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How to Find a Sequim Home

How to find a Sequim home with video help is today’s topic. I’ve talked with hundreds of buyers in the past few years, and I’ve shown hundreds of homes. I’ve helped a lot of buyers find their ideal retirement homes. In the process I’ve learned what buyers are doing to search for their homes. I think you’ll find this useful, because some are doing it right, and some are not.

How to Find a Sequim Home

How to Find a Sequim Home – The First System

Every buyer today is using the Internet to search for their next home. That’s a given. But how buyers search the Internet can be divided into two approaches. The first approach is what a majority of well intentioned buyers are doing. Because they use the Internet to search for almost everything these days, they’ve gotten pretty good at finding answers to their questions, or finding the best price for a used car, or selling something on Craigslist. So when they decide to start searching for a home, they simply jump on the Internet like they always have, and they find a couple of real estate portals and start randomly searching. 

Whatever nationally syndicated site these buyers are using, and many of these sites are full of inaccurate information, these buyers are using a chaotic approach, and it is full of traps for the unwary buyer. I understand they honestly think they have a good system, but I can promise you, it is not the best approach to finding the home you intend to live in the rest of your life. But wait, because it gets better (or worse). The majority of buyers also use a chaotic approach to finding and hiring a Sequim real estate agent. They tend to hire any agent who answers the phone without any due diligence.

How to Find a Sequim Home – The Second System

A smaller percentage of buyers are using a different approach on how to find a Sequim home. They understand that searching for a home requires some Internet savvy. So the first thing they do is find a reliable Sequim MLS site that is 100% accurate and has all the local listings, a site that is very powerful but easy to navigate. I give you Sequim-Homes.com.

The second thing they do is find the best answers to their real estate questions. I give you the largest Sequim real estate blog with over 1,800 articles for buyers written by a veteran real estate broker and 20 year real estate attorney at Sequim Real Estate Blog

They also find more free tools and information linked from that Sequim Real Estate Blog than they can find anywhere else on the Internet answering their questions about how to find a Sequim home.

The third thing they do is qualify real estate agents, because they want someone who has the experience and competence to do a great job for them, and they also want an agent is honest and trustworthy. I recommend the articles on the real estate blog and the checklists and interview questions you’ll find there.

To get started, I suggest you watch the connected videos on the playlist above. This will help you use the Sequim MLS effectively. I hope this article hleps you answer the question on how to find a Sequim home.

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The Three Best Sequim MLS Sites

What are the three best Sequim MLS sites you can use to search online to find your home or land? Today I’ll share what they are and tell you exactly why these are the three best Sequim MLS sites.

Sequim MLS

Best Sequim MLS Site #1

Our number one pick for the best Sequim MLS site is Sequim4Sale.com, also known as Sequim-Homes.com. Unlike many MLS sites that are created and maintained by a corporation far away from Sequim, or other MLS sites that are awkward to use and not very friendly, this Sequim MLS site was designed and programmed specifically for Sequim buyers. It is easy to navigate, powerful in its search capacity, and you can save favorites and set up email alerts. 100% of all the Olympic Listing Service (OLS) listings are on this site. All local agents use the OLS, so this is where you will find all the local listings. There’s an introductory video, and a series of videos to help you get the most out of this Sequim MLS site. There is also a 24/7 technician standing by to help you if you have any questions. This is by far the best Sequim MLS site. Period.

Best Sequim MLS Site #2

Our second pick for the best Sequim MLS site is LuxuryWaterViewHomes.com. This site includes all the Northwest MLS listings for homes and land in the Sequim area as well as most of the state of Washington, including the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolis. Only 55% of the Sequim brokers are members of the Northwest MLS, so roughly half of the Sequim listings are in this system. But this site allows you to search a much larger area for other listings.

Best Sequim MLS Site #3

The last but very powerful of our Best Sequim MLS sites is SequimForSale.com (as opposed to Sequim4Sale.com). This site includes all listings from both the Olympic Listing Service and the Northwest MLS, which makes it a very powerful site. Even Seattle area Realtors use this site to look at Sequim listings.

