By Kathy Poston—As a Signing Agent, it is your job to put borrowers at ease and help them through the loan closing process. Your initial contact with them is important and it’s equally important that you remain professional and courteous throughout the signing process.
When contacting the borrower(s) via telephone, it is important to establish your identity.
You might say: “Hello, this is __________, and I represent (name of company who hired you) on behalf of (name of lender).”
This establishes a link between you and the lender so that the borrower will have a clear indication of who you are.
You will also want to let the borrowers know (for notary purposes) that you will be asking for specific ID as required by your state (possibly government-issued PHOTO ID) and they will need to have their ID available at the signing.
Some lenders require copies of ID so you will want to check the Closing Instructions in the loan package and let the borrowers know prior to the appointment, if possible. In addition, if you can verify the signers’ identification matches the names on the documents prior to the actual signing, this may save you time and dollars!
You will want to verify the date, time, and place for the signing to take place. Always give the borrower the courtesy of letting them choose what is convenient for them! Do not accept an appointment that you cannot keep. If you have to change the time of the appointment, it is important for you to let the company that hired you know.
Most borrowers want to meet in their home. There are times when borrowers or the lender will request the meeting take place in a more neutral location. It is suggested that a fast-food restaurant, library, hotel lobby, or other public place be utilized for signings. A restaurant is a difficult place to meet as you will typically be asked to place an order. Food and/or drinks should be kept away from the loan documents!
When booking the appointment, inform the borrowers of your role during the signing process.
You might say: “My role during the signing will be to identify you for state notary purposes, present the documents one by one, indicate where you are to sign, notarize the necessary documents, and send them back to your lender.
“I am not authorized to discuss the terms of your loan, however I can highlight existing key terms such as, your loan amount, interest rate, and so on. You will need to verify any problems or questions that arise from the signing with your loan officer.”
Be sure to get adequate directions to the borrowers home if that is where you’re meeting and confirm the appointment time. It’s important that you arrive on time! If you’re going to be late due to unforeseen circumstances, let the borrowers know.
You are the first contact the borrower has after their loan has been approved. You are a representative of the company that hired you, as well as their lender. It is very important that you dress appropriately and act accordingly.
A professional demeanor will always set a positive example and your expertise will be one that the borrowers and the company that hired you will remember.
- Establish your identity & verify the signing date, time, and location
- Determine if witnesses are necessary
- Explain your role during the signing process
- Ensure proper identification
- Review instructions from the company that hired you
- Get proper directions
- Don’t be late!
- Dress appropriately – business casual is fine
- Present yourself in a professional and courteous manner
- Remain calm and self-assured – even if you don’t feel that way!
- Take control of the signing/review process
- Record and document in your notary journal
- Appreciate the unique opportunity you have to provide a job well done!