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Sellability and Appreciation

How important is sellability and appreciation in your home? Extremely important, and I’ll tell you why. Too many widows in their 80s have been left with a home they cannot sell, and it becomes a nightmare for them when they are struggling to maintain the property and pay property taxes. I’ll explain what has happened to many couples who built or bought a home that was not sellable 15 to 20 years later.

Appreciation

You have to assume that you will “age out” of your home (probably in your 80s or 90s), and logically you will need to sell it when you get old. In order to sell your home in the future, there are two critically important things that must happen, and whether they happen or do not happen depends on the decision you make today about the home you buy.

Appreciation Based on Sellability

Before you will ever see any appreciation, you must be able to sell the home you will live in for the next 15+ years. So when you buy a home, you need to carefully consider how sellable it will be down the road. This is no small matter, and many people have screwed this up. That’s why I’m writing about this now–to help you as a buyer think this through so that 15 to 20 years from now, the sale of your home will go smoothly.

Appreciation is Zero if You Cannot Sell

Many couples built or bought their idea of the perfect home, but 15 to 20 years later they were unable to sell that home when their husbands either had health issues or predeceased the wife. [More often than not, it is the husband’s health that fails first.] A non-traditional floor plan is predictably hard to sell. A more traditional floor plan is not so hard to sell. Weird or too unique is hard to sell. A single level, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home between 1,800 and 2,400 square feet with an open floor plan (kitchen, living room, and dining room) is very sellable and is appealing to the vast majority of buyers, which makes it fairly sellable 15 to 20 years from now. You don’t have to buy a home exactly like I’m describing, but you get the point. There is a Bell Curve of normal homes, and as you get further out on that Bell Curve, the homes become less sellable.

If you cannot sell a home when you are old, you will never see any appreciation, and the financial strain and the stress it would cause in your life would be a potentially devastating nightmare. This is why buying a home now that is sellable two decades in the future is definitely in your best interest. Appreciation is important, but sellability is everything.

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Sequim Home Prices Compared to Other Areas

Sequim home prices are fairly reasonable compared to many areas of the country. We are probably in the middle when it comes to the price of a three bedroom, two bath home. Here are three homes in three areas of the country from the cheapest homes prices to the most expensive home prices.

Dublin Georgia Home Prices

Home Prices

For $65,000, you could have this Dublin, Georgia home. The deep south has some areas where home prices are incredibly low. But as we say in real estate, “Location is everything.” Do you want to live in Georgia, or would you prefer an even climate in the Northwest like Sequim, Washington?

San Francisco Home Prices

San Francisco Home Prices

San Francisco is expensive, and this ugly home is $1,200,000. Egad! No thank you. Enough  said about home prices in southern California.

Sequim Home Prices

Home Prices

Alas, we’re back in Sequim, and I sold this home for $235,000. By the way, this home has a water view, which the others do not. So Sequim home prices are in the middle of the road compared to other markets across the country, but Sequim has what so many retirees want–a mild climate without temperature extremes, only 16 inches of rain per year (one-third that of Seattle), and extraordinary beauty in nature as Sequim is located between the gorgeous Olympic Mountains and the pristine Strait of Juan de Fuca. We’re probably lucky home prices in Sequim are not much higher.

Our inventory has shrunk recently, but you can search the entire Sequim home MLS at this site at Sequim-Homes.com.

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The fair market value of home prices is determined by supply and demand. That is fundamental economics. But something unique is happening to Sequim and Port Angeles real estate prices that you may want to know. When supply decreases over a period of time and demand remains steady, prices will be pushed up. That’s logical, but there’s another implication that may surprise buyers.

Fair Market Value

Fair Market Value – Prices Pushed Upward

When you find the ideal home and want to make an offer on it, you will want to know what the fair market value is. The number one way to do that in any market is to examine comparable sales. Appraisers also look at the cost of replacement, and the county assessor has expensive software that estimates value, too. But once having done all that, and once you’ve come up with a reasonable fair market value based on the past six months of activity in the real estate market, if supply has been shrinking and demand has remained steady, which is the case in Sequim, what was fair market value a couple of months ago may no longer be fair market value today. In this case, the interplay of supply and demand can push fair market value up even though demand has not increased. Here’s a good example.

