hitch, but if there are difficult issues to work through, they often find out their agent is missing in action. However, a business model that is designed with the customer at the center of everything has a dramatically different approach to customer service. Every question is answered with the customer’s best interest in mind. Agents have the knowledge and experience to handle anything that comes up. They also have the courtesy and professionalism to give their clients the best customer service. In this model, not only is customer service consistently great, customers are often giddy about the customer service their agents give them.

    Customer Service and People

    Good customer service requires people who genuinely care about their clients. That care must be more than just talk. An agent who puts their clients at the center of the Universe will do everything with their client’s best interests in mind, even walking away from a commission if necessary. And the service is not limited by a strict set of rules. You would never hear an agent say, “No, that’s not in my job description.” These agents often talk about how they love their clients. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for their clients.

    Good customer service is responsive to clients, pays attention to their needs, and helps them through every issue they need resolved. When a client makes a telephone call to their agent, their agent either answers the call or calls back fairly quickly. When a client emails their agent, they get a responsive email quickly. Their agent can answer all their questions thoroughly, because he is a real estate expert. Why would anyone hire a real estate agent who is not a real estate expert?

    Because of experience, he knows the answer to nearly every question that comes up. If he doesn’t immediately know the answer to a unique or esoteric question, he finds out and gets back to his client right away. Not only does good customer service mean all a client’s questions get promptly and thoroughly answered, the client feel like the answers were complete and detailed, and their agent has left no stone unturned. They keep getting the feeling that their agent is really watching out for them, and they are very grateful, because they don’t normally get this quality of customer service anywhere else.

    Read Part 2 of Customer Service.

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  • This is the second part of an article about customer service in the real estate business. [Read part one of What is Good Customer Service in Real Estate?] When clients get great customer service by their agent throughout the entire relationship, they are not only happy with their agent, they are as pleased as they could possibly be. Anything less is just ordinary customer service.

    Customer Service

    Customer Service and Values

    Good customer service is a function of values. There are key values you would expect to be foundational for good customer service. Those values include honesty, integrity, hard work, perseverance, competence, professionalism, loyalty, and a passion to constantly improve one’s knowledge and abilities for the sake of his clients. Unfortunately, these values are not as common as one would like to think.

    Good customer service depends on the company culture. A real estate brokerage has a culture just like any company does. That culture is created by the owner, and it filters throughout the company and influences everyone who works there. So the question becomes, what is the brokerage culture?

    Is the owner kind, generous, devoted to the best interests of all their clients, and passionate about serving others more than putting money in her own pocket in ways that could compromise the clients? Does she bend over backwards to handle every detail for her clients? Will she work overtime to get her client’s work done? Is her commitment to honesty uncompromised? Does she treat everyone equally in the best way possible? Does she constantly seek to improve her real estate knowledge so she can give her clients the highest level of expertise? And does this broker/owner hold all her agents accountable to the highest standards?

    Customer Service and Culture

    All of this together creates a culture of customer service that speaks to the clients in a hundred ways, especially when it is most important. Whatever the culture created by the leadership, it becomes the culture of the brokerage. The thinking and behavior of the leader tends to permeate the entire brokerage, and the longer the same leader runs the company, the more entrenched that culture becomes.

    It’s amazing, but brokerages tend to assemble agents with similar values and work habits that fit within the culture of the company. That’s either good news or bad news for consumers, depending on the culture of the brokerage. Do not take good customer service for granted, because it is not so common.

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  • What is Good Customer Service in Real Estate?

    Let’s talk about good customer service. A youngster traveling alone had a stopover at Chicago O’Hara International. He was hungry, but he only had one dollar left in his pocket. Maybe he didn’t budget his eating money on his trip home, or maybe he had an unexpected expense. He called his father, and his father checked with several restaurants at the airport to see if they would take his credit card over the phone so his son could get a meal. None would do it. Until he called a Wolfgang Puck Express.

    Good Customer Service

    An Example of Good Customer Service

    When the father reached Wolfgang Puck Express on the phone, the conversation went like this:

    WPE: “So just send your boy in here and we’ll make sure he gets a good meal. My store manager and operations manager are both here, and we don’t want him to be sitting around hungry. You don’t have to worry about paying for it.”

