Amanda Farrell - 2 years ago
Real Estate Professionals Every Notary Signing Agent Should Know
If you’ve mastered loan signings and are ready to start your career as an independent loan signing agent, a crucial first step is to get a better understanding of the professionals involved in real estate transactions. Each one is in a unique position to suggest or request you as their preferred notary signing agent, but in order to gain their business, you’ll want to first demonstrate you know their business.
Here are some tips to help you connect with the right real estate professionals.
🏡 The Professionals Involved in Real Estate Closings
There are several professionals involved in a real estate transaction, and some of them are more visible than others. Here is a list of some of the job titles you’ll see as you begin to do loan signings:
- Real Estate agent
- Lending and Mortgage professionals
- Title professional
📰 Related Reading: 7 Tips for Your First Loan Signing
👩💼Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents spend a lot of time publicizing their services and connecting with consumers. These professionals are trusted advisors and often suggest to homebuyers and sellers the lender, title company, or real estate attorney that ultimately finances the loan and coordinates the closing. Because of their direct connection to consumers and ability to bring them deals, both lenders and title professionals are interested in maintaining good business relationships with agents.
When it comes to a standard home purchase, real estate agents are arguably the most influential professionals. If an agent requests a specific loan signing agent for a transaction, title companies and lenders won’t object to this request.
Loan signing agents should spend some time getting to know real estate agents in their area. To get the attention of real estate agents, you want to work on your marketing strategy. Some tactics include:
- Adding your company name and contact information on your car
- Creating a website that focuses on the right local keywords
- Setting up a Google My Business page to make your company more searchable
- Attending local Real Estate Agent trade shows or meetups
- Social media advertising based on geographic location
- Become an educator and post helpful information on your website and social media channels
Real estate agents are usually on the go with their phones in hand. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, leverages local SEO, and the copy reflects an understanding of their problems and presents a relevant solution with your services. Connecting with these professionals will open the door to conversations with lenders and title companies. Agents who love working with a particular loan signing agent can even require the use of your services by writing it into the real estate contract.
🏦 Lending and Mortgage Professionals
According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors, 87% of recent buyers financed their home purchases. The low mortgage interest rates have also boosted refinances. Lenders essentially hold the purse strings of the deal. If a borrower’s financing falls through, the transaction is stalled or canceled. Mortgage professionals are always looking for loan signing agents who understand their loan products and can accommodate a change in the closing date, time, or location.
In a refinance deal, the lender takes the place of the real estate agent as the most influential professional driving the transaction. There is no listing agent or a buyer’s agent in a refinance, only the current homeowner and the lender offering a better mortgage rate that will lower the monthly payments and overall cost of the loan.
Loan signing agents should be sure to network with the mortgage professionals at banks, credit unions, and online lenders in charge of these loans. They also offer other loan products like Home Equity Line of Credits (HELOCs), home equity loans (second mortgages), and reverse mortgages, all of which require a notary and signing professional.
Unlike a purchase deal, these transactions involve only one title insurance policy, and the lender will likely choose who will underwrite and issue it.
To impress these professionals, they’ll want to know you have a firm grasp of the critical closing documents involved in a closing. Each loan product’s signing package will contain different types of documents depending on the loan product type. A smart strategy for loan signing agents is to perfect your skills at a certain type of non-purchase loan and promote that specialized service to lending and mortgage professionals.
🕵️♂️ Title professionals
Unlike lenders and real estate agents, title professionals don’t usually market directly to consumers. Real estate agents may be working with a seller or buyer for months before a deal closes, and most homebuyers start their search with a pre-approval letter from a lender. Meanwhile, the title agent doesn’t usually become aware of a deal until the real estate contract is signed and a request for a title search is received.
Despite their later entry into the transaction, title agents provide a service that’s incredibly important to both lenders and consumers. The title company conducts an in-depth search of the property to ensure that the person selling it is the true owner and there are no other parties with an interest in the property in the form of a lien. They’re like detectives using clues inside various land record systems to determine if there are any problems with the property’s title before closing.
Title companies usually issue two title insurance policies: one to protect the interest of the lender, and another to protect the interest of the new homeowner.
In cash deals, there is no lender involved, but a real estate agent is still negotiating the terms of the deal and writing up the contract. Oftentimes, title professionals will have close and trusted relationships with the real estate agent and repeat buyers like investors, so they can influence the decision to use a particular notary signing agent.
📑 Title Underwriters
If the title company is an independent agency, the policy that they issue will likely be underwritten by another company. In some cases, the title company may be a direct operation of the underwriter.
The underwriter is the entity that will handle claims, defend the title rights of the policyholder, and pay for court costs if an issue arises after closing, so they have a vested interest in assuring that every transaction is handled with care. Depending on the relationship, the underwriter may be the one dictating how loan signings are completed.
Some title insurance underwriters include:
- Stewart Title
- First American Title
- FNF Family of Companies (formerly Fidelity National Title Group)
- Old Republic Title
- North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC)
- WFG National Title Insurance
When talking with title professionals, be sure to understand their relationship with their underwriter and what sort of expectations they have for the independent loan signing agents. Oftentimes, you’ll find that some title companies work with multiple underwriters, so being flexible and accommodating slight changes in closing package instructions is important.
⚖️ Real Estate Attorneys
Some real estate transactions may take place in a law firm instead of a title company. In some states, an attorney must be present for a closing, but a notary signing agent is present to notarize the documents while in others, non-attorney notaries aren’t allowed to handle the closing documents at all. Even in states that don’t require an attorney for real estate closings, a consumer may decide to retain counsel in the transaction.
Like a title company, the law firm conducts property research in order to issue a title policy and works with an underwriter, but they also write and review contracts and provide legal advice to their clients.
These professionals are looking for loan signing agents who can provide the highest caliber of professional services and a polished presentation. In addition to winning loan signing business, legal professionals impressed with your services may request you for other types of notary work.
Different types of professionals have different needs
Before you pick up the phone, start an email, or head to a trade show, make sure you think about the characteristics of each professional’s business and their needs. As you prospect, ask these questions:
- How many employees do you have?
- Are there multiple office locations?
- Is the operation local, regional, or national?
- What is your monthly transaction volume?
- Are you completing a specific type of transaction more often than others?
And ask yourself, what problems will my services solve?
Even among each of these professionals with the same job title, you may find vast differences in their operations and needs, so learn as much as you can about each in order to understand how you can position your services as the best fit for them. Regardless of how big or small their business is, don’t pass up the opportunity to get on their list of preferred loan signing agents.
This content is provided for informational purposes only. PropLogix, LLC (PLX) is not a law firm; this content is not intended as legal advice and may not be relied upon as such. PLX makes no representations as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of this content. PLX may reference or incorporate information from third-party sources, upon which a citation or a website URL shall be provided for such source. PLX does not endorse any third party or its products or services. Any comments referencing or responding to this content may be removed in the sole discretion of PLX.
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