The role of a short-sale specialist

Communication -- and lots of it -- is key

Despite the fervent prayers of bankers all across this nation, short sales and foreclosures are not disappearing anytime soon. They are simply two additional types of home sales that must be mastered by Realtors.

And earning a specific distressed-home accreditation does not assure swift business or success with clientele. This segment of our trade requires Realtors to approach each situation with the utmost of respect, care and diligence — no half-hearted attempts here!

Distressed sales are stressful, and tempers can kindle quickly when expectations are not met. So what does a successful agent/seller relationship look like? I casually interviewed a couple in foreclosure and the agent representing their home.

"Suzan Johnson" (not her real name) is a happy, vivacious go-getter, and a close personal friend. She has more energy than five women at Nordstrom with no-limit credit cards. She is a small-business owner, wife and mother, who is aghast at facing the foreclosure of her home. This was not the retirement plan she and her husband had mapped out for themselves seven years ago.