by Andrew Springfield—Who Prefers Them and How Do They Become “Preferred”? Settlement Agents who close real estate transactions, such as Title Companies, Escrow Companies and Attorneys, often need mobile notaries to witness borrowers’ signatures on loan documents. Lenders, Builders and Real Estate Agents need good notaries as well.

This small, but critical component of the real estate deal called the “loan document signing” is an art form commonly dismissed as clerical formality.

When docs need to be accurately signed 3000 miles away and returned by the next day, time is of the essence and the deal is on the line. My customers count on me to uphold their reputations as closing professionals by running that leg of the relay to perfection.

Therefore I select and dispatch only those notaries I prefer to protect my reputation as well as my customers. They are my “Preferred Notaries.”

So, beyond the basic capability of notarization, what do I look for to effectively satisfy my customers’ signing needs?

The Preferred Notary Knows Their Role and Is Comfortable With It.
They must be able to convey to the borrower that they are a neutral party, hired by an agency. The notary signing agent is there for the purpose of making sure the borrowers are properly identified and the loan documents are properly executed.

The Preferred Notary has learned NOT to play the role of the Real Estate Agent, Lender, Closer (Settlement Agent), Attorney, Title Insurer, Seller, or any other party to the transaction. They defer to the expertise of the other professionals when borrowers ask about the terms, effects, financial and legal implications of the documents they are signing. Often times the other professional is available to satisfy the borrower’s needs.

The Preferred Notary knows a rescheduled appointment is better than a bad one.

The Preferred Notary Is Experienced.
Some people are comfortable with walking into a stranger’s house, all alone, and being responsible for the proper execution of legal documents representing debt of several hundred thousand dollars. Most are not.

The Preferred Notary is aware of the importance of the assignment, and has performed it many, many times faithfully. The players and situations change, yet the Preferred Notary grows professionally with each assignment. There is no substitute for this process.

Classes, coaches, certifications and other business/work/life experiences can enhance ones “success” rate in this area. However, more than once I have had to clean up after “well trained” notaries who just didn’t have several hundred signings under their belt.

Any professional worth their salt knows the cost of a botched signing is far more than the investment to find and hire a Preferred Notary.

Preferred Notaries have experience and the accumulated wisdom that goes with it.

The Preferred Notary Has A Strong Work Ethic.
Simply put, some people have more productive work habits than most. This is especially evident in the realm of the self-employed.

The Preferred Notary is reliable by virtue of the fact that they are prepared for an assignment before it is received. They actively acquire the tools and knowledge to use them when the opportunity of an assignment (inevitably) comes along. Efficiency and timeliness are two hallmarks of a Strong Work Ethic.

Preferred Notaries require very little supervision because, once they accept an assignment, they follow it through to completion. This is especially valuable because human error is part of the real estate business like any other. Negative consequences and damages multiply when mistakes go undetected or are left unresolved. The transactions are large and liability is high.

Preferred Notaries always take care of business and do not leave loose ends.

The Preferred Notary Has Strong People Skills.
Preferred Notaries are aware that we are interacting with people during some of the most stressful events in their lives. Relating to borrower’s circumstances, while remaining true to one’s role is something the Preferred Notary does very well. They ask questions, listen and respond thoughtfully.

Occasionally a lack of communication in the course of a deal is cause for a borrower’s concern. The Preferred Notary’s knowledge of the loan documents and the basics of the closing process will enable them to alleviate the borrower’s concerns most of the time. Otherwise, the Preferred Notary employs a concierge-like approach to tactfully direct the borrowers to the proper professional for resolution.

In Conclusion, Preferred Notaries Build A Bond of Trust.
They deserve to be respected and thanked for ensuring something important… a positive signing experience!