Q. If notary fees just increased $5 per signature in 2017, why is the buyer's notary fee increasing $20-$50 per signing?
A. It may surprise some to know that each lender's loan document package is different and a buyer can typically expect to sign anywhere from 1 to 10 loan documents that require notarization when they purchase real estate in California. If the notary fee is now $15 per signature due to AB2217 (Cal. Govt. Code § 8211), the fees for notarization can add up. For example, for a single buyer signing 5 documents that require notarization, the notary fee that would have been $50 in 2016 is now $75 due to the change in the law. Check with your favorite PTC Escrow Officer when estimating notary fees into closing costs as we do have a maximum notary fee of $120 we will charge on the buyer's side when signed in-house during business hours with a PTC approved notary, no matter how many documents in the loan package need notarization. This can amount to savings to the buyer if, for example, your transaction had 2 buyers x 5 documents each = $150 notary fees. With a $120 maximum for the buyer’s side of a transaction, you can save $30 for this fee alone by using Placer Title. However, for a buyer who signs outside of the title company or after hours, the typical mobile notary charges the buyer a fee that can range from an estimated $125 to $250, depending on the type of signing and the location which is often what the lender will plan for when preparing the LE and CD (Loan Estimate and Consumer Disclosure).