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RISMEDIA, May 22, 2009-As the government announces new plans to streamline the short sale process, RE/MAX International Inc., launched a national training tour that will bring the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) program to professional real estate agents in more than a dozen cities in the next three months.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), more than 45% of existing home sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 were foreclosures and short sales. In a short sale transaction, lenders allow homeowners to sell their property for less than the mortgage amount, but avoid the foreclosure process, which can be costly for the lender and traumatic for the homeowner.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response from RE/MAX agents who’ve taken this course and become certified to help a large percentage of the population that will either go through a short sale or foreclosure, or those who will purchase a distressed property,” said Margaret Kelly, chief executive officer of RE/MAX International. “RE/MAX associates have been in the business a long time and know that education and certifications like CDPE are critical in helping homebuyers and sellers through a difficult process.”

The Distressed Property Institute, based in Austin, TX, offers the CDPE designation and was founded by dynamic real estate veteran Alex Charfen. Charfen will lead many of the RE/MAX CDPE educational courses that will also address the recent government initiatives for foreclosures and short sales, including those announced recently in the Foreclosure Alternatives Program (FAP).

To date, more than 4,500 RE/MAX associates have received the CDPE designation and thousands more are already slated to take the course at one of the stops on the national tour, via a DVD from RE/MAX University or through a training program on the RE/MAX Satellite Network (RSN), the company’s exclusive satellite TV channel. These agents are already reporting significant success closing increased numbers of short sale transactions.

RE/MAX Chairman and Co-founder Dave Liniger made a commitment in March to have 7,500 agents CDPE certified, noting it is one of the most critical things real estate agents can do to help homeowners, the economy and the country.

The RE/MAX CDPE national education tour began in Atlanta, GA, and will conclude in Jacksonville, FL, hitting more than a dozen cities along the way including:

-May 19-20, Seattle, WA
-May 21-22, Houston, TX
-June 1-2, Phoenix, AZ
-June 6-8, Sacramento, CA
-June 10-11, Orlando, FL
-June 16-17, Jacksonville, FL

For more information, visit or