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Buying a Foreclosure and How Banks Kill Deals

Buying a foreclosure can be a very frustrating experience. Today I tell a true story about how a bank killed a sale on a full price offer. The banks that sell their foreclosed homes don’t have the real estate expertise to negotiate and draft sales contracts, and the 3rd party companies they hire do not either. So you will often see unbelievably ridiculous and inappropriate language, which they try to force you to agree to–all totally unnecessary.

Buying a Foreclosure

Buying a Foreclosure: Ridiculous Addendums

I had buyers in the process of buying a foreclosure, and the selling bank came back with such an onerous addendum, my buyers walked. I don’t blame my buyers at all. Buying a foreclosure is not for the faint of heart.

Here is the language that came back from a bank. The language clearly was not drafted by an attorney, and it clearly was not drafted by someone who understands real estate negotiating or real estate contracts. Who knows who drafted it! It might have been a bank employee or maybe the bank’s Realtor. I’m not expecting all my readers to be able to analyze the following ridiculous addendum, but almost none of this language was appropriate. I’ve added brief comments in red letters. While this may be more than you need to know, I wanted you to know what you may experience if you are buying a foreclosure. Here is the language with my comments in red. (more…)

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  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • Foreclosure Ripoffs

    Foreclosure ripoffs are out there, so be careful. They come in two forms. The first are the foreclosure ripoffs that try to sell a home that has been all but destroyed and is not worth what HUD wants for it. You could end up paying way too much for it and end up suffering a big loss. But the foreclosure ripoffs I want to talk about today are the online foreclosure sites that charge you for information.

     Foreclosure Ripoffs

    Foreclosure Ripoffs

    I got a call this morning from a woman who was charged $150 online for foreclosure listings from one of the many sites that pretend to offer exclusive foreclosure information or represent that they have a foreclosure database you should pay them for. Do not pay online sites for listing information like this. The woman I spoke to this morning calls these sites foreclosure ripoffs.

    How to Avoid Foreclosure Ripoffs

    Real foreclosures that are available for sale are listed in the local MLS, and here’s an example of an MLS site in Sequim, Washington (and Port Angeles) that lists all the current foreclosures for sale, and this information is absolutely free. Go to Foreclosure Listings. Notice the tab called “Foreclosures.”

    You should never pay online for foreclosure information. While such services may be legally legitimate, many consumers consider them foreclosure ripoffs.

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  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • HUD Closing Requirements

    HUD closing requirements are a nightmare scenario for buyers. If you think buying real estate from a normal human being can be challenging, wait until you try to buy a home from HUD through their online bidding process. And if you think you’ve seen voluminous paperwork requirements, you haven’t seen anything until you bid on a HUD foreclosure and complete the many forms they require after the bidding process.

    HUD Closing Requirements

    HUD Closing Requirements

    I represented buyers bidding on a HUD foreclosure, and we had to go through the process of downloading instructions that take hours to figure out, complete a very complicated offering package with clauses that would make Vladimir Putin pause, and that required signatures not just from the buyers but also from their Realtor and the escrow company closing the transaction. You would think you are applying for a top security clearance or a billion dollar loan, because everyone has to provide multiple identifications and documentary proof ad infinitum. HUD uses real estate terminology wrong, and they required information that is absolutely unnecessary. Their contracts are a maze of misused contract clauses. How do I know these things? I practiced real estate law for 20 years and have been involved in real estate transactions going back 37 years. Essentially, what we have is a lack of adult supervision at HUD.

    HUD Closing Requirements Nightmare

    Would you like a peek at their initial instructions, and this three page list of single spaced instructions is only the tip of the iceberg. The online bidding and the contract package and required documents are as much as 10 times this instruction sheet. My buyers and I will get through this transaction, but if I hadn’t been a real estate attorney, I don’t know how we would have done it. 

    If you are thinking about buying a HUD foreclosure, I strongly urge you to read this HUD Closing Requirements list. And then have a drink. If you don’t drink, you’d better have two. I recommend you think long and hard before trying to buy a HUD foreclosure. A government mess of major proportions: HUD Closing Requirements.

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  • Lawsuits Against Auction.com

    Lawsuits against auction.com are coming, and there will be class action lawsuits and individual lawsuits, and it is going to be one big legal mess. If you think auction.com is a pure auction site for real estate and foreclosures and short sales, think again. What many of us believe is fraud is now common practice at auction.com, and it has come to light that auction.com is anything but a transparent and honest auction service for real estate.

    Lawsuits against Auction.com

    Lawsuits Against Auction.com

    There are many legal issues that may involve consumer fraud, but perhaps the biggest fraud against ordinary consumers like you and me is a shock to investors when they first find out. Did you think that if you bid on a property on auction.com that you were bidding against other buyers or investors and that it was an open and honest auction? Oh, how wrong you would be.

    It turns out you may be bidding against yourself in one of the biggest multi-billion dollar frauds this retired real estate lawyer has ever heard of. I run a real estate brokerage and periodically work with buyer clients to purchase properties on auction.com, but we have discovered we are not the only ones who have gotten caught by auction.com’s fraudulent auctions.  (more…)

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    Have you spotted a Fannie Mae foreclosure in the MLS that looks like it could be “the one”? Buying a foreclosure from Fannie Mae through their Homepath website is a Buyer Beware nightmare. But if you’re a regular reader of this real estate blog, you know that I take the experience of thousands of other buyers and a lifetime of experience myself, and I share those experiences with you so you won’t have to learn the hard way. If you can sidestep a nightmare, then I’ve done my job, and your life will be better for it. So what do you need to know in 500 words or less about a Fannie Mae Foreclosure and their Homepath system?

