You have bought or sold some real estate and your lender or real estate agent says, “congratulations, please get these notarized,” and hands you a stack of papers. Now what do you do? Most people start at the usual suspects, they go to their bank or to the local shipping store. If you are in Indiana, the notary will turn you away at either one of these options. The reason why the notary is not going to notarize your documents is because they can’t. They are not falling down on the job or being difficult, he or she doesn’t have the additional license required to complete the transaction.
If you live in the state of Indiana (and some other states) all real estate transactions require the notary to have a Title Producers License. This license is in addition to the general notary commission. While the license itself isn’t that expensive, the pre-licensing training and the continuing education requirements can become very pricey, very quickly. Because of this, most notaries do not bother with getting the extra credentials, this is especially true if their employer is the one footing the bill.
So what do you do? You have real estate documents that need to be notarized and no one at the usual places to help you. First it’s always important to do your research, go online and look for mobile notaries that advertise their ability to handle real estate paperwork. This is actually a pretty big deal, since the notary has taken on the extra time and expense to have this additional license. If they have the ability to do real estate the notary will shout it from the rooftops (metaphorically, anyway).
The Cost of Real Estate Notarization
Be prepared once you find a mobile notary to handle your transaction. This part of the business is not regulated by the state and prices can vary widely. There is an industry standard of $150 (at the time of this publication) per package. Now your mobile notary may charge you a little more or a little less depending on your specific package. Most successful notary publics will keep their fee very close to the industry standard. The reason for this is simple, he or she wants to stay in business. The notary also wants to appeal to lenders, escrow/title companies, and real estate agents. If they charge over the industry standard, the notary will be priced out of a very steady and lucrative market.
If you have a real estate document package to be notarized, remember that the fee charged is usually a flat fee. It’s not a sliding scale, unless you are out in the middle of nowhere, then the notary public may have to charge extra for mileage. This is rare, since most people live within a reasonable distance of a city or town. I charge a flat fee for real estate work within 30 miles of my home-base of Fishers, IN. It’s just simple, no muss, no fuss. One price and on to the next.
The Good News
While all of this may seem intimidating, it really isn’t. If you have to find your own notary public, he or she will have the extra knowledge to ensure that you transaction closes smoothly. For the most part, you will be contacting someone who’s been in the business awhile. You aren’t their first transaction and they could probably go through the paperwork in their sleep. I have to admit, I have done it so much, I sometimes dream of real estate packages. This is a good thing, most of the documents are pretty standard, with only slight variations.
If you have a real estate package from another state, not to worry. A notary public with a Title Producer’s License can still help you. The documents are basically templates. There will be some variations in requirements and the laws, so your notary may take a few extra minutes to read certain documents. This does not mean they are not knowledgeable, this simply means it’s a quirk of a different state. The notary will double check to make sure he or she is giving the best information possible.
Most people who buy and sell real estate will never have an issue finalizing the transaction. Someone on their team, whether it’s the bank, title company, or even the real estate agent will do the leg work for them. There are only rare cases that the individual will have to go on the hunt. However, it does happen enough to make it necessary to have this information. Don’t be surprised if your bank or favorite shipping store turns you away. It’s just an opportunity to support you local businesses and find an independent mobile notary to help you through this transaction.