Browsing all articles in Blog

Sequim Real Estate in the MLS

Finding your Sequim real estate in the MLS (multiple listing service) is not easy, and you will do a lot of searching and filtering before you find the perfect home. The challenge for most buyers is that they find themselves searching sites that are full of inaccurate information with listings that are not even for sale, or listings that were sold two years ago but are still shown as available, or listings with insufficient information. Believe it or not, that describes Zillow. In the Sequim and Port Angeles area, there is a Sequim real estate site that is 100% accurate and does not list any homes that are not for sale. This site was designed and built specifically for buyers, and here is a video that shows you how to use this site to find your perfect Sequim real estate.

Sequim Real Estate and Your Perfect Home

You are going to spend hours and perhaps weeks or even months reviewing homes on the Internet from one or several MLS sites. You need a site with accurate information on Sequim real estate? And that’s what we guarantee this site has. This site includes all of listings of local Sequim and Port Angeles real estate brokers. You will find it at

And if you want to look at Port Townsend Properties, here is another site we also designed and programmed to have all the source listing data and photos for you: Port Townsend Real Estate.



Buyers Making Their Move in Sequim

Buyers have started their spring visits to Sequim early this year, and homes are selling at a substantially increased pace suddenly. That is good for sellers. Very good. For buyers that may or may not be so good. If there is more competition for the existing inventory, then it will be harder to find that ideal home if others have beat you to it. But if the increased sales activity encourages homeowners to put their homes on the market because they now feel they might be able to sell, then that would be a good thing for buyers.

I showed houses today to a couple who asked me, “Is Sequim experiencing multiple offers like some hot markets in southern California and Texas and Colorado?” My answer went like this.

We have many homes on the market that have grown stale, and the majority of retirees moving to Sequim are not interested in those homes. But there is a small segment of the market with homes that are right near the top of the bell curve of what buyers really want. Those homes are selling. And they are not getting replaced fast enough. Few people are building new houses, and those who are plan to live in them for 15 years or longer. That means the best homes in the best areas at the best prices are selling.

When retirees show up on the same weekend or the same weekday, retirees who happen to be looking for similar homes, the first one to make the offer probably gets the house, assuming they can reach mutual acceptance with the sellers. This is why every once in a while I will see two offers come in on the same listing. It doesn’t happen often, but lately it is happening more often.


iRealty Integrity

iRealty Integrity is the foundation of this entire brokerage and every single agent, personal assistant, and employee.  Many preach integrity because they know it’s a great sales pitch.  It sounds good.  Many actually intend to practice with integrity.  Some do.  But the iRealty integrity is unconditional and cannot be compromised.  We won’t hire just any agent who happens to have a license.  We require honesty and integrity–the kind that is absolute.

Lest you think we are just selling a concept and not living and breathing it, let me explain our concept of integrity.

Integrity means you are the same person yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  We accept nothing less than unqualified honesty.  Integrity is honesty 24/7 without excuses.  We are all human, so we all make mistakes, but integrity admits it, apologizes, and makes it right.  Integrity never has to lie, misrepresent or exaggerate.  Integrity tells the truth, even it the truth isn’t impressive.  Integrity is working hard in real estate, paying attention to details, and taking care of clients.

Only agents and brokers who have an absolute commitment to honesty and integrity are qualified to work with iRealty Virtual Brokers.

iRealty Integrity means we practice what we preach.  We are competent, and we are disciplined.  This translates to drafting unambiguous contracts, clean language, and addressing all our clients needs.  It means being pro-active and managing risk for our clients by helping them with the right due diligence addendums.  We don’t miss critical contract deadlines, and we follow up, just like clients expect and hope we will.

Integrity is under promising and over delivering . . . every day.  Integrity is holding ourselves to the highest standards, and extending grace and mercy to everyone we work for and everyone we work with.  Sometimes that means we have to do the work of the agent on the other end of a transaction, but we don’t complain.  We do it because we are determined to help our client reach his goal and get his transaction closed.  Ronald Regan used to say, “It’s amazing how much you can get done if you don’t care who gets the credit.”  We work hard, and we don’t care who gets the credit.  That’s what integrity is.

