Read this if you want to know: What does a real estate transaction coordinator (TC) do?
As a real estate agent, ever feel overwhelmed by all the transaction legal paperwork?
Very simply, a real estate TC saves you and your clients’ lots of time. No more closing of escrow delays caused by missing or lost documents.
As you know, real estate transactions are filled with the complex legal paperwork required by local, state, and federal laws. Hiring someone with organizational and people skills, with a knack for record-keeping becomes essential for smooth real estate transactions.
Hiring an Escrow Company May Not be Enough
Too many real estate agents let their buyers hire an escrow company and wait for the transaction to close and collect their commission. That may not be so simple.
Let’s explore the duties of an escrow company
First of all, when an escrow opens the law basically only requires the escrow company to “babysit” the transaction. That means waiting for all of the documents and the required duties of the parties. It does not mean actively seeking required documents or pushing parties to fulfill their contractual obligations.
You might be surprised by how many escrows fail to close.
Too often, deadlines pass with document filings or performances not met. Responsibilities of the buyer (mortgage application requirements), the seller (providing required documents), the agent (coordinating buyer’s inspection), and the lender (approving the mortgage on time) don’t occur by their deadlines.
Through no fault of the escrow company, deadlines come and go. The transaction fails to close and you don’t receive your commission.
To better appreciate the professionalism which the real estate transaction industry requires, read more below.
The Benefits of a Real Estate Transaction Coordinator
Escrow companies usually work for the seller. Legally required to only babysit the escrow process. Documents may go missing or not filed on time. Sellers, buyers, and lenders not performing by deadlines or not at all.
The most important benefits of hiring a real estate Transaction Coordinator (TC) include:
Transaction Coordinators Save You Time
Realtor Magazine published an informative article describing how a “Transaction Coordinator Helps”. Basically, a TC aids agents with meeting deadlines in addition to making time for business development.
The administrative work performed by TC’s saves real estate agents time to find prospects and work with clients.
In addition, a TC can be essential in case of disagreements or lawsuits. As a record-keeping custodian, a TC provides all of the documents to deny or prove lawsuit claims.
Duties and Responsibilities
A TC acts as an in-between for real estate agents, buyers, sellers, lenders, and escrow companies.
Here’s a list of the most important duties performed by a TC:
- Ensuring all required signatures and initials appear on the contract.
- Verifying all necessary contract addenda inclusion.
- Filling out commission disbursement forms.
- Opening files with escrow and/or title companies.
- Opening and updating a title search file.
- Sending contract copies to the buyer, seller, the other agent, and lender.
- Creating a transaction contact information list of all parties.
- Making a web-based transaction management file agents and clients access.
- Uploading documents for shared viewing.
- Ensuring every party receive the necessary paperwork.
- Requesting a HUD-1 estimation statement for agents review.
- Following up with escrow and/or title companies on closing day.
- Sending reminders for lockbox removal and obtaining sellers’ forwarding address.
- Verifying MLS change of status as “sold” by closing.
However, these duties vary depending upon the contract conditions between the real estate agent and the transaction coordination company.
Example of Typical TC Services
An example of a typical TC’s services looks like this:
When the TC receives a copy of a signed purchase agreement from an agent, the escrow file opens. The file includes all of the contact information for the key players (agents, buyer, seller, lender, etc.).
The TC then coordinates with the escrow company for the pickup and deposit of the initial deposit funds. Finally, the TC sends the agent a list of all disclosures required by law.
The TC is responsible for making timelines for deadlines to meet all important events (inspections, loan deadlines, contingency removals, etc.). Typically, the TC sends the agent an email days before a deadline reminding him/her of it.
Depending on contract terms with the TC, additional duties may include scheduling the home inspection for a buyer or ordering a natural hazard disclosure statement for the seller.
TC’s maintain files ensuring required disclosures completion and sending them to the agent to review and approval by the client.
The TC verifies every returned document contains the required signatures and initials in the right places. If documents are missing, the TC contacts the agent (or essential parties) to make sure the documents will be sent.
Certification of Real Estate Transaction Coordinators
CAR defines a “Transaction Coordinator” as a person assisting agents and brokers with processing real estate files. The coordinator gathers all necessary information, paperwork, and follows up with contractual requirements. In essence, the coordinator puts together the final real estate transaction file.
Certification by CAR for licensed real estate professionals as transaction coordinators requires attendance for their Fundamentals of Transaction Coordination course. In addition, a Communications Workshop regarding how to communicate with real estate agents, lenders, and escrow officers. Finally, they must pass an examination for each course.
CAR also certifies non-licensed real estate professionals by requiring attending and passing the above-mentioned courses. Also, they must take an online course called “Dos and Don’ts of Real Estate Law for Non-Licensee” and one course from the following electives:
- California Residential Purchase Agreement and Forms
- Risk Management
- Transaction Coordination 2 – Beyond the Contract
This article answered the question: What does a real estate transaction coordinator (TC) do?
A real estate TC saves you and your clients a lot of time. Ensuring all required documentation signed, initialed, and filed. Making sure all parties to the purchase contract meet their requirements. They work until the escrow successfully closes.
A real estate TC needs these skills:
- First, the TC needs to possess strong administrative, clerical, and people skills.
- Likewise, possess a complete understanding of the workings of the real estate industry.
- Finally, the TC should be a Certified CTC by the California Association of Realtors®.
Therefore, a TC helps you with gathering and organizing necessary transaction documents. In addition, to coordinate with the other agent, lenders, inspectors, title insurance, and the escrow officer towards a successful closing.
Hiring a TC saves you time in order to do what you do best to make money.
Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger
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Transaction Monster – Real Estate Transaction Coordinating Company