How Many Times Do I Have to Sell a Home?

How Many Times Do I Have to Sell a Home?


Are you wondering if this is one of those trick questions you hated in school? Maybe you’re thinking you only have to sell a home once. 

This is not the case in today’s Orange County real estate market.

With many homes being distressed and short sales (meaning people owe more on their home than they are worth), it means a house may have to be sold many times before it is sold.

In a typical sale, the home must be “sold” to three people.

  1. The seller of the home – when they agree to the listing price and/or accept the buyer’s offer.
  2. The buyer who offers to buy the home.
  3. The appraiser – who verifies value for the bank.

In a short sale the number of times a home has to be sold is multiplied significantly.

  1. The seller of the home – when they agree to the listing price and/or accept the buyer’s offer.
  2. The buyer who offers to buy the home.
  3. The seller’s lender’s appraiser or agent who values the home for a potential short sale.
    • It can take months to get this person out to do a value, and during a declining market this is not good for getting the home sold.
  4. The appraiser for the buyer’s lender.
  5. A new buyer, when the first one gets tired of waiting for the seller’s lender to make a decision on the short sale.


In a time when it can take an average of 2 to 6 months to get a short sale approved, it is not uncommon for values to drop or buyers to get tired of waiting and simply walk away from a home they once wanted to own.

So, how can we avoid selling a home over and over again during the short sale process to one buyer after another?

  1. Communicate with the buyer’s agent once a week and make sure that he communicates with his buyer.
    • A buyer is much less likely to walk away in frustration if they know what is going on with the shor sale.
  2. Make sure the buyer and the buyer’s agent understand the nature of the short sale process and that the buyer is willing to wait while the seller’s lender makes a decision.
  3. Communicate with the seller’s lender frequently to see where they are in the process, and if they need any documentation.
  4. If the seller’s lender request documentation, provide it quickly so that your file doesn’t go back to the bottom of the pile.
  5. Price the property reasonably and accept a reasonable offer so that the seller’s lender is more likely to accept the offer.


Do you owe more on your home than it’s worth?  Do you have questions about your options, please call me at 714.319.9751 or e-mail Me!


Click for a free list of Orange County foreclosures or a free list of Orange County short sales or e-mail Me!


About the author: Christine Donovan is a California Residential Real Estate Broker with experience in assisting clients buy and sell residential real estate.

Are you upside down in your home? Is it worth less than you owe? Are you concerned about making your mortgage payment? Contact me at or 714-319-9751 to discuss your options.

Want to buy a home or to list your property for sale in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach or Orange County? Contact me at or 714-319-9751 to learn about her system which will make your buying and selling experience easier.

Disclaimer: All information in this blog is deemed reliable but is subject to change at any time and is not guaranteed to be accurate nor are there any warantees either express or implied. This blog is not intended to offer any legal, tax or other advice.

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Copyright © 2009 by Christine Donovan, All Rights Reserved. How Many Time Do I Have to Sell A Home?

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