How long does it take to get work?
There is no hard and fast answer to that. It depends on demand in the location where you are, the number of other notaries in your area, your previous experience in the industry (if any) etc, etc. Some beginners get signings almost immediately, others go months or years without getting anything.
When it finally comes, please be prepared. Know where you’ll travel to for how much and never, ever take a job ‘for experience’ by putting yourself in the bargain bin because you’ll have a hard time getting out of it.
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:
*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
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.
I live in Dallas, TX and have been a notary signing agent since 2002. When I started, I received a call for signing appointment with a week of joining SigningAgent.com and NationalNotaryAssociation (NNA)… at that time they were two separate companies… a few months later NNA acquired SigningAgent.com.
I also use the directory that was once available on NNA’s website to signed up with signing agencies, title companies, and other company’s that hire signing agents.
I am new also but got a signing through SigningAgent.com. You got to start somewhere. NNA is worth the membership. Everybody has a right to make a living. Don’t be intimidated about how hard it is and the law. When I started selling insurance and doing retirement planning there were lots of laws and rules, but you learn by doing. Bottom line study as you go, and just be honest and do what is right. We are going to do it!!
Signing up with Notary Reviews a paid membership, may also help NSAs obtain new direct work from companies that are reviewed and rated only by NSA members. Its also my company and would be happy to answer any questions. HMU here or on Facebook or directly.
Actually, NNA is only ‘worth the membership fee’ in your first year (or less, depending upon how many newbs follow you) as that’s the way their logarithm functions…lists newbs first and then randomizes everyone else. And I do mean TOTALLY RANDOMIZED…which makes it more or less useless when someone is looking for the closest notary with experience. BUT it will get your feet wet…just be aware that hiring party uses this to find people who have no idea what is an appropriate fee is nor what questions to ask prior to quoting as they KNOW they’ll be able to throw anything your way and you’ll probably get all excited and take it. Do you homework now and figure out a reasonable travel fee for every place you’re willing to go, THEN add a m/l standard print/sign time fee to that. It IS a learning process and WILL vary by area, but don’t start out low or you’ll have a hard time getting more.
True, however, if you are not trained and told what to expect and what reasonable fees are you will be taken advantage of. Being out of a field that required you to be a good marketer and business person. You need to make a profit. However, I do think taking a job now helps you learn the business and that’s part of the price you have to pay.
To all the newbies like me, get hooked up with a good mentor, so you want be in the blind. I have a excellent mentor (Carol Ray) of Notary2Pro.com. Don’t go it alone.
You are exactly right because that is where I am stuck right now.