Integrity is working together as a team, helping each other succeed.  Integrity in our brokerage is encouraging others, helping others, loving others.  There is no room in iRealty Virtual Brokers for the angry, bitter, unhappy agent.  We foster positive minded agents, happy agents who are on a path of constant personal and professional growth.  Integrity defines the honest agent who is real, not dysfunctional layers and hidden agendas.  A big part of our success with our clients is an outgrowth of their trust in each of us as honest and real agents.  Integrity is at the core of all the relationships we build.

This business is not just about real estate.  We are about relationships.  We believe that life is primarily about relationships.  We build relationships every day.  Our entire marketing approach is founded on that principle.  Out of honest relationships come transactions.  We do what is right, and the money takes care of itself.  That’s integrity.

Integrity is found in our business model at every level.  Integrity is found in our marketing plans.  Integrity is found in our listing presentations.  Integrity is found in the thousands of articles we publish on the Internet.  Integrity is found in our videos, audios, and syndicated marketing.  Real integrity is not compromised in any aspect of our business or our relationships.

Some companies like to use the word “integrity.”  We live it and breath it everyday.


We Sell Freedom

I run a virtual real estate brokerage. The business plan is the best business plan I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen many in 37 years in business (20 as a lawyer). But what I really sell is much bigger than real estate or an extraordinary business plan, and it’s much bigger than me. What I really sell is freedom.

Let me explain. When I was in high school, my best friends and I had a plan for our lives. When we graduated from high school, we were going to drive around the country together in a van, see the world, and be free to live our lives on our own terms. It’s amazing how naive we were. So how did things work out? I’ve learned that life rarely goes according to plan . . . for anyone.

After high school, most of my friends bounced around for a few years with different dissatisfying and low paying jobs. In the long run, one settled in a job as a manager at a gas station/quick stop. One worked for various construction companies, has been married three times, and is an alcoholic. One went to diesel mechanic school in Denver, then came back to our little town and has been a bar tender for over 20 years. One died years later in a car accident, the result of drug use. One became a homosexual and lives in a different world. A few of us went to college. After college one of my friends married a woman who is the family dictator. One worked construction as an operator and eventually went to work for the State of Alaska in a remote section of the State, but will have a decent retirement. I became a high school teacher, but after two years decided to go to law school. After 20 years of practicing law, I found it quite unsatisfying, and decided to come back to sales–real estate sales. But one thing all of us have in common is that life did not work out as we thought it would. We all wore rose colored glasses when we were young. We all did what we thought we had to, and exactly 40 years after graduating from high school, not one of us lived free lives.

Back then, school counselors, parents, and friends encouraged us to go down the traditional path of success. That path included college, going to work for a corporation (or the federal government), having a 20+ year career, retiring and then traveling in a motor home and enjoying life. We were supposed to “climb the corporate ladder” with a wonderful career. We also were expected to have the perfect family, like Ward and June Cleaver with children like Wally and Beaver. Alas, life in a T.V. series is not like life in the real world.

Today there is no security in a job with a large corporation. Having a 20 year career at Boeing is not very likely anymore. Microsoft no longer offers jobs with security and stock options. They hire independent contractors who compete with each other to work for the lowest bid. Many corporations today don’t have retirement contribution plans.

The world as it used to be, and as we hoped it would be when most of us were young, just does not exist. Most Americans complain about their jobs as tedious, boring, too political, low paying, lacking insurance or retirement benefits, insecure, and unhappy places to be. They don’t feel like they are in control of their lives, and too often their careers dictate whether they spend quality time with their spouses or go to their childrens’ baseball games.

That is not freedom. That is much more like slavery than freedom, and Americans in this generation have fallen in the trap of mediocrity, and for too many, failure. Many of our parents believed that a job was a means to an end, just a way to support your family, that you didn’t have to like your job, but you had to do it for 20 to 30 years. In other words, the idea was to sell your soul to the company. Many of us fell into the trap of accepting that belief system.

