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RISMEDIA, March 5, 2009-RE/MAX International is distributing customized training courses that lead to the Distressed Property Institute’s prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert designation for its world-wide team of Realtors.

The institute has licensed its two-day training course on the RE/MAX Satellite Network and on DVDs to train RE/MAX sales associates. The training focuses on how to handle short sales. According to the National Association of Realtors(R), more than 45% of existing home sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 were foreclosures and short sales. In a short sale transaction, homeowners sell their property for less than the mortgage amount, but avoid the foreclosure process.

“Given today’s climate, it is critical for our sales associates to understand the transaction process involved with distressed properties,” said Dave Liniger, chairman and co-founder of RE/MAX International. “The REO or short sale transactions can be a little challenging, but they’re now a significant part of the market. Having these skills will make the process easier and could be the key to success for many of our sales associates.”

The Distressed Property Institute, based in Boca Raton, Fla., was founded by real estate veteran Alex Charfen in January 2008. Since then it has trained more than 1,500 agents.

“We are pleased to prepare RE/MAX agents to help their clients in today’s difficult financial environment,” Charfen said. “These highly trained agents will be better equipped to work with lenders, buyers and sellers to create solutions that could save homeowners from foreclosure.”

Recognizing that the current real estate market suffers from declining home values due to an increased inventory, RE/MAX International plans to train its sales force to assist troubled homeowners in the hope that the number of foreclosures coming on the market can be reduced.

The CDPE designation courses are built around a ready-to-use functional system that sales associates can immediately implement in their businesses to be an effective asset to their clients. The course includes the 170-page Distressed Property Field Manual and the short-sale forms disc.

The CDPE designation has been endorsed by many major U.S. brokerages. Numerous industry icons have also endorsed the CDPE, including Howard Brinton, founder of STAR POWER System; Bob Corcoran, founder of Corcoran Coaching and Consulting; best-selling author Dave Jenks (“The Millionaire Real Estate Agent”) and Joe Stumpf, founder of By Referral Only.

For more information, visit