Hello, I’m a new notary trying to break in. I received my first opportunity for a refinance for $40. I won’t name the company but feel that is a low ball offer. I was just wondering should I be taking these jobs to gain experience and build up my name so I can get more lucrative opportunities come my way. I feel like if you say no the opportunities will never come. Sort of cutting my teeth to get the bigger fish. Thoughts?
Companies that offer $40 aren’t going to offer you more as you gain experience; they’ll just hold out for anybody who will take $40. If they can’t find anybody at a loball price, they often turn it back to the title and say they couldn’t find anybody.
If you take the $40 offers, you would gain some experience, but nobody maintains an official count of how many closings notaries do, so the better clients won’t know what your experience, except what you tell them.
From what I was taught, this is the opportunity to gain experience. Take it to gain the experience. Then once you’re well experienced, you can charge higher. Also, normally, from my Loan Signing System group, they have told me that these documents are priced the way they are because it’s only a few pages.
NO, no, no, no, nooooooooooooo! Once you’ve put yourself in the bargain bin ‘to gain experience’ (actually worse than that–at $40, after expenses–sheesh–you’re working for chump change) you will spend years trying to get out of it…except you’ll go broke first. Refis generally run around a low of 125 pages, but can be up to nearly 200,times 2/borrower’s copy. You’ll generally be at the table an hour, often longer. And VA refi’s are worse. Also…do NOT believe that the low fee reflects less pages…all it says is …hello, sucker.
Thanks I said no. Someone accepted it because it was gone when I checked. Every time one of these folks take these jobs it ruins it for everyone else looking for a fair payout.
Thanks for your replies. I’m going to hold the line.
I used to be on the “take it for experience” side of the fence, but have learned that doing this will cause me to lose out on lots of money and be taken advantage of. Now if it’s like only a few pages on the assignment and local, then sure. But for big packages and all that comes with it, negotiate higher or decline.
Thank you for posting your experience as it validates what I said in an earlier post.
Also, do NOT think that once you’ve accepted an assignment/fee, you MUST perform. When the docs arrive & there’s way more than they said or they suddenly want previously undisclosed faxbacks or any of lots of reasons for re-negotiating your fee–don’t hesitate to try getting it raised.
$40 for a refinance is not good, but when you receive offers like this, make sure to counter offer your price.
C2C does not mind someone saying “Decline” but will do for XXX. We appreciate it
I must also say, we do not pay $40 for a refinance. I am hoping this was an product error
Hi Lisa, I did not decline offer and instead countered in hopes of working with that company. I didn’t hear back. Thank you
NO, please do not accept that as a fee! You have ink, gas, time, paper, E&O etc… to keep in mind. You are losing money and they will take advantage and expect you to continue. Notaries that accept those kind of fees make it hard on the rest of us. That is NOT a respectable fee!
If you accept something this low, make sure you are making money with it. Biggest expense is travel, so don’t take it if it isn’t close. Unless the package is small, ask for a print fee. Cost out your travel costs per mile and your printing costs per page. Don’t worry about how much your time is worth at this stage, if you have no other orders your time is worth zero. Once you start getting orders on a regular basis and actually get some data, it is simple to add your fees, subtract your costs and you know if you are making money.
Sorry, but I disagree. My time is always worth something, even if only to me. If you don’t value your time, nobody else will.
NEVER take low ball offers. NEVER. There is no point in taking cheapie assignments to gain experience if you are going to lose money doing them. We are in business to make money, not work for free. I’m about to ditch my largest client in terms of revenue, but my smallest in terms of profit. The cash flow was nice, but it’s cheaper for me to stay home.
Would you recommend that when a newbie is asked how much experience you have to say they have way more? Like 2 yrs when really this is their 1st signing? Because they won’t know either way?
Should someone who has never had a signing, ask for the highest offer they can get? Should a newbie go direct? I was under the assumption that you needed to have more experience to get offered $125 or more.
But if the title companies or signing services have no way of knowing if someone is new or a vet then it makes sense to ask for more money. And just keep your fingers crossed that you don’t mess up or show that you are new… is that correct?
My impression is that decent firms will pay decent fees, regardless if the notary is experienced or not. The decent firms will try to find an experienced notary, but may use an inexperienced notary if they can’t find anyone else.
Cheap firms will balk at paying a decent fee, regardless of the notary’s experience. If they can’t find a cheap notary, they’ll just turn the assignment back. I’ve had calls from cheap firms and turned them down. Four hours later I’d get a call from a decent firm for the very same assignment. (With small towns, you can tell it’s the same assignment just from the name of the town.)
You’re not going to fool anyone about your level of experience. You’ll probably get every document completed correctly, and the finished package will be indistinguishable from a seasoned notary. But when you are talking and emailing, your lack of familiarity with jargon and customary billing procedures will be a tell. For example, they ask for a scan of your W-9. The newbie sends one dated the same day it was requested. The seasoned notary sends the one she filled out in January for some other company.
Thank you for the feedback. I do have a background in the mortgage industry since 2003 as a processor, underwriter and I have my Loan Originator license, just not from this perspective. Maybe after I get my certification, I’ll do some shadowing with a friend. And I will reach out to my former coworkers to see who they can connect me with at title companies, attorneys offices or some realtors they know who can refer me. I’m all for asking for getting the highest pay even as a brand newbie.