Use one or all three of these Sequim MLS sites, but if you are looking only at Sequim listings, we recommend our first choice at Sequim4Sale.com.

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Why I Do Not Recommend Open Houses

Open houses have been a disaster for sellers. Many sellers do want their home to be on the list of weekend open houses, because they are hopeful that their home will sell. I do not recommend my clients hold open houses, and there are three major reasons on which all of my clients concur after they are made aware of these dirty little secrets few homeowners know about.

Open Houses

Open Houses Dangerous?

Open Houses Warning No. 1: As a real estate broker, I periodically receive an email alert notifying me that there is a criminal frequenting open houses. That is a rare event in a rural area like Sequim, but it is not unheard of in the metropolitan areas. Even in Sequim homeowners are not naive to the possibility that someone would visit an open house to case the property for a later theft. This alone might be a reason a homeowner, especially an elderly couple, might choose not to hold an open house.

Open Houses Warning No. 2: Did you know that a homeowner who invites the public to attend an open house may be liable if one of those guests falls and suffers from an injury. We all know we are now living in a litigation prone generation, and it would be a tragedy if someone slipped and fell and then sued for a judgment equal to the equity in the home. These kinds of lawsuits are far too prevalent in the U.S. Plaintiff’s attorney’s always name every possible defendant, so that means the listing broker would also be sued.

Open Houses Warning No. 3: This may be the ultimate reason a homeowner decides not to be involved with open houses. Open houses simply do not sell homes in rural areas like Sequim. In fact, the National Association of Realtors nationwide survey concluded that only 1% to 2% of homes actually sell at open houses. After 20 years in Sequim, I do not know of any real estate agent who actually sold a home to someone who attended an open house. There may be someone, but it is so rare, it is almost unheard of.

The Real Reason for Open Houses

You may be wondering why brokers even hold open houses. Can you guess? It’s a logical answer, although it might take a moment of thought. I’ll give you a hint. Have you ever noticed that there are always sign-in lists at open houses? Okay, here’s why brokers hold open houses–to generate buyer leads. That’s it. That’s the truth, and all Realtors around the country know this.

It’s not such a good idea for sellers to have an open house. Now you know why I do not recommend my clients hold open houses. Open houses do not sell homes.

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Why National MLS Sites Can Mislead You

When you look at MLS sites (multiple listing service sites) to search for your home, you probably assume that the information you are looking at is accurate. Think again. Buyers call and email me several times a week asking about information they find on a national MLS site that turns out to be slightly wrong or totally wrong. If you are comparing properties and narrowing your list of homes to look at, wrong information could certainly eliminate homes you would actually like, and could keep homes you would filter out on the list. And one of the biggest frustrations for buyers is large variations in values listed for properties on various national MLS sites. This article will help you objectively get this right.

MLS SitesNational MLS Sites Not All Perfect

National MLS sites include sites like Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Homes.com, Realtor.com, HomeFinder.com, BackPage.com, Oodle.com, HomeGain.com, Google.com, RealtyStore.com, Homes.Yahoo.com, Kijiji.com (ebay), eLookyloo.com, and hundreds of other real estate sites where listings can be syndicated.

Here’s what the public and buyers like you may not know about national MLS sites. They are not always accurate, and sometimes the information is terribly incorrect. Sometimes the prices are wrong, the estimates of value are wrong, the specific information is wrong, and sometimes the home is not actually for sale although it is showing as “For Sale” on a national MLS site.

How can that happen? Once I tell you, you will totally get it. Listings originate with a local listing broker. The broker inputs the listing data and photos into the local MLS. Some MLSs syndicate listings to dozens and sometimes hundreds of other real estate sites. While that sounds simple enough, technically it is very complicated. Local MLSs around the U.S. have different software, different data fields, and use different formatted photo sizes. MLSs use what is called an IDX data feed to syndicate, but not all MLS IDX data feeds include the same data fields or the same names of data fields. Some resize photos in different ways, too, which can result in distortion.

