Distressed property sales have a lot of unique problems and pitfalls. So when picking a real estate agent to represent you, find one who has experience handling those issues [source: Perkins]. Luckily, there are several certifications available for agents who have taken continuing education courses in selling distressed properties. The National Association of Realtors introduced a Short Sale and Foreclosure Certification Program in 2009. To get the certification, Realtors need to take several hours of training and bone up on national and state laws around foreclosures and short sales [source: Perkins]. There is also a Certified Distressed Property Expert certification, offered by a group called the Distressed Property Institute [source: Re/Max]. But, whether your agent is certified or not, you need to make sure they have closed on distressed property sales before. About a dozen short sales or foreclosures is a good amount to show that the agent has been through the process enough times to guide you through knowledgably [source: Gibbs].