Sally and Jeanne have provided great responses to your question.
It would be worth adding that if I had spent $25,000 in order to append a train of letters after my name I MUST defend my choice or admit to being foolish.
Such designations, or instance CDPE, allow an real estate professional to market themselves as certified distressed property specialists. "I'm a specialists 'cause I paid for these here letters." And every year the agent gets to pay a little more to keep the letters sparking and bright.
The reality is, if you want a distressed property specialist, you need to find an agent who has successfully executed contracts and negotiations for buyers and sellers. As Jeanne suggested, the proof is in the results. PERIOD.
To suggest there is any validity in the alphabet train, one must confront the many redundant designations. Now which is better, CDPD or SFR? The alphabet train, for the most part, is a successful marketing ploy to separate agents from their money and feeds the egos of real estate people. The money is made by these organizations. Egos and guilt are very expensive travel companions.
Please don't confuse my comments and think the alphabet train is necessarily detrimental. It just isn't beneficial, in any way, to a home buyer or home seller.
Ask, 'What deals have you closed the last six months?" Then follow the bread crumbs.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group, Palm Harbor, FL
727. 420. 4041