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January 18, 2022

Low-Ball Signing Co’s? How to get biz directly from Title

Originally published many years ago

Do you get business from low-ball signing companies? Are you sick of it? Aren’t we all.
Notaries do a lot of reactive posts about bad offers, but look at it from a different point of view. Let’s be proactive instead of reactive here.

First of all, it doesn’t matter how many bad offers you get as long as you get a few good offers.

Second of all, if you have little experience or training as a signing agent, you are not entitled to anything better than a low-ball offer.

Third, consider this. Some notaries are saying that low-ball signing companies need notaries more than notaries need them. I think that if this were true, that no notary would work for them. Yet, notaries do work for them. However, if you have had it up to here with these bad offers, here is a not too sophisticated strategy that can get these guys to stop bothering you.

Take an offer from a low-ball signing company. Do a nice job with a smile. Do all the fax-backs, etc. Then, find out who the Title company is who offered this job to the signing company. Contact the Title company directly and offer them your services directly at a reasonable price.

Keep in mind that signing companies are in business for a reason. If they charge $150 and pay the notaries $60, why do Title companies use them in the first place? Signing companies can take huge quantities of work off the shoulders of Title companies with a 100% reliability rate. They not only supervise the work, but they guarantee that all of thework will get done correctly and on time, otherwise they get fired. But, what if you are a responsible notary who is a better quality notary than what those signign companies use and charge $85 to work direct with Title. Okay, that’s not enough. What about $95? Think about it. Make your offer attractive to Title and you can “steal” some Title companies away from these nitwits who keep texting you! Teach them a lesson.

On the other hand, I do not recommend contacting Title companies directly unless you have signed at least 700 loans, are certified by at least three agencies, and have a very stellar track record. Title companies don’t play around with beginner’s luck — they want professionals!


You might also like:

If you contact Title companies directly, what do they want?

A newbie at a Title company



  1. I agree with all of the above, and have contacted title companies directly for work.

    Comment by Linda James — August 6, 2015 @ 5:20 pm

  2. Of course I want to ‘stick it’ to the greedy signing companies who have now ‘uber-ized’ the industry by sending mass text messages to hundreds of notaries when a signing opportunity is available in the local area (LA, in my case). They get a response within a fraction of a second, turning the process into a speed/lottery contest and of course they pay very little. Here are some of issues:

    – Signing companies are good at protecting their turf. The agreements they make you sign with them prohibit any solicitation of their clients. It’s quite likely that the signing company would find out about attempted contacts with their clients and you’re going to be blackballed from future work assignments.

    – On of the fundamental reasons the signing ‘brokers’ exist is that they worked a deal out with the Title/Escrow companies to require an astronomical amount of E&O coverage by an individual notary (typically $500k). Of course, an individual notary could never afford this amount of coverage, so that’s how the signing companies shut out potential competition. They provide the blanket E&O coverage for the notaries performing the signings.

    – Additionally, the signing companies try to lie about how much they’re being paid. Yes, I’ve looked at the HUDs and typically see $150 as the notary fee, but the signing companies have been working deals with the Escrow companies to attempt to ‘hide the fee’. I’ve seen it omitted completely or simply the blatant lie of showing it as $25. Isn’t this a RESPA violation (or some other regulation regarding the proper disclosure of fees on the HUD)?

    Comment by BobH — August 7, 2015 @ 1:23 am

  3. Wow that is a little underhanded, if they find out you are trying to steal their clients you can kiss them good bye. Not saying if you already had a relationship with the title company that would be a different matter. And saying the newbies deserve the 65 dollar signings well I really don’t have an opinion on that.
    Angelina Saenz
    Tejas Notarys

    Comment by angelina saenz — August 7, 2015 @ 7:17 am

  4. My favorite strategy, when I have time, is to “win” the lottery and then reply to the assignment with my base fee of $125 and let them decide whether to accept my fee or try someone else. I know that someone who has invested in the training, supplies and advertising can’t make any money when they work for these discount brokers.

    Comment by Gary Prichard — August 7, 2015 @ 2:54 pm

  5. There are 2 types of escrow companies. First, the ones who have volume contracts with direct lenders (like Quicken, for example.). They will never lose that business to a small-time notary. The reason is not only the fee, but convenience as well. They handle loans for a huge geographical area and can’t be bothered with finding notaries in different parts of the country.The second type is the local escrow company, who deal mainly in you territory. They welcome a personal relationship with a knowledgeable, professional notary they can rely on to be the face of the escrow company. This takes a lot of time and patience. It is a journey, not a destination. At the same time, keep working with signing companies until you can afford to ween yourself off of that source; you still need to pay the bills.

    Comment by John H — August 7, 2015 @ 4:26 pm

  6. The HUD reveals a lot of information and on line 1102 there is always an entry about the closing cost (paid) to the notary service. It’s always close to or over $ 500.00 (US). My question is; If we are in the trenches doing the actual closing, why are we not paid at least $ 150.00 for a simple closing? An average closing can take anywhere from four to six hours to complete. First off, the documents have to be printed out and checked by the notary for signatures. he / She must flag all areas that must be signed by the borrower (or seller). This procedure can add at least one hour to the preparation process. After all documents are checked you must print another copy of the documents. By law if you are in New York the signer must get a copy of all documents signed so that adds time to the project. Then there is travel time to the signers home or office and do not forget the travel time to get back to your office. By all conservative estimates that could be two (2) hours travel time. The closing can take another one and sometimes up to two hours to complete even if there are no questions or distractions. So, when signing companies offer me a closing for $ 60.00 I will (always) politely say that I am going fishing on that day and thanks for calling me with this wonderful offer and then hang up. God forbid that there is a toll on the bridge or highway, all the signing companies are interested in how fast can you get there for $ 60.00 bucks (American).

    Comment by Ray Cote — November 4, 2015 @ 8:15 pm

  7. Oh, I almost forgot. I live in the most expensive city in the world where almost every bridge has a toll. When you try to add the expense to the fee they will always say that they have to check with the boss and get back to you. (Which they never do) These brilliant simple minded people can’t make an independent decision when it comes to parking fees as well. If you do a signing or closing in mid town Manhattan (NYC) parking for one hour could cost $ 40.00 or more. The cost of doing business in New York city is a little more expensive than doing business in Billings, Montana.

    Comment by Ray Cote — November 4, 2015 @ 8:25 pm

  8. A lot of title companies will go to signing services because of convenience and familiarity with their process. Taking their business is going to be an ongoing challenge unless you are on great terms and first name basis with the escrow officer who can call you direct for signings. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to build relationships with the EO’s and stay top of mind

    Comment by Nicolas Vargas Calvo — August 2, 2022 @ 2:47 pm

  9. Another great way is to have superb website rankings and those title companies that aren’t in the regular habit of using signing service companies will easily find you. And of course have a solid 123notary listing!

    Comment by Mark Sias — December 21, 2022 @ 4:01 pm

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