Why You Should Use a Transaction Coordinator
Every real-estate transaction is unique. Depending on when the home was built, where it’s located, or who is buying the home, there can be a meaningful difference in the type of contracts, forms, and disclosures needed in order to meet any state or federal disclosure obligations. Whether you decide to use a real estate agent to sell your home or decide to list it for-sale-by-owner, it can be quite daunting to know how best to navigate all of the technical details of a real-estate transaction.
Over the last few years, there has been a growing trend for agents and sellers doing it themselves to use a transaction coordinator to ensure all of the paperwork is done successfully. A good transaction coordinator, which is a role similar to a paralegal, helps to create the roadmap for how to successfully get from the beginning of a transaction until the buyers have the keys in their hands and the sellers (and agents) have a check in their bank accounts.
One big reason there has been an increase in the number of transactions involving a transaction coordinator is that usually the type of people who get into real estate in a sales role, like a broker or an agent, either don’t enjoy managing the administrative side of a transaction or it just isn’t a strong skillset for the agent. Plus, if an agent is good with people and sales, taking the approximately 20 hours of paperwork needed to close a sale and being able to use that time to find more clients or help finicky buyers find the right home should result in more sales for the agent and more paperwork to hand off to a transaction coordinator (TC). Most TCs are somewhat limited in how extensive they can engage with clients or help with certain forms or contracts since they are not licensed and are not legally able to. This is really important for brokers to keep an eye on.
One transaction coordinator service that is really interesting is a company based in Los Angeles called Offer To Close. One key difference between them and most brokerages’ TCs or independent transaction coordinators is that their TCs are also licensed as real estate agents. That allows them to offer a much wider range of services than the typical transaction coordinator. Unlike other TCs, their team is qualified and has experience putting together buyer offers, comparative market analysis or CMAs, can enter information into your local MLS, can talk with your clients, write up any requests for repairs, or counter-offers. They can also do all of the same things a typical TC would do, like open escrow; review all paperwork to ensure all the correct contracts, forms, and disclosures have been completed; send out timelines; and follow-up as key dates and deadlines are approaching. Basically, they do it all from offer to close.