Times have changed. Since December 2007, the recession has changed the way real estate agents transact business. Those warm and fuzzy days of easy credit and rising prices have been replaced by excessive supply and not enough demand. That is the reality of today’s real estate market.
Once upon a time, the short sale and the foreclosure action were rarities. Now, these distressed sales are an important part of the real estate industry and recovery. With one in every 355 residences currently in the foreclosure process, and with million of American homeowners under water, real estate agents have changed their focus.
As Charles McMillan of Coldwell Banker in Dallas said, “Foreclosures and short sales can offer opportunities for home buyers, but it is extremely important to have the help of a real estate professional for these kinds of purchases.”
To assist real estate agents gain knowledge about foreclosure and short sales, a new certification has been created by the National Association of Realtors. The Short Sales and Foreclosure Certification program (SFR) has been created to train real estate agents in this new phenomena. The program includes training about how to manage short sale, foreclosure and real-estate owned transactions.
The association is actively distributing the latest updates about private and government programs aimed at helping these transactions take place. Bringing resolution to this aspect of the real estate market is key to stabilizing housing prices and clearing out excessive inventory.
McMillan explained the Realtors feeling about the dilemma. “Unfortunately, there are situations in which people just cannot afford to keep their homes. A short sale can help families protect their credit by avoiding a foreclosure. When a foreclosed or REO property is sold, it helps the surrounding community by reducing the impact of those properties on home values in the immediate area.”
Real estate investors who are purchasing large blocks of short sale properties have the comfort of knowing that there are now certified short sale and foreclosure experts. These agents can help put the package together and clear the inventory at the same time.