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RISMEDIA, September 8, 2010—There is a lot of buzz right now in the industry about short sales and making sure you are certified to handle the short sale transaction. Regardless of whether or not you actually want to do a short sale transaction, education is a key element to help sellers with their specific needs. It is our role as real estate professionals to give the best information to the homeowner—even if the situation doesn’t result in a real estate sale.

Whether you want to handle the short sale transaction or you find you want to refer it off to another Realtor, the bottom line is that some listing appointments you go on may be candidates for the short sale route and getting certified teaches you to recognize those situations and understand what to do.

With that in mind, you may decide to become certified to understand this market and handle specific parts or all of the transaction. Here are some questions you can use to determine which certification best fits your needs:

1. How long have you been offering the short sale certification?
2. Who wrote the curriculum for the certification course and how was it designed?
3. What is the curriculum creator’s background, specific to real estate?
4. How do you choose the instructors to teach the course?
5. How do your instructors become qualified to teach the course?
6. What kind of free education do you provide after the actual certification course?
7. What training elements are covered in regards to shorting a FHA, VA transaction?
8. How do you let your certification members know of new updates that may affect the short sale real estate transaction?
9. What additional support do you provide after the certification process?
10. What levels of training can I take in addition to the certification to ensure a strong foundation for long-term success?

There are many great certifications out there. Choose the one that you connect with best and go for it. The more we are all knowledgeable in helping homeowners in our local market, the better. Once you have this education under your belt, don’t forget to include it in all your marketing efforts.

Tricia Andreassen is the CEO/Founder of Pro Step Marketing, a leader in brand and Web strategy for the real estate industry. As an industry expert, speaker and author, she has over 19 years’ experience in helping Realtors grow their business.

For more information, visit