I invite agents to join iRealty Virtual Brokers, but what I sell is freedom. I sell freedom from unhappy jobs, financial insecurity, and the trap of family relationships that are in the red zone of stress because of lack of money and time. I sell freedom to do what you want when you want.

I love working with people, helping them improve the quality of their lives.  The business plan is the best, and the compensation is unlimited residual income. What’s not to like? The lifestyle this business provides is the kind of freedom most of us have searched for our whole lives. We just didn’t know where to look, and we didn’t know what to look for.

I sell freedom. Want some?


What Realtors Do Not Want

What kind of work environment do Realtors want today?  Or perhaps the question is better asked, what kind of brokerage do Realtors want to work for in this new world of advanced technology and the Internet?  The following is from Chuck Marunde’s book, The New World of Marketing for Real Estate Agents, 2nd Edition.

The traditional real estate brokerage model going back 30 years has operated with certain assumptions and general practices. The traditional brokerage looks like this:

It has a beautiful large bricks-and-mortar building with massive overhead.It has many agents with the top producers having their own offices with windows.

The majority of agents have cubicles in the center of the building.

The brokers take 50% of the agents’ commissions, although competition has been pushing this split up for agents. This is one of the reasons brokers’ profits are disappearing.

In addition to the broker’s share of the commissions, brokers also charge a variety of fees to their agents, including corporate management fees, franchise fees, transaction fees, advertising fees, copy machine fees, long distance telephone charges, and technology or Internet service fees.

The agents also have many subscription fees, fixed and variable expenses, as do brokers.

The brokers typically use traditional media advertising, including expensive print newspapers, magazines, and even billboards–all very expensive advertising.

Running the brokerage is a business in itself, and as such it has its own profit model, which means that a brokerage makes money from its agents. This pits the interests of the brokerage against the interests of the agents and against the interests of the clients. In other words, for a traditional brokerage, the center of the Universe is the brokerage itself, not the agents or the clients. Brokers can deny this until they’re blue in the face, but look to the substance, not the appearance.

The vast majority of agents around the country have been complaining about the same short comings of brokerages for decades, which primarily includes several complaints. For example, the broker:

keeps too much of their commissions; has too many nickel and dime charges; does not do all the promised training and mentoring; does not create an exciting and motivational environment for agents; does not spend much money, if any, on helping individual agents develop business by getting more listings and more buyers; does not provide cutting edge teaching for future business development; does not provide the technology and training necessary; does not provide integrated customer relationship management systems; and does not provide help with software and hardware to bridge the gap to the Internet.

Not only do agents get the short end of the bargain, but ultimately consumers are not best served anymore with the traditional brokerage model. Consumers themselves are sending a huge message to traditional brokers by not calling their offices, by not walking in the front doors anymore, and by not calling off their newspaper and magazine ads. Consumers have moved on.

So what do Realtors want?  What kind of brokerage model do they want?  Read the article entitled What Do Realtors Want?


It’s a Buyer’s Market

This is a buyer’s market.  That’s not front page news.  But buyers still need to discern how they will buy a home.  National statistics are interesting and relevant, but when it comes to making an offer on one home in one neighborhood on one day, a buyer is no longer dealing with averages or medians or trends.  He is dealing with one seller, and he is negotiating one price.  So while it may be a buyer’s market generically, the wise buyer will discern how to handle the offer and negotiations for the one house he wants to own.

Buyer’s Market – Yes or No?

It is a buyer’s market, but it may not be a buyer’s market for one house.  If you find “the one,” that one ideal home that you want and it’s in the right neighborhood, and the listing price is within a price range that seems reasonable, you are at a good starting place to make an offer.  If the home you are interested in is one of the hundreds of homes that have been on the market for a long time because no one really wants them (unattractive area, or weird floor plan, or old dumpy house, etc.) then you can play it out just like you would in any buyer’s market.  But . . .

If you are interested in one of the nicer homes in the nicer neighborhoods, and the price is right, then you can be sure that many other buyers who think just like you, are also looking for the same home.  In this scenario, and it is a very common scenario in many areas now, you cannot behave as though you are in a strong buyer’s market.  Fool around with the negotiations and another buyer may simply buy it out from under you at a higher price.  That has happened to this broker several times in this recession.  Stories are appearing on blogs across the country about similar experiences.

