Published 24 May 2023
What is a Real Estate Transaction Checklist?
A real estate transaction checklist helps facilitate a simpler, fairer, and timely sales process for both buyer and seller. This tool can be used by transaction coordinators, realtors, and escrow officers to ensure that all parties are in compliance with contractual obligations, as a breach in real estate contracts can result in lengthy court battles and costly lawsuits.
Real Estate Transaction Checklist
Use this real estate transaction checklist to simplify real estate transactions and ensure that they are completed in a timely manner. Coordinators, realtors, and escrow officers will find this checklist to be divided into the following sections:
- Schedule of Contractual Requirements
- Disclosures and Reports
- Inspections, Reports, Clearances, and Repairs
- Escrow Company
- Signature of buyer, seller, agents, and attorney
In this article
- Real Estate Professionals
- 4 Keys to a Smooth Real Estate Transaction
- What are Real Estate Checklists?
- Simplify Real Estate Transactions with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor)
- Real Estate Checklists
Real Estate Professionals
The business of buying, selling, and maintaining the good condition of real estate entails a lot of coordinated effort among many professionals in the industry. Here are some of the professionals in the real estate industry that help make the buying and selling of properties possible for property owners and prospective property or home buyers:
Agents – A real estate agent is a licensed professional who works very closely with buyers and sellers of property. Those who are selling their property typically partner with seller’s agents or listing agents while those who intend to buy real estate consult buyer’s agents or selling agents.
A listing agent helps advertise the sale of real estate and assists property owners in getting the best sales price possible.
Selling agents or buyer’s agents help prospective buyers find the ideal property based on the buyer’s preferences. Buyer’s agents coordinate with seller’s agents on the selection, inspection, and negotiation of properties up for sale. Agents also primarily make money through a real estate commission, which is a previously agreed-upon percentage of a property’s selling price.
If sellers, however, choose to directly put their property up for sale to avoid paying commissions, they can do so with the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) process. This is a real estate practice that allows owners to sell their property without the representation of agents or brokers.
Realtors – Realtors are real estate agents who are active members of the National Association of Realtors. A realtor carries out the same responsibilities as buyers’ and sellers’ agents and they are bound by a code of ethics that aims to prioritize their client’s best interests.
Inspectors – Handling one of the most crucial roles in making sure that properties are in compliance with regulations, inspectors check and help confirm that properties are in good livable conditions. They conduct home inspections, checking the property’s structure, HVAC, floors, and other features to help ensure that the real estate is indeed meeting the potential buyers’ expectations.
Inspectors are typically called to inspect the property right after an offer has been agreed upon by both buyers and sellers but before a real estate contract is signed by both parties.
4 Keys to a Smooth Real Estate Transaction
Real estate transactions entail the largest financial investments in the lifetime of most buyers, and they need to be executed as smoothly and expeditious as possible to avoid costly contract breaches and protect such investments. Here are 4 keys on how to ensure a smooth transaction for clients:
Get buyers pre-qualified
Real estate agents should urge buyers to get pre-qualified before officially engaging in real estate transactions. This helps ensure that the buyer is searching for properties that are appropriate to their actual purchasing capacity. Getting pre-qualified can help avoid frustration and disappointment as it also informs buyers of properties they can afford.
Have regular communication
Buyers, sellers, agents, escrow officers, transaction coordinators, and attorneys (if applicable) should maintain regular communication to reach an acceptable agreement with the most beneficial terms and keep important schedules in check. Buyers and sellers should always consult with their real estate agents as they are the ones that can provide valuable, legitimate input during the real estate transaction. Escrow officers and/or transaction coordinators must continually liaise with clients and monitor the timely completion of deadlines. Regular communication can help foster an efficient decision-making process and build rapport among all parties involved.
Stick to the schedule
“Time is of the essence” cannot be any more true when it comes to real estate transactions. Parties involved in the transaction should avoid missing deadlines as it can significantly hinder the process and lead to costly delays. A digital real estate transaction checklist can help outline important dates, such as property inspection schedules, availability of property insurance, and estimated closing date, and trigger automatic notifications (push, email, or SMS) when the dates are near.
Ensure a realistic and accurate contract
Finally, it is important for all parties engaged in the real estate transaction to lay down realistic expectations and accurate details in the real estate transaction checklist. By having a realistic and accurate contract, disagreements and potential legal disputes are avoided.
What are Real Estate Checklists?
Real estate checklists are tools used by real estate agents, brokers, realtors, and other professionals involved in the buying and selling of real estate. Depending on the type of real estate checklist being used, they also serve as a guide for seamless and transparent transactions between real estate professionals and prospective buyers.
Simplify Real Estate Transactions with SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor)
Real estate transactions often become complex due to redundant forms and an inefficient paper-based workflow. With a real estate transaction management software like SafetyCulture, middlemen (transaction coordinators, escrow officers, and real estate agents) can utilize real estate transaction checklists to simplify transactions and deliver the best experience for both buyer and seller.
- Attach photos of supporting documents as evidence of compliance with requirements
- Assign important tasks to responsible people and easily track the status of their actions
- Automate workflows to trigger push notifications for contractual deadlines
- Integrate with third-party collaboration apps to facilitate a convenient review process and ensure precise and realistic contract details
- Strengthen recordkeeping compliance with safe cloud-based storage for all real estate transaction documents
- Sign-off real estate transaction closings with electronic signatures
Real Estate Checklists
Real Estate Listing Checklist
Buyers or listing agents can use this real estate listing checklist to prepare the listing of a property and advertise its sale. Be guided by this checklist’s straightforward outlined steps on pre-listing, listing, marketing, and closing the real estate.
You can download this real estate listing checklist as PDF if you prefer but we recommend that you try the digital checklist on the SafetyCulture app for you to gain the maximum benefits of using a real estate checklist on a powerful mobile app. With this checklist on SafetyCulture, it can be edited to better fit the needs of your business as well as help you be able to do the following:
- Assign tasks to responsible people and easily track the status of actions
- Add comments or notes on items that need clarification
- Take or attach photo evidence of supporting documents
- Sign-off transactions with electronic signatures
Real Estate Buyer Agent Checklist
Also called a buyer agent contract-to-close checklist, this real estate checklist is used by buyer’s agents or selling agents at the last stages of acquiring a property. At this stage in acquiring a property, terms have been agreed upon by all concerned parties and the buyer’s agent, along with the seller’s agent, is finalizing the deal.
Real Estate Seller Checklist
Seller’s agents or listing agents can use this real estate seller checklist to help the seller finalize all responsibilities in selling the property. In coordination with the buyer’s agents or selling agents, the seller’s agent will remit the option check to the seller, schedule the closing time with the title company, and attend the closing.
Real Estate Due Diligence Checklist
This detailed real estate due diligence checklist covers everything about the real estate and the seller with respect to the property. Aside from asking for details on how the property is run, this due diligence real estate checklist also covers environmental aspects of the property, legal information, utilities, and other information concerning the real estate.
Commercial Real Estate Technical Due Diligence Checklist
Real estate angel investors can use this technical due diligence checklist to list all factors and requirements that can help them assess the feasibility of a commercial real estate acquisition. Feel free to edit this checklist on SafetyCulture to fit your requirements and varying commercial real estate business projects.