Frequently Asked Questions> Real Estate Agent

Do Real Estate Agents Need Notaries

There were 5.03 million houses sold in 2022. That translates into 5.03 million closings, double the number of real estate agents, and most probably a small army of notaries.

Real estate agents often work with a network of professionals, all poised to ensure buyers get the best homes and sellers walk away with the best deals. But what about notaries? Do real estate agents need notaries? Yes, they do. Signing notaries are professionals licensed to witness and guide buyers through their signing stage.

Real estate agents need these professionals to ensure their clients understand the loan closing documents, which are often 100 to 150 pages long. Notaries also ensure clients know where to place their signatures, dates, and initials. These agents guarantee a smooth transaction of property from seller to buyer.

This guide will explore a group of agents called real estate notaries. We will dive into the importance of these agents in real estate transactions, who they are, and which documents they notarize. So, without further ado, let’s explore the working relationship between real estate agents and notaries.

Main Reasons Real Estate Agents Use Notaries

Imagine this scenario: You’re finalizing a significant business deal, perhaps in the closing stages, where it is time to sign the bill of sale. The problem is that you may not understand the document, and in all honesty, it is too long for you to even know where to place the signatures. The role of a notary public comes into play here.

There are several compelling reasons why real estate agents often choose to partner with signing notaries. Let’s explore them:

1. Witness Signings

One of the primary reasons is to witness signatures on legal documents. Real estate transactions involve a plethora of paperwork, each requiring legitimate and legally binding signatures from all parties involved.

Having a notary present ensures that these signatures are validly obtained in their presence, thus adding an extra layer of security.

2. Acknowledging Signatures

Another role that notaries play is acknowledging these signed acts by the parties involved in the documents. This function provides an official confirmation that the signer understands what they’re agreeing to and willingly signs it without any coercion or duress.

3. Deter Fraud

For real estate agents, partnering with signing notaries also acts as a deterrent against fraud, which is one of the main threats within property dealings. In a recent survey, 54% of real estate agents reported experiencing seller impersonation fraud in 2023.

In today’s world, where identity theft has become increasingly common and sophisticated, having someone who can validate identities using established methods significantly reduces risks associated with fraudulent activities during property deals.

With their stringent protocols for verifying identities before affixing seals or stamps on documents, notaries help ensure that every transaction is carried out between genuine individuals who have proven their identity beyond doubt.

Who Can Notarize Real Estate Documents?

Real estate transactions often require the utilization of notarized documents to ensure their legitimacy and enforceability. Various professionals are authorized to perform this essential task, including signing notaries, real estate agents, and title agents.

Signing Notaries

Regular notaries are individuals who have been granted authority by the state to witness and authenticate signatures on legal documents. Their impartiality ensures that all parties involved in a transaction are entering into agreements willingly and without coercion.

Real Estate Agents

In addition to regular notaries, real estate agents can also serve as notaries, provided they obtain the necessary licensing first. However, it is important to note that even though real estate agents can work as licensed notaries, there exists a critical restriction.

 An individual cannot simultaneously act as both an agent and a notary within the same transactions. This rule safeguards against potential conflicts of interest that could compromise the integrity of each transaction.

Title Agents

Title agents represent another category of professionals who can legally officiate at document signings involving property transfers or mortgage refinancing deals. These experts specialize in examining titles for legality before any transaction takes place.

Title agents are individuals employed by title companies. Their main objective is to provide title insurance for real estate properties.

They go behind the curtain and investigate titles to ensure validity. Title agents certify that there are no judgments or inaccuracies that could jeopardize the buyer from owning the property.

Which Documents Need Notarization?

There are several types of documents that require the official stamp or seal of a notary public to verify their authenticity and enforceability.

Purchase and Sales Contract

A purchase and sales contract is a document that outlines the conditions surrounding a sale. This type of agreement is popular in real estate transactions. It needs notarization to ensure both parties are aware of their obligations and rights.

Title Deeds

Similarly, deeds need notarization as well. The process confirms the identities of those involved, making sure they understand what they’re signing and that no coercion is involved.

Sworn Affidavits

Affidavits also fall into this category; these written statements confirmed by oath or affirmation are typically used for court proceedings or statutory declarations. Notarizing an affidavit gives it legal weight as it verifies the person’s identity who made the statement and ensures they did so willingly.

Powers of Attorney 

Documents granting one person (the agent) authority to act on behalf of another individual (the principal) in specific matters necessitate notarization too. This step safeguards against fraud by assuring that the principal indeed authorizes the agent’s power to act on their behalf.

Seal the Deal for Real Estate Transactions

As courts need evidence before convicting crimanals., so real estate agents need notaries at the closing of every deal. The relationship between agents and notaries is a flexible one, where teaming up is to help clients make the best choices.

Next Steps
If you are a real estate agent considering partnering with a professional notary:
1. Research: local laws about who can legally officiate at document signings.
2. Consider:
 obtaining your own license if it’s allowed within your state.
3. Familiarize: accustome yourself with which types of documents typically need to be notarized.
4. Establish: create connections with reputable signing notaries or title agencies for future collaborations.

What has been your experience working alongside a professional notary? Do you have any tips or insights from your personal experiences? Share them below!

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