Questions About Real Estate? Ask Phyllis!

What is a Transaction Coordinator?

Dear Phyllis,
I have been following your real estate column for years. And, as a local homeowner, I am relatively savvy regarding real estate. I co-signed for my son to purchase a townhome. It was very well-priced and there were a few other offers. There was a delay in the request being written and another delay when the seller issued a counteroffer to all the buyers.

His Realtor told us that it would be put in DocuSign and for us to look out for it as we had a deadline to respond. This was at 4 p.m. I typically go to bed by 9 p.m. but stayed awake until 10 p.m. but still no email. The following morning, I felt sure it would be there but it didn’t turn up until 10 a.m. Although my son’s offer was accepted, I was miffed with his Realtor for taking so long. Is it typical for it to take so long to expedite necessary paperwork?

Dear Peggy,
I think I know exactly what happened and I find this situation frustrating as well. Your son’s Realtor was likely using a Transaction Coordinator (TC).

What is a Transaction Coordinator? They provide administrative support to Realtors from purchase agreement to closing. They sometimes work in an office with real estate agents keeping the office’s working hours. In other instances, they work remotely. Likely your real estate agent was waiting for his TC to put the counteroffer in DocuSign. Typically, transaction coordinators work for many agents simultaneously. It seems that in your circumstance they left the office before getting your counteroffer in DocuSign.

Time can be the worst enemy for home buyers because, at any moment, other offers can arrive. Note that your son’s agent could have put the counter in DocuSign in about five to 10 minutes. Not too long ago, we had a listing where the buyer’s agent did the same thing. By the time the Transaction Coordinator got the counter in DocuSign, another offer was received. The buyer lost the property to a similar offer with better terms.

I don’t fault you for being miffed and I am glad more offers didn’t materialize during the delay.