A very common question that is asked in the real estate industry is “What is a Transaction Coordinator”?
Well, a transaction coordinator provides support to real estate agents and their clients for either selling or buying throughout the entire real estate property transfer process. They guide each purchase or sale for the real estate agent and manage legal contracts valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars in property.
The duties of a transaction coordinator also fall into other job titles which are the Administrative Assistant, Closing Coordinator, Project Manager or Transaction Manager and they are not always the same. Let’s take a look at each one.
The Administrative Assistant
As long as there have been real estate brokerages, there have been admins and assistants that manage the real estate office. In the days before the independent contractor became all the rage, admins were paid as employees that included benefits (401k, paid time off, insurance, etc). Still today, many offices choose to hire salaried employees rather than independent contractors for their transaction management.
Administrators handle all regular administrative duties such as answering phones, keeping and managing files, scheduling appointments, making copies, etc. Then, at some point in time their job expanded to include assisting the agents in anything and everything they needed. Things like ordering of all of their home services and inspections, putting together marketing material, and sometimes transaction duties – which include managing the transactions from start to close. Some admins are licensed in real estate which adds value to the brokerage and which they tend to pay higher salaries for their experience. These professionals tend to handle everything for the office while leaving the real estate agent to handle client negotiations and advice. They are essentially salaried employees who handle everything a transaction coordinator does plus more.
A closing coordinator is similar to a transaction coordinator, but more specific to managing the process of only the contract to close. They usually do not help with any marketing, admin duties, or any pre-contract work such as listing agreements, MLS entry, scheduling of photographers, stagers, etc. Sometimes they are known as Contract to Close Coordinators and often include most of what a transaction coordinator job description includes.
Project Manager or Transaction Manager
These two job titles are pretty similar as well. The Project Manager or Transaction Manager essentially MANAGES the entire process of a real estate sale. Much like Closing Coordinators, they make certain that all the documents are correct, without error, are fully enforceable, and meet compliance requirements of the real estate laws of the federal and state governments. This role is less of an admin role, and more of a manager role that works closely with their agents. Oftentimes these two roles offer other services (like listing services) and usually charge a seperate fee for anything outside the purchase contract management.
Finally, What is the Transaction Coordinator?
Much like the Transaction Managers and Closing Coordinators, the Transaction Coordinator helps the agent and their clients breeze through the contingency removals, escrow, and the closing process. If any issues come up with the buyer/seller such as incorrect paperwork, your transaction coordinator can help you through it. If agents have any questions throughout the sale, they are also your go-to point of contact. They are the project manager of the sale process for the agent and their clients.
The transaction coordinator manages all of the necessary paperwork for the transaction to take place. Like the Transaction manager and Closing Coordinator, the Transaction Coordinator assures that all of the state and federal required documents that are necessary to complete a legal real estate transaction are adhered to. They guide the agent through contract deadlines as the process continues to close. The transaction coordinator is NOT an administrative assistant who does most everything, but a Project Manager or Transaction Manager who leads the process from beginning to end and reminds the agent of their deadlines while handling the signing, filing, and delivery of documents related to the file.
How exactly does the transaction coordinator work with the agent?
Contract to Close:
- Keeps an eye on the transactions – initial contact to the finalization of the agreement
- Manages the data entry of client information and transaction history into the management system used
- Helps keep the agent updated on deadlines and necessary documents
- Provides updates from the title and escrow, appraisal, and the mortgage lender.
- Prepares materials such as seller’s disclosures, amendments & addendums.
- Ensures all correct signatures have been obtained for the contract, disclosures, and all necessary documentation.
- Provides and submits all documentation to the office brokers system regarding file compliance
- Collects repair receipts for closing/escrow
- Maintains all communication between clients, agents, loan officers, underwriters, title officers, and escrow.
- Ensures all the client information has been correctly placed in the client database system
- Prepares listing agreements and a property’s comparative market analysis.
- Compiles and sends Pre-listing presentations and addendums.
- Coordinates all the necessary aspects of the property, such as hiring the photographer, scheduling cleaning and staging as needed, adding photos to the MLS listing, entering the data to the listing in the MLS system, and orders for signage.
- Updates all listing details as needed.
In close, to make it as a transaction coordinator you should have relevant or licensed experience in the real estate industry, pay attention to details, like to be routine oriented and have a passionate commitment. Once hired, the coordinator will free up the agent’s time for tasks like marketing, networking, and taking care of their clients. Think of the agent as being the sales & marketing department and the transaction coordinator as the compliance and project management department. Whether the professional is called a Transaction Manager, Project Manager or Coordinator they are the engine managing the project (the sale) and making sure all of the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted so that the agent has more time to make more sales and grow their business.