    Father:  “Wha… you… no, please, I really insist you find a way for me to pay for this.”

    WPE: “Just do something nice for someone else.”

    This wasn’t just practicing the good customer service rule, “under promise and over deliver.” This was one of those pleasant surprises that you never forget. The father in this story is Michael Hess, entrepreneur and writer. [Read his story.]

    In real estate good customer service of this kind is rare. It’s rare in every industry. Here’s food for thought. Good customer service in real estate would mean that your Realtor is very knowledgeable on the subject of real estate. More than that, he would be an expert. Why hire someone who is not? Expertness doesn’t cost any more. Good customer service would also mean that you are taken care of, that your Realtor places your interests above his own, that he is honest and loyal to you. It would also mean that all the important details of your transaction are handled in a timely fashion and that you are protected by your Realtor’s experience. And among other things, good customer service would mean you know your Realtor genuinely cares about you and takes care of you.

    How Do You Define Good Customer Service

    There’s a saying that common sense is not so common. I think most would concur with me if I said good customer service is not common either. So how would you define good customer service in real estate?

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Five Star Real Estate Agent Award

    We are pleased to announce that Chuck Marunde has been awarded one of the most prestigious real estate awards in the Seattle regional market, The Five Star Real Estate Agent Award for 2014. Less than 7% of 25,000 Seattle area agents received this award. This market includes the Sequim and Port Angeles area. The importance of this award lies not in the award itself, but the basis upon which it was given. The award is based upon ten criteria: customer service, integrity, market knowledge, communication, negotiation, closing preparation, post-sale service, finding the right home, marketing of a home, and overall satisfaction. Additionally, past clients were asked whether they would recommend the agent to a friend. This information is incorporated into a client scoring algorithm as a cross check against their average rating.

    Real Estate Agent Award

    Real Estate Agent Award Credentials

    Chuck Marunde is a virtual real estate broker in Sequim, Washington, with over three decades in real estate, 20 years as a real estate lawyer, and he is the author of half a dozen books and thousands of magazine and Internet articles (and videos). He is an adviser to brokers around the country and national expert on real estate transactions. He created more online real estate content for buyers in the Sequim and Port Angeles area than any other broker in his market. It was partly this experience and contribution that was the basis for the Real Estate Agent Award.

    Real Estate Agent Award

    Some of the free online resources that Chuck has made available for buyers includes: Sequim MLS (including Port Angeles), Sequim & Port Angeles MLS with both MLS Services, Sequim Real Estate Blog (with over 1,700 articles for buyers), Sequim Real Estate Q&A, Sequim Photos, and Sequim Real Estate Books.

    A hearty congratulations to Chuck Marunde for The 2014 Real Estate Agent Award.

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Imagine a real estate broker who does not chase clients, does not harrass them, does not send them unsolicited mass emails, does not send out boilerplate newsletters, and does put prospective clients on the calling list. What a novel concept! And it gets better. Even our two MLS sites do not force you to register to search for Sequim homes or Port Angeles homes. Can you say free, and do you like low key and no high pressure sales techniques?

    Real Estate Broker

    Real Estate Broker Gives It All Away

    You can even search our MLS sites, and you can read thousands of articles anonymously for months if you want to. When almost all tech advisors and brokers are using forced registrations on their sites, why has this broker always given everything away free with no obligation and no registration requirements?

    Real Estate Broker Only You Can Hire

    The answer is easy. It’s because that’s what you want. Buyers want free information, and they do not like being forced to register just to use an MLS site online or any other online tools or services. We listened, and for the past seven years, we have been giving it all away. Not very many people know this, so we just thought we should tell you. Now you know. There’s a real estate broker who does not harass clients. If you want to hire Chuck Marunde, you must contact him first. Email him. Call him. Text him. If he doesn’t get back you right away, don’t give up. He’s a busy guy, but follow up with him on your time. You’ll be glad you got ahold of this real estate broker.

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  • 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.
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