Several months ago, the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries sent out a survey asking members these questions:
- Do you work as a signing agent?
- How many closings do you perform each week?
- How do you market your signing agent business?
We E-mailed our survey to 28,028 of our members and received 1,948 replies. The answers to our survey questions were revealing.
Nearly 620 said they were signing agents, with 575 reporting they work on a part-time basis. Approximately 348 noted they were self-employed signing agents and 669 responded that they handle between 0-2 closings a week.
More than 175 members listed how they marketed their business. Word-of-mouth, signing agent Web sites, business cards and referrals were the most popular responses.
The comment section of our survey was also revealing. There seems to be some confusion regarding signing agent work. Several respondents mistook signing agent work for motor vehicle work.
A signing agent is a commissioned notary who specializes in notarizing signatures on real estate documents (mortgage and refinance closings and reverse mortgages).
Signing agents can also handle regular notary work such as affidavits, verifications, acknowledgments, etc., but their work as signing agents requires special knowledge of mortgage documents.
Some survey respondents expressed interest in becoming signing agents; while others wrote that many of the companies which hire signing agents have gone out of business due to the mortgage/financial crisis.
“I went from 30-40 closings a month to just a few,” wrote one signing agent.
“I’ve had few calls for signing agent duties,” another wrote.
The signing agent survey provided PAN with an opportunity to learn from you, our members. To all who responded, thank you.