Sequim real estate is hot, and has been the target of retirees from around the United States for years and even decades. But if you’re retired or planning to retire, and you’re looking at Sequim homes online, you may be asking, “How do I find a home in Sequim?”
I will tell you exactly how to find a home in Sequim, how to use online MLS sites, how to make sure I’m seeing 100% of the listings, how to get alerts and track my favorite homes, how to use online resources to research Sequim real estate online yourself, and where to find thousands of Sequim real estate articles written for buyers, and where to find hundreds of Sequim real estate videos created for buyers. I’m Chuck Marunde. Are you ready for all theses answers?
How do I find a home in Sequim?
Most people find an online listing service they grow accustomed to and learn to navigate and just keep using that one to search for homes for sale. There are many individual broker operated MLS sites, and there are many syndicated sites that are nation wide. The design and the navigation are important, but the content and accuracy of Sequim homes or Port Angeles homes or Port Townsend homes, or any of our nearby communities is also important. Here are several of the best sites for navigation, accuracy, accessibility to all local real estate listings, and the ability to connect with a buyer’s agent instantly on any home.
For a desktop search of listings, which shows you active listings, pending listings, and sold listings, and shows you a great deal of information about each property with photos and maps, and similar properties, and one which instantly connects with Chuck Marunde, Sequim’s Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, and which allows you to search all listings in any town in the entire U.S., I recommend this one. It is deceptively simple, but far more powerful once you start using it. You might find the map of listings and the adjustable filters very easy to use.
This same multiple listing site has a mobile app for your phone or tablet, which you can access in the Apple app store or the Google app store, and find the app called “Homesnap”. Download it, and connect with Chuck Marunde so you can instantly message questions about a particular property. If you don’t know how to do that, just email ChuckMarunde@gmail.com. This mobile app is amazing as you will see, and in my opinion the best mobile MLS app on the market.
What about Zillow?
You may choose to continue to use Zillow or to use Zillow in combination with the above MLS site and app, and that’s fine if you prefer to do that. The key is to be able to find every single listing in both MLSs in the Sequim area, or any area that has more than one MLS. Sequim has the Olympic Listing Service and the Northwest MLS. The app I shared above includes all listings from both MLSs, which is no small feat, because it means collecting data from two different IDX data feeds.
What is the shortcoming of Zillow? Zillow is a service designed to market your use of their site to Realtors around the country. In other words, when you see three real estate agents’ photos in the right margin of a listing, just realize each of them are paying several thousand dollars a month to Zillow to show up there in the hope that you will hire them. In other words, the site isn’t built for sellers and it’s not built for buyers like you. It’s built to sell advertising to real estate agents. This means you could end up with a buyer’s agent who paid Zillow to become your agent, and not necessarily because they have the education, experience, loyalty, and professionalism you need in your real estate agent.
How can I research the history of a Sequim home?
You can use the Sequim Real Estate Buyers Agent site above, or the Homesnap app to learn a lot about a property and its status. You can also use local sites to learn more about a property’s history. You can use the county tax assessor’s site to see the tax history and sales history with details on the land and the home. You can also use the county building department’s data base on permits to see what has happened since the home was built. These links and more are all included in this next paragraph.
Where can I find answers to all my Sequim real estate questions?
With over 2,200 articles written specifically for buyers, the Sequim Real Estate Blog is the premier online information site for buyers around the country. Articles answer nearly every question buyers have been asking for two decades about homes and land on the North Olympic Peninsula, and the articles are written by real estate attorney (ret.), real estate broker, and author of numerous real estate books, Chuck Marunde. Chuck brings all his knowledge and experience to the table absolutely free to all his buyers.
The number one Video site for buyers looking at the Sequim area is called Living in Sequim on Youtube. It includes hundreds of videos specifically produced for buyers and addressing the common questions for people looking at Sequim who are coming from Florida to Alaska, Hawaii to New York, and every place in between.
Are there paperback or Kindle books written for buyers looking at Sequim? Absolutely. Chuck Marunde has written eight books, and you’ll can review them on Amazon at Sequim Real Estate Books. Who creates so many online resources for buyers? Only one crazy guy in this market, and that would be yours truly.
How can I know the value of a Sequim home?
