Loan Signing Agent Vs Notary | What Is The Difference?
Securing a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your life. If you’ve acquired a financial institution for your real estate purchase and they’ve expected you to sign the documents yourself with either a notary or a loan signing agent. This usually happens when you’ve found an online lender or you’re not using a mortgage specialist.
Using your real estate lawyer to sign your mortgage documents is also an option, however, they will charge an additional fee on top of your purchase expenses, therefore signing with a qualified and knowledgeable notary or loan signing agent may be the wiser choice.
Discovering the difference between the two and which one is best suited for your situation can be a challenge in and of itself, however, you’re in luck because I’ve gathered enough information that I believe will help guide you to making the decision on which method to choose for your mortgage documents.
What is a Notary?
A notary, more formally known as a notary public, has only one simple job – to witness legal documents. They will charge per signature and some may even have other fees associated, such as a travel fee. Anyone can become a notary, however, they’ll most likely be working in a legal profession, such as a lawyer or law clerk.
Although their signature may be cheaper upfront, notaries in general are not trained in the execution of loan agreements. If there is a signature missed or the documents weren’t executed by yourself or the notary properly, you’ll have to pay more fees or your financing could be delayed or suspended – which, if it’s correlating with a real estate purchase, could put you in default of your Purchase Agreement and result in even more charges in the form of penalties, interest, etc.
What is a Loan Signing Agent?
A loan signing agent charges a flat fee (not per signature) and is usually educated on the multitude of forms a transaction may have, has seen and signed large amounts of loan agreements and knows exactly how to review and execute each document. They’ve seen common issues and mistakes and know how to avoid them. They know what lines need to be signed, initialed, stamped, and whatever other hoops some financial companies like to place on signing of loans. And if there are specific questions concerning your transaction, they will know how to get you in contact with your lender or escrow office to clear up your questions.
Loan signing agents can also notarize documents, however, not all loan documents need to be notarized (most of them don’t need to be).
Typical documents that do require a notarized seal include:
- The final mortgage contract itself. This is not the document that will be registered on title of the property.
- The deed of trust is the most important document you will need to sign and requires proper care when executing to ensure to correct information is going on title.
- Proof that the witness has checked your identification documents.
- Any second mortgage or bridge financing contracts.
- Any legal affidavit or sworn document that the bank requires will need to be accompanied by a signed and notarized affidavit. For example, some mortgage companies require a mortgagor to swear that they are one and the same person as an alias or other named they’ve used, that they’re a citizen of the United States, or a letter of owner occupancy.
Any of these documents can be notarized by either a notary or a loan signing agent.
Should I Use a Notary or a Loan Signing Agent?
The final decision of who you should choose to witness your loan agreement signatures ultimately lies with you, however, we urge you to properly do your research before choosing the first agent or notary in your Google search results (or in the yellow pages if you still use a phone book).
It’s important to compare prices and take into consideration the possibility of future expenses and problems that may arise if documents are not properly executed. As we said, this is a huge decision in your life and you’ll be signing quite a few documents in order to successfully qualify and be released your mortgage funds. The last thing you need is to miss a signature, date or initial on essential document and be left in the lurch.
At Idaho Notary Signing Agent, we are dedicated to keeping all our clients informed about the entire signing process. We are highly experienced and have worked with multiple forms of loan documents.
Are you interested in learning more about whether a loan signing agent is right for your situation?
Reach out for a conversation today! Email at email@example.com or call/text me.
Jim Allen, Notary Public Since 2018