    Foreclosure

    Wow! A Fannie Mae Foreclosure

    First, making an offer and negotiating on a Fannie Mae foreclosure is not going to feel like any other real estate transaction you’ve ever experienced. When you submit an offer with the standard paperwork as required by their Homepath site, you eventually find out that they throw out almost all the important language in your offer. They use a stamp on the front of your offer, and here’s what it says:

    Pursuant to Section 28 of the Real Estate Purchase Addendum, this document is subject to all the terms and conditions set forth in the Real Estate Purchase Addendum.

    While that sounds like an innocuous clause, their addendum restates all the important terms in the agreement. In other words, they tell you they accept your offer (once you’ve reached an agreement on price), but they really have not, because they shove an addendum down your throat that changes the terms of the transaction. We don’t have time to go through their 23 page addendum, but believe me, it looks nothing like the offer you wanted to make, and the terms are nothing less than dictatorial. (more…)

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  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • Sequim Foreclosures and Homes Underwater

    What about Sequim foreclosures? Are there some opportunities for buyers with Sequim foreclosures? Today Zillow reported that 18.8% (almost one in five) homes in the U.S. are underwater, meaning they owe more than their homes are worth. That is almost 10 million homes that are underwater. 

    Sequim Foreclosures

    Sequim Foreclosures Not Common in Sequim

    On a national level, the group of home buyers called millennials (basically 24 to 34 years old) are not buying homes like they did from 1990 to 2005. Thirty percent of millennials feel it is better to rent than to own right now. The job market for them is still weak, and many millennials are living at home with their parents. For the large numbers of young people that purchased homes with easy mortgage money, many are underwater, and many have lost their homes to foreclosure.

    Sequim Foreclosures Different Story

    Sequim is a different story. We never had a large population of millennials in Sequim, and that means we haven’t suffered the large numbers of foreclosures. Retirees who have been moving to Sequim for decades are financially conservative and not dependent on new jobs or the fluctuations in the economy. Their pensions have taken a hit during this recession as mutual funds have dipped, but they live within their means and their homes are not underwater. 

    This explains why there are not many Sequim foreclosures and why the real estate market has been much more stable in the Sequim area. You can still look at foreclosures in our Sequim MLS, but very few retirees find a foreclosure they would consider their retirement dream home. See the full list online at Sequim Foreclosures.

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  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • Can I Find a Foreclosure That is a Good Deal?

    Is it hard to find a foreclosure that is a good deal in Sequim or Port Angeles? The short answer is yes, but there’s much more to the answer that you should know. There’s nothing wrong with buying a foreclosure, if it’s a fantastic price in a great area with a floor plan you love. So how hard is it to find a foreclosure in the Sequim area like that?

    Find a Foreclosure

    Find a Foreclosure in Sequim

    The foreclosure database in Clallam County is quite limited, so I’ve had to pull together several sources, including Foreclosure.com, RealtyTrac.com, the county auditor’s two websites and others.  The Foreclosure.com site lets you look at some of the information, but then they make you register for a free trial.  I’m was paying a monthly subscription fee for my clients to be able to see this site, but they wouldn’t automatically transfer my subscription to my clients.  Frankly, that site had many limitations. Most of their listings were not actually foreclosures that were for sale. They included homes that were in default, but if you dared knock on the door of one of the houses, the owners would often get really ticked, tell you that their home was not for sale, and that their mortgage affairs were none of your business. I don’t recommend using Foreclosure.com or RealtyTrac, neither of which has access to the original source of information for foreclosures, the Clallam County Auditor’s Site which records the Notice of Trustee’s Sale and subsequent documents. I have also written extensively about buying foreclosures and how to search for them in the Sequim and Port Angeles area, and you’ll find the first seven articles at:

    If you haven’t already found it on my site, you can search the entire Sequim and Port Angeles MLS, including foreclosure REOs now listed for sale, and this is the entire list of all local foreclosures for sale now:

    You can see from the list that there are few “steals” in the Sequim area. If you expect to find a foreclosure that is an unbelievably low price, below any other homes in the MLS, you may be disappointed. Even investors with money burning a hole in their pockets are not finding garage sale prices when they try to find a foreclosure here. I have sold a couple of short sales and a couple of foreclosures to my buyer clients, but that includes the last decade. Sometimes you have to wait for the bank to lower the price until it gets realistic, but even then it’s rarely a steal. If a home is a nice home in a good area, and if it is priced at fair market value, it doesn’t matter if it is a foreclosure or not, it will sell in a reasonable period of time in Sequim.

    Find a Foreclosure

    Check out the MLS link above with all the foreclosures, and if I can help you find a foreclosure that you want to see, email or call me anytime.

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  • New Rules on Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

    New rules are coming for the deed in lieu of foreclosure on March 1, 2013.  If a loan modification or short sale is not feasible, there will be a practical alternative to foreclosure, regardless of whether you are current on the mortgage payments.  The previous ridiculous rule was that you had to be in default to be considered for a loan modification or short sale, and the banks did not accept a deed in lieu.

    Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

    As of March 1st, borrowers who are current on their mortgage but meet certain criteria will be eligible for a deed in lieu of foreclosure. A deed in lieu of foreclosure is a quit claim deed that grants the property to the bank without a foreclosure.  It is a voluntary act by the homeowner and this new rule will allow banks to accept a deed in lieu.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will offer loan servicers $1,500 for every deed in lieu completed following the new guidelines, and they will now be able to offer up to $6,000 to second lien holders to expedite deeds in lieu.  Being able to offer the second lienholders something will certainly facilitate approval.

    New Rules for the Deed in Lieu

    As part of the new rules, borrowers who are 90 days or more delinquent must be experiencing and be able to document one of 10 hardships: 

    Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure

    • Unemployment
    • A hardship that has caused a reduction in income due to circumstances outside their control (fewer regular working hours, for example).
    • A hardship that has caused an increase in housing expenses due to circumstances outside their control.
    • Divorce or legal separation, or separation of borrowers unrelated by marriage, civil union or similar domestic partnership.  (more…)

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  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • It makes sense to look at Sequim foreclosures and Port Angeles foreclosures if you are retiring and looking for the best value in your retirement home.  But I don’t want you to waste time on sites that purport to list foreclosures when they do not. There are many, and in Clallam County that includes inaccurate data on Foreclosure.com and RealtyTrac.com.  There is one accurate source of information on foreclosures that are in the actual process of being foreclosed or already have been.  Here I share that resource with you.  This site is the Clallam County Auditor’s website, and you’ll find recorded documents for any foreclosure in the county on this site.  No other service anywhere on the Internet has this original and accurate information on Sequim foreclosures and Port Angeles foreclosures.

    Sequim Foreclosures

    Finding Sequim Foreclosures

    (more…)

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    Another Sequim Foreclosure Disaster

    Looking at a Sequim foreclosure?  Thinking about making an offer on a Sequim foreclosure?  Think again, unless you have months to fool around and are prepared for a lot of nonsense from the bank and their asset manager.  In some markets, like Las Vegas and Phoenix, the foreclosure market is much more organized, and asset managers have been forced to get a quick education on how to facilitate sales.  Not so in Sequim.

    Sequim Foreclosure Disasters

    Here we are almost in April.  Last November I wrote an offer for a client on a Sequim foreclosure now owned by Union Bank.  What a nightmare of four months that became for my client.  What could go wrong you ask?  I’ll give you with the short version of a buyer who tried to buy a Sequim foreclosure.

    Sequim Foreclosure

    Sequim Foreclosure Negotiating Nightmare

    The subject property (a Sequim foreclosure) was listed, and my client wanted to make a full price offer ($179,000), but the listing was terminated within a week of being posted.  We were told that the asset manager wanted to get the properties formally appraised before they would be re-listed.  I had a good idea of what the fair market value of this home was, and my guess was about $200,000, plus or minus.  My client asked me to write an offer at $185,000 for this unfinished home, and we submitted that offer.  It was rejected with no counteroffer.  We were told the asset manager wanted to get an independent appraisal.  That should take about 3 days, but it took weeks.  We were then told the bank wanted to hire a contractor and finish the home even though my client was willing to do that.  My clients asked me, “what do we have to do to buy this home?”  I could not get an answer from the listing agent who could not get an answer from the asset manager who probably could not get an answer from Union Bank.  We could get no counteroffer at any price.  This went on for weeks.

    After harassing the nice listing agent for weeks about this Sequim foreclosure, we finally got the asset manager to make a counteroffer, which they did at $235,000.  I asked the listing agent how the asset manager came up with that number.  The answer was they picked a number they thought would be much higher than any appraisal.  (If I were texting, I would type, “OMG!”)  At this point I began to wonder if there was any adult supervision at Union Bank.  (more…)

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    Foreclosure Help

    Foreclosure help is available, although in the Sequim area we have very few foreclosures compared to everywhere else around the country.  A lawsuit by Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna clearly lays out the arguments for consumers, and if you’d like to see what those arguments are in the actual complaint, go to Foreclosure Help.  Consumers definitely got ripped off by the mortgage and banking industry, and while a recent $25 billion settlement with the banks is a good thing, millions of Americans will never be made whole.

    Foreclosure Help in Washington

    Foreclosure Help

    Foreclosure Help

    Unfortunately, for the vast majority of homeowners who had their homes foreclosed, or who are going through a foreclosure right now, foreclosure help comes too little too late.  I don’t know anyone who has received relief and who has been made whole from a wrongful foreclosure, nor do I know anyone who knows anyone who was made whole.  The hullabaloo is probably more of a politician’s heyday to get attention than it is really to help individuals.  If you click on the image above, you’ll be taken to the Washington Attorney General’s website where you’ll find more information on possible help and resolutions.

    Foreclosure Help – More Articles on this Blog

    Is Your Sequim Home in Foreclosure or Close To It?
    Foreclosure Help. Foreclosure Process in Sequim Do you own a Sequim or Port Angeles home that is now in foreclosure or just a month or two away from the . . . 
    Foreclosure Help.   The foreclosure process is quite involved and takes a minimum of 6 months and more often 12 months. As a Realtor I don’t list foreclosures, but . . .

