I charge a premium for redo work. I mention to Title if they want it done right the first time, they should give me a call. They usually do.
Ultimately it’s reasonable notaries like myself, who know how to operate a business (i.e. understand the basics of economics), that will continue to do well despite market fluctuations. I am happy to compete with another notary who feels like they deserve $175 per signing. Why? Because those same notaries are too busy negotiating laughable counter offers, and while they do that someone like me is getting an easy $100.
It doesn’t cost you $50 to fill up your tank for an hour drive. Unless you’re driving a Hummer or a full sized pick up truck, then your travel costs should be around $15-$20 per job and even that is generous considering not every job is over an hour away.
A 500 pack of letter paper is around $4. That will last you two large signings. If you budget properly then $8 a signing should go towards new toner. Ok, what about legal sized paper? Even less considering roughly 1/5 of loan docs are legal sized. 1 pack of legal paper should last you easily 6 to 7 large signings.
The only way I would ever request $175 for a signing is if it’s over 2 hours away from me, or has significant burdensome requirements and is overly handholding.
You can claim you’re worth $175 per signing because you “don’t make any mistakes” (you didn’t necessarily say this but other notaries often do) but the reality is signing services really only care about your availability and willingness to correct mistakes, not necessarily a certain track record of error-free signings. Although it’s important to not make consistent mistakes, the reality is that 1 or 2 missed signatures aren’t deal-breaking provided the notary in question promptly fixes the error.
At the end of the day there’s no difference between your stamp and my stamp. There’s no difference between your certificate and my certificate. There’s no difference between your presence and my presence at the table. The ink from our stamps will last 200 years unlike a bad plumber’s pipe that will last 1 year instead of 25 years from a good plumber.
Obviously not all notaries truly are equal. Some are friendly and professional. Others not so much. So I’m speaking in terms of bare minimum standards. If notaries are continuously finding work then it’s safe to assume they are meeting those minimum standards of professionalism. The bad eggs will eventually be terminated. With all that considered I feel like my point holds.
Disagree all you want. If you can make a living haggling over pay then good for you. Just understand that not every notary thinks it’s abuse to get paid under $120 per signing.
Very well said. And right to the point.
I’m in total agreement…
I literally got a call yesterday morning from ServiceLink at 8am. They wanted me to do a Refi at 11:30am. Fine. I asked the fee and they said $90. Now, they didn’t know this, but I literally woke up to answer the phone haha. I don’t start my day technically until 9:30am (isn’t making your own schedule the best). In my groggy state, I didn’t register that this was a rush job and I should ask for much more. Instead, I just asked for my minimum, which is $100.
The person on the phone said that should be fine since it’s a rush job and that she just had to check and get right back with me. I got out of bed, made breakfast and got fully ready for the upcoming job… but the email confirmation never came and neither did the call. They wouldn’t hire me for their 2 hour rush job because I asked for $10 more… And, I’ve actually worked with them quite a bit (although this past month has been dead) so I have a track record of successful signings with them and lots of experience. Oh, right, experience means less than nothing to signing services
So, that’s what we’re up against here
I asked them to put my account on hold for that exact reason. Literally tried to guilt me into lowering fees because “industry standards”
Grrrrrr. Too many notaries are out in the workforce that’s the problem:(.
Agree 100%. I want to make money, Im one of those people who think back to my hourly pay. I was making 11.00 a hour so if i get offered 80-90 for a hour or less of my time and it takes me 30 mins to get there I’m taking it.
$100 for a 30 minute closing is not profitable because you have to pay $7 for paper, $25 for gas, $50 for good quailty toner and pens of course which is the bare minimum. If you want to look professional you need a nice folders for the borrower copies and wipes.
Each closing cost at least notaries at least $25 and 2 hours to complete start to finish.
The turnaround time for HELOC (easiest closing) 15 MIN download docs, review and stacking 40 pages
20 min driving
30 minutes at closing with no questions or issue with ID
10 minutes scanning
20 driving to UPS or Fedex
10 min waiting for a receipt
10 min drive home
There is a profit but in my opinion not sufficient for the expertise and services that notaries are providing to a signing service or title co.
When calculating your out-of-pocket costs for providing Professional Signing Agent [PSA] services, there are a few additional items to consider. Below is an abbreviated list of the items that are considered components of overhead while providing PSA services:
• telephone expenses including cell phone equipment and monthly service fees
• office equipment and furniture; i.e., work chair, work desk, reliable dual-tray printer, trustworthy scanner, etc.
• Notarial stamps for Jurats, Acknowledgements, Notarial Name, Commission Expiration, etc.
• rent and utilities
• binder clips
• pens (inexpensive for one-time use)
• stationery and supplies including stamps & envelopes
• travel costs to & from signer locations (i.e., create a generic by county list)
• travel costs to & from FedEx/UPS/USPS, etc. (i.e., choose your favorite location OR the closest that will provide you with a receipt)
• business insurance
• business-related meals and entertainment
• professional association memberships
• annual background checks
• annual certification expenses
• legal and accounting fees
• tax preparation fees
• advertising and marketing costs; i.e., Google ads, yellow pages ad, website, business cards, or brochure
• Protection equipment; i.e., COVID-19 masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, etc.
AND many more!
Your individual overhead would also include the cost of fringe benefits; i.e., medical insurance, disability insurance, retirement benefits. Also, remember to include quarterly income tax payment to federal & state (as appropriate) and self-employment taxes.
If calculating all this accurately seems to be a bit overwhelming, reach out to your tax advisor and ask for guidance in this regard.
In Texas it’s not unusual for Refis to hold 150+ pages. My typical round trip distance is about 30 miles. If there a cash out component we have to close at a law office, so add another $50-$200 for use of the office.