In short – they can’t.
Of course, they probably have one of the following certifications or designations:
- CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert)
- ADPR (Accredited Distressed Property Representative)
- SFR (Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource)
- CSSA (Certified Short Sale Agent)
- CSP (Certified Short Sale Professional)
- CFAC (Certified Foreclosure Alternatives Consultant)
- SSG (Short Sale Genius)
- CSSN (Certified Short Sale Negotiator)
Here’s what you, the consumer needs to know about these designations:
- They are in business to create classes and collect money from real estate agents
- The instructors have likely never negotiated a short sale in their lives, neither have the course instructors
- There are no experience requirements whatsoever
- The designations are a matter of sitting in a class for 8-16 hours
- Essentially the agent pays a fee, sits in a class and gets a certificate
The thing is – negotiating a short sale in the North Idaho area today is nothing like it was 8 months ago, 2 years ago, 8 years ago – rules and regulations change constantly – daily. There is absolutely no way a class will ever teach anyone how to be a short sale expert. Chuck and I have both taken several of these classes and have chosen not to “pay” to display a designation. The classes were essentially a joke – talking about things that don’t exist in today’s market, teaching methods that don’t work, stating standards that aren’t there, etc.
Additionally, negotiating a short sale changes based upon the geographical area you live in! Did you know that? Negotiations are different in the foreclosure burdened areas such as Florida, Arizona and Las Vegas vs. here in the Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls Idaho area.
In other words – choose your short sale agent by experience – not by their certification or designation. How do you know their experience – look at their short sale closing track record. Are they able to close homes in short sale? That’s where the experience lies.