10 Questions to Ask Your Certification Provider

1. How long have you been offering the short sale certification?

The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has been offering its Short Sales and Foreclosures Course since the fall of 2006. In October 2009, REBAC and NAR unveiled a completely revised course and launched the Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR®) Certification, for which the Short Sales and Foreclosures Courses from REBAC and the Council of Residential Specialists (CRS), an affiliate of NAR, are considered qualifying education. Over 60,000 REALTORS® have earned the SFR® certification in less than a year.

2. Who wrote the curriculum for the certification course and how was it designed?

The curriculum for the REBAC course was developed by a team of three subject matter experts, knowledgeable REALTORS® and national instructors with short sales, foreclosure, and REO experience, who determined the outline for the course. The course was designed to cover the following topics: counseling sellers and buyers, creating an effective short-sales package, and working with foreclosed and REO properties. It is the only one of its kind that focuses on the buyer side in addition to the seller side.

3. What is the curriculum creator’s background, specific to real estate?

Three REALTORS®, each with over 25 years in the business with extensive short sales and foreclosures experience, created the Short Sales and Foreclosures Course in conjunction with REBAC, which has developed almost 20 designation and certification courses for REALTORS® on behalf of NAR.

4. How do you choose the instructors to teach the course?

For the REBAC Short Sales and Foreclosures Course, a network of more than 160 licensed providers – REALTOR® associations and boards, proprietary schools, and national franchises – identify and hire the instructor cadre. Instructors must be hired to teach the class by a local course provider in order to become approved. The market determines which instructors will be hired. Instructor feedback from student evaluations is closely monitored by REBAC staff to ensure quality control.

5. How do your instructors become qualified to teach the course?

REBAC instructors are required to audit the Short Sales and Foreclosures Course before teaching it and participate in and complete a minimum of three webinars on updated course materials in order to teach the course.

6. What kind of free education do you provide after the actual certification course?

NAR and REBAC offer periodic free webinars covering current developments related to short sales and foreclosures. HAFA brochures for REALTORS® and members were created for NAR members’ use.

7. What training elements are covered in regards to shorting a FHA, VA transaction?

Detailed Servicer Guidelines for the FHA Preforeclosure Sales Program are provided and discussed in the REBAC Short Sales and Foreclosures Course. VA transactions are also briefly mentioned.

8. How do you let your certification members know of new updates that may affect the short sale real estate transaction?

NAR has two web pages below devoted to short sales and foreclosures that are updated as new initiatives occur. New information is disseminated to SFRs through a monthly eNewsletter and the SFR members-only online community.

9. What additional support do you provide after the certification process?

SFRs are provided with the following benefits:

  • Customizable marketing materials and press release
  • Periodic free Webinars
  • Monthly eNewsletter
  • Members-only Ning community
  • Differentiation at REALTOR.org and REALTOR.com®
  • Usage of SFR logo and name

10. What levels of training can I take in addition to the certification to ensure a strong foundation for long-term success?

REBAC recently launched a new one-day course, REO Properties: Responsibilities, Education, and Opportunities for Real Estate Professionals.  REO real estate agents turn bank-owned properties into homes.  REO Asset Managers want to partner with real estate professionals to sell their foreclosed assets. By learning the responsibilities, characteristics and opportunities of a REO, you can be a partner of choice, help banks improve their balance sheet and match buyers with a home. Learn the skills to accurately list assets, manage and present the properties, and understand REO property laws. Also, gain insight on how to market yourself to REO asset managers and other financial institutions and access a new revenue stream.  Click here for more information.

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