First signing this week

I have my first refinance signing this week, any advice?

Thank you,

Print well ahead of time. Read the docs, ask questions of the signing company or lender if you find discrepancies. Prepare docs in advance, in any way that makes you feel confident in your presentation to the signer. Have your assignment sheet with contact numbers tucked in a handy location. Put the Customer Identification Verification forms (as identification is your greatest duty), Closing Disclosure and ALTA or Settlement Statement on top of the docs. Make sure you print the borrower’s copy (which gives you a handy second copy in case a signer makes a mistake, which they will.) Tuck the package into a folder to protect the pages.

Check your bag before leaving. Do you have pens? Journal? Stamp? Take a deep breath, remember that you are NOT the loan officer, and knock firmly.


I have been in the business for 28 years, 16 years as a mortgage underwriter. I have done about 12,000 signings in my career.
Yes, give yourself time to print if possible. Look through them. I agree with Judikidd. I put the HUD/Closing stmt, any recorded docs such and the deed of trust and note first since those are the most important docs. Most of the docs after that are generic docs.
I put my packages in manila files personally.
You don’t have to get into detail on the docs. You are the notary, not the loan agent.
I also personally put x’s on the places where they sign. I do this at home prior to the signing when I am not under the same pressure. This way I look at each document they are going to sign. This makes sure I see the lines while signing and checking. Next to where I sign as a notary I put a small line. Unless they say not to, I do this on all my signings. In all these years it has never been a problem and helps me avoid missing signatures.
Go to Notary Rotary and you will see the ratings for the different signings companies. I have follow that site for at least 13 years and it has saved me from a lot of disasters. I personally won’t work with companies that don’t pay within 30-45 days maximum. My bills are due once a month and they too should pay once a month. True that many wait until a loan transaction closes which makes it take longer, however, many are just ok with paying longer because many notaries are fine with it. Some figure that well at least it is better than nothing, however, I add the waiting period into my expenses and it just isn’t good business practice in my opinion. I don’t want to have to keep hounding them to get paid. That is more time spent on my part. You are nearly always paid after the fact. You may ask to get paid via PayPal ahead of time, but that is rare.
I usually charge $125 for a mortgage signing. You have to minus out expenses and time. Look below for a breakdown of doing a $40 loan modification which requires no printing. You have to add printing and preparing time if you are printing. You can do this with a $125 charge and minus out the expenses in your area. In Hawaii the expenses are high.

The minimum I would typically charge for a load mod is $70, however they won’t usually go that high.
For mortgage signings I charge $125. In Hawaii we charge a bit higher though because cost of living is so high.
Just figure in this when you decide what to charge:
*Cost of expenses such as paper and toner
*Taxes taken out
*Time figure in print time, process time, driving time, signing time. When you add in all the time minus the above expenses that is your approximate profit.

As you can see, $40 won’t make you a profit. It also doesn’t really give you any experience. You just stamp one form usually and you don’t process or print any docs.

Just take my advise and you will see you are working for nothing.
This is how I would see this one:
*$40 fee
*Minus taxes at 30%-$12…makes $28
*Minus expenses…$7…makes $21
*Minus drive time, for a 15 minute drive each way…
*Minus signing time and drop package drop off time…1 hour
*Minus prepare time 15 minutes because no printing
Total time is 1 3/4 hours
$12 approximate profit after time and expenses
You can see it is a lot of work to make $12.
And if distance further than 15 minutes each way, the expenses go higher for both gas and time.

If you think of yourself as a business and you have to make a profit, you will have direction in where to go. If you cannot make a profit, then your business is not going to be successful.
In all these years the amount paid is the same of less than when I started. With all the automated systems now all the relationships built over years mean nothing.
To me, you take good care of your clients and if they are reputable, they will take care of you. Loyalty used to be there but is hard to find these days. The cheapest is all they want. Remember too, that once you accept a lower fee once, you will find it hard to go higher later because they will refer back to the signing where you accepted less.
**Sign up with NNA and do the background check. That is required by almost everyone now. They also have lots of training as well.
**Sign up with Notary Rotary. You can also contact the signing companies on that list you are interested in.
**Try and work directly with title companies as the pay is higher

California has high expenses and lots of competition so your market is pretty saturated depending on where in California you live. Try and get in direct contact with the companies on Notary Rotary.
I was with Snapdocs however, I don’t like their lack of transparency so I removed myself. You can sign up with them too. They text you with orders.

I hope this helps.