The very best short sale training in the United States is obtained by working closely with an expert. There are many courses and books available on short selling, and they shouldn’t be discounted because they’re very helpful in learning the technicalities of this particular niche in the real estate industry. Nevertheless, there’s no substitute for on-the-job training with an acknowledged short sale master.
The more you learn about the details and technicalities of short sales, of course, the better equipped you’ll be to make the most of on-the-job training with an expert. On-line training opportunities are available, but live courses are usually preferable because you can have discussions about specific cases and ask questions. Low-cost short sale training courses are frequently offered through local high schools or community colleges. These courses are often taught by area real estate professionals who will incorporate information about the local market in their presentations, including such things as which lenders do and don’t work well with short sales. An advantage of taking these courses is that afterward, if you decide you don’t want to specialize in short sales, your out-of-pocket cost has been minimal.
A more formal option for real estate professionals is to pursue the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) professional designation, highly regarded in the real estate industry. The curriculum is standardized, which isn’t always the case with other training. This ensures that all agents with the CDPE designation have mastered the same material. The CDPE designation is also a valuable marketing tool, highlighting your achievement in this area.
Courses taught independently by self-styled short sale gurus can be a hit-or-miss proposition. More popular among investors than real estate professionals, they’re often taught by out-of-towners. In some cases they’ll have such a breadth of knowledge and experience that their lack of familiarity with the local market is immaterial. On the other hand, even if the instructors are top-notch, these courses often cost a great deal more than what’s available locally. In addition, sometimes course schedules may be altered to accommodate the instructors' travel schedules.
If you’re an investor, when you finish your course, consult with your local Real Estate Investment Association (REIA); these organizations, found nationwide in the US, often have directories listing members' specialties. It will probably take some time and legwork to find a short sale expert who’s willing to mentor you, and you may have to join the REIA to get access to the membership list, but it’s more than worth it in the long run. The Internet is also an excellent tool for finding short sale experts in your area, as long as you avoid scammers.
A licensed real estate salesperson interested in short sale training is often already be working with a broker and other professionals in an agency. If there’s no CDPE-designated agent at your workplace, resolve to become your agency’s short sale expert so that other agents will bring you their short sale deals. Your broker may be willing to cover or split the cost of the short sale training course, especially if you pursue the CDPE designation.
Using the REIA approach as a licensed agent can help you find short sale experts among the ranks of investors when you get short sale listings. If they want to try to buy your listing as a short sale, you’ll get valuable short sale training by working with them as closely as possible. Another option available to the licensed agent is to co-operate with CDPE-designated experts from other agencies when the opportunity presents itself.
Short sales have always been an option in the US real estate market, although they only became well-known during the American real estate bust of 2007 - 2010. These deals can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming, though, and many fall apart. Successful short sales, however, can be very productive for all involved, justifying the time and money spent on short sale training.