The hope and goal for any signing is a smooth transaction and a likeable signer. We all love these types of signings and cross our fingers for this kind of outcome every time.
But…. this is not always the case.
This article will address how to handle a rude or impolite signer properly and professionally.
First and Foremost, Stay Calm.
Keep in mind that they are more than likely not even upset with you as the notary and more with the situation. Real estate transactions can be a long and tedious process that can take anywhere from a few weeks to almost a year depending on the signer’s circumstances.
They are having to deal with multiple people from the lender to title all the way down to you, the notary. It is easily frustrating, and the smallest thing could be a trigger for impolite behavior.
Empathize with your signers.
We all want to feel heard, and our problems validated. A little empathy goes a long way to diffusing an upset client or atmosphere. You understand their position and why this is frustrating, lets find a solution or explanation for the problem.
Loop in Title or the Lender.
Often, the signer is upset over incorrect information or figures on their docs. Docs they have been negotiating and working with their LO on for months! Incorrect numbers when they finally see the light at the end of the tunnel can lead to a quick decline in the signer’s demeanor.
Offer to let them speak to their LO or title contact so any questions or incorrect information can be resolved quickly. Providing solutions to their problems and contacting the correct individual quickly goes a long way in decreasing tension at the signing table.
Do not force yourself to stay in a potentially dangerous environment.
An upset or rude customer comes in a variety of levels. While most can be diffused and the signing put back on track, there will be those few who are unwilling to work with you. Your safety should always come first, meaning if a situation continues to escalate and your attempts to help them or find a solution have not produced the desired result, excuse yourself and offer to reschedule at a later date. Contact title or the signing company who contracted you to explain the situation so they can address the signer directly.
These kinds of situations can be unpleasant, and they are never the types of signings we want at the end of the day. However, by using the above tips and trying to keep in mind their side of the story, practically any situation can be resolved where everyone leaves the table with a smile.
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