This is a guest post from Herbert Willis from Sunshine Signing Connection, Inc.
A big question we get now-a-days is “What is a Certified Signing Agent and do I really need to be certified?” Well to start off, a Certified Signing Agent is a notary public that has been trained and certified to notarize Real Estate documents. Yes a notary public can still sign real estate docs, but a certified signing agent has either had some form of training or has enough experience to just take the certification exam.
Why Get Certified?
Now you may ask, “Why should I get this certification?” Well this is one thing a lot of Lenders and Title Companies are requiring for their closers to have. This certification allows them to know that the notary going out at least has some knowledge of general real estate documents. Truth is, that just about anybody can be a notary public, and these companies know this. Too many people have gone to closing and completely messed up a transaction because they either didn’t know what the documents were or just made it up as they went.
I’m sure you could imagine the type of image that this sends to the signers and how it reflects on the company their doing business with. Now notaries are not supposed to explain these documents in detail, but should be familiar with what the document is and where to find the answer within the documents to answer any questions from the signers. Having someone that at least can point out what the main details of the loan and what they are can mean the world to the signer, and to their lender.
Another big part of being certified is the marketing aspect for promoting your services. Imagine you work for a Title company or a signing service and you need a notary. So you look through the local notary listings and you come across a couple notaries. One is marked as a Certified Signing Agent and the other is not. Which one would you click on first? Of course the Certified Agent. Now just because one is certified and the other is not, does not mean the certified agent is better or more knowledgeable than the other.
The person hiring the notary doesn’t know that. What is true is the instant credibility that comes with that title. You might have decades of experience in this field and you may even state your experience in your profile, but not having that certification listed, you’re probably having your profile passed up for someone who does. By having that Certified Signing Agent title, you’re allowing yourself to stand out from the rest of the notaries in your market. It does show you took the extra step to show you’re serious about this work.
Is It Worth It To Get My Certification?
I have spoken with dozens of notaries on the subject and asked them if it was worth the money they spent to get their certification. It’s almost always the same answer…Absolutely! Most have said they noticed an increase in calls within the first couple of weeks of having their certification. That the increase in business paid for the certification within the first couple jobs. In addition to the online listings, you also are able to have your CSA badge printed on your business cards, flyers, and any advertising you do to promote yourself. Once again when in the right hands this gives you instant credibility as a notary without that person actually knowing you or your experience.
So to recap, I personally would say being a Certified Signing Agent is absolutely worth it if you are looking to do this type of work. It brings instant credibility to your name and services in a field where the people hiring you never actually get to meet you in person. It provides you with additional education to enhance your knowledge of the field you’re in. It allows you to market yourself as a better choice of hire than your fellow notaries that are not. Lastly without it, you could be losing out on a lot of work, because a lot of lenders and title companies now require their notaries to be Certified Signing Agents. So if you want to give a boost to your name or help start your career as a Signing Agent, get certified!
Are You A Certified Signing Agent? How Has This Helped Your Career As A Notary Public?
In the comments below, tell us about your experience becoming a Certified Signing Agent. If you’re not yet certified, tell us about your hesitations.