I have both designations and the CDPE course was a lot more detailed than the Certified Short Sale Specialist course. The CDPE course covers it all! Take it and you be glad you did. Good luck!
Alex Cabrera, CDPE CSSA
Florida Realty of Miami
(Certified Distressed Property Expert)
(Certified Short Sale Agent)
In my opinion the two certification programs that carry the most weight are the NAR backed SFR (Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource) which is 6 hours in class plus three 1 hour webinars ($115) and the two day CDPE class. Both can be done online from your home now. The CDPE is longer and covers more material. The designations themselves are not the issue, the education is. With short sales you never stop learning, get all the education you can wherever you can and combine it with the experience of doing many short sales. You are correct in your belief that short sales will continue to be an important part of the real estate market for many years to come as 1 in 4 homeowners owe more than their home is worth and 1 in 10 are behind in their payments.
No amount of training will prepare an agent for some of the battles that my agents and I have fought on some short-sales in various markets. (Let's just say that banks aren't behaving rationally all of the time.) Please don't get me wrong: I'm not slamming the training. Rather, I'm saying that the training along with some experience will go a lot further.
If you could get on some conference calls with some agents/brokers who specialize in short-sales, and who are deep in the trenches, then that along with the training will help to bring you up to speed sooner. Keep in mind that short sales can be--and often are--very different from retail sales. There are a lot more moving parts and pieces.
If negotiations isn't your strong suit, then you'll need to collaborate with a strong negotiator. Yet, if negotiations is your strong suit, then get prepared to put those skills to work in a major way.