    Foreclosure
    Process Defective

    Foreclosure Help.   The foreclosure process of many homes around the country is being challenged because of allegations of wrongful procedures by financial . . .

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  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • HUD homes are foreclosures that are now owned by HUD (Housing and Urban Development) and listed for sale by HUD.  Chuck Marunde, Managing Broker of Adamas Realty in Sequim is now Registered with HUD to represent buyers of HUD homes. This gives buyers the ability to make offers online through a Registered HUD Homes broker.

    HUD Homes

    HUD Homes and Foreclosures

    The foreclosure market can be divided into to main categories.  There are HUD Homes, which were homes with FHA loans that were foreclosed by the banks who made those loans.  Those banks get reimbursed by HUD for their losses and transfer ownership of the homes to HUD.  HUD insured these loans and the banks collected a mortgage insurance premium from the borrowers to pay for that insurance.  These become HUD Homes now listed for sale.

    The other type of foreclosures are those that were made with conventional loans (and all non-HUD insured loans).  The banks that made these loans foreclosed and now are selling the homes.  It gets a little more complicated than that, because many of these loans were packaged and sold and resold, so the owners now may be far removed from the originating bank.  These foreclosures are not in the HUD Homes database, but are listed for sale in the MLS.

    HUD Homes and a Registered Broker

    If you would like to make an offer on a HUD Home or a Foreclosed Home now in the MLS, contact Chuck Marunde at 360-775-5425.

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  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • Sequim Investors Cannot Find Homes to Buy

    Sequim investors cannot find great deals on homes in Sequim.  They are literally unable to find good investment properties to buy with cash.  You would think that in this recession that there would be many homes at incredible bargain prices, and that Sequim investors would be swooping in to snap them up, but such deals do not seem to exist in our market.  Why is that?

    Sequim Investors Get Skunked

    Sequim InvestorsThe headlines around the country for quite a while have been all about the large numbers of foreclosures flooding the market, the crashing housing prices, the home builders going bankrupt, and the mortgage debacle.  Stories are told again and again about the guy who bought a three bedroom home in Vegas for $75,000, or the couple who bought a four bedroom mountain view home on 20 acres in Arizona for $225,000.  Stories abound.

    So why can’t Sequim investors find these extraordinary deals?  They don’t exist in Sequim.  Nor do they exist in Port Angeles.  It sure seems like they should, but they don’t.  I have cash buyers waiting for me to find an extraordinary deal.  Try as I might, and I look at a lot of homes in the area, I have not found a home that a Sequim investor could buy, put $20,000 into it with their own labor, and re-sell for a profit.

    Sequim Investors Say Where Are The Deals?

    Some might think there are many homes for sale, and there are, but not the kind that can be resold within six months for a profit.  Sequim buyers, and this means retirees from outside the area, are not interested in 1970’s style homes with a split level floor plan, or an unusual floor plan, or a home in an unfavorable area.  Investors won’t touch these kinds of homes, because they cannot sell them.

    If I could find a post-1990 three bedroom, two bath home with a normal floor plan, a roomy kitchen with plenty of cabinet and countertop space and about 2,400 square feet on a nice one acre lot with a mountain view of some kind, one that needed some remodeling and cosmetic work and could be purchased for about $185,000, I could sell that to an investor in a heartbeat.  He would put about $20,000 to $30,000 into it, lots of labor, and resell it for $240,000.  That would work, but believe it or not, this kind of investment does not exist.  There are homes like this, but the owners want $240,000 for them now, and that leaves no room for investors to profit.  Unlike many areas in the country, the bottom of the Sequim real estate market never fell dramatically.

    Sequim Investors Disappointed

    While this news has been disappointing to Sequim Investors, it is actually a sign of stability and strength in the Sequim housing market, and this bodes well for sellers as well as buyers.  Buyers won’t find the steal of the century here, but they will buy a home in a stable market and that is a good thing.  Sequim investors may have to look to Vegas or Phoenix to investor their money, and even that will be fraught with significant risk.

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    The Sequim real estate market is a tough real estate market, but I have been observing a consistent pattern for three decades now. I periodically get questions from homeowners who want to sell their homes, or from FSBOs (For-Sale-By-Owners) who are trying to sell their own homes.  I have learned so much about the mindset of homeowners in this market, and  I’m surprised at some of the misconceptions owners have about selling homes.  I fully realize that some homeowners will not necessarily believe what I will share, but I swear everything I have experienced on this subject for three decades has been consistently true about FSBOs.  I did not write this article just to get FSBOs to list with me.  Anyone who reads my blog knows that I share everything I know, and I always tell the truth even if it is uncomfortable.  Let me share more about seller misconceptions beginning with an analogy.

