Free "How To Start" Notary Signing Agent Book

by Brenda Stone of

Find Texas Notaries with hundreds of signings experience and reverse mortgage experience here



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Chapter 5 

Why visit the County Recorder's Office?


You might ask, "What is the county recorder's office? And, why do I want to go there?"


The recorder's office is a place you will go to learn many things about your signing agent business.  This was one of my favorite chapters to write in this book because I really think this information is different and better than most of the information which is available online.  It's one of the real secrets I feel has been key to my success in Texas. 


In this local office I find
(1) Names of other notaries who do what I do,
(2) Names of Title Companies I can target to work with
(3) Names of mortgage companies to target for work.


Now, the second method of realistic research toward finding out how many notaries in your service area are doing what you do is to go to the county recorder's office and go back through the recorded mortgages for the last month.


Take down the notaries names and compare them to the ones you have found in the above mentioned notary sites.


Do not feel defeated if you find many more notaries' names in the county recorder's office. Just look at it realistically, make note and go on with your research.  In fact, you'll learn something else while doing this bit of research.


Take a pad with you with the following columns on it, or create a legal research sheet on legal paper with room for the following information:


Title company

Mortgage Company

Ahead of your visit to the county recorder's office, you need to do a little research in your local phonebook or at some of the phonebooks online, or go to your state's listing of title companies. You can even make a copy of it to take with you.


When you begin researching in the county records, it will be helpful to watch for a pattern with the notaries in your own county and if they are working for a particular title company and to compare them to your own list of local title companies.


Make a note by each of them where you find the same notary repeatedly. Then, do a little detective work and figure out if that is an in-house notary or a signing agent. I will leave you to figure out on your own on how to do that.


If they are contracted signing agents, then that means that particular title company uses services which you will be providing.


If they are in-house notaries, you probably will not find much work in that arena of work. 


With your list as stated above with all the column headings, you need to fill it in as you peruse the information at the county recorder's office.


(1) Names of other notaries


Once you determine who is servicing your area, figure out how many signing agents are actually in your area doing work regularly.


Once you figure that out, you can then decide who is the most successful. If you are just beginning, do not approach that person about teaching you how to get started unless you want to be lied to, or rebuffed.


What I mean by this is that I will not personally teach my own competition how to do what I do so that they will simply undercut my fees and take my business.


However, there could be ways that another notary might be able to approach me and I would be receptive to working with them. The other notary probably would not like it, but hey, I am not here to profit another notary. I am here to profit me and my business.


Another notary in my own hometown should be willing to pay me a hefty fee for teaching them what I know. That's not to be mean, that's just to save me from wasting my time with them (especially since the kind of information I would share with them is available in written form which they can easily find) and because my hard learned, earned and won experience is extremely valuable.


And while you are looking at who is doing the work in your area, you need to get a good feel for how many mortgages there are for you to get a piece of. Can you get some of this work? Do you see the same notary doing most of the signing agent work? Or, do you see many, many notaries doing this work?


If you are seeing the same notary doing most of the work, or a good share of it, this is the person (or persons) to study a little closer.


Does this prolific signer post on a notary forum such as I do on Do they have a website? I cannot go into all the ways I study my competition, and you will need to figure out how to do that yourself, but the main thing is to study them.


Frankly, if someone studies me, they will find out one of my greatest tricks is to write much. This book about how to be a signing agent is one of my projects to get my name out there and to show that I have put enough time and effort into professional efforts to be reliable and trustworthy with a set of loan documents.


(2) Title companies lists.

The next thing you can learn from the county recorder's office is a real treasure. By reviewing recent mortgages filed in your county's property section you can simply look at that mortgage and see where it is supposed to go back to after recording.

Let me just stop here and explain how recording works. See, what happens is the original mortgage or deed of trust is sent to the county recording office. When I was a legal secretary, I did this kind of thing often.


I would write a letter to the clerk and say, in effect, "Dear Ms. Clerk, I enclose herewith a copy of such and so deed. Further, I am enclosing a check for you to cover the filing fees, as well as a true and correct copy (or conformed copy) of the same to be file marked and returned to our office in the return envelope I have also provided. Once the deed is recorded, please return it to the address noted on the last page of said instrument."


Well, what you are going to be looking for is THAT address. Quite often you will find the title company's name and address stamped on the deed of trust (or mortgage, depending on what your state uses).


  • Note:  With this information, you can also solicit title companies to do filings for them.  Personally, I will not make a trip to the courthouse for less than $25.00.  You'll have to decide what works for you depending on how hard it is to get to, parking, etc.


(3) List of Mortgage Companies

The next thing you can learn from the county recorder's office is what mortgage companies are working your area. Use your handy-dandy form which I mentioned above to get this kind of information in your marketing arsenal for future use.


Finally, let me wrap this chapter up by telling you that some of your county recorder's offices are on your computer and you can find them on the internet in the comfort of your own home.




The county recorder's office is a MUST stop for a new notary signing agent.  Figure out how to use this place to make more business for yourself!






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