How To Become a Foreclosure Specialist in 5 Steps
Updated September 30, 2022
A foreclosure specialist is typically a real estate agent who has taken special training in the field of foreclosures. They can work with people who are going through the foreclosure process and with buyers who are looking to purchase a foreclosed property. Becoming a foreclosure specialist can be an attractive career choice for those with skills in customer service and an interest or experience in real estate.
In this article, we discuss what a foreclosure specialist does and how much you might earn as a foreclosure specialist, and offer 5 steps you can take to become a foreclosure specialist.
What does a foreclosure specialist do?
A foreclosure specialist is a real estate professional who assists or oversees the various aspects of a foreclosure. They can work on behalf of either the buyer or the seller of a foreclosed property. Their duties may include:
Managing the foreclosure process to be sure it meets all local, state, and federal regulations and requirements
Preparing and organizing all the necessary foreclosure forms
Verifying the signatures on every form
Reviewing documents such as liens, appraisals and insurance policies
Working with the homeowner and other relevant parties to resolve any discrepancies in the documentation
Filing the required paperwork in a timely manner
Communicating with lawyers, sellers, buyers, and local authorities as necessary
Negotiating loan agreements on behalf of property owners to help avoid foreclosure situations
How to become a foreclosure specialist
If you're interested in becoming a foreclosure specialist, these 5 steps might help you:
1. Graduate high school
To get a job as a foreclosure specialist, you will most likely need a high school diploma or equivalent. This is normally a minimum requirement for many jobs in real estate. During your senior year, you can look for opportunities to intern at realtor offices or gain some experience in the field. While not required, this shows an interest in the work and can enhance your resume.
2. Complete a degree course
Some companies require a minimum of an associate's degree to be hired as a foreclosure specialist. Consider taking courses as part of your degree that may help you both as a real estate agent and a foreclosure specialist. Such courses might include foreclosure law or real estate. Even if it's not required, having a relevant degree might be attractive to a prospective employer and set you apart from other job applicants.
3. Gain professional experience
You may need to have at least 2 or 3 years of experience in real estate before a business can consider you for a foreclosure specialist position. Foreclosure specialists often start out as real estate agents or have at least been working in the real estate industry. Experience in customer service may also be helpful since you could be working with people selling their homes under stressful circumstances. If you previously worked in a fast-paced, multi-tasking environment, that experience could be useful preparation for this type of real estate work.
4. Become certified
There isn't a formal agency that oversees foreclosure specialists, so there are no state or federal requirements you need to fulfill before becoming a foreclosure specialist. Even though you don't need certification, there are advantages to having foreclosure specialist credentials, including:
Gaining specialized knowledge on subjects such as how to assess foreclosed properties, the laws and regulations applicable to the foreclosure process, and the government assistance available with foreclosures
Having confidence that you know the subject area well and can manage the needs of your clients and answer their questions accurately
Providing assurance to both your employer and your clients that you understand foreclosures and can help clients on both sides of the foreclosure process
There are a number of ways you can be certified as a foreclosure specialist. They include:
Training through a private company that offers real estate-related courses
Taking online courses that can give you the training you need without having to take time off work
Finding a mentor, either someone in your real estate company who is a foreclosure specialist or an outside specialist who is willing to train you
Taking the Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource certification offered by the National Association of Realtors
Acquiring a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued identification number, which authorizes you to make offers on or work with HUD homes
5. Find clients
There are various ways you can find clients once you've completed your training and certification as a foreclosure specialist. If you're currently a real estate agent, you can include the fact you're a certified foreclosure specialist on your business card. You can also include your foreclosure specialist credentials in your listings on real estate agent websites and online directories. It's possible the contacts you made during your training can pass your name on to potential clients. You might also consider other advertising options such as online and newspaper ads or offering your services through professional organizations and conferences.
Another way to find clients is to build relationships with asset management companies. Banks and property investors often use these companies to help maintain their properties and manage evictions and sales. Through your relationships with asset management companies, you can offer broker price opinions which may then give you access to foreclosure listings.
Average salary of a foreclosure specialist
According to Indeed, the average salary for a foreclosure specialist is $34,833 per year. This is a base compensation since, as with other types of real estate agents, foreclosure agents often work on commission. Foreclosure commissions can be higher than regular real estate commissions since the foreclosure agent may not have to divide their commission with another agent.
For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link provided.
Related: How To Become an REO Listing Agent
Career outlook of a foreclosure specialist
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment opportunities for property, real estate and community association managers to grow by 3 percent by 2030. This is slower than the average for all industries. There may be an increase in job opportunities as a result of retirements or transfers to other industries.
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