    Sequim Real Estate MarketSequim Real Estate Market

    Imagine a gentleman who had a successful career as a biology teacher, and his primary hobby is bird watching and photography.  He is passionate about his work and his hobby, and he’s good at what he does.  He married the love of his life, who also had a successful career as a dental assistant.  They retire and live happily ever after.  Well, almost.  They decide to sell their home.  They’re intelligent and mature people, and people of good honest character.  Now they have decided to sell their home, and here’s where the misconceptions start.  I mean no disrespect at all when I suggest that there is a lot more to selling a home than they think they know.  Selling a half million dollar home is not like having a garage sale, putting some plywood on some saw horses, laying out books and jeans and dishes neatly on the tables, and making some price tags.  As comedian Dennis Miller often says in his act, “I don’t want to get on a rant here,” but I see homeowners and FSBOs make many mistakes.  It’s unfortunate, because they cost themselves a lot of money and time and stress . . . unnecessarily.

    Here are a few articles I’ve written about these very issues in this Sequim real estate market.  I can almost guarantee that a good, honest homeowner who wants to sell his own home will not have a lifetime of experience to do that job as he needs it done.   Many think they do, but I’m not entirely sure why they think they can do something so important without the education and experience.  I don’t work on my own car’s electronic ignition system.  I don’t try to do my own electrical work.  I’d probably get electrocuted. 

    There is too much to know and too much at risk when it comes to selling a home.  My point is best made by reading all of the following articles.  If you’re a FSBO or thinking about selling your home, I strongly urge you to take all these articles seriously, because I promise what I have written is true and accurate.  I don’t care if you list your property with me, but ignore three decades in real estate and 20 as a real estate lawyer if you want to.  I have no dog in this fight when it comes to your decision to sell your own home and how much you make or loose on the sale.  I am honest and sometimes blunt when it comes to the truth.  If you find what I write helpful to you, then great.  If you’re offended by the truths I share here, I make no apology.

    Sequim FSBO and What it Takes to Sell a Home Part 1

    Sequim For Sale by Owner Part 2

    Why the FSBO is so Hard to Sell

    Why Can’t I Just Sell My Own Home?

    Sequim Real Estate Market Due Diligence

    I find it fascinating that buyers are the ones doing so much research on the Internet and doing their due diligence on areas, houses, and agents. Sellers generally are not. Buyers not only do extensive online research before they arrive to look at homes, but then they look at many homes in person to complete their knowledge of home values and features. Sellers neither do online research to find comparables, nor do sellers spend time viewing dozens of home currently on the market. Instead, sellers simply call an agent and rely on the agent to tell them what their home is worth and trust that their agent has a great marketing system. Sellers do not do their due diligence on their agents either. Buyers do extensive research on their buyer’s agent in the Sequim real estate market.

    From 85% to 95% of FSBOs never get their homes sold themselves, but end up listing with an agent after many months of lost market time and a lot of frustration.  Of the remaining 5% to 15%, only one or two actually get their homes sold.  That’s one or two homes out of a hundred, and that may after be one or two years on the market.  And the price they end up selling for is typically far less than they would have gotten with a professional, even with the commission.  These numbers come from extensive national statistics and 37 years in the business.  [The one success story of someone who got lucky and sold their own home in two weeks circulates for years, but someone also won the lottery last month.]  The Sequim real estate market is not different than other markets in this respect.

    One very important reality for FSBOs to realize is that qualified buyers are not looking for FSBOs.  They just aren’t.  I ask all my clients how they search for homes, and they:

    1. Do not search FSBO sites,
    2. Do not find FSBO’s turning up in the search engines,
    3. Have often had bad experiences dealing with a FSBO in the past who did not know how to handle paperwork and transaction details,
    4. Have told me that in their experience FSBOs want too much for their homes (statistically this is true), and
    5. Qualified intelligent buyers are hiring a buyer’s agent who knows the local market and the local real estate issues of concern, knows prices, and know how to negotiate and handle the transaction details professionally.

    This means FSBOs are off the radar screen for 99% of the buyers.  Like it or not, this is true.  If you’re expecting a buyer will see your For Sale sign, good luck, because the odds of that happening are extremely small, and the best most qualified buyer for your home at your price is most likely searching the Internet.

    This Sequim real estate market is not the time or place for a homeowner to learn by trial and error how to sell a home.

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    Clallam County Foreclosures

    Clallam County Foreclosures are small in number, among the lowest foreclosure rates in the United States.  RealtyTrac just came out with an interactive map to view the number of foreclosures in every state and every county.  Click on this map below, and when you have the map loaded on your browser, zoom in on Washington state and then drag your mouse over the counties and a small window will show the number of foreclosures.

    Clallam County Foreclosures

    Clallam County Foreclosures

    Click on Map to Enlarge

    Clallam County Foreclosures

    In King County 1 in 603 homes are in foreclosure.  In Pierce County 1 in 529 homes are in foreclosure.  Skagit County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, and Thurston County all have similar foreclosure rates.  Put this in perspective with Las Vegas (Clark County) which has 1 in 77 homes in foreclosure.

    Now compare these rates to Clallam County foreclosures with 1 in 1,560 homes in foreclosure, and Jefferson County with 1 in 3,288 homes in foreclosure.

    I wrote in an earlier article about Clallam County foreclosures that, “There are only 6  Sequim foreclosures listed for sale in the MLS today.  We have 835 homes listed in the MLS for sale today.  The Sequim foreclosures represent about 1/2 of 1% of the inventory.”  My argument in that article is that if you are a buyer, it is highly unlikely that you will find your retirement dream home in the foreclosure database.  There just are not very many Clallam County foreclosures.

