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RISMEDIA, September 1, 2009—Nearly one-third of all existing homes sold recently were either short sales or foreclosures, according to National Association of Realtors® data. To help Realtors meet the needs of home buyers and sellers who need these services, NAR has launched a new Short Sales and Foreclosure Certification Program (SFR).

“Foreclosures and short sales can offer opportunities for home buyers, but it’s extremely important to have the help of a real estate professional like a Realtor for these kinds of purchases,” said NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth. “Realtors add value to the real estate transaction with their extensive knowledge and market insights, and this new certification will help them serve a growing need.”

The SFR certification program is offered by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council of NAR. The program includes training on how to manage short-sale, foreclosure, and real-estate owned transactions, and provides resources to help Realtors stay current on national and state-specific information as the market for these distressed properties evolves.

To earn the certification, Realtors must complete a one-day education program, either in-person or online, as well as three one-hour Webinars. The certification program will be offered at the REALTORS Conference & Expo in San Diego, Nov. 13-16.

“As Realtors, we believe that any family that loses their home to foreclosure is one family too many,” said McMillan. “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.”

For more information, visit www.realtor.org.

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