Buyer’s Market – Touchy

It is a buyer’s market, but experience and negotiating knowledge are needed now more than in any market this author has seen in 37 years in real estate.  There are a thousand ways to make a mess of a negotiation or to kill a transaction entirely.  It happens every day somewhere.

Buyer’s Market to End

This buyer’s market will end soon.  Interest rates are at a historical low, and recently they were the lowest they’ve been in the history of fixed rate mortgages.  There’s no doubt that there is one way for interest rates to go, and it is not down.  The other reason this buyer’s market will end is that housing prices in stable areas are at or near a market bottom.  For the homes that qualified buyers want, those prices are already increasing in recent weeks.  Wait for six months to a year, and two things are likely to happen.  Interest rates will be higher and prices for the home you want will be higher.  Forget about the foreclosures and the dumps.  Those prices won’t be higher.  It’s the nice homes that buyers like you want that are bottoming out on price, and there is one logical direction those prices will go, and it’s not down.

This is a buyer’s market, but it will not last much longer.


Traditional Brokerage is Dead

I’ve worked for several real estate brokers since I got started in the mid-1970s.  When I started in Fairbanks, Alaska I worked for an independent broker who gave me 50% of my commissions.   I got a cubicle and a phone book.  I noticed that all the agents  in that office struggled to scrape together deals in a competitive market while the broker was raking in the cash.  That was the business model back then.  Things haven’t changed much, at least with the traditional brokerage model.  Agents kill themselves while the brokerage often cleans house.  Of course, in this recession this tired old business model is killing off the brokers too.  Overwhelmed with massive fixed and variable expenses under the roof of a large brick-and-mortar business, brokers are going out of business, filing for bankruptcy, and otherwise barely hanging on.

I decided to go to law school and specialize in real estate, which I did in Spokane.  While working my way through law school I worked for a large real estate brokerage.  Same story.  Big brick-and-mortar and the broker gave me 50% of my commissions.  I got a cubicle.  Wow!   The only one who got rich in that office was the owner.

After practicing real estate law for 20 years, I came back to my first love, real estate sales, and at first I went to work for a hot new real estate model where I could earn 10% of the commissions of agents I recruited.  I got to keep 70% of my own commissions.  I got a cubicle.  Wow!  The problem with this business model was that there wasn’t enough income for the broker, and he actually went belly up.  Of course, the fact that he treated everyone like dirt might have had something to do with his failure, but many of these brokers have struggled to survive, and the agents have not done well.  Of the offices where morale is good, the brokers were making big bucks, but agents are struggling to survive now, and I think many of the brokers are running in the red hoping upon hope that the market will rebound.

Another great brokerage model that made the founders very wealthy and a lot of early top recruiters has hit the skids lately.  The problem with a “profit sharing” plan is that when there is no profit, there ain’t no sharing going on.  One top recruiter with over 300 recruits to her name only made $11,000 in profit sharing income for all of last year.  Wow!

The last franchise I worked for boasted the largest educational network and the fastest growing real estate company in the world, or something like that.  I got to keep 60% of my commission, instead of 50%, but that was probably because I had more experience in real state than the owner and his wife.  But I also got to pay annual corporate management fees and monthly corporate management fees.  Oh, I also got a cubicle.  Wow!  By the way, they never used the so-called large educational network.  I tried it once, but it was useless and exceedingly weak.  Meanwhile, the founders of that franchise are so rich no one really knows how wealthy they are, but the agents are struggling to survive in this recession.

In each of these traditional brokerage models many have left the business entirely, and others are on life support.  Some are fortunate enough to have working spouses, so they will survive off their spouses for a while.  I know of one agent literally washing dishes to survive.

Is anyone else starting to figure out that there’s a serious problem with the traditional brokerage model?  The traditional brokerage is definitely NOT the business model of the future.  Realtors who hang on to that model will find themselves in serious financial trouble, and at that point they may not be able to stay in the business because they won’t have any business.