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    Sequim ForeclosuresSequim foreclosures make up a very small part of the market.  We all hear about the massive number of foreclosures in Las Vegas and Phoenix and several other cities around the county, and people talk about stealing houses for incredibly low prices, but that market does not exist in Sequim.  That’s actually good for local homeowners who hope to sell their homes.  The last thing they need is a glut of foreclosures on the market that would make selling their homes so much harder than it already is.  But it’s also good for retirees who are planning to buy a home in Sequim now.  The last thing a buyer wants is an unstable market with lots of foreclosures.  Buyers want to know they are buying in a stable market so their own investment will be sound in the years ahead.  There just are not very many Sequim foreclosures.

    To make the point objectively, here is the entire list of all foreclosures listed for sale right now in Sequim and Port Angeles combined.  Actually, these are all the foreclosures in all of Clallam County.  In our MLS these are called “bank owned” because they have been foreclosed and are now owned by the banks.  As you can see there are only 33 foreclosures for sale in Clallam County, and there are only 6 Sequim bank owned foreclosures in all of Sequim as of today (6/24/2011).  There are only 27 foreclosures in all of Port Angeles.  The first column shows the MLS numbers, and the last column shows the total Days on Market (DOM).

    Sequim Foreclosures

    261153 310 N Ennis Port Angeles $57,900 24
    260968 1515 W 7th. St. Port Angeles $62,300 45
    260981 163 N Hemlock Port Angeles $64,900 43
    260716 814 W 13th Port Angeles $74,000 75
    260818 906 W 16th Port Angeles $84,900 62
    260441 434 E 9th. St. Port Angeles $84,900 107
    260145 1801 W 16th Port Angeles $99,000 156
    260594 1617 W 11TH ST Port Angeles $99,900 92
    261277 1319 Campbell Ave, Port Angeles $109,000 9
    260323 113 E Lopez Avenue Port Angeles $109,900 129
    261059 820 W 11th Street Port Angeles $112,900 36
    261211 115 E Old Mill Mtn. Rd. Port Angeles $114,900 22
    261138 62 Woodridge Dr. Sequim $119,900 24
    260827 336 Whidby Ave Port Angeles $119,900 60
    261233 300 N Sequim Avenue Sequim $129,900 14
    260384 235908 W Hwy 101 Port Angeles $135,000 115
    260626 1032 Piedmont Rd Port Angeles $139,900 87
    260856 1145 Craig Ave Port Angeles $144,990 57
    261310 411 Heuhslein Road Port Angeles $151,000 3
    260939 31 Burnt Mountain Pl. Sequim $151,900 48
    260620 242 Peters Rd Port Angeles $151,900 87
    261126 149 Deer Mountain Drive Port Angeles $154,950 29
    261142 11 Alpine Loop Sequim $155,200 24
    260673 122 Agnew Parkway Port Angeles $159,900 81
    260864 446 Spath Road Sequim $175,000 56
    261312 21 N Maple Lane Port Angeles $189,000 2
    260625 291 Crosby Lane Port Angeles $189,950 86
    260743 131 Rainier Ln Port Ludlow $189,990 72
    260882 444 La Paloma Port Angeles $199,000 53
    261220 1942 W 8th. St. Port Angeles $213,900 16
    260042 63 Twin Peaks Ln. Sequim $254,900 169
    260984 141 E Old Mill Rd. Port Angeles $265,000 44
    260708 4007 S Tiller Road Port Angeles $275,000 79

    Sequim Foreclosures Few and Far Between

    Clients ask me regularly, “Can I find a nice 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch style home on one level on a great lot in a nice area at a fraction of the cost of other homes?”  The answer with respect to Sequim foreclosures is, “No.”  Why do I say no?  First, there are not very many Sequim foreclosures.  There are only 6  Sequim foreclosures listed for sale in the MLS today.  We have 835 homes listed in the MLS for sale today.  The Sequim foreclosures represent about 1/2 of 1% of the inventory.  Compare this to Las Vegas.  Foreclosure filings were reported on 14,940 properties in Las Vegas in August, one in every 53 housing units, which is more than 6.7 times the national average.  With only 6 foreclosures in Sequim, it is highly unlikely you will find your dream home in that short list.

    Second, most of these foreclosures are not what retirees are looking for.  Most of them are not the ideal floor plan, or they are not in an attractive area, or they are in such disrepair, retirees don’t want them.  Even millionaire investors are not buying these homes.  That ought to tell you something.

    Sequim Foreclosures and the MLS

    If you would like to look at any of these foreclosures, simply use the MLS number or the address to look them up on this Sequim MLS site.  You’ll see full photographs and details about the property.  And if you want to view any of these Sequim foreclosures, just email me or give me a call at 360-775-5424.

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  • 2 Comments
  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • How to Buy a Foreclosure

    ForeclosuresHow to Buy a Foreclosure is a subject I’ve written about many times on this real estate blog, but today I want to focus in on a very important part of the process that very few people know about, including Realtors.  Banks that foreclose on homes hire outside companies to list and market their foreclosed properties.  Those companies hire contractors who clean up and maintain the homes, and they also hire Realtors to list the property.  Just in this little chain of people and companies, you can get the idea that there are many intermediaries.  But it gets better, or should I say it gets worse.

