Sequim Real Estate in Sunny Sequim, Washington

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Things Are Not Always What They Seem

Things are not always what they seem. This is true in real estate, but it’s true everywhere in life, and the older and wiser we get, the more we see this play out all around us. I’ll point out a few examples to emphasize how important this is for you and me, but the goal of this article is to help you avoid traps for the unwary when you buy a home in the Sequim area, or Port Angeles or Port Townsend. 

Things Are Not Always What They Seem

Things Are Not Always What They Seem

I quoted the short version, but the full quote goes like this: “Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”  Phaedrus

Let me set the stage. Have you seen a TV commercial promoting a pillow that sounds too good to be true? Even the price sounds fantastic when you hear that you get the second pillow free. So you call, but you find out the actual price is $180 for two pillows. You can buy one, but it will be the same price. But if you use the promo code, the price is ONLY $90. But not really. A set of two pillow cases is $50. But with the promo code that is reduced to $25. You wanted to buy one pillow for yourself, and what you find out is that you get two and the regular price is a total of $230. Plus shipping. But they tell you if you order now and use the special promo code, you get this incredible bargain. 

You say to yourself, “You know what? I can go buy a good pillow at Costco for $28 to $38,” and you would be right. The reminder is that sales people on TV and everywhere will pitch their product and make it sound so doggone irresistible, but things are not always what they seem.

Awards are another example. How many times have you seen a car advertisement boasting that their model has received the J.D. Power & Associates award, and they obviously intend us to be impressed by that award. The truth is car companies have to pay substantial fees to J.D. Power & Associates to be included in the studies and get the reports, and if they want to boast that they received this award, they have to pay J.D. Power another $300,000. Things are not always what they seem. So much for the credibility of the award. It’s just another sales gimmick to fool consumers.

Things Are Not Always What They Seem

Realtors and home builders can get prestigious awards, too, but we also have to pay for them. I was awarded a prestigious Realtor award only given to the top 7% of Realtors in the entire Seattle area. I was quite pleased, but then after the award notification, they informed me the key to taking advantage of the award was to give them $4,000 to buy a half page add in Seattle Magazine. In other words, the entire business is to sell expensive advertising. The awards are just a front. Things are not always what the seem.

If you don’t know these things, you might be fooled when a sales person boasts about their awards. Understand that awards today are almost always bought. So are certificates. All those initials that Realtors have after their names were bought and paid for at expensive seminars. Entire industries are created for the sole purpose of creating false images all to sell smoke and mirrors to consumers and to make a sales person sound better than he or she really is.

The less knowledge, experience, and wisdom a sales person has, the more they need the smoke and mirrors, the more they need lots of initials after their name, and the more they need certificates and awards. Otherwise you would see right through them, and you wouldn’t be impressed, which means you wouldn’t hire them. May I say it again? Things are not always what they seem.

When you look at an MLS data sheet with photos online in search of your perfect home, are you getting an accurate representation of the home? When you get the seller’s disclosure statement, is it 100% accurate? When you work through the due diligence on your prospective home, maybe you would do well to pause and recall that things are not always what they seem on the surface.

The single most important thing you need when you visit a new area of the country like Sequim, Washington, intending to buy what may be your last home, is someone who is absolutely trustworthy. Do you know how to find that trustworthy Realtor? I hope so, because I can assure you . . . things are not always what they seem.

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Sequim Condo

This Sequim condo is the most popular floor plan preferred by couples moving to Sequim. With a modern kitchen, open floor plan, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, this is the perfect retirement home according to a lot of people. Check out these photos [Sequim Condo], and you might also enjoy this 3 dimensional virtual tour below where you can walk through this Sequim condo. Use your mouse button or the arrows on your keyboard to walk through this home.

Sequim Condo 3 Dimensional Tour

Sequim Condo

This Sequim condo is a custom townhouse with Silestone countertops in kitchen, twice the kitchen outlets you normally see, an upgraded range with a warming oven, a custom chandelier with a handcrafted Tray ceiling, tile floors in the entry and kitchen, tile countertops in the laundry and bathrooms, and a huge tile shower in the master. This Sequim condo is in North Sunland. Sunland amenities include community beach access, tennis, a clubhouse, and a pool and RV parking. There were many extras built into this condo. It’s a Green Built home with custom blinds, natural solid wood throughout, and an extra large concrete patio. There’s also a greenbelt in the back with privacy. 

