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August 2, 2014

Signing Services take a portion of the notary fee

It is a well known fact that signing services take a portion of the notary fee. Some take most of it, while others only take a fraction. It is very bizarre how so many companies work on such different margins. I remember when I was in the game back in 2004. One company charged $250 and paid $75. Another company did business based on volume and charged $90, but paid only $50. This was in the days before e-documents were popular. Once in a while you can read the HUD and find that a company is charging a whopping $400 for signing fees. They might claim that part of that is for Attorney or processing fees, but I don’t buy that.

One borrower saw some outrageous notary fee on the HUD, and asked the notary how much he got from it. The notary replied that he got enough to get something on the value menu at McDonalds. The borrower didn’t like that crack much.

Notaries feel that it is not fair that they get such a small percentage of the fee. In business, there is no “fair.” You take it or leave it. If you are taking it, then that is your non-verbal way of saying that is the best you can do, and it is therefor fair. Take it or leave it. To be able to leave it, you need to have a steady stream of better offers.

Notaries always complain about bad offers. But, it is like a girl at a dance hall. If she gets 19 bad offers, but 1 good one, the good one is all she needs. On the other hand, if another girl got three bad offers and complains about them, the problem is not the bad offers, but the lack of good offers.

If you are not an experienced notary with excellent skills, you don’t merit high pay! Become an expert, pay your dues, master the art of communication, and then you might get better offers. Only 2% of the notaries on 123notary are top notch, and they are getting most of the good offers!

(1) It is bizarre to see how signing companies work on such varied margins ranging from modest to highway robbery!
(2) Notaries feel that it is not fair that they get such a small percentage of the notary fee on the HUD

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  1. To continue to use the example of the girl at the dance, waiting for a boy to ask her to dance: The girl is us, the notary. The boy is the signing company. In this case Ugly Billy asks the girl to dance but he has a reputation as a cheapskate, can’t dance well, buys Sadie a malted milk and then skips without paying for it and she gets stuck with the bill. Knowing Billy’s reputation (this is where 123 Notaries reports on signing co’s comes in real handy); Sadie, if she’s smart will say, thanks, I’ll just sit this one out.
    If we, as local notaries, had any get up and go, we’d be doing exactly what the signing co’s are doing…getting out there and marketing ourselves, instead of standing, leaning against the wall of the gym, just another wallflower, dumb enough to accept a dance from Ugly Billy!!!

    Comment by Rodrigo Jones — August 4, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

  2. It is a shame that there is not standardized testing to be certified in this field. When you have inexperienced signing agents taking the low dollar jobs trying to learn, we all suffer. Not only do we have to be bothered with the low balling signing companies insulting our intelligence, we also have to deal with the ones that have to hold our hands, there are no lenders out there requiring fax backs from the signing agents, there are a few funding docs that the title company will have to send in before the 3 day rescission to get funding authorization. The signing companies are asking for all these fax backs to make sure there are no mistakes because they have been dealing with notaries that are working for $50.It also irritates me that signing companies rate us not only for our experience, accuracy, turn around time, they also have a grade on our pricing, that brings our overall rating down if they feel we charge too much. I had a call yesterday from a company that wanted me to fax the entire package, I politely turned them down on that one condition, we didn’t even get to discussing my fee. They sounded shocked that I said no, now if I had a commercial copier/fax machine, sure it that would not be a problem, but we as signing agents are using home scanner/fax machines. I have invested in a dual tray laser printer, but they are going to have to increase our fees if they want us to be able to invest in a commercial fax machine. Can you tell I am really aggravated with all the fax back requests, lol. By the way, business has been great for me this year, I get plenty of calls from companies that are willing to pay for my expertise.

    Comment by Linda K Cox — October 23, 2014 @ 10:01 pm

  3. What really just irritates me is HOW can a Notary know what to charge? There are many unknown variables in the equation. How many pages? How many fax back? Is is a refi with piggy back sellers package. Wouldn’t it be great to know this stuff before we commit ourselves to a price? Just a thought………
    OH BTW
    I received a call from a SS and they ask me to do a signing. I agreed, but when Title called me they told me the entire package had to be faxed to them. 185 pages. Well needless to say, the $15.00 extra fee for the 3 hours of faxing didn’t improve my disposition about this company. So usually I am booked when they call now.

    Comment by Gayle Allen — February 16, 2015 @ 8:15 pm

  4. Old article, BUT, Cheer up, Gayle! Low interest rates and a recession. We will get a lot of business with fewer NSA’s. Ask for higher fees.
    If you are new, most companies will give you about they offer everybody else. You will start to see a pattern and learn to recognize ridiculous low ball offers.

    Comment by betty — April 30, 2020 @ 6:42 pm

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