    These companies hire asset managers, who coordinates many of the details necessary to manage the home and get it sold via all these other parties.  This makes the asset manager the primary point of contact and decision maker for the banks, and it is the asset manager who the listing Realtor communicates with when an offer is presented by a selling Realtor.  Get ready for the nightmare.

    Asset managers typically only need a high school education, and many of the job applications on the Internet for asset managers indicate they only need two years of related real estate experience, which could have been working for a mortgage company during the mortgage fraud and real estate market crash.

    No wonder they don’t understand the process of negotiating and documentation.  Without going into great detail, let me tell you that asset managers never put a counteroffer in writing.  Normally, of course, a buyer makes an offer and a seller will often counteroffer, which they do in writing.  Not the foreclosing banks.  Their asset managers do not understand basic contract law and real estate practice, and . . . they definitely do not understand the negotiating process.  Instead, the asset managers give their listing agent some vague notion of what they would like, which often is impossible.  (For example, it is impossible to get a lender’s letter requiring repairs before there is mutual acceptance on all terms and before an appraiser has even been appointed by a bank which hasn’t even been hired to process a loan yet.) There are many examples of ridiculous and foolish responses by asset managers.

    Foreclosure Process

    Asset managers not only require the selling Realtor to draft the bank’s counteroffer for them when the Realtor represents the buyer, but . . . and I’m not kidding or exaggerating here . . .  the asset managers also want the selling Realtor to literally guess what the banks’ counteroffer should be.  I kid you not, the listing agents are typically unable to articulate their own client’s position.  Their own clients (the asset managers) refuse to put any counteroffer in writing or articulate what they want in writing!

    This can put a buyer in a twilight zone of trying to buy a home, having agreed upon a price, but unable to get the bank’s representative to cooperate using standard Washington state real estate documents and processes.

    No wonder our foreclosure market is such a disaster!  There’s no adult supervision at these institutions.  If you do want to buy a foreclosure, I understand the process, as frustrating and time consuming as it can be.  I’d be glad to help you walk through this labyrinthian process, if you have a lot of stamina.  If necessary, I’ll bring some adult supervision to the process on your behalf.

    Fore more about the foreclosure process, the documents and timelines, and the processes involved in buying a foreclosure, simply do a search on this blog for “foreclosures” (without the quotes).  There are dozens of articles.

    See Foreclosures here.

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  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • Foreclosure Sales in Sequim and Port Angeles

    Foreclosure sales in Sequim and Port Angeles for the calendar year tell an interesting story, especially if you are retiring and planning to buy in Sequim or Port Angeles.  Clients from out of state periodically ask me if there is a good deal to be had in the foreclosure market.  We all hear stories about how someone somewhere bought a mansion for pennies on the dollar.  So the question is legitimate.  “As a retired professional moving to Sequim, can I get a beautiful custom home with a nice water or mountain view at a garage sale price?”  I’ll answer this question about foreclosure sales with solid sales data right here.

    Foreclosure Sales

    Foreclosure Sales

    Foreclosure Sales

    Theses foreclosure sales are revealing information when compared to what is happening nationally or around other areas of the country.  RealtyTrac, released its Year-End and Q4 2010 U.S. Foreclosure Sales Report, which shows that foreclosure homes accounted for nearly 26 percent of all U.S. residential sales during the year, down from 29 percent of all sales in 2009 but up from 23 percent of all sales in 2008.  In Clallam County we had a total of 85 foreclosed homes above $100,000 in 2010, and that represents 13% of the total homes sold in Clallam County above $100,000.  But less than 1% of the foreclosed homes are what most retirees are buying, at least the retiree clients that I have been working with over the past three years plus.  Obviously, some retirees undoubtedly are buying some of the lower priced homes, but Sequim attracts many retired professionals who want homes priced above $300,000.

    When I look at homes that were bank owned and previously foreclosed upon by the banks in Sequim and Port Angeles (foreclosure sales), I see a pattern that has great relevance for retired professionals.  The vast majority of foreclosure sales were in the $100,000 to $300,000 price range.  And in Port Angeles there were about twice as many homes as Sequim foreclosed on below $200,000.  Housing is cheaper in Port Angeles, and there are more lower end homes being foreclosed on.

    Foreclosure Sales

    The nice homes that my retired clients want to look at are almost always above $300,000, and as you can see in this chart, there have been very few foreclosure sales above $300,000.  In all of 2010 there were only 5 homes above $300,000 foreclosed on in Sequim.  It is highly likely that these were not water view or mountain view homes, and probably not on a lot in an area that retirees would typically choose.

    This affirms what I have been telling my clients, that the best homes at the best prices for retired professionals who want a beautiful custom home in a nice area are current listings for sale but not foreclosures.  Foreclosure sales are just not where the best homes are found in this small real estate market.

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  • 0 Comments
  • Filed under: Foreclosures
  • How to Find Sequim Foreclosures

    How can you find Sequim foreclosures?  The Clallam County foreclosure market, including Sequim and Port Angeles is chaotic at best, but I’ve created several resources for you and they are all free.  Having practiced as a real estate attorney for 20 years and having done many foreclosures myself as well as represented many clients in purchasing foreclosures, I know what resources are available and what you as a buyer and investor need.  I also know what fees and costs can be compromised, and I know precisely how to negotiate the best possible price.

