I'm frequently asked, “what are the true start-up costs to becoming a notary loan signing agent?”
In order to answer this question, it’s important to first distinguish what kind of notary signing agent you are going to be.
There are two primary types of notary loan signing agents:
The first is a signing service notary, which means you rely on signing services to get you loan signing appointments. Your phone rings and you get loan signings. For these types of signings, you can get paid between $75 and $100 per appointment.
The second type is a notary signing agent that gets business directly from escrow companies, mortgage officers, or real estate agents - which I call direct business. These appointments typically pay between $125 and $200.
I’m frequently asked by loan signing agents: How do I explain the California Per Diem Interest Disclosure form?
But before I tell you exactly how to explain this to a borrower, you need to understand what this particular document is saying.
The easiest way to put it is this page tells the borrower that they owe interest to the lender the day the loan gets wired to escrow, not when escrow closes.
Allow me to elaborate:
Let's say the loan funds on November 15th. That means the borrower owes interest to the lender starting on November 15th through the end of the month, November 30th.
Pretty simple, right?
But, escrow might close the loan one day or even a few days after November 15th, especially if it’s a weekend or holiday.
Keep in mind, while escrow always does their best to close the loan the same day they receive the wire from the lender, closing the loan the next is business day is a regular practice.
So if escrow can't close the loan the same day they receive the money from the lender, then the borrower pays interest on a loan that isn't even theirs yet.
Signing agents constantly ask me is it a good idea to try to undercut the signing service and market themselves directly to the escrow officer if they got the signing through the signing service to begin with.
This is a very interesting question.
I mean is attempting to undercut the very company that gave you business even ethical? Does the escrow officer mortgage officer or real estate agent agent look down upon you for trying to attempt this? And what are the down falls?
So let's start off with is this even ethical? I ask you first is it unethical for a Starbucks to open up next to a mom and pop coffee shop? Is it unethical for a McDonald's to open up next to a Burger King? Is it unethical for one super market to advertise a lower price on soda than their next door neighbor’s advertised sale price?
I can't be your moral compass. Your thoughts on business are your thoughts.
However I can speak as an owner of a signing service who has signing agents attempt to under cut me every single week.
To that I can say that I understand why one would do it. Do I necessarily agree with it? No. But do I understand? Yes.
We all have families to feed so I don’t take it personal when I see it happen.
That being said, once I find out they are trying to undercut my signing service, I do not use them again.
Which brings me to the real point of this blog. The real question should be does under cutting a signing service make make you more money!?
The answer is frankly, it depends.
If a signing service is feeding you a ton of business, I'd argue it's better not to rock the boat.
When (notice I said “when” not “if”) the signing service finds out, you will not be used again. So is it worth $50 more per signing but losing all their business?
So trying to under cut a signing service simply comes down to math. A math problem you need to make.
Oh and to answer the question whether or not the mortgage professional will look at you funny if you are trying to under cut the signing service. The answer is no, they get solicited business so often they probably will barely recognize that you even pitching them.
So if you are thinking about undercutting a signing service who gave the signing, think long and hard if it makes sense. No one can blame you for looking out for yourself but does it really make sense in the long run?
I'm frequently asked: what is the secret to getting a borrower to sign loan docs at a time and location that is convenient for me and not them?
Frankly, it really isn't a secret at all. It is simply the power of suggestion.
What you are about to learn is the only way I am able to fit up to seven signings into my schedule every day. If I left the appointment times up to the borrowers they would all choose in the evening after they get off of work, rendering it impossible for me to get any more than three signings on any given evening.
If you are fortunate enough to have a signing service or escrow officer allow you to organize the appointment yourself, there is a way to set it at a time that allows you to stack more appointments.
But before I show you exactly how I do this, it's important to remember it is technically our job to make it as convenient as possible for the borrower. So the borrower, in theory, should choose the time and location of the signing.
Remember, we are an outside service that was created for the convenience of the borrowers so they don’t need to take time off of work and drive down to the escrow office. The borrowers aren't meant to sign when it is convenient for us as loan signing agents, but for when it is best for them.
About the Author
Mark Wills is the course instructor of the top rated Loan Signing System agent training course. He has been an active professional loan signing agent for nearly 20 years and owns a loan signing service that does thousands of signings a year.