As a real estate agent who’s considering whether to take on a transaction coordinator (TC) for help with contracts, you may be curious about the roles a TC can fill. This article will help you determine if you need a real estate transaction coordinator, discuss the role of real estate transaction coordinators, and list examples of some of the jobs they can perform.
In addition, we’ll talk about whether you should look for a licensed transaction coordinator and where you can find transaction coordinators. Just in case you’re the type of agent who doesn’t settle for second-best, we’ll finish by explaining where you can find the best transaction coordinators on the internet!
How Can I Tell if I Need a Transaction Coordinator?
In another article, we covered how to tell if you should hire a transaction coordinator, and what to consider before you do. If you didn’t catch it, that’s fine: we’ll summarize it for you.
You should hire a transaction coordinator if you notice your transactions are suffering, or if you’ve been taking far more time on administrative tasks than you’d like to be. A general guideline is to wait until you close 20-25 transactions a year before you seek the help of a transaction coordinator. By waiting, you’ll be more likely to keep the TC busy and you’ll be more financially equipped to pay them.
Here are some other questions you can ask yourself – if you answer yes to any of these, you should consider hiring a transaction coordinator:
- Do I spend over 50% of my time on admin? The majority of your time as an agent should be spent closing deals and having face-time with clients. If it’s not, you should consider hiring someone so you can have that time back.
- Have I overlooked important things in my transactions? If you took too long to catch errors or were missing signatures, that can be a serious problem for your real estate business. There have been agents who missed signatures and completely lost clients because the contract wasn’t binding (ie: “not worth the paper it was written on”).
- Have I missed deadlines? Meeting deadlines is a crucial part of the job. Whether you missed compliance deadlines or were late to submit an offer (resulting in your client losing to another bidder), it can affect your reputation and customer satisfaction.
- Do I adapt well to new technology? If you’d rather not have to learn another transaction management software (TMS), a transaction coordinator can be a great way to bypass the learning curve while still utilizing the power of technology.
- Do I stay up to date on compliance and real estate regulations? A transaction coordinator’s job is to know what the rules are and when they change in the real estate world. If you’ve been struggling to keep up, a TC can give you the boost you need.
What Does a Transaction Coordinator Do?
The role of a real estate transaction coordinator isn’t cut and dry. It varies state-by-state, depending on regulations, since many transaction coordinators are unlicensed. That said, these are some of the common duties that transaction coordinators fulfill:
- Preparing paperwork to initiate and proceed with a sale. This includes disclosures, listing agreements, presentations, market analyses, etc.
- Checking documents for signatures. Just when you think your eyes will cross due to that endless stack of paperwork, the TC is your second set of eyes, making sure nothing gets skipped over. TCs check listing agreements, closing docs, etc.
- Updating the MLS. Your transaction coordinator can list and organize the information into the multiple listing service and other real estate websites your team uses.
- Making appointments. They can set up showings and book appointments for you and your clients. More face time for you and less time finding out if 4 PM Tuesday works!
- Communicating with clients. Your transaction coordinator can clarify what’s on the MLS for clients, explain earnest money, and relate general real estate information.
- Updating client information. TCs can scan information and documents into the client database so all the information is up-to-date, expediting the closing process.
- Scheduling other important appointments. They can make sure title and escrow tasks go off without a hitch and schedule appraisals, inspections, and lending steps.
Specific Tasks Transaction Coordinators Do
Are the duties listed above not specific enough? We’ve prepared an example of specific tasks for a transaction coordinator, both on the buyer and seller side of the transaction.
Transaction Coordinator Tasks: Buyer Side
Here are some of the contract intake tasks a TC can do:
- Thoroughly check the purchase and sale agreement for signatures, addendums, etc.
- Make sure disclosures are attached and signed
- Obtain missing documents/signatures from all parties
- Upload documents into broker compliance files
- Get a copy of the preliminary title report and send it to the buyer and listing agent
- Add contingencies and deadlines to the calendar, setting up reminders for each
- Make sure all documents are complete
- Send executed purchase agreements to escrow and the buyer’s lender
- Send an introductory email to all parties with the deadline and contingency dates
- Confirm the earnest money deposit with the escrow company
- Obtain a copy of the EMD receipt to send to the broker for compliance
- Send a copy of the EMD receipt to the agent for their records
- Order a home warranty, if needed
During the inspection process, a TC can:
- Add inspection contingency dates to the calendar
- Schedule inspections (if needed)
- Confirm the date and time of the inspection with the buyers
- Confirm the date and time with the listing agent and seller (if needed)
- Add inspection reports to the agent’s digital file
- Get the final inspection contingency and send it to broker compliance
- Send final inspection addendums to escrow
- Track repair requests and gather receipts, and add both to the compliance file
- Email repair requests and receipts to the buyer
Transaction Coordinator Tasks: Seller Side
Here are some of the lender financing tasks a transaction coordinator can take care of:
- Add the financing contingency dates to the calendar
- Introduce themselves to the lender and request to be CC’d on emails
- Send and gather weekly updates to the agent to show the loan progression
- Confirm pre-approval of the buyer by providing a copy of the pre-approval letter
- Make sure the buyer applied for financing and the appraisal is ordered
- Email parties with an expected appraisal date
- Confirm that the appraisal came back at the expected value
- Email all parties once the appraisal is complete
- Monitor the underwriting process until loan commitment is received
- Monitor the loan approval process up to the contingency date
- Confirm loan approval and update the agent
- Make sure documents are sent to escrow
- Update the agent about the loan approval process at least once a week (minimum)
Finally, here are some specific escrow and closing tasks for a TC:
- Note the closing date on the calendar
- Make sure escrow got the final copies of the P&S Agreement and disclosures
- Ensure escrow got all the copies of changed addendums
- Confirm receipt of the buyer’s loan documents from the lender
- Make sure signing appointments have been made for both parties
- Send receipts to escrow for work orders
- Confirm that signing appointments have been completed and everything is on schedule
- Update parties that the closing is official
- Schedule the final walkthrough and key transfers to the buyer
- Send final closing documents to all relevant parties and files
Do I Need a Licensed Transaction Coordinator?
