• Brittany Ryan

Transaction Coordinator Checklist: Create Your Closing Workflow in 3 Easy Steps (+ Free Templates)

Ask any real estate agent to tell you the number one most important goal in growing their business and you'll likely hear any one of the following answers:

✔ Nurture a healthy pipeline

✔ Boost conversions and commissions

✔ Maximize repeat business

✔ Generate more referrals

Nothing new here. But what if we told you that something as backend-oriented and technical as a transaction coordinator checklist was actually critical to unlocking all of the above?

It’s not as crazy as it sounds.

At Preclose, we’re fortunate to work with some of the best real estate and transaction coordination teams in North America and we’ve found that the difference between a transaction management process that generates recurring revenue and one that falls flat with customers is all in the way you run your transaction coordination process starting with your TC checklist.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to create the perfect TC checklist from A to Z.

“I’m able to close anywhere from 30-60 files per month, or 30 per transaction coordinator because I’ve got the systems, the models and the consistency”

— Tammi Deinlein, Co-owner, Real Pro Leverage

We are going to walk you through creating a checklist, this is everything you need to know to get started:

  • What is a Transaction Coordinator Checklist?

  • Exceptional TC Checklists vs. Average TC Checklists: Why Does it Matter?

  • How to Create a Transaction Coordinator Checklist in 3 Steps

  • Transaction Coordinator Checklist Template - Pre-listing to Under Contract

  • Transaction Coordinator Checklist Template - Contract to Close

  • Now You’re Ready to Create Your Own TC Checklist

What is a Transaction Coordinator Checklist?

Simply put, a transaction coordinator (TC) checklist tells your TC exactly what to do step-by-step after receiving a file.

Think of your TC checklist as not just a checklist but a system, one that reverse engineers the entire real estate transaction process to outline the specific tasks, documents and deadlines for all parties to stay on top of in order to successfully close the transaction.

However, it’s important to note that a buyer’s TC checklist will be different from a seller’s (a.k.a. ‘listing’) checklist. Similarly, each real estate team or franchise will have its own unique approach to transaction management. Your TC checklist should be adapted to the specific steps, stages, and needs of your ideal customer and process.

“We create separate checklists for each brokerage. So, when we get new Century 21 agents, we know there’s a specific checklist that’s already there for them. Whenever I onboard a new TC who’s working with one of those agents, that checklist is already created for them so we don’t have to try to figure it out,” says Melisa Vinke, owner of Elite Closing Solutions.

Today’s real estate market is intensely competitive. Transaction managers like Melisa know how crucial it is to customize every item on your TC checklist to create (and then scale) a standout experience for real estate customers.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? Don’t worry, we’re here to help make it easy. Let’s dive in!

Exceptional TC Checklists vs. Average TC Checklists: Why Does it Matter?

“When I’m speaking to coordinators or my agents, I explain to them, ‘We have a system that we have invested in that helps us do a better job so nothing gets missed.’”

Melisa has been in the real estate industry since 2007. Over the years, she’s definitely accumulated some airtight templates, resources and of course, checklists. But with a team of 20 transaction coordinators who all require training and support, making sure every box gets ticked can be a challenge.

Even for TCs who, like Melisa, have been in the business for years, having the right checklist in front of you is key to staying on track when things get busy. And Melisa’s team is definitely busy.

Transaction Coordinators at Elite Closing Solutions have been known to close up to 70 files per month.

To keep up with it all, Melisa uses Preclose to instantly give each TC on her team access to every checklist and email template, all in one simple dashboard.

“You can’t mess up. You just can’t. And if you mess up it’s because you’re not following Preclose. End of story.”

By keeping every checklist and template in one central platform, Melisa’s TCs also receive way fewer check-in calls from agents. Instead of picking up the phone, Melisa’s agents simply check the transaction coordination timeline and can see at a glance what the next milestone is and when to expect the next email from their TC.

Of course, real estate transactions are complex and regardless of whether you’re using a mobile-optimized customer experience platform or a simple Excel spreadsheet, the strength of your TC checklist depends on how well it supports your customers.

Because the best real estate brokerages don’t just create a checklist, they create a streamlined system for superior client experience.

And in this day and age, that matters.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ latest Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey, 60% of buyers get their down payment directly from their savings. The survey also found that 38% percent of buyers cited using the proceeds from the sale of their primary residence, which was the next most commonly reported way of securing a downpayment.

Buying or selling a property is a big deal.

Today’s top-performing team real estate teams understand this. They leverage transaction deadlines, milestones and document management into repeat business and referrals simply by getting everyone on the same page about each item on their TC checklist.

From there, it’s all about treating the process as one seamless conversation between a group of trusted parties (rather than a painful but necessary exercise in uphill paper-pushing).

With a setup like that, everyone feels better — which also means they tend to close faster.

Regardless of what state you’re in, the type of brokerage you’re working with, or part of the process you’re tracking, every TC checklist should account for these three factors:

  1. Deadline Management: Make sure you don't miss any mission-critical deadlines.

  2. Client Engagement: Keep customers engaged and informed with vital transaction updates and relevant email templates at each key stage of the process.