Condos aren’t for everyone, but if you like the idea, check out this Sequim condo.

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  • Filed under: Green Homes
  • First Frost in Sequim

    This morning we had our first frost in Sequim. It’s a beautiful sunny day with hardly any clouds in the sky. It was very early this morning when I heard my Sequim weather station tell me the temperature outside had reached 32 degrees. That didn’t last long. The temperature went up to 40 degrees shortly after the sun began to melt the frost on the blades of grass in my yard.

    First Frost in Sequim

    First Frost in Sequim

    First Frost in Sequim December 6th

    We’re in December, and it’s finally getting cold. Of course, cold for Sequim in the winter is a quick dip to freezing in the early morning hours, and so today was the first frost in Sequim. I love it. The yards and fields are all bright green as you can see in this photo above. The grass hardly grows during the coldest months of December and January, but since this is the wet time of year, the grass turns a bright green and stays that way all the way into the summer.

    It’s hard to predict the precise date that will give us the first frost in Sequim. People ask me, “What are winters like in Sequim?” I usually say something like, “Which winter?,” because it seems every winter is a little different. We haven’t had snow in Sequim for three or four years. When we do get snow, it’s usually a couple of inches and melts within hours, but since we rarely see it, it is fun for a short time. With a little luck, maybe we’ll have a white Christmas.

    Because our winters are mostly in the 50s, and our summers are mostly in the 60s, we have an incredibly mild climate without those darn cold extremes of the midwest or the east coast, and we don’t suffer the hot extremes of the south. I sold homes to couples from Virginia and Pennsylvania recently, and they both reminded me of how humid the heat can be on the east coast.

    Our first frost in Sequim reminded me of how mild our Sequim weather really is. What a beautiful day for a walk with my dog.

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  • Filed under: Sequim Weather
  • Sequim MLS Hot Links

    Sequim MLS hot links help buyers find special properties easily and quickly. I created the Sequim MLS hot links for the most popular searches, and these links save you the time of trying to set up a unique search with Sequim MLS parameters that are sometimes hard to set up based on the Olympic Listing Service MLS data fields. Unless you’re a Realtor, you won’t have access to the data fields in our MLS, so setting up special searches can be hard. So I’ve done it for you.

    Sequim MLS Hot Links

    Sequim MLS Hot Links: A Buyer’s Key

    Sequim MLS Hot Links Find Unique Properties

    How do you find all the horse properties in Clallam County (Sequim and Port Angeles and beyond)? How do you instantly find all Sequim waterfront properties, or homes with shops or barns? How do you find all Sequim foreclosures with the click of a mouse button? Or how can you pull up all the log homes for sale? The answer is Sequim MLS hot links.

    You can just bookmark this article and use the Sequim hot links above, or you can always find these links on the number one Sequim MLS site, on any of the secondary pages on that site. In other words, these links are not on the home page, but they are on all the other pages. 

    By the way, these links are always “hot”. This means they are always the latest active Sequim MLS listings in each of these categories. I created these links because buyers wanted them and use them all the time. I think you’ll like Sequim MLS hot links.

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  • Filed under: Sequim MLS
  • Sequim Guest House + Shop

    It’s hard to find a home plus a Sequim guest house plus a shop only a few miles from downtown Sequim, especially on a beautiful lot in a quiet area with privacy. This is a property I just had to write about, because you will rarely find a property like this in the Sequim area. It’s not perfect, because it needs some work, but if you can either do the work yourself or are willing to hire someone to do it, you will get a one-of-a-kind property at a bargain price.

    Sequim Guest House

    The Main Home (plus Sequim Guest House)

    The main home is 2,500 sq.ft. with 3 bedrooms (on the 2nd floor), 2.5 baths, and an attached 2 car garage. This home is vintage 1979, so the kitchen needs a major upgrade and the hardwood floors need to be refinished. I suspect you would replace carpet, too. In addition the roof has a lot of mildew on it, and the back deck is collapsed and needs to be totally replaced. It’s possible the wood shingles on the roof need to be replaced. How did the maintenance get so far behind on this home? The husband passed away years ago, and his widow lived alone for many years until she passed away recently, so this is an estate sale.

    The Sequim Guest House

    A nice Sequim guest house is hard to find in this market, and this guest house is very impressive. Unlike the main house that needs upgrading and maintenance, the guest house is move-in ready, and with over 1,000 sq.ft. the huge living room and gorgeous kitchen are more than comfortable for a couple.

