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RISMEDIA, March 14, 2011—Far too many REALTORS® avoid the distressed property market—which includes foreclosures and short sales—because they do not have the necessary skills, strategies or information they need to guide their buyer clients through one of these transactions successfully.

But distressed properties accounted for 34% of fourth quarter 2010 home sales, up from 32% a year earlier, according to data from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR), and these homes sold at a discount of 10-15%. This presents a big opportunity for buyers and to those REALTORS® who are qualified to assist them through these often tricky transactions.

To prepare agents to serve this growing need, the Council of Residential Specialists (CRS) has developed a new course, Guiding the Buyer in the Distressed Property Market (CRS 112), that gives agents the practical tools and skills they need to counsel clients about distressed property transactions.

Building upon the success of CRS’s existing Short Sales and Foreclosures:
Protecting Your Clients’ Interests course (CRS 111), the new course’s program focuses on the buyer side of distressed property transactions. “This course is a direct response to market demand,” says CRS education director Mary Beth Ciukaj. “Agents realize that when more than one-third of all existing-home sales involve distressed properties, it’s time to learn how to serve consumer demand in that area. This course aims to help them do just that,” she says.

Developed and taught by senior instructors Frank Serio, CRS, and Leroy Houser, CRS, the course includes specific sales strategies which will help both new and experienced REALTORS® represent their buyers in the most professional manner possible. Course attendees will gain the knowledge they need as they build confidence in their ability to navigate the many complex processes involved in a distressed property transaction.

“At a time when so many residential properties are distressed, there’s a good chance that agents will work with a buyer client who wants to buy one of these homes in the near future,” says course co-author and 2011 CRS president Frank Serio, CRS. “Short Sales and Foreclosures: Protecting Your Clients’ Interests is the perfect course to teach agents the techniques they need to better serve these clients who must navigate the tricky transactions prevalent in today’s market.”

Upon successful completion of this course, REALTORS® will be able to:
-Counsel and prepare their clients to purchase a distressed property.-
-Find and select those distressed properties that meet their clients’ specific needs.
-Successfully prepare and negotiate an “offer to purchase” contract.
-Finance REO and short sale properties.
-Qualify and work with the listing agent in order to avoid unnecessary delays and problems.
-Successfully sell REO and short sale properties.

Guiding the Buyer in the Distressed Property Market (CRS 112) earns attendees eight units of CRS education credit toward the CRS Designation, and it has been approved as a qualifying core course for NAR’s Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource Certification (SFR).

For more information, visit