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Down but not out in the real estate market

By Joe Gschwendtner

Depending upon whom you ask, a house can be either an asset or a liability. In recent years, the real estate market and mortgage meltdown has left many homeowners answering the latter.

Since home is where the heart is, pride ensues, and financial difficulties are all too often not addressed until it is too late and homeowners are faced with a foreclosure situation, not realizing there is another alternative.

An institution has emerged that is educating not only homeowners, but also real estate professionals about options available to avoid foreclosures. Enter the expertise of a certified distressed property expert (CDPE) and the art of the short sale.

Talk about a growing field … two years ago it did not exist, and today there are more than 20,000 trained members. Louie Lee, a 25-year real estate industry veteran and CDPE with Coldwell Banker Castle Pines is a believer, as is Dave Liniger, founder of REMAX International. “The CDPE designation is the most effective educational solution … to address this market,” said Liniger. “We feel so strongly that [our] top management team has earned the CDPE

The essence of the CDPE advantage is that designees are “short sale” experts. A short sale is an owner-initiated process resulting in a sale where the asking price of a home is lower than the owner’s loan amount. The beauty of it, when it works, is that it is a win-win situation for owner and lender alike. The seller avoids the credit hit of a foreclosure, while the lender gets fair market value for the property, avoiding the costly, time-consuming legal processes of eviction and repossession.

Selling a house at a loss may initially not sound like a win-win, but the advantages to a short sale over foreclosure are significant. A short sale is a proactive plan, while foreclosure is an unwelcome intrusion. Additionally, credit rating consequences may be as little as two years (as opposed to seven) – just to name a couple.

Look right and look left, across the street. Then, think of some close friends. Most people know someone who may be on the road to foreclosure. Perhaps the very best advice for the current climate is to recommend counsel with a CDPE.

According to the official CDPE website, “The CDPE designation is changing the way industry veterans deal with the changing paradigm of success in the real estate industry. The measurement of success has been amended to include how many families have been saved, how many foreclosures have been avoided, how many neighborhoods have been spared, and in the way real estate professionals are turning the tide of trouble in the real estate industry.”

To find a local CDPE, visit



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