Publish Date June 30, 2024

Understanding the Role of a Notary Signing Agent (NSA)

A Notary Signing Agent (NSA) plays a crucial role in the real estate and mortgage industries, ensuring the proper execution of loan documents. In this blog post, we'll explore what an NSA does, how they qualify for this position, the benefits of becoming an NSA, and some tips for success in this field.

What Does a Notary Signing Agent Do?

A Notary Signing Agent is a specialized notary public who handles the notarization of loan documents during real estate transactions. Their responsibilities include:

  1. Document Preparation: Reviewing loan documents for completeness and accuracy before the signing appointment.
  2. Identity Verification: Verifying the identity of the borrower(s) using government-issued identification.
  3. Witnessing Signatures: Overseeing the signing of loan documents and ensuring that all required signatures are obtained.
  4. Administering Oaths: Administering oaths or affirmations when necessary, such as for affidavits.
  5. Notarizing Documents: Applying their notary seal and completing the notarial certificate on the loan documents.
  6. Returning Documents: Ensuring that signed and notarized documents are promptly returned to the lender or title company.

How to Qualify as a Notary Signing Agent

Becoming a Notary Signing Agent involves several steps:

  1. Become a Notary Public: First, you must be a commissioned notary public in your state. This typically involves completing an application, passing a background check, and paying a fee. In Nevada, visit the Secretary of State’s website for information on how to qualify to become a Notary Public. There is a Notary Handbook there for your reference.  There is also an online course and state exam requirement. 
  2. Education and Training: Many states and industry associations offer NSA training courses that cover the specifics of loan document signing. These courses help you understand the nuances of mortgage documents and the signing process.
  3. Certification: Obtaining certification from a recognized organization, such as the National Notary Association (NNA), can enhance your credibility and marketability. Certification often involves taking an online course, passing an exam and meeting specific criteria. The National Notary Association offers a comprehensive online course and certification exam. A score of 80 percent or greater is required for certification. 
  4. Background Screening: Many companies that hire NSAs require a background check to ensure the integrity and trustworthiness of the signing agent. The National Notary Association (NNA) requires a yearly background screening. 
  5. Insurance and Bonding: Depending on your state’s requirements, you may need to obtain a surety bond and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance to protect against potential mistakes or misconduct. The National Notary Association (NNA) offers errors and omissions insurance, as do other insurance agencies. 

Benefits of Becoming a Notary Signing Agent

  1. Flexibility: NSAs often have the flexibility to set their own schedules.
  2. Supplemental Income: For those already working as notaries, becoming an NSA can provide an additional source of income.
  3. Demand: The real estate market continually generates a need for loan document signings, ensuring a steady demand for NSAs.
  4. Professional Development: The role offers opportunities to learn about the real estate and mortgage industries, potentially opening doors to other career opportunities.
  5. Helping Others: NSAs play a vital role in helping borrowers complete one of the most significant transactions of their lives, purchasing a home.

Tips for Success as a Notary Signing Agent

  1. Stay Informed: Keep current with changes in notary laws and mortgage industry practices. Continuing education is mandatory for NSAs. As a Notary Signing Agent at Your Nevada Notary Public LLC, I, Nancy A. Johnson, have a membership with Notary Stars. They offer advanced weekly training for Certified Notary Signing Agents. 
  2. Maintain Professionalism: Dress appropriately, communicate clearly, and be punctual for all appointments.
  3. Detail-Oriented: Pay close attention to detail to ensure all documents are completed correctly and signatures are properly notarized.
  4. Build Relationships: Network with real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and title companies to build a steady stream of clients.
  5. Market Yourself: Use online platforms, business cards, and local advertising to market your services as an NSA.

Becoming a Notary Signing Agent can be a rewarding career choice. By understanding the responsibilities, qualifications, and opportunities in this field, you can decide if this path is right for you and take the necessary steps to achieve success.

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