Real Estate 101
Loft is an accounting platform for Real Estate Brokerages that manages the sale of real property. Closing a transaction involves many parties, including buyers and sellers, Agents, Brokerages, lawyers, escrow and title companies.
The life cycle of a Real Estate deal for a Brokerage includes taking in or tracking monies in trust or escrow until the sale completes. At that time, the monies being held are distributed out among the Agents as commission earned.
A Brokerage earns their income by taking an agreed-upon fee or fees from the Agents commission.
Loft is specifically designed to work for Brokerages and their Agents. That means we create the record for the transaction and track all contractual documents and financial data for the Brokerage and all their Agents.
How does a Real Estate Transaction work?
- Buyers & Sellers will hire their own Realtor. Realtors are licensed Agents and operate under the umbrella of a Brokerage license.
- Realtors make their money from Commission and this will be agreed with the Seller when a property is listed.
- Realtors acting for the Seller ‘Sell’ their clients property.
- Once a Buyer is found they will make an offer through the Sellers’ Realtor.
- Once an agreement is reached the Buyer, a gesture of good faith will be required to put down a deposit which will be held ‘in Escrow’ or ‘In Trust’ by the company designated in the contract.
- Escrow, Title & Brokerage companies may hold Escrow/ Trust funds.
- The Lawyers or Title Company will complete the legal formalities prior to the agreed close-date on the contract.
- The Buyer will then provide final funding via the Title, Escrow, or Law Firm which will contain the Realtor’s commissions.
- Title, Escrow, or Law Firm will cut a check to the Brokerage on the day of closing and the Brokerage will then pay the Realtor their agreed commission, less their own Brokerage deductions.
- The Title company also may cut a check directly to the Realtor for their net commission, and another check to the Brokerage for the brokerage portion only, known as ‘Paid at the Table’.
Where do Loft & Xero come in?
Brokerages are required to process a deal from start-to-finish and to enable them to do this, they require efficient software capable of dealing with the complexities of deductions, income and payouts for Real Estate transactions.
- Once a contract is agreed in principle, a deal will be entered into the Loft platform via an integration with contract software, or manual entry.
- Loft will generate a deal in which all of the contractual, financial and documentation is stored.
- Brokerage deductions are entered to ensure that the Brokerage will get their agreed portion of the commission on closing.
- Each Realtor has their own agreed deduction profile which can vary and Loft has the ability to deal with high levels of complexity.
- Realtors can view their deal paystub in Loft, both before and after the deal has closed.
- When a Real Estate deal closes and the check arrives at the Brokerage office, funds are deposited into the Loft platform which is automatically recorded in Xero via the G/L Mapping.
- Once a deal is paid out in Loft by the Brokerage Administrator, the financial entries are batched over to the Xero platform where checks can be cut and reconciliation can take place.