    Sequim Guest House

    The Shop – The Big Bonus (Adjacent to Sequim Guest House)

    When you look at the photos, you’ll see how cool this shop is. High ceiling, super bright shop lights, and heating and ventilation equipment. The high shop door also means a motor home would have a warm home. In addition to the shop, there is a large double garage beneath the guest house. And the shop also has a kitchen and a bathroom.

    You can look at photos of all of this at Sequim Shop + Sequim Guest House. The listing price is $425,000 for 2 acres plus the main house plus the guest house plus the shop. In my opinion, the guest house and shop alone are worth well over $250,000. If you’re in the market for a spacious home plus a guest house and a shop, maybe you should call me now at 360-775-5424. Our inventory is very low of late, and the right home listed at the right price is selling fairly quickly at full listing price. That doesn’t mean that will happen to this property, but I share that to emphasize that if this is your property, you probably don’t have all the time in the world. Someone is likely to ask me to draft an offer on this property fairly quickly. 

    Looking for a Sequim guest house and a shop?


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    Sequim Storms

    Sequim storms are rare, but we have some incredible online tools now to see the exact weather in real time, including the wind and the height of waves at any point you place your mouse on the map. We are in the winter months now, so Sequim storms are more likely for the next couple of months. You’ll love this new site which is the most powerful one I’ve found at Sequim Storms.

    Sequim Storms

    Sequim Storms on a Map

    About a month ago we received a weather warning regarding Sequim storms, and the report stated that the storm could be worse than any storm since 1962. I made sure I had extra water supplies at home as well as food to last in case we had a terrible storm. I used the map above to look at the wind and waves on the Pacific side of the Olympic Peninsula, and also to see what was coming down over Sequim from the Olympic Mountains. I could even measure the height of waves on th Strait just north of the Sequim shoreline. Guess what? The great storm missed Sequim, although it hit all around us, including the Oregon and Washington Pacific shorelines, and even Tacoma and into Canada across the Strait. As I’ve said before, bad Sequim storms are really quite rare.

    Sequim Storms

    You can use this weather site above [Sequim Storms] to look at weather patterns, waves, temperatures, and wind anywhere in the world. Don’t you love the technologies available to us on the Internet?

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  • Filed under: Sequim Weather
  • Another Day in Sequim (aka Paradise)

    It’s another day in Sequim, and I am loving it. This morning I awoke early and enjoyed a cup of coffee and some fresh air on my Sequim property as I walked around my two and a half acres with my dog, Titus. It was a chilly but invigorating morning, and as I always do, I deeply inhaled the pristine air that gently blows across my property directly from the ocean (or the Strait of Juan de Fuca which becomes the Pacific Ocean).

    Another Day in Sequim

    The sun was rising and I felt like I was looking at a painting as I looked south to the panoramic view I have of the Olympic Mountains. Bright rays of sun glistened through the trees across my property, and the fields and trees in the distance were beautiful with autumn colors. The sun was still rising, and the bright snow capped mountains really did look like a gorgeous painting. But it’s just another day in Sequim.

    Another Day in Sequim

    The lower water level in the irrigation pond on the southern end of my land is showing signs that winter is coming. As I sipped on my hot cup of gourmet coffee, leaning on the white fence built by the prior owners to keep horses, a flock of geese flew over my head singing that winter is coming in their own cacophonous way. Another day in Sequim.

    By mid-morning it was already 47 degrees. Winters are mostly in the high 40s and 50s, and summers are mostly in the 60s and 70s. I jumped in my car and checked on a brand new condominium unit I recently sold to some clients, and after that I stopped at Starbucks for a double short latte extra hot and a blueberry scone. Savoring my scone and coffee, I couldn’t resist writing this article expressing my delight with living in Sequim. I love it here, and I have for 22 years. But then again, I count my blessings every day. Sequim is a happy place to live.

    Another Day in Sequim

    I could go on and on about Sequim and what an incredible climate we have, what it’s like to live in one of nature’s most beautiful places on the face of the earth, or I could talk about how safe it is to live here, how there is very little traffic . . . ever . . ., and I could go on an on about the delightful and interesting people who live here. But I won’t. I’ll let you search out articles on these subjects on this real estate blog, and there are over 2,000 such articles. 

    For now, I just want to say, “It’s another day in Sequim,” or as I often say to myself, “Another day in Paradise.” Same thing.