Realtors who are paying attention to what is happening in the consumer market, including the real estate industry, marketing, advertising, technology and the Internet will have a sixth sense that they had better make a dramatic change, and that change must be now before it is too late.  Actually, it does not take a prophet to recognize that the print advertising business, including newspapers and magazines, is on life support.  Those mediums no longer sell real estate like they once did, and they are more expensive than ever.  Go figure!

I started my own brokerage and built a large Internet presence, because I recognized that is where buyers are.  It wasn’t exactly rocket science, but it did seem like the writing was on the wall.  In the past two years I have been abundantly blessed with my leads generated on the Internet, and I’m making a good living.  But the best part is that I knew I had a bright future if I could make a good living in the worse real estate recession in 30 years.  When the market rebounds, I stand to be in a great position because of my Internet sites.

I tried two revenue sharing models before I came back to a simpler and cleaner business model, one in which agents could work out of their own homes, not have to pay any desk fees or monthly fees, learn to master the most powerful technologies so they could build a huge profitable business without all the overhead and with the most personal freedom.  With an 80-20 split that gets to 100% with as little as a $7,500 annual cap, and with the expertise and mentoring our CEO does, this is the best business model today for the top producer.

I strongly recommend you take a look at this company, and if I could have the pleasure of being your guide, I would love to.  You can email me at

Don’t get left behind.  This company is light years ahead of the competition.


Realtor Jobs in Washington

[iRealty Virtual Brokers is not hiring at this time. April 2015]

If you want to lower your business overhead, increase net commissions, work from your home office on your own hours, and use technology and the Internet efficiently to bring clients to you without any expensive print advertising, and if you want to be part of a powerful virtual real estate brokerage of like-minded agents who meet online weekly to share, plan, and strategize, you’ll want to know more about us and how you can join us.

We are looking for good agents, but we are looking for agents with a special profile, one that matches our own vision for how a real estate brokerage should be operated and what kind of freedom agents should have.  If the following profile sounds like you, then we already have a lot in common.

Our ideal agent:

1.  Lives with integrity in every relationship and in every business dealing;

2.  Loves working with people, and out of that love for his/her clients, serves their best interests above all else, even his/her own;

3.  Pays attention to every detail in a transaction because he/she wants to take care of his clients;

4.  Loves selling people, loves marketing, and thrives on competition;

5.  Is in touch with his/her feelings, knows how to connect with others on an emotional level as well as intellectual;

6.  Has a passion to live a good life, be happy, and to leave a legacy;

7.  Wants to be financially successful and earn a six figure income in net real estate commissions;

8.  Is entrepreneurial and creative in business;

9.  Is not negative, is not a robot in life, is not emotionally locked up, and seeks to constantly grow and become a better person;

10.  Loves technology or at least is excited about learning how to use technology to build their business;

11.  Is humble and teachable, not arrogant;

12.  Is highly self-disciplined and hard working;

13.  Has a passion to be the best real estate agent he/she can be, and is willing to put in the hard work to become that person;

14.  Is a goal setter and well organized;

15.  Can work alone but also knows the value of working together to leverage knowledge and time;

16.  Has discernment in all his/her dealings, and can keep client and business details confidential;

17.  Can grab ahold of a big vision for the future of his/her business, but also can pay attention to the details to reach big goals;

18.  Is generous and extends friendship and kindness to everyone 24/7;

19.  Knows his/her strengths and weaknesses; and

20.  Wants to be successful, and is loyal to those who help him/her succeed.

We charge no monthly fee, and you can be at 100% very quickly with us.  Learn more about what we do for agents, and this is just the tip of the iceberg:  What iRealty Virtual does for its Agents.

We are currently recruiting in the state of Washington.  If you agree with our philosophy and business practices, email and include your resume and a narrative explanation as to why you would like to join iRealty Virtual Brokers.