Fair Market Value Example

A two year old, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 1,850 square feet in a nice neighborhood with a fair market value of $300,000 based on comps from the past six months has a higher fair market value today, because there are almost no houses left in the inventory like this one. There’s a point at which prices can be pushed above recent fair market value because the supply has dramatically dropped while buyer demand continues steady.

That is exactly what is happening to one segment of the home inventory in Sequim and Port Angeles. When it comes to negotiating price, fair market value may be moving upward.

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Real Estate Prices

Are real estate prices in the Sequim area at or near a bottom, and if so when will real estate prices start to increase? What kind of appreciation can we expect in Sequim? These are questions that buyers have been asking me as they plan to buy their retirement homes in or around Sequim. Most buyers are not concerned about whether they are buying precisely at the bottom of the market, because either this is the last home they will buy or they will live in it for 15 years or longer, so the bigger concern is appreciation.

Real Estate Prices

Real Estate Prices at the Bottom?

We have a combination of unique circumstances affecting Sequim real estate prices right now, and for buyers it is the perfect scenario that we are not likely to see again. Let me explain. The Sequim real estate market is a small market, and prices move slowly and react slowly to economic forces like supply and demand. While prices have gone up substantially in many hot real estate markets around the country, especially in southern California, prices have not gone up commensurately in Sequim, and they should have simply based on the economic fundamentals of supply and demand.

One of my buyers sold their home the first weekend they put it on the market in California, and they said real estate prices had increased 25% in the past six months in their market. They paid cash for a home in Sequim. Another buyer told me they had 34 bids on their California home, all above the listed price. I sold them a home in Sequim too, all cash. Sales in Sequim this calendar year have eclipsed sales in any year over the past seven years of the recession, yet prices in Sequim have not moved up the price curve. At least not yet, but that will change soon.

Real Estate Prices and Appreciation

Retirees moving to Sequim tend to have the same preferences, and they have been competing to buy homes in that small segment of this market. That means the supply of homes in that small segment has been shrinking. [Read The Sequim Real Estate Market is Bifurcated.] Since prices elsewhere have been increasing, more buyers have been arriving in Sequim to buy homes. It is a very simple supply and demand equation that insists that prices increase. But they have not gone up yet. When they do start to go up, it will be a very noticeable increase at first, and then beyond that a steady 3% per year appreciation in real estate prices. Just like the stock market jumps 5% when everyone finally realizes we are in recovery, real estate prices in Sequim will jump a little when prices finally respond to supply and demand.

What does all this mean? It means that Sequim real estate prices are still dragging the bottom, but they are about to start increasing for the first time in seven years of depression. Exactly when will prices start to increase? I cannot say, but my guess is that it will happen in the next 12 months, perhaps after the turn of the new year or in the spring. Mark you calendar and watch the Sequim inventory for homes you like, and watch Sequim real estate prices. But if you intend to buy your retirement home here in the next few years, I think I would do what I could to buy earlier rather than later. Later will cost much more, at least in my humble opinion. That’s my take on Sequim real estate prices.

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What Happens When a Home is Overpriced

What happens when a home is overpriced?  A lot.  The implications of having a home that is substantially overpriced in the MLS can be tragic.  Here is what I have seen . . . more than once.  

Overpriced

A home was overpriced by almost 25%.  In other words, it was listed in the MLS at a price that was above it’s fair market value (FMV) by 25%.  How do I know this?  History proved it. What happened to this home that was overpriced?

The Overpriced Home

The home was listed for almost a year before the owner and listing agent reduced the price, but they did not reduce it enough.  It was still overpriced by 20%.  Apparently both the seller and the listing agent did not understand it was overpriced, but here’s the thing.  Buyers get very good at recognizing when a home is overpriced.  After all, buyers spend months looking at hundreds of homes online, comparing features and prices, and then they spend days looking at their filtered list of homes comparing prices again.  Sellers do not spend nearly the time or effort doing all this personal research, so it is no surprise that buyers are most often more in tune with home prices than sellers.

The Tragedy of Overpriced

At the end of the second year the house still had not sold. Because it was so overpriced, it had very few showings.  The seller was frustrated, which is unquestionably an understatement.  At the end of the third year the seller and the listing agent finally reduced the price to what it should have been three years earlier. 

