Why should you, the buyer or seller, care about the level of continuing education your Realtor® has, and whether he/she continues to take classes beyond the mandatory continuing education requirements for license renewal?
The real estate industry is constantly changing. Short sales and foreclosures on the market brought new designations: SFR, the National Association of Realtors® designation for Short Sales, Foreclosure Real Estate, and the CDPE which stands for Certified Distressed Property Expert, and now the new classes designed for Investors in Distressed Properties.
Working with distressed buyers demands an entirely new set of skills and requires considerable paperwork which the lender, (or sometimes lenders), need to make a decision whether a short sale is granted.
Essentially this paperwork is a prerequisite for the bank to ascertain whether mortgage fraud may be involved. Mortgage fraud, if litigated and proven, carries prison terms as well as fines for all participants.
No agent wants to subject himself/herself to possible prison terms nor do they want to subject their seller to such conditions. Sometimes a seller genuinely does not understand that hiding assets is not protocol!
Financing is another area where the Realtor® who has additional education can make a transaction work where a Realtor® who does not understand the nuances of financing will let the potential transaction go by the boards…only because he/she doesn’t know how to structure the transaction.
With the changes which have occurred in obtaining a mortgage, many people cannot now qualify because of credit issues.
A Realtor® who has information about credit repair can pass the name of a good credit repair person on to his/her client. Often credit can be repaired in a short time which will put the buyer in the driver’s seat to purchase a home within six months.
A knowledgeable Realtor® has knowledge far beyond the types and prices of homes on the market. He/she spends time and money on continuing education in order to serve clients best.
Look for a Realtor® who has continuing education beyond what is required by the state. Check the state database of the Real Estate Commission to see what types of classes your agent has taken and when. Look for advanced designations such as GRI, CCIM, CRS, SRES, ABR, the most rigorous of which is the CRS or CCIM, the latter of which is for commercial properties.