Now that you know how much value a transaction coordinator can add to your team, you may be wondering if you need a licensed TC. It may surprise you to discover that in many cases, you don’t need to hire someone with a license.
Many of the most tedious tasks that real estate agents deal with don’t need to be performed by a licensed transaction coordinator. In this section, we’ll take a deeper look at the tasks that unlicensed transaction coordinators can and can’t do.
What Unlicensed Transaction Coordinators Can’t Do
Let’s start with the “bad news.” Unlicensed transaction coordinators can’t legally:
- Telemarket or solicit new clients for you. They can’t call a potential client and ask if they want to buy or sell a property. Solicitation efforts must be made by licensed agents.
- Show property. They can’t provide access to a property with the intent of selling it, which means that they can’t even unlock the door to the property.
- Host an open house. Whether they’re virtual or in-person, your transaction coordinator can’t host an open house or participate in realtor activities.
- Be property managers. Any property manager who collects rent or accepts a deposit from a resident must be a licensed real estate agent.
- Provide additional information to your clients. If a client inquires about a specific home’s features, the TC can answer the question. If the client asks for a list of similar properties in the area, the transaction coordinator would defer to the agent.
- Choose what properties prospects can look at. That is the job of a licensed real estate agent alone, so a transaction coordinator would be unable to participate.
- Review contracts. During the review period, a transaction coordinator can’t explain the clauses to clients or advise them about which actions to take regarding their contract.
What Unlicensed Transaction Coordinators Can Do
We think that unlicensed transaction coordinators can do a lot more than what they can’t do – and the things they can’t do are probably things you don’t need them to do anyway. Here are some of the tasks that an unlicensed TC can perform:
- Set appointments. When you’re too busy to schedule or set appointments with your clients, they can make sure all your ducks are lined up in a neat little row. All you’ll have to do is show up.
- Field your calls. They can answer the phone when clients call and give preliminary information/confirmation about homes (how many rooms, price, etc.) For more in-depth questions that would require a real estate agent, they can notify you.
- Data input. A transaction coordinator can help add information into the MLS, upload documents to the broker, or take care of any other data input tasks you need.
- Arrange financing at the direction of the agent. With the express permission of their agent, a TC can call a loan company to arrange financing.
- Check over a contract and plan ahead. The transaction coordinator can inspect the contract to ensure that no signatures were missed, add deadlines to your calendar, and email all parties to notify them when paperwork or other steps need to be completed.
Where Can I Find a Transaction Coordinator?
Finding a transaction coordinator is easy. The trick is to find a good one. Here are some of the places people go for a transaction coordinator:
- Job websites. You could check out Indeed, Glassdoor, or another job search site if you’re looking for a full-time employee. A word of advice: be sure you have abundant financial resources and time if you go this route. The average cost of a full-time TC is upwards of $50,000 a year (direct and indirect costs) and the hiring process takes time.
- Freelance sites. You could go through Guru or another freelance site to find a transaction coordinator. Warning: carefully vet any freelancer you hire. Unfortunately, people are not always honest and it can cost you in customer satisfaction rates.
- Transaction coordinator services. We think this is a great option for busy real estate agents who want to start working with a coordinator now. The transaction coordinators are already vetted by the TC service, so it’s less risky than using a freelancer. The process is super quick and TC services don’t cost nearly as much as a full-time employee would.
If you ask us, TC services are the real winner here – but not all of them are created equal. The major flaws with these services include:
- Multiple fees. Though TC services are far less expensive than in-house transaction coordinators, they pile on the fees for agents. If you’d rather not be charged extra for dual-agency contracts or deals that fall through, there’s a better option.
- Available only during business hours. Top-performing agents know that real estate doesn’t stick to a 9-to-5 schedule. If you have a real estate emergency on a weekend or after hours, you’re out of luck with most services.
- Disenchanted employees. There’s a difference between knowing what you’re doing, and actually doing it. Some agents who use TC services complain that their TC doesn’t seem invested in the job and aren’t giving them the highest quality of work.
We have a solution…
Where Are the Best Transaction Coordinators?
The best transaction coordinators on the internet can be found at Close Concierge. Instead of hiring 1099 employees (like most TC services do), we hire our coordinators full-time and provide them with competitive pay, fantastic benefits, and more. We do this because we know they’ll put in the extra work if they feel like a valuable part of our team. Our coordinators are willing to work weekends and after-hours if needed to make sure your transactions go off without a hitch.
We know what you’re thinking: “Competitive pay and great benefits? Must be expensive, right?”
Not for our clients! We charge high-performing agents a flat fee of $1,000 a month for our services. This amount never changes, so you don’t have to take precious time from your schedule to calculate your bill. It’s a win-win!
Want to know more about how Close Concierge can save you time and money? Schedule a demo with us today.
Hi, I’m Sean and welcome to Close Concierge. I’m a licensed real estate agent in the state of IL (license #475202452). I’m also an active real estate investor and previously was CEO of a transaction coordination company, as well as a property manager. In total, I’ve been a party to more than 600 real estate transactions! I write on this website about once every week to answer some of the most common questions I come across on a day to day basis within real estate.