National MLS Sites – Data Fields Different

On the receiving end of the MLS data, these national MLS sites all have different software also and different data fields. These syndications are all done with software, and no humans are involved. So you have the merging of data from one system to many other national MLS sites that may not match up, and often do not. So you can lose important data, like the property taxes, the actual tax assessed value, the square footage, the acreage, the number of rooms in a house, or the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, whether there is a guest house or not, whether the garage is attached or separate, and so on.

Some of these national MLS sites are pretty and they sure look good, but that doesn’t mean your information is all good. I have a client whose listing shows up twice on Zillow with different values and different information. We can’t get rid of the second one either.

On top of all this, many national MLS sites are illegally “scraping” data off the internet without permission from the sources. This information is then sold to other companies who do not know it is illegally obtained. Then the data is propagated again on other sites, and errors can be repeated ad infinitum.

Now that you know national MLS sites are not necessarily reliable, would you like to use a Sequim MLS site that is 100% accurate and includes 100% of the local listings? This data comes directly from the local listing agents, and it is reliable. You’ll find this site easy to use, and it’s pretty too: Sequim Real Estate. I think you’ll be glad you used this local Sequim MLS site, not one of the national MLS sites.

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Sequim MLS listings show up on all the public MLS sites as “active listings” even when they are sold and their status is pending.  This is confusing to most buyers who assume that if it is an active listing, it is still available.  Clients often asked me when they find out the home they want to view is pending and unavailable, why it is still showing up on all the MLS sites online as still for sale?

Sequim MLS Listings

Sequim MLS Listings Status

When Sequim MLS listings are under contract, i.e. when buyer and seller have reached mutual acceptance, the status of the listing is changed to “pending” in the Northwest MLS, and in the OLS (Olympic Listing Service), the status is changed to “active-under-contract.”  The two MLSs have different terminology for the same thing.  On the subscription side, real estate agents can see the status, but the public MLS sites do not show the status as either pending or active-under-contract.  To consumers it appears that the listings are still available.  Why?  (more…)

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The Best Sequim MLS Listing Site

What is the best Sequim MLS site?  Some use Trulia or Zillow, but there is a much more accurate Sequim MLS site for buyers.  Some clients have told me that they use Zillow to find home values in Sequim, and some search Trulia for listings in the Sequim MLS.  Here’s what they don’t know.  The Zillow and Trulia databases are incomplete and often inaccurate in Sequim and Port Angeles.  Let me explain.  Both these sites are adding to their database, but they prioritized major metropolitan areas first, and they’ve been working on building complete databases on millions and millions of homes in the major urban areas.  Sequim is off that beaten path.  Way off.

Sequim MLS

Sequim MLS on Zillow and Trulia

A few years ago as I analyzed Zillow, I found that only a small percentage of the homes in Sequim and Port Angeles were in their database.  Since Zillow software crunches the numbers on comparable homes to arrive at what is a reasonable value, if Zillow only has small percentage of the homes in Sequim in their database, any data on a particular home will be woefully incomplete.  Zillow could be right about the value of a home, or Zillow could be way off, which it often is.   (more…)

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Is the Northwest MLS in Sequim and Port Angeles?  Yes and no.  Sequim and Port Angeles in Clallam County have two multiple listing services (MLS’s).  It’s unfortunate, because there are a number of negative implications to having two competing MLS’s.  Having two MLS’s creates confusion for buyers, and they may miss a home that is in one MLS and not the other.  It also creates confusion for sellers, because many sellers don’t understand the importance of being listed in both MLS’s at this time.  The last negative implication of two MLS’s is that some brokers who choose to be a member of both, have to pay twice as much in fees and must enter listings twice as many times and maintain listings twice as many times.

