The Loan Document Signing Process


You’re nearing the completion of obtaining the loan for the purchase of your home or a refinance. Your bank or lending institution has been in talks with escrow concerning all the costs of the transaction. The bank has drafted or will send over final documents to the escrow company for signing. In California, these documents may be signed in the escrow office or a mobile notary will bring the paperwork to a place convenient to you for signing (home / workplace / coffee shop). You are identified as by the notary, affirm your willingness to sign the important documents, and sign accordingly. Upon completion, the notary or escrow will return the documents to the appropriate parties for processing.


Lender:  A bank, organization, or individual that lends money, providing the loan.
Escrow: A neutral third party that holds the deed or moneys between all parties for release when all conditions have been met.
Notary: An official of integrity appointed by California to serve the public as a witness to prevent fraud.


1. Ready the Ship! Final loan documents are being prepared for signing

  1. Lender is drafting final documents
  2. Escrow and lender review final documents
  3. Lender sends documents to escrow company for printing.

Before a notary arrives to meet you at your home or workplace for signing, the documents must first be ready to sign. Your loan officer and escrow officer have been talking concerning the drafting of your documents. All the costs, terms, and contractual agreements have been formulating since the beginning of your loan process. It has to be correctly reflected in the documents for everyone’s protection and satisfaction. Small details like a incorrect address, name, or closing cost could cause trouble. Either now, delaying the process, or later when the transaction has finished. It is important not to rush the process. Everyone should have time to review the documents for correctness before the documents are sent to be signed. Once the documents are finalized, they will be sent to the escrow company or notary for the borrowers to sign.

2. Call the Crew! Retrieval of final loan documents to escrow and notary

  1. More proof-checking of printed documents
  2. appointment coordinated with notary and borrowers

Once your escrow company has received the escrow documents they will double-check the documents are dated correctly, the names are correct, the address is correct, the numbers are correct, and that the documents are ok to print. If the signers have decided to sign within the escrow office, the escrow officer will print the documents for a signing there. If the signers would prefer to sign at their home or workplace, the escrow officer will forward the documents to a mobile notary. Once an experienced mobile notary or ‘notary signing agent’ is contacted, they will take the similar steps to proof-check docs, print, and coordinate an ideal signing time to meet with borrowers. The SD Signings notary will take steps to prepare documents in advance to ensure the ideal signing parameters for processing.

3. Check the Weather! Preparing for ideal signing parameters

  1. Monthly payment letter is provided to show monthly payment including impounds.
  2. Note is provided to show loan amount, interest rate, payment terms, and first payment
  3. Settlement Statement and Closing Disclosure provided to show costs and amount still due.
  4. Wiring Instructions Provided.
  5. Signing of loan documents begins

SD Signings takes additional steps to make sure your signing process is handled smoothly from start to finish. After proof-checking all documents are ready for signing, we organize the documents so that you may find the documents that are most relevant to you during the signing. In a loan signing, it is clear that borrowers will want to affirm that their loan amount, interest rate, monthly payment, closing costs, and terms are absolutely correct. We make these documents readily available for them . We also read over final closing instructions to ensure that we can meet all loan closing guidelines. SD Signings takes extra steps to be thoughtful to the signers while preparing the documents. It is an important step to ensure for clean processing when the documents are returned.  After thoughtfully preparing the documents, we are ready for an efficient, smooth, and friendly appointment.

4. Set Sail! We are are ready to sign the documents.

The notary has been in touch the borrowers and they will also be informed of the best signing preparations so that they can be confident in transaction.

The Borrowers are preparing to:

  1. Have two forms of active ID that match their names on the documents.
  2. Sign exactly as their name appears on the documents with a blue ink pen provided by the notary
  3. Date clearly and fill out any legibly
  4. Contact their lender with any questions concerning the closing process
  5. Have a duplicate set of printed documents for correcting mistakes and for their records after the signing
  6. Have a great notary guide them through smooth transaction and sign the notary journal
  7. Double check all documents for clean processing

The borrowers, having been briefed as to best practices become confident in the transaction and are ready to sign efficiently through the paperwork. The notary allows them time read over their numbers and address concerns so that they are comfortable from the beginning to the end. An ideal experience means happy, satisfied, informed, and confident borrowers. Upon completion of signing all the documents, the notary will have the signers sign the notarial journal. The notary will triple-check the documents are perfect for processing, provide the borrowers any wiring instructions, and address any concerns the borrowers may have.

5. Back to Harbor! Delivery of documents for funding and recording.

  1. Notary stamps the documents and attaches appropriate notarial wording
  2. The notary delivers documents back to escrow immediately so there is no delay in funding/recording.
  3. Escrow, lender, and title process documents accordingly.
  4. Lender Funds loan, deeds are recorded, buyer gets keys (all according to pre-disclosed contract terms)

The notary will stamp and attach notarial certificates after the signing continually proof-checking their work. After the documents are all stamped and signed the notary will deliver the documents to the escrow office immediately so that funding and recording is not delayed. Escrow will make copies of the most crucial documents (Note, Deeds, Riders, and Lending Instructions. The original note, instructions, and loan docs will go back to the lending institution.  The original deeds and riders will go to title to be recorded with county of residence. The escrow, bank, and title will all retain some copies of the appropriate docs signed. Having signed in blue ink helps the original documents to reach their appropriate destinations without having been confused for copies.  For the borrowers, this is a time of waiting. The bank will check that all the documents have been received and are correct. This may take them 1-2 days on average. Title and the county will also make sure recording documents are correct. Once the loan has funded, distribution of funds can be made, deeds may be released for recording, and the keys may be delivered to the new owners all according to the contracts made.

Clear Sailing! It was the ideal experience.

By not rushing, having prepared, utilizing an experienced team, and being thoughtful, everyone can enjoy a great process. This is the ideal experience! We are glad to be a part of it!