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May 22, 2020

What to do with signers who read too much

Filed under: General Stories — admin @ 9:54 pm

Growing up, my father drove people crazy by slowly reading every part of long contracts while they had to sit and wait. I agree with him that reading contracts is essential. But, exasperating others is not nice. I think it is my karma being the son of a copious reader (that is his hobby by the way) to have signers who are just as bad (or diligent and good) as dad.

During my career, roughly half of my borrowers read too much. My average signing took a little more than an hour. I dealt with it. I was not too concerned unless they were delaying me from getting to another job. But, now that I am older, and value my time more, I realize this is no good. Three hour signings cannot happen.

You need a strategy for how you are going to deal with this. Here are some ideas. Put in the comments if you have other ideas.

1. During the confirmation call, let them know you are offering them “x” amount of minutes for the signing. I would offer more time to those paying you well to make sure you get rehired. For cheap signings, perhaps offer 45 minutes. Keep in mind that if they go over, you need to offer some leeway to avoid social friction (and getting fired). For signings that pay big bucks, you might allow up to two hours just to be nice. But, still emphasize that there is a limit. My personal experience was that the more I was paid, the faster the signing was. My worst client was a Lender whose borrowers always had to call him and ask painstakingly long questions on my time. The average phone call was 45 minutes which I had to sit through.

2. If you don’t give them a summary of your time offering before the signing, you can spring it on them at the signing. You explain that this is a signing appointment and not a reading appointment. You can explain that they have borrowers copies to read for the next 72 hours if this is a refinance for a primary residence, and that they can cancel after the fact. Explain that you have other appointments and have to leave in “x” amount of minutes whether the loan is signed or not out of courtesy for your subsequent appointments.

Having time limits might get you fired, not paid, or in trouble. But, if you want to make money as a signing agent, you need to book lots of appointments and nail them one by one. Or, you need to have two high paying jobs per day. 2 x $200 = $400 and $400 per day is a living — not a great living, but a living. If you make $80 per signing, you need to do at least five per day to get paid well and that means hustling and moving fast, especially at night when they might be back to back.

In the worst scenario, you might have to take the main copies signed or unsigned, put them in the Fedex and send them back. You can explain to the company that you ran out of time and that next time the Lender should explain the documents better to the signer AHEAD OF TIME otherwise they end up taking your time when you don’t have time. It is not a matter of what your time is worth — if you have another client waiting, it is an abuse of that other client’s time if you are late for any reason.

Please comment if you have better ideas, because this blog article is about playing rough which is not considered nice, but is the only way to get good income per hour spent. Otherwise you might get taken for a ride regularly.



  1. If a borrower starts to read every page I
    1) explain the 72hour RTC
    2) tell them it’s there right to read before they sign but I have other appointments that I need to be on time for
    3) offer to comeback after they’ve read everything to finish the signing
    4) I get a second trip fee from the company

    Comment by Todd I. — July 10, 2020 @ 5:16 pm

  2. My confirmation email always clearly outlines time limits and to your point of telling them they have a limited amount of time, my comment is this: You have three days to read this. I have one hour to make sure your loan gets done today.

    Said nicely, with a smile, as I keep turning pages and signing!

    Comment by Michelle Boucher — August 31, 2021 @ 12:12 pm

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