Notary signing agents are notaries public who specializes in facilitating real estate transactions. A Notary Signing Agent is responsible for verifying the identity of parties involved in the transaction, administering oaths and affirmations, and witnessing the signing of documents.
In this role, notary signing agents play a crucial part in ensuring the legality and authenticity of real estate documents.
In this article, we will explore the duties and responsibilities of notary signing agents and how they help to facilitate smooth and successful real estate transactions.
Notary Signing Agent Duties and Responsibilities
The main duties and responsibilities of a notary signing agent include the following:
- Verifying the identity of parties involved in the real estate transaction: This includes checking government-issued identification and ensuring that all parties are who they claim to be.
- Administering oaths and affirmations: This involves having parties swear or affirm that the information contained in the documents is true and correct.
- Witnessing the signing of documents: Notary signing agents must be present when the documents are signed and will typically need to sign and stamp the documents to verify that they have been properly executed.
- Ensuring that all documents are properly completed and executed: Notary signing agents are responsible for checking that all documents are filled out correctly and that all necessary signatures have been obtained.
- Maintaining a record of all notarizations: Notaries public are required to keep a record of all notarizations they perform, including the date, the parties involved, and the documents notarized.
- Adhering to state notary laws and regulations: Notary signing agents must be familiar with the laws and regulations governing their practice in the state where they are working.
In addition to these core duties, notary signing agents may also be responsible for coordinating the scheduling of document signings, communicating with clients and other parties involved in the transaction, and handling any issues that may arise during the process.
Notary Signing Agent Requirements
Notary Signing Agents (NSAs) are responsible for verifying the identities of parties signing documents and witnessing and notarizing signatures.
To become a Notary Signing Agent, individuals must typically meet the following requirements:
- Education & Training: While no specific education or training is required to become a Notary Signing Agent, a high school diploma or equivalent is usually preferred by employers. Additionally, some employers may require NSA candidates to have a college degree in a related field, such as business administration, law, or finance.
- Experience: Most employers prefer NSA candidates to have some experience with notarizing documents, either through prior employment or volunteer work. Candidates should also have some familiarity with real estate transactions, loan documents, and other legal documents.
- Certifications & Licenses: All Notary Signing Agents must hold a valid notary commission from their state or jurisdiction, which typically requires passing an exam and background check with the Secretary of State. Additionally, some states may require further certification or licensing for NSA agents. For example, California requires NSAs to register with the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. Finally, some employers may require Notary Signing Agents to obtain additional certifications, such as those offered through the National Notary Association or the American Association of Notaries.
Notary Signing Agent Skills
A notary signing agent is a notary public who is also trained to facilitate mortgage closings. In this role, you may be required to have the following skills:
- Knowledge of the notary process: You should be familiar with state-specific notary laws and the procedures for notarizing documents.
- Attention to detail: As a notary signing agent, you will be responsible for verifying the identity of signers and ensuring that all documents are accurately completed and properly notarized.
- Communication skills: You will need to communicate with a variety of people, including borrowers, lenders, real estate agents, and attorneys.
- Time management skills: You may be required to manage your schedule and travel to different locations to facilitate closings.
- Computer skills: You may be required to use a computer to access and print documents, as well as to complete online training courses.
- Customer service skills: As a notary signing agent, you will be the face of the lender or title company for the borrower. Providing excellent customer service is crucial to building trust and confidence with borrowers.
Related: Communication interview questions and answers
Notary Signing Agent Salary
The salary for a notary signing agent can vary widely based on factors such as your location, level of experience, and the number of closings you are able to facilitate.
According to data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for notaries is $34,020. However, notary signing agents may earn more than this amount, as they often charge fees for their services in addition to their salary or commission.
The job outlook for notary signing agents is positive, as the demand for mortgage services is expected to remain strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of notaries will grow by 5% from 2020 to 2028, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Notary Signing Agent Work Environment
As a notary signing agent, you may work in a variety of settings, including a home office, a lender’s or title company’s office, or a borrower’s home or place of business. You may also be required to travel to different locations to facilitate mortgage closings.
Your work schedule may vary depending on the needs of your clients and the volume of business you are able to handle. Some notary signing agents work part-time, while others may work full-time or on an as-needed basis.