The Consequences of Overpriced Homes

The house did sell six months later, which was three and a half years from when it was first listed.  During that time the market declined by 10% more than it had since this home was first listed.  The seller dealt with a lot of stress for three and a half years.  The listing agent was clearly as wrong as the seller about the original listing price and the subsequent reductions.  But the consequences of being so wrong were tragic for the seller for this overpriced home.

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Are homes for sale in Sequim and Port Angeles overpriced? This is a legitimate question. The answer is probably more accurately considered when you look at a particular home. In other words, while many homes are overpriced, many are not. Let me explain.

I heard an interesting story this past weekend. A FSBO (for sale by owner) is trying to sell her home for just over $200,000. What’s interesting is that she started a year ago listing it with an agent at $299,000.   As the story goes, nothing happened for many months until her agent came and said, “We need to reduce the price.”   The owner was upset.   She told her agent that she knew it was listed too high when she first listed it, but her agent listed it at $299,000. After this discussion they reduced the listing price to $269,000, which after many months proved to be too high again.   Hence, the current FSBO for just over $200,000.

I have a five acre, one bedroom home listed for sale at $225,000.   The owner lost his job and has moved, and this is going to have to be a short sale, meaning the sales price will be less than the balance owed to the bank.   The balance owed is about $256,000.   Any sale will be subject to the bank’s approval, of course.   Here’s my point about this listing.   When my client first called me to discuss listing this home, he asked me what I thought it should be listed at.   I gave it some thought and told him I thought a realistic selling price would be $225,000.   He said he agreed, but that the other agent he had interviewed had told him $325,000.   In his own words, he said, “I knew that agent was nuts when she quoted me $325,000 in THIS market.” Had she listed that house, it would have been $100,000 overpriced.   Wow!

On the other hand, I sold a house recently for $251,000 cash, and it would have cost $350,000 to buy the land and build the same house.   That home was listed with an agent.   The listing price was very fair, and even below FMV, but that’s what it took to sell it.   My buyer client got a steal, even in this market.

Some houses are overpriced, some houses are fairly priced, and a few are underpriced right now.   If you’re from out of town, I strongly urge you to work with an agent who has been around for a while and has the experience to differentiate prices for you.   You don’t want to pay too much for a home in this market.

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Real Estate Prices

It’s a buyer’s market.   There are many foreclosures flooding the market, and the inventory of listed homes and FSBO’s has reached record highs all over the country.   So have prices dropped dramatically?   In some areas of the country, the answer is yes, but in other areas, the answer is, “not by much.”

Here’s a quick comparison of real estate prices in Arizona and Washington.

The Arizona Republic reports that, “In the Glendale ZIP code 85305, the median price of a home fell from $385,000 at the peak in 2006 to $227,000 today, which is about what it was in 2004.   The overall median home price in the Valley has dropped around 30 percent from $267,000 to $180,000 in the same time period.”   ((See Falling Home Prices Erasing What Many Valley Owners Gained))

Heading north to the Northern Olympic Peninsula in Clallam County, here’s a vignette of prices of homes sold in 2006 and thus far in 2008.

AVERAGE PRICE IN 2006

MEDIAN PRICE IN 2006

$287,075

$269,000

$279,357

$263,500

Days On Market:   84

Days On Market:   59

AVERAGE PRICE IN 2008

MEDIAN PRICE IN 2008

$274,303

$249,900

$262,157

$243,500

Days On Market:   120

Days On Market:   77

Clearly the prices in the Northwest have not crashed as in some other areas.   On one hand this is good news for sellers up north, but good news in this market is often a scintilla of anything positive.   The reality is that homes are still not selling in a reasonable period of time, such as 90 days, even at reduced prices.

Until the market begins to show signs of coming back in areas like Arizona and California, the market in Clallam County Washington won’t come back strong either.   The majority of buyers of homes and land in Sequim, Washington come from from the I-5 corridor to the south.

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Sequim Average Listing Price and Inventory

What is the Sequim average listing price? What is the current inventory? Here’s a great graphic answering those questions. One short coming is that the Trulia database does not include the entire Olympic Listing Service database of listings, but it is still useful. You can also search the Trulia database for Sequim homes for sale. Drag your mouse over the line on the chart to see the actual listing prices.