Northwest MLS in Sequim and Port Angeles

All Sequim and Port Angeles real estate brokers are members of the Olympic Listing Service (OLS), but not all are members of the Northwest MLS.  The last time I examined the stats, only about one-half to two-thirds of the local listings were in the Northwest MLS.  Why is this important?  Because all the real estate brokers and agents in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Kent, Tacoma, Puyallup, and most of the State of Washington are exclusively using the Northwest MLS and do not have access to the subscription side of the OLS.  So if a Seattle agent is trying to find a listing for a buyer in Sequim or Port Angeles, and the listing agent is not a member of the Northwest MLS, they simply won’t find it.  (more…)

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Sequim Real Estate Listings

Buyers who want to search Sequim real estate listings online have many options.  Years ago I wanted my clients to have a powerful Sequim real estate listings search tool that was easy to navigate, so I had my programmers create one according to my specifications and connect it to both the Olympic Listing Service and the Northwest MLS databases.  Compare the result to the other franchise template MLS sites, and you can see why clients love this site.  But I wanted more for my clients.

Sequim Real Estate Listings

I instructed my programmers to make this site absolutely free and with no requirement to register if people just wanted to search for properties.  I wanted them to be able to search 100% of all the listings in both the OLS and the NWMLS.  I also asked my programmers to make this MLS search site easy for clients to be able to save their property searches so they can filter through many listings and keep an organized list of the properties they may want to see when they come to Sequim.  And lastly, I wanted clients to be able to have new Sequim real estate listings emailed to them based on their search parameters, and I wanted them to be able to edit and change their searches.  In other words, I wanted my clients to be in total control of their property searches.

Sequim Real Estate Listings – For Buyers

Sequim Real Estate Listings

Sequim Real Estate Listings in the MLS Online

Click on the image above to go directly to Sequim real estate listings.  Notice that in the “Advanced Search” you can include very specific search parameters, including waterfront property, mountain view property, and a detailed list of options.  I’m always working to improve the tools and services I give my clients.  Having just checked out all the other local MLS search sites, I can tell you this one is the most powerful and the easiest to navigate.  I hope you find this Sequim real estate listings site useful in your search.

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Sequim MLS on your iPod

Sequim MLS on your iPod – Now you can search the Sequim MLS on your iPod.  For all you passionate iPod Phone and iPod Touch fans in the virtual iPod world, you can now search the entire Sequim MLS and Port Angeles MLS with your iPod.  Here’s how easy it is.

ipod

From your iPod go to Apps and search for “IDX” without the quotes.   Download the app called “myAgent by IDX” (by IDX, Inc.).  When you load it you will be asked for a Sequim code.  The code is “3523” and once you type it in you won’t ever have to type it in again.

Load the app, type in the Sequim code of 3523, and you are looking at a nice map showing all the Sequim MLS listings and the Port Angeles MLS listings.  You simply drag the map across the screen to move around to the neighborhood you want.

To narrow your search for the perfect home, simply click on “Filter” at the bottom right, and you can select a price range, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage.

Once you pull up a screen with some listings represented as little red houses, you can touch a house and it opens up with the price and address.  Touch the little blue arrow, and you get the full listing with all the photos and details.

Come on, admit it:  This is so cool!

Search the Sequim MLS on your iPod, another powerful and absolutely free service courtesy of Chuck Marunde, your favorite Sequim Buyer’s Agent.

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Water view lots in Sequim and Port Angeles are plentiful.   Since we are on the Olympic Peninsula, we are, of course, surrounded by water.   We have views of the John Wayne Marina, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the International waters looking toward beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.   To our immediate south we have the stunning backdrop of the Olympic Mountains.

So does that mean you can easily find a gorgeous lot to build your retirement home and have a stunning water view?   First, it’s not easy to find the ideal lot for your home.   There are many lots, but some of them require a four wheel drive to reach, and that simply is not for everyone.   Second, price is a factor.   The greater the water view, the greater the price.   That probably doesn’t surprise you.   Here’s what a recent client of mine from California learned as he scoured the Internet prior to arriving and as he and I walked lots.

There are many lots with great water views, but few that were ideal for him and his wife.   The first lots we looked at were high in elevation, so they did have great views, but the roads to them and the driveways to the building sites were extremely steep, far too steep for his wife who might drive to the grocery store herself on one of those rare days when we have lots of snow.

