In your search for a real estate agent to help you buy or sell, you'll probably come across some who have one or more acronyms listed after their names. It looks something like this: Sally Smith, ABR, CRS, SRES.

It's not just alphabet soup. Those letters are sending you a message about the agent's specialized training and unique qualifications – above and beyond the education for their real estate license.

Here are some common acronyms you might see (referred to as "designations" in the real estate industry).

• ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) – These Realtors specialize in helping people who are buying a home.

• ACP (Accredited Commercial Professional) – Agents who hold this designation specialize in commercial real estate. 

• CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert) – For anyone facing the loss of their home due to foreclosure, these agents have valuable insight and skills to help minimize the impact and lead the homeowners to a better alternative.

• CNHS (Certified New Home Specialist) – This signals an agent who has advanced knowledge in newly constructed homes and home-builder processes.

• CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) – These agents specialize in marketing luxury, high-end properties. 

• CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) – This represents an agent who has additional qualifications in residential real estate.

• MilRES (Military Residential Specialist) – Members of the armed forces can turn to these agents who have expanded knowledge of military life and meeting families' needs.

• SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) – These individuals have a keen awareness of the unique needs and situations seniors often face in buying and selling real estate.

This list is just the tip of the iceberg. Be sure to ask agents you're considering working with about their designations, and what specialized skills and knowledge they'll bring to the table

Find a local RE/MAX agent who you'd like to learn more about.