Mar 7, 2022

When someone can’t make it to the title company on closing day to sign the necessary papers, a popular solution is to use a mobile notary. Mobile Notary services have been around a long time and are more sought-after than ever now. 

Notary services are crucial in real estate transactions. Several documents are required to be notarized in order for a property to change hands. Validating signatures and identities of signers keeps the process authentic and reduces the chance of fraud. 

Unlike signing in a traditional title office setting, a mobile notary travels to the client’s location to meet them in person.

Mobile notaries offer a convenient service.

“I can travel to your home, office, or any location you need. Those could include a business, hospital, hotel, coffee shop, or parking lot,” says Henry Eford, a Certified Loan Signing Agent. “I go to a lot of locations that your title company may not be able or willing to accommodate.”

These bonded professionals can be scheduled just about any hour of the day and many specialize in flexible, after-hours closings. The convenience and efficiency of signing documents at your preferred time and location can save the signer the hassles of traveling to a title office. A mobile notary can be there when and where you need them. The service can be provided in any state in the U.S.

Notary/Signing Agents
There is a difference between a mobile notary and a signing agent. The typical notary’s job is to witness the signature. They do not act as an escrow officer or attorney. They cannot explain the closing documents or details of a specific transaction. If a person wants some explanation of documents they are signing, they should request a signing agent.

“Loan signing agents are notaries trained in mortgage and title documents,” says Eford. “As a certified loan signing agent, I ensure that all needed signatures and initials are obtained and I travel to the signer’s location to do so. Often my services include additional duties like printing the loan document packages, and delivering the completed loan documents to the title company or lender.”

Signing agents are screened and certified to meet compliance requirements for a remote closing.

Time and Cost
A remote closing with a mobile notary must be scheduled and approved in advance by the title company. When closing documents are signed outside of the title company office, the originals must be returned to the title company for processing, funding, and finalizing the transaction. This often requires paperwork to be signed a day in advance.

In arranging and approving for someone to sign documents with a mobile notary, the title company may consider factors like security, turnaround time, efficiency, and accuracy.

Typical mobile notary/signing agent cost ranges from $85 to $400 depending on location, the experience of the notary, and additional services like printing, scanning, and delivering originals. Maximum notary fee charges are set by each state. In Texas, notaries may charge $6 for the first signature and $1 for each additional signature. They may also charge for copies, a separate travel fee, and mileage for traveling to the customer’s location.

International notaries are an entirely different challenge. These can be complicated and require a lot of time and coordination. Often the parties are better off delaying closing until the signer is back in the country.

While the fees for mobile notary services add to the transaction costs, they are often a good value when the signer considers the convenience, expenses of travel time, and deadlines.
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