Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Terminology Tuesday - Notary

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).

According to Wikipedia:

"A notary is a lawyer or person with legal training who is licensed by the state to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents. The form that the notarial profession takes varies with local legal systems.

Most common law systems have what is called in the United States a notary public, a public official who notarizes legal documents and who can also administer and take oaths and affirmations, among other tasks. In the United States, a Signing agent, also known as a Loan Signing Agent, is a Notary Public who specializes in notarizing mortgage/real estate documents. Although notaries public are public officials, they are not paid by the government; they may obtain income by charging fees, provide free services in connection with other employment (for example, bank employees), or may provide free services for the public good."

Source Link

For me, I use a notary for all my mobile home transactions - both on the seller and the buyer end. Is it required? Not all the time. But, it's just an extra precaution that I use just in case an issue comes up down the road.

If there ever were to be an issue on the seller end (such as a title issue) or the buyer end (such as a payment issue), having my documents notarized is proof that the folks I'm dealing with have been verified and confirmed by a third party.

(Note: Some investors use a Power of Attorney on the seller end - this is another tool you may want to use. Though, I don't really use it. It will really depend on your area and what is acceptable. In mine, if there's a notarized signature on a particular document - that is acceptable and can serve just like a Power of Attorney for that particular issue as the document is signed and notarized by the individual in question. Again, it's best to check and know the laws in your particular area).

In the mobile home business, things can seem a little bit more "laxed" than in the real estate world. Though, coming from the real estate world - I can be a bit paranoid about these things (I've been told this by a few of my fellow mobile home investors!). My philosophy is that it's better to be safe than sorry. Though, that's just me.

Most of my fellow mobile home investors don't really go this route when buying just mobile homes (not the land). To them, it's a bit of a hassle. Though, I do take the extra step and precaution to get all my documents notarized.

Regarding notary services, I don't really use a mobile notary. In my opinion, they are too expensive for what I'm doing ($100+ per trip out).

On the seller end, usually we get the documents notarized either at a local bank (they usually do this for free and offer it as a service to their customers) or at a mail services store (such as Mail Boxes Etc).

On the buyer end, in some cases the park manager may be a notary for the park. Or, we go the above route.

In the beginning, I did use a fellow investor who was a notary who wanted to learn first hand from me about the mobile home business. We would meet with either the buyers and/or sellers - this fellow investor would notarize all documents free of charge.

It worked out ok for awhile. Though, this fellow investor got more busy and informed me it wasn't something that could be done on a regular basis anymore. I think this fellow investor just wanted to get a peek for the mobile home business, but told me it might be something down the road for them but not at that time. So, we parted ways.

(Note: I think it's ok to go this route in the beginning (when you don't have too many transactions). But, after awhile it can be a bit tedious for the person on the other end when dealing with multiple transactions. So, I just go with an established institution like a bank or company (such as a bank) that performs this service on a regular basis).

To give you a better idea of when and why to use a notary, here's a short video:

Video Link

Again, using the services of a notary will be an individual and case by case decision. It's not always required in the mobile home world. Though, for me using one gives me piece of mind just in case an issue comes up in the future.

I hope this "Terminology Tuesday" post has been helpful.

Happy investing!

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!


Carey_PA said...

Hey Rachel,

I'm with you. I'm usually pretty anal about paperwork and stuff too. I was as a mh investor and I still am when investing in sfh's, etc.

And I used a notary on all of my mh deals...I just felt better that way and I think it makes the seller and/or buyer just feel more comfortable too.

Nice post.

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Thanks Carey, glad you enjoyed it! I think just coming from the real estate world, I've learned to cross all my "t's" and dot all my "i's." Good training for the mobile home biz I guess, thanks for stopping by! :)