Some real estate brokers employ transaction coordinators to manage the administrative work involved in taking a sale from contract to closing. The coordinator acts as a liaison between the agent whose transaction she's coordinating and the other professionals involved in the sale -- home inspectors, mortgage representative and title agent as well as the other party's real estate agent. Although transaction coordinators' contact with clients and customers is limited, some positions require that the coordinator have a real estate salesperson's license.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes real estate transaction coordinators in the same job category as secretaries and administrative assistants. Their median annual salary, according to the bureau's 2010 to 2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook, was $40,030 in 2008. However, the middle 50 percent earned $32,410 to $50,280 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $62,000. A reported issued by Clareity Consulting in 2003 notes that most coordinators earn salary plus bonuses for high production.
Although transaction coordinators are usually salaried employees, independent contractors are also common, and they often work from home offices as virtual assistants. Real estate virtual assistants and other independent contractors set their own fees, which range $25 to $100 per hour or are charged on a project basis, according to the BLS. Clareity Consulting noted in 2003, the average transaction coordination fee was $240 per transaction and the average transaction required about 12.5 hours’ worth of work. Independent contractors, then, likely earn an hourly wage near the lower end of the pay scale.
Licensed vs. Unlicensed
A transaction coordinator with a real estate license can perform a wider range of specialized duties. As a result, his earning potential is greater. Each state has its own laws governing the activities of unlicensed real estate assistants, including transaction coordinators. An unlicensed assistant can relay some information to his broker's clients and to other agents, but he can't interpret information or offer advice. A licensed coordinator may perform all the same duties as a real estate agent.
There are costs associated with transaction coordinator positions that should be considered when evaluating wages. Licensing costs, including classroom training, exam and licensing fees, are the coordinator’s responsibility. In addition, transaction coordinators, particularly those who hold real estate licenses, may need errors and omissions insurance. Coordinators who work as employees may have their insurance premiums deducted from their pay or their employers might cover the cost. Those who work as independent contractors generally need to pay for their own coverage.