How do I Become a Short Sale Specialist?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2019
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There are two main ways that you can become a short sale specialist. The first way is to attend a training seminar or class to learn all the relevant information regarding short sales. These seminars will typically teach you everything you need to know to manage a successful transaction, after which the school or organization may present you with a certification that declares you have become a short sale specialist. The other method is to do the necessary research yourself and then handle several transactions. After you have successfully closed a number of transactions, you will typically have become a short sale specialist.

A short sale is a real estate transaction that involves the buyer paying less than the seller owes his lending institution. This type of transaction can be fraught with potential headaches, as neither the lender nor the seller are required to go through with it. The lender may deny the short sale at any time, and the seller can change his mind and decide to try to keep the house or go through foreclosure. A real estate agent or broker involved in a short sale typically has to interface with all the parties involved and ensure that everything proceeds smoothly.


In order to help an agent or a broker become a short sale specialist, a number of schools and other organizations offer training programs. Some of these programs take the form of a seminar that lasts a few hours, though others can involve longer classes. If the school is accredited with your state real estate board, these classes may even count as clock hours towards your continuing education requirements. After you have completed the class or seminar, you may receive a short sale specialist certification even though you still have no real world experience.

You can also research much of the required information on your own by checking resources from your local real estate board, multiple listing service (MLS), or the Internet. You may want to research how to handle a hardship letter, interface with the loss mitigation department of lending institutions, and other similar information. After you have gained this knowledge, you may be ready to attempt a short sale.

Regardless of whether you take a seminar or do the research on your own, you will eventually need to handle a transaction in the real world. You can do this alone, though partnering with an experienced agent or broker can ease the process. After you have completed a number of short sales, you will typically have become a short sale specialist. The expertise you will have gained through both knowledge and experience can allow you to assist distressed sellers that can no longer afford to stay in their homes.


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