The next lots we looked at are in a well known development with great water views, but the lots are small, the prices big, and many of the lots had tons of fill, which means the excavation costs and additional concrete support will substantially increase the cost of building a home.

We did find two lots adacent to each other that were within the ball park on price, under $100,000, but the water view is very slim.   These lots also had a valley and mountain view, so they are great lots, but the water view is minimal.

Stepping up to $200,000, we suddenly open up another level of water views, substantially better in fact.   But this raises the price of lot and building by a hundred thousand dollars, not something everyone will be able or willing to do.

On the lowest end of lot prices, we do find lots under $60,000, but these are small lots without water views, and often with other less favorable features, such as a less attractive location or close to Highway 101 and the traffic noise.

The challenge if you are doing a search on the Internet from out of state is that many agents don’t provide lots of excellent photos of lots, and even if you do have photos of a water view, photos can’t possibly do justice to the view, so you can’t really see what it would really be like.

To search for lots in Sequim or Port Angeles, here’s a great site:

Search Sequim MLS and Port Angeles MLS for Lots

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I believe the best Sequim MLS and Port Angeles MLS site where you can search all the local real estate listings is one I had programmed specifically with buyers in mind.   The reason this unique is because you can search the entire Olympic Listing Service and the entire Northwest Multiple Listing Service easily from this page.

If you didn’t know, we have two MLS’s here in Clallam County, so our listings are bifurcated.   Well, theoretically 100% of our listings are in the OLS, and from my statistical analysis, about 67% of the listings are also in the NWMLS.   The reason this is so important to buyers is that they could be searching an aent’s website that only pulls in listings from the NWMLS, which means you will be looking at all of their listings but not all of the listings available here.   If you have been reading my articles, you’ll already know that I am very consumer-centric, and I don’t like consumers not getting what they expect to get.   Some agents might prefer you only see their own listings, so they can double up on the commission.   That’s not the way consumers (buyers) ought to be treated.   I’m a member of both systems, so I had my programmer set this page up so you could search both MLS’s here.

Search the Sequim MLS and
Port Angeles MLS in the OLS and NWMLS

Notice the pull down menu near the top of the search section in the middle.   You can select either Olympic MLS or Nowthwest MLS.

Working hard night and day to provide buyers like you with the tools you need to do powerful searches on the Internet without me or anyone else getting in your face.   If you have any questions, you know how to reach me:   chuckmarunde@gmail.com or 360-775-5424.

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Sequim MLS: Olympic Listing Service or NWMLS?

How about that Sequim MLS?  Sequim and Port Angeles are currently stuck with two multiple listing services (MLS). The Olympic Listing Service (OLS) has 100% of all local MLS listings in it, which is to say that all Sequim and Port Angeles agents are members of the OLS.

Sequim MLS System

The second MLS is the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), and it has been the primary MLS for King and Pierce Counties and many other counties for years. As shown in the graph, a smaller percentage of local agents are also members of the NWMLS.

sequim mls

Searching the Sequim MLS?

When buyers are searching the Sequim MLS or the OLS, which system do they use? That depends on the site they are using to search the MLS. If they are using a site with the NWMLS IDX data feed, they are not seeing all of the listings for sale here. If they are using a site with the OLS IDX data feed, they are seeing 100% of the listings. sequim mls But buyers may not know this as they are doing their search. Online MLS searches that rely upon the NWMLS always have this logo by each listing.

Buyers should make sure they are using an MLS search that includes 100% of the local listings, not just the estimated 67% of local listings in the NWMLS. [There’s much more technical analysis involved in comparing the two systems, because they use different fields and compile their data in different search and reporting methods.]

I am a member of both services, although not long ago I felt that being a member of the NWMLS made no sense. Why be a member of a second MLS, pay additional monthly dues (not to mention a $500 sign-up fee for a broker), and have to input all my listings twice, when only the OLS has all of the listings in it? When I do a comparable market analysis (CMA) to arrive at fair market value, it must be done only in the OLS, because it would be incomplete in the NWMLS. Market reports using only the NWMLS would be incomplete for this market.

