Borrower etiquette from A to Z
A year or more ago I wrote a blog about notary etiquette from A to Z. The topic arose from a very interesting and detailed discussion about where it is polite to park. The discussion went on and on, and everybody made really interesting points! But, a discussion on NR broke out about borrower etiquette, and I’m surprised that I didn’t publish this topic first, since I love the topic of etiquette (even though I don’t have very good etiquetee myself). In any case, there are many points to consider in borrower etiquette — so, here they are.
(1) Make sure you finish your meal and clean up your kitchen before the notary arrives. Make sure the smell of your cooking is somehow ventilated.
(2) Make sure you have communicated adequately with the LENDER before the notary arrives. You should be off the phone, and have listened to all of your messages before the notary arrives, especially messages (if any) from your trustworthy lender.
(3) Have all dogs, cats, snakes, birds, cockroaches, vermin, and other creatures behind a securely closed door at least 30 minutes before the signing — for good luck. Many notaries do not like dogs jumping on them. Additionally, if there is an angry or over-zealous dog in the driveway, the notary might be afraid to get of of his/her/their car.
(4) Tell your children not to come into the room of the signing. If they must come, then make sure they are quiet, dressed, and don’t make any sudden movements. Please find a way to deal with screaming babies too as that can be very distracting during a signing.
(5) The TV, radio, and all other noise should be silent during the signing so that people can focus and not make mistakes
(6) There should be a clean surface for the signing, preferably a dining room table. The ENTIRE surface should be free of any clutter and have been cleaned with 409, or Fantastic, etc., immediately prior to the signing.
(7) Make sure that all of the parties involved in the signing are there 30 minutes in advance and have their ID’s ready.
(8) Make sure you know what your rate and APR are supposed to be BEFORE the notary shows you the corresponding pages with that information.
(9) Leave your outside lights on for night signings, so the notary can intuitively know which house to go to.
(10) It is polite and helpful to let the notary know where to park
AT THE SIGNING
(11) Offer the notary a drink right away. Most borrowers are cheap and inconsiderate — it takes them 30 minutes to figure out that, “Oh, did you want something to drink?” And then, they offer you tap water. Why not offer the notary something of a higher quality such as fruit juice, soda, or coffee? Unless you are so poor that you are dying of malnutrition, it is cheap behavior to only offer tap water.
(12) Keep drinks off the table. We have had in-depth discussions about spillage, and what happens when you spill your latte on the deed of trust. Check our forum and blog for older discussions on this topic. Keep the drinks on a chair, or an adjascent table.
(13) Don’t read documents for two hours. The notary came for a signing appointment, not a reading appointment. Your borrower’s copies are for reading. Behave in such a way that the signing will take 45 minutes or less. Read the key points, and the rest can be read on your own time.
(14) Don’t blame the notary for the faults of the lender doing the old bait and switch, or for other problems you have with the lender.
(15) Don’t make phone calls or leave the room during the signing except to go to the bathroom.
(16) Smoking during the signing shouldn’t happen. If it is a really long signing, and after an hour you need a smoking break, perhaps one quick smoking break might be reasonable.
(17) (State specific for MT and TN) It is poor etiquette to expose a gun or other weapon at the signing, or to discuss guns. Notaries usually don’t feel comfortable around guns — at least the notaries that I know!
(18) Don’t discuss politics, gender issues, or anything else controversial at the signing.
(19) Don’t have an argument with your spouse, kids, or anyone else at the signing.
(20) Sign your name as it is typed below the signature line — don’t argue with the notary about this. This should have been discussed with the lender a long time ago.
(21) Don’t make a fuss about being thumbprinted
(22) After it is all said and done, visit the notary’s page on 123notary.com and write a very glowing review about how wonderful and capable the notary was.
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Notary etiquette from A to Z