By Mark Wills - Course Instructor of the Loan Signing System, Forbes Real Estate Council Member, and Best-Selling Author
People looking to break into the notary loan signing agent industry often wonder what realistic costs they can anticipate when starting their business.
I'm frequently asked, “what are the true start-up costs to becoming a notary 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 have a video that goes over the pros and cons of signing service business versus direct business, so check it out if you’re not familiar with the differences, but this video will focus on the specific costs between becoming one of the two.
Lastly, before I get into specifics, understand that my Loan Signing System course will teach you step-by-step how to be either one of these types of notary loan signing agents.
Start-Up Costs for a Signing Agent Getting "Direct" Business
Now, let's begin with start up costs associated with becoming a notary signing agent for direct business.
Getting loan signing direct business costs the least amount of money to get started and is also the most lucrative of the two. Here is what you’ll need:
So the total cost of your commission and notary materials is roughly $300. That's it.
As a notary loan signing agent, you are required to have errors and omissions insurance. Most escrow companies only ask for $100k which is about $150 a year, or $12 a month.
Additionally (and this is becoming a newer requirement for some escrow companies), you'll be required to complete a background check. This costs roughly $50.
Lastly, you’ll need business cards to get direct business. You can find them for as low as $10 for 250.
If you do your research, you can probably find many of these startup costs to starting your notary loan signing business for lower than what I’ve listed.
So there you have it: For about $500 you can become a notary loan signing agent that does direct business.
Naturally, if you're already a commissioned notary public, subtract the $300 you spent on your commission and the start up cost to becoming a loan signing agent is $200. Yes, that is it.
Keep in mind, being a direct business notary is great because the escrow company or mortgage company 9 out of 10 times will print the loan documents for you. No need for a printer, binder clips, or ink. They do it all for you.
What other business can you start for $500 bucks out the door and make $150 dollars for an appointment that takes about an hour?
Needless to say, it's pretty awesome.
Start-Up Costs for an Agent Getting "Signing Service" Jobs
Now, let's talk about being a signing service notary.
First, let me say that most notaries start out as signing service agents because business is fed directly to you and it’s a good place to practice becoming an expert notary loan signing agent.
However, the cost associated with starting as a signing service notary is slightly higher because the loan documents are emailed to you and you’ll have to print them out yourself.
Therefore, on top of everything thing I just said above, you will need a dual-tray printer that prints legal and letter sized paper. Once again, shop around, but I personally use an HP refurbished printer that cost $300 dollars. Brand new they can go up to $600 or $700 depending on their bells and whistles. But check out my blog about what type of printer to get because many of the features offered on dual tray printers aren’t necessary.
You will next need a couple reams of paper to start so you can print out loan documents. It costs about $5-6 per ream, and that cost goes down if you buy in bulk. And FYI, you should be able to print out a few sets of loan documents per ream.
You may also want to buy some large rubber bands (which are cheaper than binder clips) to wrap your docs in before you head out. I like to grab a few FedEx envelopes and store the loan documents in there. They’re free and you need them to mail out the documents anyway.
And that’s it!
So, to be a signing service notary the only difference is that you need a printer. So, you'll need roughly another $300 to $500 dollars to become a signing service loan signing agent!
In sum, the total startup costs to becoming a notary signing agent who works for signing services is about $1,000 or less out the door. Once again, subtract a few hundred dollars if you already have your notary commission.
Now, these startup costs to becoming a notary loan signing agent assume you already have reliable transportation, whether that be a car, a motorcycle, or a good public transportation network.
In conclusion, to becoming a direct business notary signing agent, who does not yet have a notary commission, the total startup costs are about $500.
And to be a signing service notary signing agent who does not have their commission yet, the cost is about $800 to $1,000.
There are very few businesses that you can start up for less than $1000 and prove to be as lucrative as becoming a notary signing agent. You can immediately start making $75 to $200 per appointment working for yourself on your own schedule. In fact, I’ve had many a student make back their startup costs in their first month of being an active loan signing agent.
Becoming a notary loan signing agent is one of the best ways to make money working for yourself.
Learn how you can become an expert signing agent today by getting my online course, the Loan Signing System. It is a step-by-step bootcamp-style course with a full money back guarantee. If you don't learn to become a great loan signing agent, simply let me know and I'll issue you a complete refund. Click the link below to get started!
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.