First, you can know how much a home is worth, or at least it’s generally accepted fair market value by looking at the tax assessed value on the county website. Second, you can look at the last sales price and the history of sales on the Sequim MLS site I mentioned earlier or directly in the mobile Homesnap app. Third, can look at Zillow’s Zestimate, but just realize that sometimes those Zestimates are right on and sometimes they are way off. Fourth, you can communicate with Chuck through the Homesnap app directly about a home and its value, or you can email, text or call Chuck Marunde. Because Chuck is a full time Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, has lived in Sequim for 26 years, and views and sells homes constantly, he will have a very good idea of the true fair market value of a home. He regularly previews homes for out of state buyers.
Does it matter who I hire as a Sequim real estate agent?
The first most important decision any buyer will make before buying a home will be the Sequim real estate agent they hire. There is a broad range of knowledge, experience, and integrity, ranging from one end all the way to the other end, and there are many mediocre agents in between. Did you know that the National Association of Realtors’ national survey showed that 85% of buyers hire the very first agent they talk to, and they ask no prequalifying questions at all. They just hire any Tom, Dick, or Jane without any interview.
There are many qualified agents out there, but how will you know which one to hire unless you do your research on Sequim real estate agents? Do you know what questions to ask, and do you know how to discern the answers you get? Most buyers do not, because they are unaware of the sales games and subtle exaggerations and misrepresentations made in the industry. It’s your money, a lot of it, and it’s your future, so may I suggest you make your decision intelligently for your sake?
I recommend this article entitled Does it Really Matter Which Real Estate Agent I Hire?
Is a For Sale By Owner a good idea?
If the ideal home is not listed but is a FSBO, and you want it, I would not buy it without being represented by someone who is an experienced buyer’s agent. FSBOs will typically pay your agent half the commission of a normal commission, so it is well worth it. Here’s article that might be helpful on this subject: Should I Buy a For Sale by Owner?
Where do I get the forms for an offer?
The forms to buy a home in this market are from the Northwest MLS, and we all use them. There are about 100 different forms, and any transaction is going to have a Purchase and Sale Agreement (Form 21), a financing addendum if you’re getting a loan, proof of funds if you’re not getting a loan and paying in cash, a home inspection addendum, a well inspection addendum if there is a private well, a septic addendum (if your not on a municipal system), possibly a title addendum, a utilities addendum, possible a neighborhood review addendum, and there are some other unique addendums that may be appropriate in your transaction. The forms are not sold publicly, so you’ll only get these forms through an agent, unless you’re doing a transaction with a FSBO with no buyer’s agent on your side, in which case you probably have to hire an attorney. Even attorneys don’t have the NWMLS forms, so they will have to find some forms to use, and you can bet they’ll charge for them even though you’re the buyer and would not normally pay for forms if you are represented by an agent.
What due diligence do I need to do in the Sequim, WA area?
You’ll always want a home inspection addendum, and possibly a well inspection, a septic inspection, and if the property has drainage issues, there will be due diligence necessary for that. Here’s they key. If you’re not from the Sequim area, and you’re coming from Thousand Oaks or Houston or Miami or Boulder or Anchorage, you are not going to be familiar with the unique local real estate issues that come up. You need local experts, and not to harp on this point, but your best reliable local source for all things when you buy is your buyer’s agent.
What are the best Sequim, WA area Internet resources?
In addition to the tax accessor’s site referenced above, here’s a fantastic site where you can do in depth research on any property in Clallam County, WA, which includes Sequim, WA and Port Angeles, WA. You’ll find building permits issues, septic approvals, and many details from the building department’s files: Clallam County Online Permit Files
This next link is the Clallam County Auditor‘s website, which includes all the recorded documents on all county properties. You’ll be able to view recorded deeds, plats, and even covenants.
If you are looking at a property with a private well and you want to look at the original well logs, well guess what? I have that link for you too: Sequim Well Logs. You can also read an article I wrote about well logs.
You might ask, “How can I find out about bluff stability?” Got you covered. Here’s a video that specifically explains Sequim Bluff Stability and shows you the special state websites to view the history of bluff stability along the entire coast.
What is the Ultimate Source of Reliable Information for Buyers Looking at Sunny Sequim, WA?
That’s easy. Call or email Chuck Marunde, and ask him anything under the sun. Oh, you can also ask him about homes and land, building or buying, or anything to do with Sequim real estate.
Possibly Related Posts:
- The Six Steps to Finding Your Sequim Home
- Real Estate Books
- When is Early Possession Safe for a Home Seller?
- Sequim Real Estate Trilogy for Buyers Moving to Sequim WA
- True Story: Retiree Finds and Buys a Sequim Home