A lot of agents looking to build a real estate team, often wonder if a transaction coordinator should negotiate inspections.
The short answer: No. Here’s why.
Fiduciary Duty & Liabilities
The agent or broker who is listed as the agent on the brokerage agreement with their client is ultimately the one responsible for everything. In terms of negotiating an inspection resolution for your client, this means a couple of things:
- Unless listed as an agent for the client, the transaction coordinator does not have the authority to negotiate on the behalf of the client.
- The agent listed on the brokerage is the one ultimately responsible for everything. In other words, the agent is the one who owes the fiduciary duty to the client.
These two things create a lot of liability for the real estate agent, the brokerage the agent belongs to, and the transaction coordinator. If something goes wrong in the deal, it doesn’t matter who negotiated it, the agent listed on the brokerage agreement is liable. Chances are the E&O policy will not cover the transaction coordinator. And the written policies and procedures set by the agent’s brokerage office probably don’t allow someone without a license or a written brokerage agreement to represent a client. So, if any lawsuits arise… it means the agent is probably on their own.
This also raises the question of whether it makes sense for a virtual assistant or transaction coordinator to be handling negations of any kind. After all, aren’t you the professional real estate agent?
There’s No Better Negotiator Than You
The majority of home sale transactions that don’t close, once under contract, are due to house inspections. Or, the inability to find a resolution to what was find during the inspection. Too often home sale transactions fall apart because the buyer and seller can’t see eye to eye on a repair.
“I’ve seen deals where the buyer and seller were ready to go separate ways over a measly $200 repair. Emotions run high, and it’s our job as professionals to keep it together.” explains Steven Barks, licensed real estate broker, and COO of Worth Clark Realty.
You’re the professional here when it comes to negotiations. This is where you should shine, and earn the respect of everyone involved in the deal. You secured the first step of the deal, and the second step is also ensuring the deal doesn’t fall apart when negotiating the inspections. You should not be handing off responsibility of negotiating on your clients behalf to someone who is responsible for managing the paperwork and tasks (a transaction coordinator).
Pulling off great negotiations is what will keep feeding you referral business for years to come.
Keep the Best Interests in Mind
This isn’t just about avoiding liabilities and making sure you look good. It is most important to note that it is in the client’s best interest that you are the one negotiating their inspection. Again, you are the one they hired for the job. And you are the agent who owes your client a fiduciary duty to act (negotiate) in their best interest.
What’s better for your client, a professional transaction coordinator negotiating things, or a professional real estate agent ? This absolutely not a knock on the transaction coordinator’s capabilities. However, when your buyer or seller clients decided to hire you, I highly doubt it was because you pitched them on how great of a negotiator your transaction coordinator is. Nope. You’ll tell any prospective client you meet about how great of a deal you’re going to help them secure. So, do it.
It is in your best interest to make sure your client secures the best possible deal on the purchase or sale of their home. This doesn’t end once you have a contract in place. In fact, that’s when things usually get more interesting. It’s highly critical that you guide your client through the entire inspection process, ensuring they are not gouged by the other party. Or, even worse, the deal falls apart.
Do you clients a favor – make sure you negotiate every bit of their transaction – to get the best deal possible. While you do that, our Transactly Coordinators will take care of the rest!