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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

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    What Does President Trump Mean for Real Estate?

    President Trump. Who would have thought it was possible? Granted, there were many who hoped and many who did not want HRC to get in the White House, but honestly, who genuinely felt a President Trump was even possible? Very few. He had nearly everything going against him, except apparently American voters. But now that this election has been resolved and in January there will be a President Trump, what does that mean for the housing market and real estate in general?

    President Trump

    President Trump and Housing

    As expected, the news late on election night that The Donald might become President Trump translated into a substantial drop in overnight trading in the Globex markets internationally. But as expected, this dramatic drop was temporary, and already today stocks and indexes, commodities, and currencies are up to where they were. But what does a President Trump mean for the future of home sales and the real estate market and economy?

    By way of establishing some credibility with my readers on this subject, I have a degree in Economics with a speciality in monetary policy, a law degree and 20 years of real estate law practice, have been a registered financial advisor and certified estate planner when I was still practicing law, and I have a lifetime of business development and entrepreneurship. For the past 11 years I have run my own real estate brokerage.

    President Trump and Economics

    So here is my prediction of how a President Trump will impact the housing market, prices, and construction. Economically his policies as discussed in their preliminary planning are pro-growth for the construction, home building, and home sales sectors. While the man may not be an articulate politician, he certainly understands real estate. You cannot make billions of dollars in real estate unless you’re one of the best and most knowledgeable real estate experts in the world.

    He understands the need for home ownership. He knows about how home ownership among the middle class was devastated in the real estate and mortgage meltdown. He understands that economic growth, jobs, and home ownership all go hand-in-hand. Whatever personal character faults the man has, he does have the real life experience of creating jobs that virtually no other president has ever had. He also understands the mortgage business and how interest rates and the cost of building supplies effect the home industry.

    How he performs in International politics and social programs in the U.S. remains to be seen, but on the subject of home ownership, home prices, and the future of the real estate market, I think a President Trump is good news for buyers and sellers. I believe that buyers who have held off on making the decision to buy a home because of the uncertainty of this election, are now going to make their plans to buy their home, especially retirees who have been waiting for resolution. I think we may all be surprised at the positive impact a President Trump will have on the real estate market.

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    Sequim Bluffs and Insurance

    Sequim bluffs run for miles along the beaches, and many homes have been built on low, medium, and high bluffs over the past half century. I’ve written extensively about Sequim bluffs and bluff stability in prior articles [Sequim Bluffs]. I also produced a video that shows you some major sloughing of Sequim bluffs and explains the issues of concern [Bluff Stability].

    Sequim Bluffs

    There is a home close to the edge at the top of this bluff (not visible).

    Sequim Bluffs and Earthquakes

    Many of my buyers retiring to the Sequim area express their concern about the “big one,” especially those looking at property along a bluff. Living on the west coast anywhere raises the question about when the next big earthquake will happen. But even as I write this, there was a recent earthquake in Oklahoma and one in Kentucky. If we do have the big one on this side of the country, I suspect we’re all in trouble on the West Coast, not just those of us living on the Olympic Peninsula.

    Sequim Bluffs and Insurance

    While you may not decide to buy a home on a bluff that is too close for comfort, you may still want to know the answer to the question, “Does homeowner insurance cover a home that is damaged by slippage or even totally destroyed by going over a bluff?” 

    The default answer is “no.” But this requires an explanation. You would be covered if an earthquake damaged or destroyed your home on an unstable bluff, provided you purchased the additional earthquake coverage. That coverage is relatively inexpensive, about $200 per year.

    But if a home is damaged or totally destroyed on a bluff for reasons other than an earthquake (rain and storms and sloughing), you would not be covered unless you paid for very expensive additional coverage, and few people do that because of the cost.

    In either case, if your home is condemned, damaged, or totally destroyed, you may be responsible yourself for demolition and removal of the home, whether it is at the top of the bluff, halfway down, or on the beach. Looking at real estate on Sequim bluffs requires some serious due diligence and careful consideration. As I’ve studied Sequim bluffs, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are many homes that are precariously perched on unstable bluffs, and unfortunately, the majority of these homeowners are probably not covered by full earthquake and bluff stability insurance.

    Having said all of this, there are many areas where the bluffs are very stable, and the water views are just stunning, and I have many very happy clients living the retirement of their dreams high up on one of our Sequim bluffs.


