If you are retiring and searching for your ideal Sequim home, you might enjoy this true story, which is very much the kind of story that explains the process you will go through as you search for your home with some variations. You’ll hire a Sequim Buyer’s Agent, draft and submit an offer, do your due diligence, and finally get to closing. That’s the abbreviated version. I won’t use my client’s real name to protect their privacy, and I won’t reveal the address of the home they bought.
Escaping California like so many good people, this couple knew what they wanted and they exactly what their budget was for this home. They wanted a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a garage and a shop in a nice area, and a little privacy would be good. They also wanted a peaceful area without a lot of noise, and they didn’t want to live under the final approach to a busy airport, not that we have a lot of those in the Sequim area.
They had some flexibility in the home’s floor plan, but they wanted a nice floor plan, something that was more traditional as opposed to weird or quite unique to the original owners. Sequim has had some people who built homes so uniquely suited for their unusual needs that no one else wanted to buy them years later.
We looked at homes in a large area, because as retirees they didn’t have to be within a certain radius of Sequim, and we couldn’t find anything in the Sequim market that fit their search parameters. What they were looking for was actually what the vast majority of retirees are looking for, but the inventory is quite depleted now around Sequim, and it’s hard to find the home I refer to as the one at the top of the retiree’s Bell Curve.
We expanded the search outside Sequim. We looked at homes in Port Townsend and even on Whidbey Island. Access to Whidbey Island is by ferry or by driving across Deception Pass Bridge way north on the Island and then out to I-5 and then south toward Seattle.
None of the homes we looked at were ideal, and then we found a new listing that came on the market in Sequim. It was perfect, and not only did the floor plan work superbly, there was a gigantic garage plus a separate large shop. It was almost too good to be true. Shops are hard to find, and finding two is like finding buried treasure.
Finding the ideal Sequim home was just the beginning of a long and challenging process. If you’re a couple in your 50s or 60s, your idea of the perfect home is very likely the same idea that dozens of other retirees have, and they are all looking for that home in the Sequim area. They’re looking every day online, and they have their radar on for that perfect home, even with email alerts of new listings, which they were able to do on specially programmed Sequim MLS site.
Because the inventory is so low for homes at the top of the Bell Curve, the kind that most retirees want, it means that when that home comes on the market, it has a lot of eyeballs the first day it shows up in the MLS online. For the best of the best homes, buyers are having to make offers site unseen, or it is sold to someone else.
We actually found a home on Beckett Point, a 20 minute drive from Sequim. It was really beautiful, well built, and it had a delightful water view of a bay. We reached an agreement with the seller, but had to terminate because during the due diligence period we ran into potential bluff instability issues. Fortunately, having been a real estate attorney, I was able to protect my clients, terminate the offer, and get their $5,000 earnest money returned.
Then we found the ideal home a few miles outside of the city of Sequim. The next challenge was drafting a winning offer. With the intense competition for homes like this, it would take a carefully drafted offer that could anticipate the potential competing offers and an understanding of how other Realtors think.
With the offer, which was full price and all cash, we included an escalation addendum. I’m going to withhold the specifics in the escalation addendum, because I know other Realtors in the area read this real estate blog to learn how to do what I do, and there’s no sense in giving them my secrets when I represent a lot of buyers as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent.
This home had many other showings and two other offers. My clients’ offer won the day, but it was no sham fight. It was quite a strategic battle, and it took all four decades of my real estate experience, including my career as a real estate lawyer, plus my clients’ years of experiencing in buying homes to work together to make it all happen.
Once we had mutual acceptance, it was time for the due diligence, and that was no small task either. There was the house, the garage and shop, the well, the septic, the property and landscaping, and a large deep pond. All were carefully inspected before waiving all contingencies and moving toward closing. I often tell my clients who are at retirement age, you can’t afford any costly mistakes at this phase of your life, and you certainly don’t need the stress of litigation. I protect my clients as their Sequim Buyer’s Agent.
Buying a Sequim home is no small matter, and I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg here. The true story is much much longer with far more details, too many to share in a short blog article. But you get the idea. Happy shopping, and if I can be of service, you know how to reach me.
Last Updated on September 3, 2020 by Chuck Marunde