(If you don’t know what I’m talking about, go watch the movie and then come back. I’ll wait. Go on.)
I have the same feeling when it comes to some REALTOR designations, at least when I see them used in a manner that borders on false advertising.
For instance, a buyer on Trulia Voices recently was asking questions about purchasing a short sale and a CDPE-card-carrying agent said, in essence, to get hooked up with a CDPE-certified agent who has received the specialized training needed to complete a short sale.
CDPE, incidentally, is Certified Distressed Property Expert and for all intents and purposes is the brainchild of RE/MAX’s Dave Liniger. The idea was that Dave would push CDPE at RE/MAX while also promoting the certification to lenders as a way of making sure the agents submitting short sales knew what they were doing rather than taking the listing and hoping for the best.
Someone with a CDPE certification does receive extra training, the kind that otherwise only can be found in the proverbial School of Hard Knocks (which, combined with NAR’s Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource certification, is where I received my short sale training.)
The problem is the CDPE designation deals solely with the listing side of the equation since a buyer’s agent has roughly zero influence in the completion of a short sale. Don’t believe me? Check out the CDPE site:
Living through financial difficulties poses a challenge for any family, so why make the process of finding a qualified real estate professional difficult too? Select an agent with the CDPE Designation to ensure you have a trained professional to address your specific needs. For more information, contact a CDPE in your area.
CDPEs don’t merely assist in selling properties, they serve and help save their clients in need.
Nothing in that language, or any of the boilerplate on the site, links the CDPE to helping buyers but that doesn’t stop agents from taking advantage of the public’s naivety to pimp themselves. (In fact, one the bigger NAR-haters here locally continues to list proudly his alphabet soup of certifications, bringing to mind the old saying about biting the hand that feeds you.)
Certifications are nice – though I still continue to question those that require an annual fee to maintain, as I don’t think I forgot my training just because I don’t feel like paying blood money year after year. But in many cases, the certification and $5 will buy you an egg nog latte.
It’s not just real estate. The other day, my wife and I passed a car with a license plate that said “BAMAJD”.
In the words of Christian Bale, “good for you!”
Experience is what matters, is what I’m trying to say, not a designation that may or not mean what the person flaunting the letters says it does.