The work can be stressful at times, as you may be required to work under tight deadlines and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
It is important to have strong time management and organizational skills to ensure that you are able to complete your work efficiently and accurately.
Notary Signing Agent Trends
There are several trends that are currently affecting the role of a notary signing agent:
- Remote work: As a notary signing agent, you may be able to work from home and facilitate closings remotely using video conferencing software.
- Digital signatures: More and more lenders and title companies are using digital signature platforms to facilitate the closing process. As a notary signing agent, you may be required to learn how to use these platforms and become familiar with the legal requirements for notarizing documents with digital signatures.
- Increasing regulation: The notary industry is subject to a growing number of state and federal regulations. As a notary signing agent, you will need to stay up-to-date with these regulations and ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws.
- Consumer demand for convenience: Borrowers are increasingly looking for ways to make the closing process more convenient, such as by having documents delivered to them or being able to sign documents electronically. As a notary signing agent, you may need to adapt to these changing preferences and find ways to meet the needs of your clients.
How to Become a Notary Signing Agent
To become a notary signing agent, you will need to first become a notary public. Here are the steps you can take to become a notary public and then a notary signing agent:
- Meet the eligibility requirements: To become a notary public, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the state in which you will be commissioned. Some states may have additional requirements, such as being a U.S. citizen or having a clean criminal record.
- Complete a notary education course: Most states require new notaries to complete a notary education course. These courses teach you about the role and responsibilities of a notary public, as well as state-specific notary laws and procedures.
- Pass the notary exam: After completing the notary education course, you will need to pass a notary exam to demonstrate your knowledge of notary laws and procedures. The exam may be administered by the state government or a private provider.
- Obtain a surety bond: A surety bond is a type of insurance that protects the public from financial losses caused by notaries who act improperly or fraudulently. You will need to obtain a surety bond before you can be commissioned as a notary public.
- Apply for a notary commission: Once you have completed the necessary education and passed the notary exam, you can apply for a notary commission with your state government. You will need to submit an application and pay any applicable fees.
After becoming a notary public, you can then become a notary signing agent by completing additional training and certification in the mortgage closing process.
Many lenders and title companies offer this training to their notaries, or you can seek out training from a private provider.
It is important to keep in mind that notary signing agents must adhere to all state and federal regulations, as well as any additional guidelines set by the lender or title company for which they work.
Notary Signing Agent Advancement Prospects
As a notary signing agent, you may be able to advance your career by taking on additional responsibilities or expanding your services. Here are a few potential paths for career advancement:
- Increase your business: You can increase your earnings as a notary signing agent by taking on more clients and facilitating more closings. This may involve building relationships with lenders, title companies, and real estate agents to generate referrals and new business.
- Specialize: You may be able to differentiate yourself by specializing in a particular area of the mortgage closing process. For example, you could become an expert in reverse mortgages, commercial real estate, or refinance transactions.
- Expand your services: You may be able to expand your services beyond the mortgage closing process by offering additional services to your clients. For example, you could offer document preparation services or assist with estate planning.
- Become a mentor: You may be able to advance your career by mentoring newer notaries or those who are interested in becoming notary signing agents. This could involve providing guidance and coaching, as well as sharing your knowledge and expertise.
- Pursue additional education and certification: You may be able to enhance your credentials and increase your earning potential by pursuing additional education and certification. For example, you could become a certified signing agent or earn a professional designation such as the National Notary Association’s Certified Notary Public (CNAP) or Certified Notary Signing Agent (CNSA).
Notary Signing Agent Job Description Example
We are seeking a highly organized and professional Notary Signing Agent to join our team. As a Notary Signing Agent, you will be responsible for facilitating the signing of documents related to mortgage refinancing and loan modifications. This includes verifying the identity of signers, witness signatures, and notarizing documents.
- Verify the identity of signers and witness signatures
- Notarize documents accurately and efficiently
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge of notary laws and best practices
- Communicate effectively with clients and team members
- Maintain accurate and organized records of all documents notarized
- Active notary commission in good standing
- Strong attention to detail and excellent organizational skills
- Ability to work independently and manage a flexible schedule
- Proficiency with computer and online tools
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Customer service experience is a plus
Related: Notary Signing Agent Cover Letter Examples & Writing Guide