Notary Signing Agents: The Unsung Heroes of Loan Closings

  • By NotaryCam

  • 28 June, 2024

You’ve probably heard of notaries, but have you ever wondered about the critical role they play in loan closings? Enter notary signing agents, the unsung heroes of the mortgage industry.

These professionals are the final link in the chain, ensuring that all documents are properly executed, notarized, and returned for processing. Without them, the loan process would grind to a halt.

But what exactly do notary signing agents do? And you might ask, “What makes them different from the classic notary folks?” In this post we’ll explore the world of notary signing agents and shed light on their essential responsibilities, so get ready to appreciate these key players in a whole new way!

What Is a Notary Signing Agent?

You’ve probably heard of notaries public before. But have you heard of notary signing agents? They’re a special type of notary that plays a crucial role in the mortgage industry.

As a notary signing agent myself, I can tell you firsthand that we’re the unsung heroes of the home buying process. We’re the ones who make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed on those giant stacks of mortgage loan documents.

How Is a Notary Signing Agent Different from a Traditional Notary?

So what sets us apart from your average notary public? For starters, we’re specially trained to handle loan documents. We know the ins and outs of the mortgage industry and all the paperwork that comes with it.

While traditional notaries can notarize all sorts of documents, we focus specifically on real estate transactions. We’re the final link in the chain that allows lenders to complete the loan and get people into their dream homes.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Notary Signing Agent?

Our main job is to make sure that all the loan documents are properly executed, notarized, and returned to the lender on time. We’re hired as independent contractors to be that impartial third party overseeing the signing.

But we’re more than just a stamper and signer. We’re also couriers, making sure those signed and notarized documents get back to the financial institutions that need them. It’s a big responsibility, but it’s one we take seriously.

Becoming a Notary Signing Agent

So you’re thinking about becoming a notary signing agent? I don’t blame you. It’s a rewarding career that lets you be your own boss and help people achieve their homeownership dreams.

Requirements to Become a Notary Signing Agent

First things first, you’ll need to become a commissioned notary public in your state. The requirements for this vary, so make sure to check with your state’s notary regulating agency. In addition to being a notary, most lenders and title companies also require signing agents to undergo a background check and carry errors and omissions insurance.

They want to make sure they’re working with trustworthy professionals. Once you’ve got your notary commission, the next step is to get certified as a signing agent. This usually involves taking a training course and passing an exam.

The certification process covers everything from the types of loan documents you’ll be dealing with to the proper procedures for notarizing them. It’s not required by law, but it’s a must-have if you want to work with most lenders and signing services.

Training and Certification Options for Notary Signing Agents

There are a few different organizations that offer signing agent training and certification. The National Notary Association (NNA) is a big one. Their program covers all the bases and is recognized by most of the major players in the mortgage industry.

But there are other options out there too. Just make sure to do your research and choose a reputable program that will give you the knowledge and credentials you need to succeed as a signing agent.

Essential Supplies for Notary Signing Agents

So you’ve got your notary commission and your signing agent certification. Now it’s time to gear up with the right supplies. At a minimum, you’ll need a reliable printer, a scanner, and a fax machine (yes, some lenders still require faxed documents).

You’ll also want to stock up on signing agent supplies like blue pens, toner, and paper. But the most important thing you’ll need is a good system for staying organized. You’ll be dealing with a lot of loan packages, each with its own set of deadlines and requirements.

Invest in a planner, a filing system, and whatever else you need to keep track of your assignments and make sure those completed loan documents get where they need to go.

Finding Work as a Notary Signing Agent

You’ve got your certification, you’ve got your supplies, now it’s time to start signing. But where do you find work as a notary signing agent?

One of the easiest ways to get started is by working with signing services. These are companies that connect signing agents with lenders and title companies that need their services.

The great thing about signing services is that they usually have a steady stream of work available. The downside is that they also take a cut of the fee, so you won’t make quite as much per signing as you would working directly with a lender.

Partnering with Title Companies and Lenders

Speaking of working directly with lenders, that’s another option for finding signing work. You can reach out to local title companies and lenders and let them know you’re available for loan closings. This can be a great way to build relationships and get more control over your schedule and fees, but it also requires more legwork and hustle on your part to keep a steady stream of assignments coming in.

Marketing Your Notary Signing Agent Business

Which brings me to my next point: marketing yourself as a signing agent. If you want to be successful in this business, you can’t just sit back and wait for the work to come to you. You’ve got to go out and get it.