Sequim Real EstateTrulia

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Where Have All The Buyers Gone?

The inventory of Sequim homes for sale and Port Angeles homes for sale is high, higher than it has been in recent memory for most of us.   Price reductions are almost a common place event in our MLS listings.   Is reducing price enough to sell?

Water View HomesNo, it’s not.   Reducing price and offering selling agents a bonus are motivational factors, but you could logically reduce the price of a listing every week and still not sell it until you were almost giving it away.

So if price is not the only factor, or not the major factor right now for the majority of listings, why are listings not selling?

The answer is simple.   Buyers are not showing up.

If buyers don’t show up, you can play with prices all day long and still get no results.   Sellers now compete with a very small pool of qualified buyers.   A seller has one property to sell, and there is only one unique buyer for that property.   Finding the One is everything.   Price is not.

When that unique buyer finds the ideal property, will the buyer negotiate hard on the price?   Absolutely.   For the buyer price is clearly a major factor, but only after they have found the ideal property.   Buyers know they have the advantage in a buyer’s market.   But for sellers price is not the primary barrier to selling.   The fact that buyers are not showing up is the major barrier.

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Is the Real Estate Market Bottom Here?

Is the Sequim real estate market now at a bottom?   This is the ultimate question.   Sequim is largely dependent upon markets in California, Arizona, Oregon, and Texas believe it or not.   Are these markets and the national market showing signs of bottoming out?

If anyone needs hard evidence that the real estate market cycle is flattening out and turning around, check out the latest pending home sales index numbers.

On a national basis, the index jumped by 5.3 percent last month. But more importantly, it rose in every region of the country, suggesting that the turnaround underway is broad-based — even if it’s likely to proceed slowly and modestly in the months immediately ahead.

The index — which measures signed sale contracts that haven’t yet gone to closing — is a leading indicator of home sales for the coming two to three months. You can bet on solid increases in sales in the South, where the index was up by 9.3 percent, and in the West, up by 4.6 percent. Pending sales in the Northeast states were up by 3.4 percent and in the Midwest by 1.3 percent.

[Source:   Realty Times]

These are good signs.   Whether we are at the precise bottom or not, this is still a very good time for buyers to take advantage of low prices and the power they have to negotiate a great price.     In my opinion, prices will not go lower, or they will not go significantly lower in Sequim.   But when they do start to rise again, when the pent-up demand kicks in, prices will bounce upward, and any buyers hoping for a super price will be sadly disappointed.

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Sequim Real Estate Price Reductions

Sequim and Port Angeles real estate listings have seen some reductions in prices recently.   Realtors love to use euphemisms.   Just as a used car is a “pre-owned car,”   so a price reduction is a “price improvement!” True from the buyer’s perspective, but certainly not from the seller’s perspective.

In the last three months, there have been 298 properties (homes and land) in the Sequim area that have had the listing price reduced.   In Port Angeles, 220 properties have had a price improvement.   Here’s a graphic showing the reductions.

In Sequim listed prices have been reduced in the past three months to about 90.39% of the orginal listed price, and in Port Angeles listed prices have been reduced to about 89.59% of the original listed price.   This represents an average price reduction of 9.61% for Sequim properties, and 10.41% for Port Angeles properties.

These are significant reductions, but certainly not the 30% or more that cities like Las Vegas are experiencing.   Still this is significant for our area.   These numbers are meaningful, because anyone who has their home or land listed for sale must realize that they are not in the driver’s seat to bargain like they were in 2005.   This is a buyer’s market.   Sellers are not in control, at least not until the market begins to come back stronger.

NOW, do you want to see some actual numbers?   Below is a list of 167 listings that have been reduced in price, and I’ve only included the major buyer’s range from $200,000 up to $460,000.   Look at the last column to see the actual dollar amount of the reductions.   There are many $25,000 reductions, $40,000, $65,000, and up from there.   I haven’t included the million dollar home price reductions, because the majority of the buyers are just not there.   But if you’re thinking a $5,000 price reduction might move your house, think again.   Many have reduced the price 10 times that amount and more.

