Stop accepting low fees!

Stop accepting low fees! Even if you are new and learning, you are a professional. Low fee acceptance does a disservice to us all and it makes them disrespect our service even more than they do already. Get the training you need and have confidence in your new found skill/business. $85 for a closing in Muncie, IN is disrespectful! $75 just to come outside and thats being nice, but it does not even include travel to and fro and my paper, ink & wear and tear on my printer and my car!

16 Likes

Personally, I feel everyone should be paid better than what’s being offered, but especially so in states where special licensing is required, like MD and IN (needing a TPL) and MN (needing to be a licensed closer) - and any other states I’m not aware of.

1 Like

:100% The offers are getting more insulting by the day!!!

7 Likes

What’s worse is many of these companies are own and ran by notaries that have started their own signing companies.

5 Likes

This means no disrespect to you who created the post. Please stop telling us not to take low fees. When these jobs come across, we sometimes can see the amount the signing companies offer. If it’s not the amount you would like do not take it or send it back. Just know what you will not do the next notary will. We all are running a business so if $75 or $85 is disrespectful to some of you move aside to allow someone who feels like it is not have a chance. Allow the person who is close to the area to do the job. Ink, paper, printer, and gas are a part of our company. Car maintenance is what the budget is for all can be written off at the end of the year. Ask yourself this “Why did you get into this business?” If you are going to ask for $300 closing your work better show $300 worth. The goal is to do the work that’s worth a million no matter the price. Then watch how they will hit you up every time with the price you ask for.
Maybe this can help all of us, if a job is outside your travel zone do not take the job to allow the person in the zone. Then maybe we all can work together that way then telling us not to less fees.

1 Like

I never said it was outside my travel area. I have been in business for over 26 years, so I’m well versed in business, taxes, write-offs ,etc. But government business travel rate is .67/mile. Ink and paper are write offs, but that does not mean I shouldn’t be paid for the expense and my professional services. Here in Indiana we are paid $10/stamp-signature, for mortgage closings of any matter, I typically do not charge for every stamp, so that’s discount enough. And you’re right, you run your business how you choose, just thought I’d share business 101 for some who are obviously new to business. The goal should be to earn a profit no matter how small. This is business four for me, so it’s definitely not my bread and butter. Good luck. While you learn business. :relieved: Have a great day.

6 Likes

One of the positives of our business is that each of us can determine what rate we personally will accept for any given order on any given day. Nothing is fixed.

I have my standards, just as every other NSA does. But my standards are mine, and no one else needs to be held to them.

That said, I understand and share the frustrations of NSAs who have been licensed for years. As business gets tighter, offers are fewer, and competing with those who accept low fees seems unfair.

Many NSAs who fell for the blandishments of those in 2020 who got rich selling “Make Six Figures…” plans are doing their best to stay afloat after opening signing services. As most experienced NSAs have been burned at least once for payment by small signing services, I imagine trying to recruit to fill orders is difficult. Those small signing services still have fixed overhead costs. Unfortunately, many of them seem to lack standard business accounting skills, leading to unpaid invoices.

Ours is not a business upon which to base a main source of income. As in most professions dependent upon real estate, vast fluctuations happen regularly. Without a second stable revenue source, NSAs will quickly find themselves desperate for any fees they can find.

Do I feel many signing services are taking advantage of the situation above to force fees to extremely low points? Yes. However, again, every business has fixed costs. As every NSA knows, those fixed costs NEVER go down. Fewer orders means less coming in to pay fixed costs. If revenue is not going up due to fewer orders, then controlled costs must be lowered. Hence, lower rates offered to NSAs.

Is that fair to any party? Not really. Is that part of life as an independent small businessperson? Yes, it is.

Thank you for your patience.

5 Likes

In the last 3 years I’ve seen fees offerings drop by more than 75%, while costs have jumped upwards due to inflation. While I’ve enjoyed this business, I didn’t get into it for the ‘feel goods’. I got into this to earn a living. The concept of taking low fees and build up from there, fails to take into account this is a commodity business, where the job goes to the lowest bidder.

5 Likes

I know the business. But I do know when you price yourself out of work. We all are out here to make money to make a living. I also know when loan apps are low notary’s signing fees will be low. Plus if you are relying on signing companies to make the bulk of your notary money then complain about their fees. You best believe I’m out here making connections the old way. They may not use me now but they will one day. For now, if I can when my phone rings and my email dings I will be on it…You all say many of you are here to make money passing up money and connections is not in the cards for some of us. In some areas, you can charge $150 to $200. Just you say they need us we need them as well. Let us work on our errors so when we ask for more we are worth more.

My comment wasn’t directed at you. “Stop accepting low fees” is not just your comment. That’s been going around. Signing work goes with real estate. When it goes up notary fees will go up.

I was told it is better to have steady work than no work.
it’s better to have steady money than to out price your money

It can’t be expressed better than as stated by one of our valued sages @Arichter ===>>>

“’ Tip: When you start out by putting yourself in the ‘bargain bin’, just know that you’ll never get to top shelf because there’s always another beginner climbing into the bargain bin. Sadly, that’s about ALL that hiring party is looking for in these low-volume times–someone to pay their bills & provide their income.

SOURCE: How should I measure my success? - #22 by Arichter

6 Likes

I find it very bothersome that Mortgage Connect, whom I have always liked and always used to offer a good rate ($100 for a Signing in Dallas when other Agencies were offering $80 to $90) started offering $60 or $65. They seem to be mostly HELOC Signings and they are all Bank of America.

I have pushed back and pushed back and after losing out on over 30 Sigings (likely more), I have recently accepted a few. I few awful for doing it, but I gotta eat.

4 Likes

What does a “$300 closing” look like? No errors? Well great, then why aren’t they paying $300? It’s because they don’t have to when they know that there are plenty of notaries out there who will take the job for $75. Simple supply and demand. I don’t care if you do 100 jobs for a company absolutely perfectly with not even one error. They still won’t pay you any more than the “going rate”. Maybe if you grovel enough they’ll tack on an extra $5 or $10.

3 Likes

Those Bank of America jobs get snapped up immediately at $60 or $65, so why should they offer more?
Because they’re worth more? Well…as you probably know by now…that’s just not how it works.

2 Likes

I hope to God they paid separate for the attorney’s or title company’s office

I see this so much on here— main reason I stop posting.

Meanwhile nobody wants to address the real issue which is if everybody wasn’t trying to be their own “signing service” we could all just do our own thing and pricing would be better.

I’m realizing now the one signing job I’ve had I must’ve gotten it through Yelp of all places. That $300 went straight to me… No middle man trying to get a finders fee

Ah well.

2 Likes

Not necessarily. At the peak of Covid when business was booming signing services offered the same low fees that they always have. The difference was that the jobs weren’t being snapped up in a heartbeat like they are now…because of high volume and a lot of signing agents sidelining themselves because of the Covid epidemic. So you could negotiate a decent fee in many cases. It’s all supply and demand.

2 Likes

Yessss dont take anything under 100 and that is just the baseline.

3 Likes

Exactly! I haven’t asked for $300 in a long while. I think the highest has been $275 and that was for a commercial loan, which should pay higher since I typically have to sit and wait for the closing to clear the closing parties. And I do not have errors in my documents. They’re just low-balling us as professionals and until we band together and refuse these low offers they’ll just keep getting lower.

1 Like

I am no longer doing notary work. Pay is too low for traveling, wear and tear on vehicle, gas, computer ink, paper and time, not worth it

Sharon Hamilton

3 Likes