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November 27, 2013

Does Real Estate experience help as a notary?

We asked on Facebook which type of professional background helps if you are a signing agent.

Mortgage & Title Experience
Mortgage and Title experience helps to a point, but not that much. I keep telling people, it is a lot different when you are on the “other” side of the table with a notary stamp in your hand. The type of knowledge you need and the type of experience is very different.

Our Quiz
I give a little quiz to people where I ask them a few questions over the phone. People who claim to be experienced and know it all typically complain that I catch them off guard. I tell them that they should know loan signing terminology so well that they should be able to talk about it if they are drunk, stoned, or in a deep sleep. So, I ask people what the technical term for the date of the signing is — and even a loan processor with 30 years of experience couldn’t tell me. Mortgage brokers are notorious for failing our certification test. Additionally, NNA certified signing agents who think they know it all score an average of 30% on our phone test.

In defense of notary2pro’s course, the notary2pro graduates get more like 65% on our over the phone quiz which is excellent and comparable to those who pass the 123notary certification test.

But, the worst luck I have had is with people who tell me all about their Real Estate experience. They tell me for 10 minutes how they know all about loan documents because they were a Real Estate Agent. Then I ask them what the APR is, and they say, “Huh?”. The APR, don’t you know the APR? How would you define the APR? Then if they are somewhat with it, they define the APR as being the Annual Percentage Rate which is not a definition, but another spelled out name for the APR.

Negative Advertising or Neutral Advertising?
In any case, from talking to enough Real Estate Brokers, being in that profession is nothing to brag about when trying to advertise yourself as a notary. In fact, I think it is neutral advertising. It is sort of like saying that you know nothing about being a notary, so instead — you will try to pass yourself off as someone who knows the documents — when in fact you don’t know the first thing about being a loan signer and don’t even know what the APR is in most cases. Additionally, many Real Estate Brokers will write three paragraphs in their notary notes about their Real Estate achievements when the reader wants to know about what types of documents and financial packages they have signed and more about their notary credentials.

OMG. Are all Realtors this bad?

The bottom line is that if you want to be a signing agent, study to be a signing agent. Study from 123notary if you want our certification icon on your listing. Otherwise, study from notary2pro for some good one on one mentoring from their staff. Being a Real Estate agent and mentioning that in your notary notes will not help you or harm you. Just quickly mention it, and then go on to describe the intricacies of your notary knowledge, memberships, equipment, credentials, coverage areas, and more…

(1) Drunk? Stoned? In a deep sleep? No matter! Know your loan signing terminology!
(2) It’s a lot different when you are on the “other” side of the table w/a notary stamp.
(3) A loan processer 30 year vet didn’t know the technical term for the “date of signing”
(4) Real Estate Brokers need to get real! You don’t know ur loan docs as well as you think you do!

You might also like:

A complete guide for beginner Notaries

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  1. As a notary, I agree- real estate experience doesn’t seem to help much. But then experience as a loan agent doesn’t help either. I have been at signings where loan agent comes but asks me to explain APR and other things in the paperwork because they admittedly don’t know the answers!! The whole industry needs an overhaul on the lending side as well as the notary side. I am glad bar continues to rise on notary standards but I think lots more attention needs to be given on the lending side, after all , it wasn’t the notaries who caused the mortgage/credit crisis.

    Comment by Dan Serbin — December 1, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

  2. As a real estate agent and a notary for over 10 years, I disagree that real estate experience is not helpful when doing loan signings. It helped me a great deal.

    Maybe other Realtors/Notaries don’t know what APR is, but I do.

    I don’t think this blog is fair to all real estate agents/notaries, and actually feel a little insulted.

    Comment by Denise ODell — December 2, 2013 @ 6:29 am

  3. I dont think having the knowledge of a Real Estate Agent is necessary, because that’s their job. OUR job as Notaries, however requires a different set of knowledge. Especially in a Loan Signing. 10/10 signings I perform don’t come with a checklist of what the documents mean. Questions regarding figures and such? Contact the Lender or Title–but when at the table, it’s in the best interest of all parties that the Notary can identify and acknowledge the document, as well as WHERE to find pertinent information.

    Where is the vesting? The interest rate? Where do you look to see if Borrowers need funds to close? All very important information as well as the APR.

    If I had a nickel for every time I saved a 25 minute phone call to the Lender to explain that the APR is NOT their interest rate, and what is was rather; I’d have.. Well.. A big pile of nickels.

    Comment by Amber Nelson — April 14, 2016 @ 5:17 pm

  4. Most Realtors know very little about loan documents. I do because I worked in Mortgage Loan Servicing and Post Closing and I was an Escrow Officer and Licensed Title Insurance Agent before I became a Realtor. I am still a Mobile Notary. It is the reverse. Being a Notary has helped me be a better Realtor. I make sure the names on the purchase agreement match their ID.

    There are also Escrow Officers I won’t use because of how many mistakes they do. I had one once reverse the pro-rations. Had no clue what tax bill paid what part of the year. Was going to have Seller credit Buyers for taxes the Seller had already paid. It did get corrected to the Seller receiving the credit, but had to get Title Company Manager to get it done.

    Many Realtors I deal with often make mistakes or forget disclosures because they are using a transaction coordinator who may not be licensed

    Comment by Julie Richardson — April 15, 2016 @ 1:21 am

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