Coordinating transactions

A prudent licensee knows the utmost importance of routinely tracking their activities, as well as timely clearing conditions related to listing and sales agreements. These administrative tasks mitigate the risk that a licensee might overlook documents or scheduled events in the course of managing negotiations and transactions.

In the interest of streamlining their operation, a licensee may hire a transaction coordinator (TC).

TC assists an 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), and is employed to assist a seller’s agent or a buyer’s agent. The employing broker pays their 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. A TC does not 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.

Checking it twice

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]

The introductory portion of the seller’s agent transaction coordination sheet identifies the subject property and participants in its sale. These facts set out:

  • information on the subject property, including:
    • property address;
    • occupancy status;
    • property type; and
    • status of any pending foreclosure activity
  • the listed price;
  • the percentage or fixed fee negotiated;
  • the name of the buyer’s agent and contact information;
  • the contact information for the escrow facilitating the closing of a sales transaction; and
  • the TC’s identity and contact information. [See RPI Form 521]

The majority of the form is a detailed columnar itemization of all forms, documents, disclosures and activities to be considered for inclusion in the transaction — including performance deadlines for delivery of checked items.


The TC or agent uses the Check Items Needed column screened at the left of the table to select the documents and activities on the checklist that require tracking for the marketing and sale of the subject property.

The right hand column on the table chronologically covers the listing, marketing and closing activities to be tracked. These stages of activity are categorized as:

The Listing Taken stage references several forms and activities, including:

  • the Seller’s Listing Agreement — Exclusive Right to Sell, Exchange or Option entered into [See RPI Form 102];
  • the mandatory Agency Law Disclosure delivered to the seller at the time of the listing [See RPI Form 305];
  • Listing Package Cost Sheet prepared, handed to and reviewed with the seller to disclose the itemized costs the seller will likely incur during the marketing and sale of the property [See RPI Form 107];
  • a marketing and advertising campaign to locate a buyer for the listed property;
  • the property photographs;
  • a promotional flyer designed, printed and delivered to the property;
  • “For Sale” sign ordered and placed on the property;
  • Good Faith Estimate of Seller’s Net Proceeds prepared and handed to the seller estimating the net proceeds the seller is likely to receive on a sale of the property at the listed price [See RPI Form 310]; and
  • the property listing and MLS profile sheet posted on the MLS.

Editor’s note — This portion of the form includes additional blank rows for the inclusion of extra activities or documents called for by the terms and conditions of the purchase agreement.

The Marketing/Listing Package stage references several marketing forms and activities, including:

  • the mandatory Condition of Property Disclosure — Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) prepared by the seller and the seller’s agent and delivered to the buyer on the commencement of negotiations, to provide the buyer with information on known or suspected property defects [See RPI Form 304];
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure prepared and delivered to the buyer when the subject property was built before 1978, to notify the buyer whether lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards are known by the seller to be present on the property [See RPI Form 313];
  • a property profile obtained from a title company;
  • Home Inspection Report ordered authorizing a home inspector to prepare a home inspection report for disclosing property conditions to the buyer [See RPI Form 130]; and
  • Work Authorization obtained from the seller to grant the agent the authority to contract for repairs, maintenance or improvements to the property to prepare it for sale. [See RPI Form 108]

The Property Sold stage references several sales forms and activities, including:

  • the Purchase Agreement used to document the price, terms and conditions of the sale [See RPI Form 150-159];
  • any Counteroffer(s) used when the seller rejects the original purchase offer [See RPI Form 180];
  • disclosures not contained in the boiler-plate purchase agreement, such as the existence of:
    • an airport influence area;
    • the sex offender registry;
    • supplemental tax bills; and
    • smoke detectors;
  • the Escrow Instructions directing escrow to prepare documents and gather the necessary instruments from the buyer and seller for their performance under the purchase agreement [See RPI Form 401];
  • the Initial and Final Walk-Through Inspections conducted to prepare the buyer’s request for the seller to correct defects noted in a home inspection report, and ensure the requested repairs have been completed [See RPI Form 296 and 270];
  • the Closing Statement used to provide the seller with an accounting of the actual costs incurred in the transaction [See RPI Form 402]; and
  • Transmittal Stack Sheet on Sale handed to the employing broker to confirm all necessary transaction documents are contained in the stack. [See RPI Form 523-1]

In the Outside Reports/Docs date columns (next to the screened column), space is provided for:

  • the date the documents or activities were ordered or requested from third parties; and
  • the date the documents were received or the actions performed by the third parties.


In the Internal Reports/Docs column, space is provided for:

  • the date the document or report was sent to the recipient by the TC for performance of an action, such as signing and returning it; and
  • the date the document or report was received as returned to the TC.


The final section of the seller’s agent transaction coordination sheet is a Special Handling Checklist. This section allows the agent to select and enter additional items in the table on the coordination sheet as needed under the terms and conditions of the transaction.

Such items include:

  • Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement to inform clients about relationships or positions held by the broker, their agents or family members which may appear to be in conflict with the agency duties owed to the seller [See RPI Form 527];
  • when cancelling escrow, a Cancellation of Purchase Agreement to release the transaction participants from all claims and obligations arising out of the cancelled purchase or exchange agreement [See RPI Form 181]; and
  • Power of Attorney used to grant specific powers to the person authorized to act as the seller’s attorney-in-fact. [See RPI Form 447]

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 introductory portion of this sheet also includes:

  • information on the property selected for acquisition;
  • the seller’s name and contact information;
  • the contact information of the seller’s agent and broker;
  • information identifying the TC; and
  • performance deadlines for due diligence and contingency removals. [See RPI Form 521-1]

The buyer’s agent checklist is arranged in the same columnar table of forms and activities as the seller’s agent checklist — this time for the diligent representation of the buyer. Here, the right hand column on the table entitled Itemized Purchase and Closing Activities covers:


The Pre-Offer Property Analysis references several purchase forms and activities, including:

  • an MLS printout of the suitable property the agent locates for the buyer;
  • fliers and promotional materials received from the seller’s agent concerning the property;
  • Comparable Market Analysis for Setting Values used to establish the price and terms the buyer will offer to acquire the property based on recent prices for comparable properties [See RPI Form 318];
  • the property profile from a title company; and
  • copies of documents and conditions, covenants and restrictions (CC&Rs) for any homeowners’ association (HOA) involved with the property.

Editor’s note — The table of itemized activities includes extra blank rows for additional activities or documents called for by the terms and conditions of the purchase agreement.

Many of the forms and activities contained in the Property Acquisition section mirror those of the Property Sold section of the seller’s agent coordination sheet. Forms and activities unique to the buyer’s agent coordination sheet include:

  • obtaining the buyer’s deposit check;
  • the buyer’s receipt of the Residential Environmental Hazards Disclosure booklet [See RPI Form 316 and 316-1]; and
  • obtaining a termite clearance for the property.

The final section of the buyer’s agent transaction coordination sheet is a Special Handling Checklist. This section allows for the agent or TC to select and enter additional items in the table on the coordination sheet as called for by the terms and conditions of the purchase agreement.

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.

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. 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.

This article was originally posted October 2017, and has been updated.