Start by creating a professional website and social media presence. Network with real estate agents, lenders, and other professionals in your area, and attend industry events and conferences. The more people you know and the more visible you are, the more signing assignments you’re likely to get.

Maximizing Your Income as a Notary Signing Agent

Alright, let’s talk money. How much can you actually make as a notary signing agent? And more importantly, how can you maximize your income?

First off, it’s important to know that there’s no set standard for signing agent fees. It’s up to you to determine what to charge based on your experience, your expenses, and what the market will bear in your area.

That being said, most signing agents charge anywhere from $75 to $200 per loan signing. Some even charge extra for things like printing documents or traveling to a signing location.

Offering Additional Services

Another way to boost your income as a signing agent is by offering additional services. For example, some signing agents also offer mobile notary services for things like wills, trusts, and other legal documents.

You could also offer remote online notarization (RON) services, which allow you to notarize documents virtually using video conferencing technology. This can be a great way to expand your reach and take on signings from anywhere in the country.

Building a Strong Reputation

At the end of the day, the key to maximizing your income as a signing agent notary signing agent is to build a strong reputation in the industry. The more lenders and title companies trust you and know they can count on you to get the job done right, the more work you’ll get and the more you can charge.

So focus on providing excellent service, being reliable and professional, and always going above and beyond for your clients. Word will spread, and before you know it, you’ll have more notary signing work than you know what to do with.

Legal Considerations for Notary Signing Agents

As a notary signing agent, it’s important to always stay on the right side of the law. After all, you’re dealing with legal documents and playing a crucial role in some of the biggest financial transactions of people’s lives.

The first step is to make sure you have a thorough understanding of your state’s notary laws. These laws vary from state to state, so it’s important to know the specific requirements and restrictions for notaries in your area.

For example, some states have limits on the fees notaries can charge, while others have specific requirements for witnessing signatures or keeping a notary journal. Make sure you’re familiar with all the rules and regulations that apply to you.

Maintaining Confidentiality and Impartiality

As a notary signing agent, you’re expected to be an impartial third party in the loan signing process. That means maintaining strict confidentiality and not favoring one party over another.

You should never offer legal advice or give your opinion on the terms of the loan. Your job is simply to ensure that the documents are properly executed and notarized, not to influence the transaction in any way.

Protecting Yourself with Errors and Omissions Insurance

Even the most careful and diligent signing agent can make a mistake sometimes. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself with errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. This type of insurance covers you in case you make a mistake or are accused of negligence in your duties as a signing agent.

It can help cover legal fees, settlements, and other costs associated with a claim against you. Most lenders and signing services require signing agents to carry E&O insurance, so it’s really a must-have in this business. Trust me, it’s worth the peace of mind knowing you’re protected.

Key Takeaway: 

Notary signing agents are key players in the mortgage world, making sure loan documents are correct and on time. They’re trained pros in real estate deals, acting as impartial overseers of signings. To join their ranks, start by becoming a notary public, then get certified and insured.

Finding work involves marketing yourself to lenders or joining signing services. Boost your income by offering extra services like mobile notarization or remote online notarizations (RON). Remember to stay legal by knowing your state’s laws and getting E&O insurance.

FAQs in Relation to Notary Signing Agents

How much does a loan signing agent make in Texas?

In Texas, a loan signing agent can rake in around $35k to $50k annually, but top earners pull more based on volume and reputation.

What kind of notary makes the most money?

Notaries specializing in real estate, especially those who become certified as loan signing agents, often outearn their peers.

How do I become a notary signing agent in NY?

To kick off your journey in NY, snag a notary public commission first. Then ace a certification course for signing agents and get that E&O insurance lined up.

How to become a loan signing agent in South Carolina?

Become an official notary through SC’s Secretary of State. Next step: nail down some specialized training for loan signings and consider grabbing extra credentials or certifications.


Notary signing agents are the unsung heroes of the mortgage finance industry, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure smooth and efficient loan closings. When it comes down to sweating the small stuff while staying neutral, this crew’s on top of it – making life easier for lenders as well as people taking out loans or juggling paperwork at title companies.

By understanding the crucial role of notary signing agents, you can appreciate the importance of their work and the value they bring to every transaction as a trusted professional. Whether you’re a borrower, a lender, or a real estate professional, working with a skilled and reliable notary signing agent can make all the difference in achieving a successful closing.

So the next time you’re involved in a mortgage closing, take a moment to recognize the dedication and professionalism of your notary signing agent. They truly are the key to unlocking a seamless and stress-free experience for all parties involved.