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You've heard it often with regards to real estate: "location, location, location." The truth is, "time is of the essence," which is also a standard clause in most real estate contracts, is a more appropriate slogan for the real estate business. Real estate transactions are loaded with deadlines: for inspections, disclosures, loan commitment and closing, to name several. When an agent has more than one transaction under way at a time, which is common, it is almost impossible for her to continue running her business and attend to transaction details. This is where the real estate transaction coordinator comes in. He manages each minute detail of each transaction, either for a single agent or an office full of agents. When a transaction progresses smoothly, it is because of the efforts and skills of the transaction coordinator.
A real estate transaction coordinator's salary depends upon a number of variables. In particular, the office in which she works, whether she is employed by the office or self-employed, on a salary, hourly or per-file pay scale. A transaction coordinator employed on a salary may make, according to Simply Hired, $37,000 a year, or between $19.74 and 28.42 an hour, according to CareerBuilder.com. CB Salary suggests that the average annual salary for a real estate transaction coordinator is $47,094. The coordinator that works on a per-file basis generally receives a bonus per closed file as well -- typically a certain percentage of the agent's commission. Both the per-file fee and the bonus are negotiable and vary widely. It is not at all unusual for the coordinator to receive $400 per closed file plus a percentage of the commission. Of course it is the more skilled and experienced real estate transaction coordinators that command the highest salaries.
Education requirements depend on the employer. Some request a bachelor’s degree in such areas as business and economics and those coordinators command higher salaries. Others require heavy experience with real estate, escrow or title companies. Contract knowledge is vital for this position and the applicant should be well-versed on her state's or region's real estate contracts. Some real estate associations, such as the California Association of Realtors, offer courses, such as its fundamentals of transaction coordination course, to further educate the transaction coordinator. Courses like this look good on a resume and show a potential employer that you are serious about your career.
A real estate transaction coordinator wears many hats, depending on who he works for. If he is strictly an escrow coordinator his duties are limited to those that occur after the contracts are signed. The more duties required, the more money the transaction coordinator typically makes. Some of these include, making sure the clients and the agents meet contract deadlines for issues such as inspections, disclosures and various reports. Other transaction coordinators are more full-service, and work with the agent from the moment she goes on a listing appointment. These duties may include binding the listing presentation, loading the listing into the Multiple Listing Service database, obtaining the seller's signatures on various forms and ordering yard signs and flyer boxes.
Highly skilled employees have more negotiating power when it comes to salaries. The real estate transaction coordinator, above all, requires exceptional organizational skills. Especially when working with several agents, she is tracking many files at once. Being able to stay organized and focused is crucial for this position. Second in importance is the ability to communicate and work well with a broad range of individuals. On any given day she may communicate with the agents' clients, potential clients, title and escrow agents, other real estate agents and lenders. The knowledge of certain software products, such as Microsoft Excel, EZ Coordinator and Top Producer is important. Knowledge of how to use the MLS database is helpful as is a familiarity with bank and lending institution short sale and foreclosure programs, such as Bank of America's "Equator." A working knowledge of real estate transaction requirements of federal government agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development is generally required.
Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.