Sequim MLS

I finally decided to be a member of both so I could give my clients the greatest possible exposure for their listings, and so I could reach as many possible buyers on the Internet as I could. In addition, it seems clear to me that the future of the Sequim MLS is the NWMLS. I will be glad when we are all on one MLS system.

As a practical matter, even though the NWMLS does not include all the local listings, the NWMLS is far superior to the OLS as software and much more powerful. It has much greater usefulness to agents and much more back office support, including a full time attorney.

For clients who want to search 100% of the listings available, I suggest using my Sequim MLS search (it is also the Port Angeles MLS), which does include 100% of all available homes for sale listed by all agents in Sequim and Port Angeles. Search the entire Sequim MLS and Port Angeles MLS.

[For-Sale-By-Owners (FSBOs) are in neither MLS, and the majority of potential buyers are not searching the private FSBO sites, which means FSBOs are left out of the loop almost entirely for buyers.   FSBOs are completely left out of the massive number of searches that are done through these MLS data feeds on hundreds of websites that host the IDS data feeds.   These data feeds are not only on almost every agent’s website, they are also pulled into all the major real estate classified services and real estate portals, such as Realtor.com and Trulia.com.   Sellers do not generally understand all of the back office technical and Internet marketing issues involved.   There is much more to getting a home effectively marketed on the Internet than most people realize.   Even real estate agents are not necessarily adept at explaining these issues to FSBOs.]

Sequim MLS made easy.

Search the Sequim MLS and the Port Angeles MLS directly from this real estate blog.

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Search the entire Sequim MLS or Port Angeles MLS.   No money has been spared to give you the most advanced cutting edge MLS search tool, so you can search all the homes for sale in the entire MLS in Sequim and Port Angeles.   You can also search for vacant land.

You can narrow your focus by city, or even areas within and around Sequim and Port Angeles, and you can get as specific as you want with your parameters (bedrooms, square footage, etc.).   Once you get a list of results, just view the details for a full listing sheet with photos, too.

And I also added a map feature, so you can see where each property is located.   Just click on the image below to start your search now.   Notice that I have not required that you register your name and email.   Of course, if you find this useful, I would love the privilege of being your buyer’s agent.

Sequim real estate and Port Angeles real estate found here.

Search Sequim MLS

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Search the Entire Sequim MLS with Map Search

You can search the Sequim MLS and the Port Angeles MLS with a really cool map search at:

Search Entire Sequim MLS

This is a great feature, because you can instantly see on the map where the listings are located, and you simply click on any that catch your interest, and the page opens to more photos and detailed information. Of course, you can also search by MLS# or by price and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, acreage and so on.

Courtesy of Chuck Marunde and Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate, LLC.

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Search MLS in Sequim WABuyers of real estate today are taking their searches and their methods to entirely new levels, thanks to the Internet.   Buyers want access to instant information that is free, and they do not want the kind of uncomfortable confrontation that occurs when they have to pick up the phone and call a salesman.

I believe there are two powerful reasons for this change.   First, the Internet has given consumers the ability to search the multiple listing service in their target markets at no cost anytime of the day or night.   When I first started in real estate before the Internet, I had an MLS book that was published every Friday with all the listings in it.   People had to actually come into the office and sit down with me while we thumbed through this two-inch thick book.   Now, buyers can jump on the Internet from the comfort of their homes and search the MLS without even talking to a real estate agent.   They like that.

Second, there is a cultural shift occurring that is fueled by consumers.   Technology has facilitated consumers’ desires to move away from traditional high pressure sales and from traditional advertising.   Buyers do not like being force fed news and advertising without choice.   They don’t like being told what to do.   Consumers want to have the power to decide what they look for, who they talk to (or don’t talk to), and who they do business with.   And they want to be able to come and go as they gather information without being hindered.   The advent of the Internet and the explosive growth of technology on the Internet to facilitate consumers is a Godsend for the majority of Americans.