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    Buying a Home Out of Town

    Buying a home out of town is something worth thinking about before you arrive in Sequim or Port Angeles or Port Townsend. How far out of town are you willing to live? What if your number one home is 15 minutes from downtown Sequim? What if the home with a water view that stirs your soul is 15 minutes west of Port Angeles? What would you do?

    Buying a Home Out of Town

    Buying a Home Out of Town and Shopping

    Convenience is an important consideration when it comes to buying a home out of town, and the further out you are, the longer the drive to the grocery store, Costco, Home Depot, WalMart, or the pharmacy. I realize I’m saying the obvious, but the reason it is worth thinking about is because some of the most incredible homes are further out on the concentric circles from our urban centers.

    Sometimes a home further from town is also on the side of a mountain or high enough to have an extraordinary water view of International waters. That can also mean a steep road or driveway. We don’t get snow very often, and we can go for years without any snow, but snow and ice can happen. This is a consideration for most buyers, but even Bell Hill in Sequim has some incredibly steep roads and driveways.

    Buying a Home Out of Town and Price

    There is an advantage for buyers who are willing to drive 15 or more minutes to town. Can you guess what that advantage is? If you’re thinking price, you are right. As you get further out of town, price goes down. It’s a matter of supply and demand. Buyers who want to be close to shopping have to pay more for homes in higher demand. Buying a home out of town means lower demand and lower prices. A gorgeous home right in town with a great water view that sells for $750,000 might sell for $625,000 just 18 minutes out of town. That’s a $125,000 difference.

    How far would you be willing to drive to save a lot of money? Maybe the only home you really love would mean buying a home out of town? It’s something worth thinking about. Buying a home out of town.


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    Election Year Slows Home Buying

    This election year has substantially slowed down home buying in the Sequim area (including Port Angeles and Port Townsend). A presidential election year typically has a brief negative impact on home buying in retirement areas, and Sequim and Port Townsend are major retirement areas for residents from all over the U.S. But this election year in particular has had a huge impact on home buying. Here is what is happening in this small real estate market this election year.

    Election Year

    Election Year and Home Buying

    When we experience major economic effects, like a big slow down in home sales, the cause is rarely one thing. We often find the answer in a combination of contributing factors. Election year is one factor, albeit a major factor, that has caused buyers to postpone their home buying decision in an area like Sequim.

    The slowed pace of home sales can be attributed to these factors, and each of them are significant, but combine them, and you have a substantial impact on home sales.

    First, this is probably the most tension filled presidential election year in our lifetimes, and it is extremely contentious, and the future of our freedom and the foundation of this nation hinges on the outcome. No matter who you plan to vote for, everyone agrees on the importance of this election year. With so much uncertainty, buyers’ default position is to postpone their home buying plans until after the election, and perhaps after the new year when the dust has settled.

    Second, the inventory of homes retirees want in the Sequim area is so low, it is at a crisis level. Buyers are having a hard time finding the home of their dreams, because there are so few in the MLS (multiple listing service). This clearly inhibits home sales.

    Third, retirees around the country are worried about our economy and their retirement mutual funds, because there are rumors of rumors of a massive stock market bubble that is about to pop. Who knows whether there is any truth to that, but the concern adds to the uncertainty that people already are feeling.

    Fourth, retirees always slow down or postpone their home buying decisions as we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s Eve. 

    Election Year Good News

    There is good news this election year for home buyers in the Sequim market. You have an advantage if you are coming to look at homes in Sequim between now and the end of the year, because many buyers are staying away. For those who stay away, the home they dreamed of buying will be sold to those who do dare to come to Sequim despite all the uncertainties of life and despite this crazy election year. Wait until spring, and the home you have been watching on the MLS will almost certainly be sold.

    The best homes in the best areas are selling now, and there are not very many of them in this current inventory crisis. Use me as a resource to gather information until you come. Email, call, or text. It may be a crazy election year, but I’m still working hard for buyers making their plans to retire in Sequim.

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  • Filed under: Buyers
  • Fair market value is the true value of a home, and when you buy a home, clearly you don’t want to pay more than fair market value. That may be an obvious statement, but what is not so obvious is how to know the fair market value of the home you want to buy. When you discuss drafting an offer with your buyer’s agent, you’ve got to be very good at figuring out what the true fair market value is (or at least your Realtor needs to have that skill).