  3. Task Management: Know who is responsible for what and when. Visible accountability will make it clear who owns what in the process.

How to Create a Transaction Coordinator Checklist in 3 Steps

Step 1: Identify what side of the transaction you’re on

Nothing will give you greater anxiety than wondering if you’ve sent the wrong thing at the wrong time or (gasp!) missed a crucial deadline. Before you can create a perfectly-ordered checklist covering all of the stages, dates, and documents required from contract to close, you need to specify the type of transactions you manage and coordinate.

  • If you are representing the seller, you’ll probably need to focus on pre-listing to close.

  • If your client is the buyer, you’ll need a checklist that kicks in once the house goes under contract.

  • You also need to know your specific role in each part of each type of transaction.

If this seems like a lot, remember, you only have to draft your transaction coordinator checklist once. After this, you’ll have a business asset you can use and reuse for all subsequent transactions.

Step 2: Outline the stages of your transaction process

This next step is critical. Once you identify the type of real estate transactions you’ll cover, you then need to map out the various stages of the transaction.

For example, if you are managing Listings, you'll want to identify if any of these stages apply to your process:

  • Pre-listing appointment Prep

  • Pre-listing Home Inspection

  • Collect Information from Seller, including HOA info

  • Listing Agreement Signatures

  • Install Signage

  • Schedule photos

  • MLS Input

  • Digital Marketing Campaign

  • Offline Marketing Campaign

If you are managing the Contract to Close process, you'll want to identify if any of these stages apply to your real estate closing process:

  • Introductory Emails

  • Earnest Money Deposit Tracking

  • Mortgage

  • Appraisal Ordering

  • Closing

  • Home Inspection

  • Wood Destroying Insect Inspection

  • Survey

  • Home Insurance

  • Flood Insurance

  • Home Warranty

  • HOA

  • Repairs

  • Seller Move Out

  • Septic Inspection

  • Municipality Inspection

  • Radon Inspection

  • Well Inspection

  • Other Inspections

  • Utility Connection

  • Closing Emails

  • Compliance

It’s also important to note that depending on your location and local regulations, you may need to customize your stages for your market or use different terminology.

If you are building a template from scratch, we recommend you interview an agent or broker to ask them about the stages they go through to see a deal to completion. Transaction coordinators do not often receive great training tools and expected to know what needs to get done. Take the time to be thorough and collect as much information as needed to feel comfortable with the stages.

While it might seem like a heavy undertaking the first time you do this, rest assured that mapping out and customizing these stages allows your agents and TCs to close transactions faster and share clear updates with clients.

Step 3: List the tasks and timing for each stage

Next, write down all the tasks that must happen before, during, and after each stage. Once that’s done, write down the dates and/or time period needed to complete each.

You should also list every document, deadline, communication requirement, and stakeholder required for each task.

Here’s an example of tasks you may need to complete during the pre-closing stage:

  • Order and schedule all required inspections

  • Send Buyers Inspection Time email

  • Receive, review, and share inspection reports

  • Receive and account for all repairs, invoices, and documentation

  • Submit all inspection documentation to the compliance unit of the brokerage

Once you've identified all the stages and tasks, add a deadline.

Here's an example of these same tasks with a deadline and a stage associated:

  • Home Inspection: Order and schedule all required inspections - Due 10 days before Home Inspection deadline

  • Introductory Email: Send Buyers Inspection Time email - Due 10 Days before Home Inspection

  • Home Inspection: Receive, review, and share inspection reports - Due 1 day before Home Inspection deadline

  • Repairs: Receive and account for all repairs, invoices, and documentation - Due 5 days after Home Inspection deadline

  • Compliance: Submit all inspection documentation to the compliance unit of the brokerage - Due 1 day after Closing Date

Here are 3 templates with Stages, Tasks, and Deadlines for you to begin with. Keep in mind, you'll want to adopt them and make them your own.

Example Real Estate Listing Management Template

Example Real Estate Contract to Close Template - click Buyer side tab

Example Real Estate Contract to Close Template - click Seller side tab

Now You’re Ready to Create Your Own TC Checklist

You now have all of the tools you need to create your stellar checklist, but remember, the first checklist is always the hardest and every real estate business is unique.

Before you copy/paste someone else’s checklist, take some time to think about what makes the most sense for your business, and don’t be afraid to make lots of edits.

Once you have a transaction coordinator checklist you love, upload it to your client experience platform where your entire team can access it in a matter of clicks.

In PrecloseGO!, you can easily build custom plans and transaction coordinator checklists with set due dates that you can manually change as needed. You can launch your TC checklist in a single click, automatically send tasks via email on the days they are due and/or scheduled and set automatic email reminders if a task is not marked complete.

TC Pro Tip: To keep your transaction coordinator checklist relevant over time, be sure to adjust and fine tune your checklist based on any new tasks you come across as you close more files!

Ready to Streamline Your TC Process?

If you’re ready to give your customers and team members something to brag about, start by taking control of the transaction coordination process.

Preclose GO! provides real estate teams and transaction coordinators with a single centralized platform for a seamless closing experience. Try Preclose GO! totally free and find out how thousands of real estate agents and TCs keep their customers happy from contract to close.