Even the news that consumers are reading is part of this cultural change.   They are shifting from print newspapers to the Internet at the speed of light, and they are loving the fact that they get to choose what news to read.   A fascinating study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism examined what news consumers are reading when they have a choice:

The question of whether citizens define the news differently than professionals is becoming increasingly relevant. It started with offering visitors a sense of what others found interesting: what news stories were most emailed and most viewed?

Soon, establishment news sites like CBSNews.com allowed users to make their own newscasts. Then, names like Digg, Reddit and Del.icio.us emerged as virtual town squares that became a way to measure the pulse of what the web community finds most newsworthy, most captivating, or just amusing. The trend continues, as even Myspace, the social networking site popular among 20-somethings, has launched a news page (http://news.myspace.com).

Some key findings include:

  • The news agenda of the three user-sites that week was markedly different from that of the mainstream press. Many of the stories users selected did not appear anywhere among the top stories in the mainstream media coverage studied. And there was often little in the way of follow-up. Most stories on the user-news sites appeared only once, never to be repeated again in the week we studied.
  • The sources user news sites draw on are strikingly different from the mainstream media. Seven in ten stories on the user sites come either from blogs or Web sites such as YouTube and WebMd that do not focus mostly on news.
  • The three user news sites differed from one another in subtle ways. Reddit was the most likely to focus on political events from Washington, such as coverage of Vice President Cheney; Digg was particularly focused on the release of Apple’s new iPhone; Del.icio.us had the most fragmented mix of stories and the least overlap with the News Index.
  • On Yahoo News—even when picking from a limited list of stories Yahoo editors had already pared down—users’ top stories only rarely matched those of the news professionals.

Consumers are taking control of what and how they gather information.   That is true with the news and the advertising they choose to read, or ignore, and it is true today about how they search for and buy real estate.

Home buyers can search a beautiful map based multiple listing service (see example of an MLS search that is easy to navigate and graphically pleasing), they can search the locale of interest with a Google search to find for-sale-by-owners, to find an exclusive buyer’s agent, to read local real estate blogs, and view photos of the area.   They can do all of this from the comfort of their home without talking to a single salesman.

The vast majority of buyers are not using real estate portals either.   Buyers are no longer pulled by the big names of real estate companies branded on billboards or on TV commercials.   The dominant branding of big names that was such a major factor in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s has faded just as the Internet has grown.   Consumer loyalty is no longer to the “branded companies.”   Consumers are loyal to themselves, and that is the way it should be.   Technology has finally given the consumer what they have always wanted–the power to choose.   They choose the information they view, how and when they view it, and they choose what to do with that information without interference from anyone.

Buyers are taking control, and they love it.

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Sequim MLS Search with Map Search Feature

Now you can search the Sequim and Port Angeles MLS of over 1,500 listings with a Map Search feature.   Of course, you can also search with your unique parameters at the same time and see the property details by simply clicking on the listing indicators on the map.   Try it, you’ll like it.   Click on this image to search the Sequim and Port Angeles MLS Listings.

I am constantly upgrading and developing new systems that make it easy for you, the buyer, to find exactly what you are looking for, and at no cost, no obligation, and no required registration.   All free, courtesy of Chuck Marunde and Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate, LLC.

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The Sequim MLS and Port Angeles MLS consists of the Olympic Listing Service (OLS) and for some the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). All local brokers and agents are members of the OLS, but not all are members of the NWMLS.

I’ve been meditating on this issue in light of the great conflict that stirs quietly behind the scenes among brokers. Mediation is a good thing. It reduces stress and sometimes gives us answers that seem to drop down out of the heavens.

While I was meditating on the relative merits of these two competing listing services, I had a revelation, and suddenly something hit me on the head pretty good. I thought God’s messenger had miraculously tapped me with wisdom. When I got up, I realized it was just the book on my computer monitor that fell. Fortunately, my head cushioned its fall. Unfortunately, my revelation probably found its roots in terra firma rather than the heavens.

By now, you’re probably thinking, “So, what is the revelation?” Perhaps it’s more of a reflection, rather than a revelation. Okay, here it is. Since us local agents are all members of the OLS but not all members of the NWMLS, that makes the NWMLS pretty much useless. Let me explain.