    Fair Market Value

    Fair Market Value and the Comparative Market Analysis

    In a large market, like Tacoma or Seattle, you will have thousands of homes in the multiple listing service (MLS) inventory, and you will also have hundreds of sales every month. A 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,800 square foot home in a middle class neighborhood will be easy to analyze. There will be dozens, if not hundreds, of homes that are almost identical and which sold in the last six months, and so coming up with an accurate fair market value is easy, and it’s easy to identify the average time period it takes to sell a similar home.

    But in a very small market with a small inventory and a small number of buyers arriving to look at homes, many homes in the Sequim inventory do not have comps. In other words, there may be no homes recently sold like the one you want to buy, so fair market value cannot be calculated with any certainty. The math can get a little fuzzy when you don’t have comparable sales.

    Fair Market Value and Your Offer

    Even professional appraisers don’t have any magic wands in a market lacking comparable sales data. One has to be a bit cautious on this subject, because some sellers and some listing agents may think they know the fair market value, but they may just be guessing. On the other hand, there may be a particular house that does have 5 or 6 good comps, and then fair market value is easier to understand.

    When you discuss drafting an offer, discuss value from a number of perspectives with your buyer’s agent, because your offer should be no higher than fair market value.

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  • Filed under: Appraisals
  • Packaging Sells Real Estate

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

    Packaging Sells Donuts

    Packaging Sells

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

    Packaging Sells Homes

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

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

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Bidding Wars

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

    Bidding Wars

    Bidding Wars

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

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

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

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

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

    Bidding Wars Can Be Expensive

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

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

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Mobile Homes All Sold

    Mobile homes are very hard to find in the Sequim area in our MLS. The inventory of mobile homes is so low, it’s unbelievable. A buyer asked me today about mobile homes (also known as manufactured homes for the newer homes), and as a single woman she asked how many mobile homes were available under $30,000. The answer was one. Only one that is still an active listing. There are several that are pending.

    Mobile Homes

    Mobile Homes Hard to Find

    I sold two mobile homes in Parkwood this past month, one for $89,000 and one for $124,000. I did not realize that they were nearly the last two nice mobile homes for sale in the entire county under $200,000.

    You can see all the mobile homes for sale in the Sequim area, including Gardiner, Diamond Point, and Port Angeles at this link, which only shows available active listings of mobile homes priced from $20,000 to $140,000:

    Mobile Homes for Sale

    Mobile Homes v. Stick Built Homes

    In the Sequim area you will pay about $400 per month for rent space in a mobile home park, although many people purchase their own property for their mobile home (again I’m calling both mobile homes and manufactured homes simply “mobile homes” in this article). Of course, purchasing your own property does raise the total price, and that can be a concern if you are on a limited pension.

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    Traditional real estate brokers are giving away the farm and falling all over themselves to hire more agents. I write primarily to buyers on this blog, and this article is not necessarily about buying real estate, but I thought you might be interested to learn what is happening in the real estate industry that indirectly affects you. For purposes of this article I will use “broker” to refer to the broker/owner of a company, and I’ll use “agent” to refer to individual agents working at a brokerage. [The state of Washington recently eliminated “agent” from our vocabulary, and now everyone is officially a “broker.” That was dumb. Now no one knows what to call the broker/owner or the other brokers, because everyone is a broker.]

    Real Estate Brokers

    Real Estate Brokers

    Twenty, 30, and 40 years ago brokerages split commissions with agents on a 50-50 split. The brokerage carried the burden of the overhead, the business development, licensing, taxation, liabilities, and regulations, as well as the business risk, and the agents simply got on board with the opportunity to keep 50% of all they made without any of the overhead or liabilities or responsibilities. The business model made sense, and brokers could make decent money at the end of the year.

    Fast forward to today. Brokerages still have all those costs, risks, and liabilities. In fact, all of these have increased year after year for the past several decades. But brokerage owners have been getting pinched by the competition for agents, which is why real estate brokers have been falling all over themselves to compete in hiring agents.

    Real Estate Brokers and Commissions

    Commission splits have gone from 50-50 to 40-60 (with the agent keeping 60%), then to 30-70, 20-80, 10-90, and now many real estate brokers are offering as much as 100% with a flat fee and a transaction fee for each transaction. One broker gives agents 100% and only charges $485 as a flat fee out of each transaction commission. Read the rest of this entry »

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    Buying a Home with a Revocable Trust

    Many people put their homes in a revocable trust, and the most common trust is a living revocable trust. This is a good estate planning idea for a couple of major reasons. First, a living revocable trust avoids the need to probate your estate. I was an attorney for 20 years, but I always told people, “avoid attorneys if you can.” They are expensive, and the “justice” system is not so just. 