    If you want to buy a foreclosure, may I suggest you use these resources online, and then do the next logical thing:  ask me to represent you as your Sequim Buyer’s Agent.  I cost you absolutely nothing, because the selling bank pays my fee even though I represent you against their best interests.  I love that, and my clients love that too.  Okay, let’s get to your free online resources for Sequim foreclosures.

    Sequim Foreclosures

    Sequim Foreclosures

    Sequim Foreclosures

    I have a site I designed to make it easy for you to search for listed Sequim foreclosures, which are called REO’s.  These are foreclosures that are back in the bank’s ownership and have been listed in put in the Sequim MLS and the Port Angeles MLS.  This site pulls up the foreclosures that are listed in the Northwest MLS and are foreclosures.  The site is Sequim Foreclosures.  You can also just click on the above image.

    Sequim Foreclosures

    If you search my blog, Sequim Real Estate Blog, with the phrase foreclosures, you will find many articles, videos, and links to Sequim foreclosures.

    1. Are Sequim Foreclosures a Bargain?

      Sequim foreclosures may not be the best values right now and using the online Sequim MLS will be your best bet for finding the ideal home at the best price.
    2. Is Your Sequim Home in Foreclosure or Close To It?

      Foreclosure Process in Sequim Do you own a Sequim or Port Angeles home that is now in foreclosure or just a month or two away from the foreclosure process?
    3. Looking at Sequim Foreclosures

      Jun 20, 2010 I’ve showed several Sequim foreclosures recently to several clients. One of these properties is a nice five acre parcel in a great area,
    4. Foreclosure Process Defective

      The foreclosure process of many homes around the country is being challenged because of allegations of wrongful procedures by financial institutions.
    5. Foreclosures of the Rich and Famous

      Foreclosures are not just hitting “average folk.” Even the rich and famous The foreclosure saga of Ed McMahon, 85, Johnny Carson’s former “Tonight Show”
    6. Foreclosures

      As a real estate attorney who handled many foreclosures and short sales, and now who represents buyers in short sales as a real estate agent,
    7. Short Sales and Foreclosures

      Sequim Foreclosures, Port Angeles Foreclosures, and Short Sale Opportunities for Buyers …. in utah and your post on Sales and Foreclosures looks right on!
    8. Port Angeles Foreclosures

      The following foreclosure database is a subscription service I pay for, but I offer it to you here at no cost with the permission of the largest foreclosure
    9. The Truth About Buying Foreclosures

      When we speak of a foreclosure, we are referring to a note and need of trust which is in default. The note is the evidence of the debt, and the deed of
    10. Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Credit Scores

      Apr 25, 2010 What effect does a foreclosure or a short sale have on your credit score? Negatives on a credit report are scored by three factors: recency

    Search for your Sequim foreclosures and then email me at chuckmarunde@gmail.com or call me anytime at 360-775-5424.

    Sequim foreclosures courtesy of Chuck Marunde.

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    Are Sequim Foreclosures a Bargain?

    People ask me if there are some great deals in Sequim foreclosures or Port Angeles foreclosures.  The real estate market in the Sequim area is different than many other areas of the country, and that is true with foreclosures, too.  The foreclosure market here has been chaotic at best, and a disaster at worst.  I talk about Sequim foreclosures in this short video.

    Sequim Foreclosures

    Sequim Foreclosures and Good Deals

    Properties that have been foreclosed on are listed and put in the Sequim MLS, so there is no need for a special database to search for Sequim foreclosures.  The question some people are asking is whether there are any good deals (i.e. steals) on foreclosures between the time the loan goes into default and the time it is sold at the courthouse and gets listed in put in the MLS?

    Sequim ForeclosuresThe answer is a clear and unqualified, “No.”  No one I know has purchased a steal or any kind of incredible home at an extraordinarily low price.  Not during the time I practiced law as a foreclosure attorney, nor as a real estate agent or broker in the entire Sequim and Port Angeles areas.  Surely, someone somewhere will know someone who knows someone who got a $125,000 home for $85,000 and only had to put another $12,000 into it to make it inhabitable.  Those kinds of deals are very rare, so rare that I don’t even know anyone who knows anyone who has bought any cheap Sequim foreclosures.  I know people in Vegas who have, but not here.

    Sequim Foreclosures and the MLS

    I believe some of the best opportunities right now in this market are found by motivated sellers who want to sell their home to move closer to their children and grand kids.  Want to buy a $775,000 home for a $90,000 discount?  That home is probably owned by a retired couple who want to move closer to family in California or Texas or the east coast.  But that home is not a foreclosure.

    Sequim foreclosures may not be the best values right now and using the online Sequim MLS will be your best bet for finding the ideal home at the best price.

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    Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

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

    Sequim Real Estate

    Search the Sequim MLS

    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.

    From Los Angeles

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

    From Seattle

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

    From Florida

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

    From Gilroy California

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

    From Corona California

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

    From Bakersfield California

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

    From Los Alamos New Mexico

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

    From Sun Lakes Arizona

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

    From California

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

    From Sequim

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

    From The Netherlands

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

    From Fremont California

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

    From Fontana California

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

    From Tacoma

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

    From Wendell Idaho

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

    From Sequim

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

    From Seattle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Intro by Chuck Marunde

    From Sequim to California

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