When an agent does a search of the listing database of all homes and land for sale in Sequim and Port Angeles, he needs a complete database. If the database is incomplete, he cannot expect to pull together a decent set of comps to determine price or make accurate comparisons. Since not all local brokers are members of the NWMLS, that database is incomplete, and any data used to arrive at price comparisons will also be less than complete.

Some brokers or agents like to make the argument that having a listing in both systems gets exposure to Seattle side agents and buyers, but no agent I know in Sequim or Port Angeles has been able to tell me that they have sold a listed property that way. Local agents use the OLS, not the NWMLS to search for local properties and to email clients reports.

I have used both listing services, and there’s no question at all which is better–it is the NWMLS. The NWMLS has much better technology, and it has much better content with the statewide forms. Unfortunately, because many brokers refuse to be part of the NWMLS but all are members of the OLS, that means only the OLS is a complete database. Why don’t all agents and brokers simply agree to be part of the NWMLS?

First, we are not, in fact, picking up any buyers through the NWMLS. That alone ought to be enough. Some of my clients will logically say, “Well, don’t we get more exposure?” Reasonable question, but I never got any calls from Seattle area Realtors during the entire year I was a member of both services here, nor has any Realtor in Clallam County ever sold one of their listings through the NWMLS that I know of, and I have talked with many many agents on this issue. Sure, someone somewhere is going to come up with an exception from years past. But we don’t deal with would of, could of, or maybe. We are trying to sell real estate now to real buyers.

Second, where are our buyers coming from? Mostly from out of state, and I also track Seattle area people hitting my website. Guess what the Seattle buyers are doing (and I just wrote an offer for a Seattle area buyer on a $419,000 house)? They are jumping up on the Internet and going to the search engines. They don’t go to a Seattle area Realtor’s website to log into NWMLS. They are finding my sites directly through the search engines. That’s what people do now. They use search engines. They type in phrases like, “Port Angeles real estate water view” or a similar phrase. When they type that in a search engine, they get real results right here in River City. If they type such a search in the NWMLS, they don’t get much, because the majority of local listings are not there, but they are NOT going to the NWMLS to do this search. They, like everyone else, are using search engines, like Google.

Third, most people don’t realize the NWMLS cost about $960 for me as a broker to sign up, and about $360 per year for me and every one of my agents. If a broker is a member, it is mandatory that all agents be members. Since leads don’t come in from the NWMLS (honestly they do NOT), that would be like throwing money off the bridge.

Fourth, the OLS and the NWMLS are only two databases available on the Internet, and there are about three dozen that people use. Most all of these real estate databases are pulling information from sources other than the NWMLS. These other database services or Internet services are optimized for the search engines. The NWMLS and the OLS are not optimized for search engines.

Until all local brokers agree to be members of the NWMLS, there is not a compelling reason to do so. Why do you think the largest local brokerage, Coldwell Banker Uptown Realty, is not a member?

Courtesy Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate, LLC

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You can search over 1,500 Sequim MLS listings and Port Angeles MLS Listings from my website at: Search MLS Listings.

There’s a short audio on how to use the MLS search to find what you are looking for. If you are unable to find exactly what you are looking for, do not assume it doesn’t exist, as the audio explains. The local MLS input data sheet has many check boxes, and not all agents complete all the “include” or “exclude” sections. It’s easier for agents to use the “comments” or “remarks” section to describe something unique or special about the property.

Sometimes people run into trouble when they try to listen to an audio on their Internet browser, whether it is Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. The solution is to check the options in your browser, and make sure that the default setting for listening to “.mp3’s” is the audio program you use on your computer (i.e. Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc.).

If you have any difficulty or can’t find the home or land you are looking for, email me at chuckmarunde@gmail.com or simply call me at 360-775-5424.

P.S. I will be glad to help you with any technology problems you’re having on this. Come on now, when was the last time a Realtor offered help with your tech issues?

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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
435 W. Bell St. Suite A, 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
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

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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