How iRealty Helps Buyers

iRealty for Buyers is much more than meets the eye.  We’ve thought long and hard about what it is that buyers want and need. Better than that, we’ve asked hundreds and hundreds of buyers exactly what they want.  Here’s what they told us going back two decades, with a focus on the past five years.  If you’re a buyer, what if you found a company that does all of these things for you:

Gives you the most powerful online MLS search tools with no obligation to register or reveal your personal information;
Gives you literally thousands of articles on real estate, including articles written to answer the very questions buyers like you have been asking for years;
Gives you free tools that normally only agents can see on subscription sites;
Gives you free tools for your PC, your Mac, and mobile devices like tablets and smart phones;
Gives you a free weekly email newsletter for buyers on how to buy in this market;
Gives you access to instructional videos on many different aspects of buying real estate;
Teaches you the traps for the unwary buyer that so many get caught in;
Helps you know precisely how to negotiate the best possible price and terms;
Reveals insider secrets that real estate agents don’t share with clients or the public;
Worked for you without any conflict of interest, and represented you only;
Honesty and integrity without compromise;
Decades of experience, competence, and professionalism; and
A staff that includes a real estate attorney of 20 years;

Couldn’t a company and brokers like these give you the best chance to find and negotiate the best price and terms on your next home?  This description is the foundation upon which iRealty Virtual Brokers is built.  We pour everything we have and everything we do into serving you faithfully and serving your best interests above all else.


How iRealty Helps Sellers

Many people know that print advertising and other traditional marketing techniques no longer sell homes as they once did, but few know the technologies and Internet marketing strategies necessary to connect with buyers from all corners of the U.S.  Consider what agents have been doing for well over 20 years:

iRealty Helps Sellers

iRealty Helps Sellers

Most people know that most of these old methods are not only expensive but do not work so well anymore.  We live in a new era.  Technologies and the Internet have changed everything.  As if that wasn’t enough, consumer preferences have been changing, and buyers no longer are easily sold by cheap sales tactics.  Today they love to use the Internet and search engines and the online tools to find their next home.  And they can do this in the comfort of their own homes 24/7.

Real Estate Online

iRealty Helps Sellers Connect With Buyers

Selling homes is no longer a matter of just putting it in the MLS and hoping upon hope that some buyer will find it. The world doesn’t work like that anymore.  And buyers aren’t reading the classifieds in print newspapers either.  Today selling a home in a reasonable period of time for the highest possible price requires a whole new strategy.  Connecting with buyers effectively is the new game.  That requires learning new rules, new technologies, new strategies.

This is why iRealty Virtual Brokers was created.  This is what we do.

Want proof that our marketing system works? Our broker, Chuck Marunde, became the number one selling broker of single family homes by total dollar volume in all of Clallam County for calendar year 2013. That’s a big affirmation that what we do works exceedingly well.

RSS Sequim’s Real Estate Blog

  • Why Retirees Are Moving From California to Sequim January 11, 2018
    There is a mass exodus of middle class and wealthy people from California, and they have been moving in large numbers to the Northwest after doing their due diligence on where the best places to live in America are. I know this because I am a Realtor in Sequim, Washington, and more people move to […]
  • Winning with Competing Offers January 2, 2018
    Competing offers on a listing do occasionally come in on the same day, and I’ve written about multiple offers, but one of my clients reminded me that sometimes it is about more than just the price. This is a true story about two offers on the same day at the same price and why the seller […]
  • Noise Pollution and Your Health January 1, 2018
    Noise pollution can effect your physical health and it can affect your psychological and mental health. There is ample evidence of that, but how many buyers consider noise pollution when they are looking at homes near a freeway or busy road? Noise Pollution Dr. Joseph Mercola, has written on this subject: “Noise pollution is an […]
  • Thanksgiving in Sequim November 23, 2017
    Thanksgiving in Sequim is a wonderful time. All the way through the Christmas holiday is wonderful in Sequim, although it can get cold, even below freezing. Believe it or not, I’m showing houses and land throughout the holidays. I’ve been busy coordinating transactions that are closing before and after Thanksgiving day, and I’m showing land on […]

Random Testimonial

  • ~ Testimony by Andy Romano

    "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"

  • Read more testimonials »