ATHENS, TN., - As more real estate sales involve buyers and sellers dealing with properties in foreclosure or already foreclosed on by the bank, many licensed Realtors are looking to ?change their approach' and focus more on short sales in order to help preserve home values and the American dream.

 

Three Realtors in Crye-Leike's Athens, Tennessee office felt compelled to expand their knowledge and take the Short Sales & Foreclosure course offered by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

 

Crye-Leike Athens Realtors Melonie Carideo, Becky Wattenbarger and Cathy Swafford are now armed with their new Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR) certification and are certified to qualify sellers, negotiate with lenders, limit risks and protect buyers.

 

"Getting this certification will definitely help me to be better equipped with the tools and ?know how' to help sellers maneuver and negotiate the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers safely pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities." said Melonie Carideo, Crye-Leike Athens Branch Managing Broker. "I believe as a Realtor it is my duty to help homeowners keep their homes if possible or assist them with a short sale to avoid foreclosure."

 

The SFR certification also helps Realtors understand how to reach out to people facing foreclosure and who could benefit from a short sale to educate them on the options they have to avoid a foreclosure and save their credit.

 

"A lot of people do not know what a ?Short Sale' is and how beneficial it can be instead of going into foreclosure," said Crye-Leike Athens Realtor Cathy Swafford. "A Short Sale may not hurt your credit as much as a foreclosure will. As short sale and foreclosure specialists, our goal is to provide the seller with all the documents they will need to start the process and help market their property to get it sold for the highest dollar amount possible."

 

Crye-Leike Athens Realtor Becky Wattenbarger wanted to earn the SFR certification because of the great need in the local marketplace to help struggling sellers.

 

"My main goal is to help people out of an already bad situation," said Wattenbarger. "If I can help someone get a short sale instead of a foreclosure, they will be able to qualify for another mortgage in only 2 years as opposed to the 5-7 years for a foreclosure. Also there is a stigma attached to someone being foreclosed on that doesn't apply to a short sale."

 

As Carideo works to manage the day to day operations of Crye-Leike's Athens office, she has seen firsthand how the market has significantly changed.

 

"With over 8 months of inventory, the only way to move our real estate forward is to get these foreclosures off our books," said Carideo. "The SFR education taught me how to better market foreclosures to interested buyers and investors and how to get these properties sold. Short Sales are anything but short and this course explained everything in an organized way and I would recommend this certification to all agents - we're all in this together."

 

More About Realtors Melonie Carideo, Becky Wattenbarger & Cathy Swafford

Crye-Leike Sales Associates Melonie Carideo, Becky Wattenbarger and Cathy Swafford are licensed Realtors in Tennessee based out of the company's Athens branch office located at 580 South Congress Parkway. They assist buyers and sellers in and around McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, and Polk counties specializing in all types of residential real estate sales.

 

For all your real estate needs and personal referrals, please contact Crye-Leike Realtor Melonie Carideo at (423) 593-8713 or mcarideo@crye-leike.com; Crye-Leike Realtor Cathy Swafford at 423-829-6283 or cathy.swafford@crye-leike.com; and Crye-Leike Realtor Becky Wattenbarger at 423-295-4904 or becky.wattenbarger@crye-leike.com.

 

About Crye-Leike, REALTORS

Harold Crye and Dick Leike established Crye-Leike, REALTORS in 1977. Today, Crye-Leike?, the nation's 6th largest real estate company, has a network of more than 3,600 licensed sales associates based out of 130 corporate and franchise offices located through-out the nine-state southern region of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

 

Crye-Leike is a full-service real estate company offering buyers and sellers services in: residential and commercial sales, mortgage, title, insurance, business brokerage and investments, property management, development and construction, builder resources, REO bank-owned properties, relocation, auctions, and home services. In 2009, Crye-Leike attained a sales volume in excess of $3.9 billion with 24,983 homes sold.