How long does it take a signing company to prep docs?

I accepted a signing at 7:43 this morning. The appointment was already set with the signer for 7 pm today and the signing is a 30 min drive from my location. When I go home 45 mins later, I logged in to review. The docs were not uploaded. I called and emailed the signing company. I was told the title company was waiting on the lender to send. This is 9:36 am at this point. I follow up at 1:50 pm, signer responds “they” (title company?) just received the instructions and are working on them. I am a new notary! I want and need the work BUT I want enough time to actually be prepared!!! It is now 3:36 and NO docs!!

  1. Can someone give me an idea about how much time it takes to prep a refi(title &/signing company)?
  2. WHY would anyone set an appointment on the same day when the docs are not actually ready?

I sure hope you got the docs by now. Let us know how it all went down, I’m curious.

It is 5:36 pm, NO docs. I received an email stating title was waiting on an update from the lender(that was an hour ago). Title was good with pushing appointment back to give me more time.

6:00 pm and docs were downloaded, they asked me if I could do it tonight!!! :rage:

Got a group text from the borrow, canceling the signing. I called and spoke with him. They do not want to be rushed and forced to sign. I total agree and let him know that I would be happy to schedule when they are ready and have enough time.

Feels like Lender treats borrows like cattle forcing them along. I am not happy I waisted time an energy on this.

Yep, you’re new. It is not uncommon to receive docs a mere 2 hrs. prior to Appointment. If you need them earlier, you really should give hiring party a deadline immediately upon receipt of order. I’ve gotten docs a week in advance and 2 hours after the Appt. and everywhere in between. They nearly always set Appointments and hire the notary when docs are not ready.



QUESTION 1 => There is no specific formula to determine the length of time required to prepare the documents for a real estate loan closing. There are myriad variables present within that context & all the various people/teams involved to create the end-product would make it nearly impossible to accurately calculate.

QUESTION 2 => My direct experience mirrors that of @Arichter

“not uncommon to receive docs a mere 2 hrs. prior to Appointment”
“give hiring party a deadline immediately upon receipt of order”
“docs a week in advance and 2 hours after the Appt. and everywhere in between”
"set Appointments and hire the notary when docs are not ready"


I’ve linked several separate threads directly for you to research & review for familiarization with this business sector & setting expectations . . .


Yep, the longer you’ve been doing this work, the more you learn to just kind of go along with the flow. I used to get all upset about late docs too, but when I finally realized that it was just a part of how things in this business work, it stopped bothering me nearly as much. The first thing that a newbie has to recognize is that the signing service has absolutely no control over it, so there’s no point in yelling at them. When they get the docs, you’ll get the docs. The only time that it gets a little dicey is when late docs are impacting another appointment that you have following this one. When that happens you may have to just have to tell them that because the docs weren’t on time you will no longer be able to handle this appointment. They won’t like it, but they will understand and find someone else. That’s where a lot of the “last minute” signing requests come from.

I understand this situation was out the of the signing companies control and was calm and professional with them. They relayed that the lender was insistent that the docs get signed last night and no later. So, I would either have 30 mins to print and prepare or push back the appointment and be there very late. Either way, as a very new LSA, this would have ended in disaster if the signer had not canceled. It is going to be a long while before I can handle 144 pages with no time to prep. I agree that it is very important that LSA’s be held to high standards of professionalism BUT it is disheartening to see a lender operating this way. Scheduling before documents are fully ready(with no respect for the signing co and signers time) and pushing a signing. No one should be pushed to sign contracts or documents.

Agree with other experienced Notaries comments. Personally I don’t accept same day assignments any more unless requests from clients I know are responsible and don’t offer lowball fees ~ only my standard fees + work for these requests.

If I know what my cut off time is to be able to print and drive to the appointment, I will let the signing company know- especially if I have other appointments. Most times they will relay this info to the title company. Sometimes it helps so that all parties know the time limit.

Sometimes the lender or title will know it isn’t going to close and forget to notify the signing company until I start inquiring about the document status. There have been many times I wait all day long and give up other offers only to have it cancelled. It is frustrating for sure but doesn’t happen that often. There have been numerous times that I still wait, stay in contact with the signer as to their latest time to sign and have gone out at 10pm. The title company and lender appreciate it and sometimes will even compensate a little more.

IMO I believe the title companies should be charged a retaining fee to be paid to the notary that blocked their schedule only to be cancelled last minute. There are so many factors involved. Getting the lender, title, signer and notary’s schedules all coordinated. You have to remember the figures are pro rated so they have to be signed the same day. Changing by one day means all of the numbers have to be re-calculated. (ie daily interest with three day RTC)

I do agree with this as trying to make it work is very time-consuming to end up with absolutely nothing. [quote=“redrovermobilellc, post:11, topic:42727”]
I believe the title companies should be charged a retaining fee to be paid to the notary that blocked their schedule only to be cancelled last minute.

Its not uncommon for docs to not be “ready” on time. For me personally , I don’t stress anymore as to when I will receive docs anymore like I did as a newbie. 5yrs in I’ve learned to be helpful and flexible as best I can. All involved will appreciate this attitude because i’m sure they are stressed the transaction may not close as scheduled, hence no paycheck for all involved either.

Of course you might have other appointments affected but that’s when communicating your situation to your who ever assigned you and to other signers and without giving them to much detail and asking if they are flexible as well.

I had a day not too long ago where the fedex package to my part 2 split signing arrived later than expected and I took care of them way later in the day, I then offered escrow to drive docs directly to them the next day for an extra courier fee and they accepted.

We have to be problem solvers and not stress ourselves out… good luck on your signing journey! This is a great platform where you will find plenty of helpful people , tips and ideas !!

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144 pages for loan package in unheard of in Texas. The largest package I’ve received so far was about 380 pages. Packages sizes typically run between 200 to 260 pages.

I’ve had signing services and Title Co.s drop docs on me 20 minutes before the signing that’s 45 minutes away on a low traffic day. Most out of state Title Co.s have no idea how far away things can be in Texas. The last long distance closing I had was 3 hours round trip to the signer’s home for a Cash Out loan. There were no law firms in the area. The closest Law firm was another 45 miles to the county seat. In Texas Cash Out refis have to be closed in a lender’s office, Title Company, or Law Office. It’s in our State Constitution.


Wow! I’m sure I will get there. So far, I have signed a VA refi, the PDF was 197 pages but that included the instructions.

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Was it a Texas VA Refi?

The could get me those docs by 6pm and I would have them printed in 15min. and get to the signing on-time at 7pm. You can do any prep during the signing.
Nagging the signing co./ title company is not helping you getting future orders from them… You need to work with them. You can also text or call the signers and push the signing time out a little. Solve the problem, don’t fight it.

I got an order with only 30 minutes before arrival time today and also wanted to me to meet FEDEX last pick up. I said that was going to be pushing it as I had another signing after. The borrower suggested I drop it off at the airport which has a later pick. I said unfortunately I would not be able to accommodate. Title agreed to release the docs to borrower for FEDEX drop off.

I think they involed you in the process tooo early. Probably someone new from theiir site.

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