How Do I Become a Short Sale Realtor®?

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  • Written By: S. Reynolds
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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An individual who wants to become a short sale Realtor® must first obtain her real estate sales license. Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors®, which is a US-based organization. Members must pay yearly fees and follow certain rules in order to maintain membership. Someone who specializes in short sales is knowledgeable about working with banks to get them to accept a lower amount for a piece of property than is actually owed.

If someone wants to become a short sale agent, one must pass his or her state's real estate exam and get licensed as a sales agent. Each US state sets its own rules about licensure. Once licensed, the real estate agent may then join the National Association of Realtors® by paying a separate fee. Alternatively, one may find employment with a brokerage house first and then become a short sale Realtor® by joining the national organization.

There is no specific national short sale certification that one must take in order to sell short sales. Most Realtors® work with brokerage houses that specialize in short sales in order to learn the business. They learn how to find and keep clients, organize paperwork, and negotiate with lenders. Most Realtors® are trained by their brokers in the art of short sales.


Short sales can be a lengthy process, as one must deal with overloaded lenders who have hundreds or thousands of property files. One can learn how to become a short sale Realtor® quickly by watching a seasoned short sales agent close deals. Many times, short sales fail because the agent is not persistent enough, or does not communicate effectively with the mortgage lender.

Short sales agents must develop very close relationships with various mortgage lenders. They must get to know each lender, what hours they work, and their names. Following up on phone calls and emails is essential when it comes to closing short sales.

Organized paperwork is also another necessity. If a property folder is missing even one required document, the folder could sit for weeks or months on a lender's desk. Short sale agents known for their organization and completed paperwork usually close their deals quickly.

It is possible to become a short sale Realtor® in as little as a few months. Most of one's time is spent studying for the real estate course and the state exam. Afterward, one must find employment with a company that is willing to train short sale agents.


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