Read the rest of this post to see the full table of price reductions below.

(more…)

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Sequim Real Estate Price ReductionsPrice reductions for real estate listings in Sequim and Port Angeles in the month of June, 2008 are revealing.   There were about 95 properties that were either sold for less than the listed price or are still listed for sale but had a price reduction.   The average price reduction in June is 91%.   [Source of Data:   Olympic Listing Service].

This is valuable information, because it tells us where the market says prices are with respect to the listed prices.   While each property is unique, whether you are buying or selling, it is good to know that prices have been generally reduced in the month of June by 9.0%.

To view the entire data, view the rest of this post.

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Sequim Real Estate Prices

Sequim real estate prices are reasonable but not as low as some areas of the Midwest United States. I often receive email requests or telephone requests for a stick built home with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a garage under $125,000. The average price of homes sold in Sequim in the first five months of this year was $324,450.

I’ve talked with many builders in the area, and they all express the same sentiment. They cannot build a home and sell it for less than $279,000, and with a few upgrades most people want in their homes, that boosts the price of a new home to above $300,000. That’s pretty much rock bottom pricing.

Most new homes, including the price of the land, site preparation, and home construction are $350,000 to $450,000. A significant number of retirees to the area are spending a total of $550,000 to $750,000 on land and construction. Those are not even luxury homes. Luxury homes are much higher.

You can find an older stick built home for less, but you can’t replace it today at that price. Homes that are inhabitable and listed under $225,000 are gone. In a heartbeat.

Here is some real data in the form of listings that you can view in the Sequim market for homes priced under $200,000. In fact, here is a complete list as of this date of all homes listed for sale in Sequim for $200,000 and under. There are only seven, and you can click on this link and view these listings. There maybe one in here that is ideal for you, and if there is, you can email me or call me. I’d be glad to either get you more information or show you this house at your convenience.

These listings are best viewed in Internet Explorer, so if you are using Firefox, click on the link below but then switch to Internet Explorer if all your images are not showing correctly.

Click Here to View Listings

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

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Sequim Real Estate Sales in 2007

What did 2007 home sales look like in Sequim? Here is a graphic summary of home sales in Sequim categorized by price range. [Click on graphic to enlarge.]

The majority of sales in Sequim were in the price range of $200,000 to $350,000, and there were more single family homes sold in the higher price range than the lower price range. Over 50% of the houses sold are in three price ranges from $200,000 to $350,000–not a surprise. The more interesting statistic is that houses sold in 2007 in Sequim over the price of $400,000 accounted for only 27% of the market.

Sellers with homes priced above $400,000 will only sell to 27% of the entire buyer population! That will have implications for how a home is priced and marketed from day one. This is another major reason that overpricing a home in the beginning kills almost all chances of connecting with a buyer right away. Many FSBO’s, and even many real estate agents, think that the best strategy to sell a home above $400,000 is to price the home high and leave room for negotiating downward, but this is actually a strategy that guarantees 73% of the buyers won’t even come to the table.

It’s something to think about in this market.

[Data Source: Real Market Data, LLC]

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Sequim Real Estate Price Reductions

What has been happening with real estate prices in Sequim and Port Angeles recently? During the month of December, 2007, there were 72 price reductions for residential properties.

Click on the image to enlarge it for viewing.

These price reductions in December represent homes only, not lots and not multi-family units. The average 12% price reduction of these 72 properties represents a reduction in price from the original listing price (which would be months prior) and the current listed price by the end of December. This is good for buyers, and not so good for sellers. Look at the DOM or Days on Market. The average days these 72 homes were on the market without being sold was 158.

Stay tuned for more on the local real estate market and prices.

Chuck Marunde, J.D.
SequimPortAngeles.com

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Port Angeles and Sequim Real Estate Prices

Wondering about the trend of Sequim real estate and Port Angeles real estate prices? Here is a vignette of the last three months showing the number of price reductions of listed properties in the Olympic Listing Service in four price categories. Not conclusive by any means, but instructive. Stay tuned for more valuable market stats.

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Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

Sequim Buyer's Agent (Atty Ret.)
Founder and Broker of
Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate dba iRealty Virtual Brokers
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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Chuck Marunde Text or Call 360-775-5424