    Revocable Trust

    Years ago I recall seeing the statistic that the average probate took 18 months to settle. During that time, your home, your investments, your money, and all you assets cannot be distributed to your heirs. They are tied up in a lengthy and expensive probate proceeding. You can avoid probate by using a living revocable trust. If your kids have to probate your estate, all the attorney’s fees and legal expenses are coming right out of your heirs’ pockets. Who wants that?

    Advantages of a Revocable Trust

    Secondly, there is another big reason to use a revocable trust to avoid probate. You save all that time for the sake of your heirs. Instead of waiting for a year or a long time to receive the money or assets you leave them, they have access immediately with a revocable trust. Assets can be distributed or sold by the successor trustee without a legal proceeding. How great is that?

    Now here is the key to using a revocable trust when you buy a home. You can use one when you buy a home as long as you’re not getting a personal loan to buy the home. Home loans are made to individuals or to a husband and wife, not to trusts. The solution is to close the transaction with your loan, and then you can immediately use a Quit Claim Deed to transfer your real estate into the revocable trust. In Washington State, you will not incur any transfer taxes for doing that.

    And here’s a rare but possible twist to buying a home with a revocable trust. I had clients who were married later in life, so each had adult children from prior marriages. They each had wisely completed their own independent living revocable trust. When they bought their new home, they wanted those two trusts to stay intact. That makes sense, but legally that can get messy. A husband and wife will purchase a home as either “joint tenants with the right of survivorship” or “joint tenants with undivided equal shares” or perhaps some other share as they might agree based on how much each puts into the house from separate funds. But . . .

    A Revocable Trust or Two?

    If title to the new home is to be in the name of two trusts, the legal relationships that husband and wife can have do not apply, and there needs to be specific language defining how the home will be handled upon the death of the second spouse. A revocable trust will normally state that the home will continue to be controlled and lived in by the surviving spouse, but after the death of that surviving spouse, what will happen if there are two independent trusts with completely different family heirs in each trust? This is where there needs to be a master trust or an umbrella trust to clarify what will happen. After the death of the husband and wife, will the heirs on both sides of the family be forced to sell the home and distribute the proceeds according to the terms of the trusts, or can the heirs from one side of the family buy the home for their own use? Or can the heirs on one side of the family just use the home periodically without buying it? What if one side wants to sell, and the other side wants to keep the home in the family? This is why an umbrella trust or other legal instructions must be in place if there are two independent trusts.

    A living revocable trust is a wonderful way to handle the ownership and control and distribution of a home, whether you have one revocable trust or two.

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    They Don’t Know What You Think They Know

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

    They don't know what you think they know

    They Don’t Know What You Think They Know

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

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

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

    They Don’t Know What You Think They Know

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

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

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  • Filed under: Buyer's Agent
  • Negotiating Mistakes Kill Deals

    I’ve seen many negotiating mistakes over the past few decades, but the worst negotiating mistakes actually killed deals entirely. If you’re a buyer, how you negotiate is critical to reaching mutual acceptance, but if you have a seller who does not know how to negotiate in this market, you may have to walk away.

    Negotiating Mistakes Kill Deals

    Negotiating mistakes come in all sizes and shapes, but often the seller has an inflated opinion of the value of their home. That plays out like this. A seller will ask their listing agent to do an evaluation of their home, which includes a CMA, or a comparative market analysis. Many sellers have strong personalities that overpower the listing agent’s personality. That can result in their agent going along with an inflated listing price. But it’s very subtle. In other words, neither the seller nor the agent are intentionally over pricing the home. In an area like Sequim, many of the custom homes do not have comps that can establish the fair market value, and a seller always wants as much as they can get, so they price it higher rather than lower. They don’t want to leave any money on the table, and that is understandable, but listing substantially over the market is a set up for failure.

    Negotiating Mistakes

    First, the seller convinces themselves (with the enabling help of their listing agent) that the house is worth more than it really is. So when a buyer comes along and makes a realistic offer much closer to true fair market value, the seller will feel insulted or tell their listing agent they will not accept a “low ball offer,” even though it really is not a low ball offer. Read the rest of this entry »

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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

    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