In the interest of streamlining their operation, an agent or broker hires a transaction coordinator (TC). The TC assists the agent or broker in processing documents, agreements and disclosures regarding the marketing and sale or acquisition of a parcel of real estate.

A TC may or may not be licensed by the California Department of Real Estate (DRE). Further, they may be employed to assist either a seller’s agent or a buyer’s agent. The employing broker pays the TC’s fee, either from the broker’s or agent’s share of fees earned on the transaction.

The TC monitors each stage of a transaction and processes the administrative tasks involved.

However, a TC does not directly interact with clients and principals in explanations or negotiations — rather, they act only as administrative assistants with no fiduciary duties owed to the client. Their job is to prepare, deliver and receive items related to an employment or sales transaction arranged or negotiated by the agent —functions entirely independent from the licensed representation of the client.

Editor’s note — When the member of a team in charge of coordinating the transaction is licensed by the DRE, they may engage in licensed activity such as negotiating on behalf of transaction participants.

When managing an agent’s file, the TC handles critical administrative tasks such as:

  • receiving and verifying all documents and addenda are signed or initialed by all necessary transaction participants;
  • confirming agreement addenda and property disclosures are referenced in the purchase agreement and, when necessary, in escrow instructions;
  • delivering copies of relevant transactional documents to other transaction agents as well as the buyer, seller and lender;
  • confirming broker fee arrangements and disbursement instructions;
  • coordinating activities between the title company, escrow, appraiser, lender or other third-party service providers;
  • obtaining copies of the preliminary title search report and updates;
  • maintaining client contact information, property condition statements and property photos;
  • ensuring records are maintained as required by the agent’s employing broker;
  • sending performance deadline reminders and periodically updating participants on the status of the transaction;
  • following up as calendared with the escrow company, lender or other agents to the transaction;
  • when working for a seller’s agent, entering and updating the status of the listing on the multiple listing service (MLS) and sending notices to remove the lock box and sales sign; and
  • disbursing and replenishing FARM flyers on the agent’s behalf.

An agent or TC uses a transaction coordination sheet to organize and track the agent’s activities on behalf of a client to ensure:

  • the employment and transaction proceeds as anticipated;
  • performance deadlines are met; and
  • activities are noted and documents are gathered and maintained. [See RPI Forms 521 and 521-1]

Simply put, the transaction coordination sheet is a checklist of documents and deadlines necessary for the agent and TC to build a complete file for the broker — a step-by-step guide of tasks to consider for marketing a property and closing a transaction.

However, a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent will use different versions of this sheet — each tailored to the specific needs of each agent’s marketing and transactions. [See RPI Forms 521 and 521-1]

Seller’s agent transaction coordination sheet

A seller’s agent and their TC use the Transaction Coordination Sheet (Seller’s Agent) – Property Listing Through Expiration or Close of Escrow (COE) published by RPI (Realty Publications, Inc.)  to identify employment and transaction tasks and documents they need to complete prior to the dates scheduled for performance. [See RPI Form 521]

This sheet tracks all documentation and activities related to the transaction from the moment an agency relationship is created — the listing — through the expiration of the listing or the close of escrow on a sale. [See RPI Form 102]

Buyer’s agent transaction coordination sheet 

A buyer’s agent or their transaction coordinator will use the Transaction Coordination Sheet (Buyer’s Agent) – Prospective Purchase Through Close of Escrow (COE) published by RPI to identify transaction tasks they need to complete, documents they need to gather and performance deadlines they need to establish. [See RPI Form 521-1]

Similar to the seller’s agent form, the buyer’s agent coordination sheet tracks all documentation and activities related to the transaction from the buyer’s listing through the expiration of that listing or close of a purchase escrow. [See RPI Form 103]

The transaction from start to finish

Whether or not an agent enlists the aid of a TC, the transaction coordination sheets help navigate the client’s transaction from start to finish – the complete lifecycle of a transaction.

When filling out the coordination sheets, the agent or TC gathers all associated transaction documents into one stack for easy review and verification. From there, it’s a simple act to confirm all activities have occurred and contingencies have been timely met.

The use of a transaction coordination sheet allows the agent and TC to assure the client meets their obligations. The sheet enables the agent to periodically give their client regular status updates based on this checklist, communications which are critical to fostering the trust of the client. The resulting transparency keeps all participants on the same page — and demonstrates the agent’s high level of organization and professionalism.

Editor’s note — Some agents and TCs also use software programs created to help manage real estate transaction files, such as EZ Coordinator or DocuSign. These tools allow a TC to store or transmit electronic documents and maintain contact with transaction participants.

Visit our Form of the week: Transaction Coordination Sheets for the Seller’s and Buyer’s Agent — RPI Forms 521 and 521-1 page for more information.

This article was originally posted [January, 2013 of Brokerage Reminder: Transaction coordination sheets – your checklist to success], and has been updated.