“Should I become an NSA now?” “Is now a good time to start this business?” “Should I take this NSA class now?”
This is one of the questions that’s being asked in one form or another daily in the notary groups on Facebook. In order to answer that, you need to know a few things & then apply them to your own circumstances.
Have you done market research to get an estimate of how much competition you’d face? That’s the first level you need to cross in terms of knowledge. If there are very few competitors and your area has thousands of homes, you’re in a sweet spot. For those of us with many competitors and/or not many homes, the competition is going to be more fierce.
Second level is are you aware of the market conditions? As in, per Fannie Mae’s tracker, refinances are down nationwide about 70% from where they were a year ago. That means there’s a huge drop in the one NSA assignment type that is the bread and butter of NSA work.
As this drop in volume of refinances is due to rising interest rates and the baseline for that is the rate set by the Federal Reserve, your market very likely follows this nationwide trend.
Does that mean purchases, sales, applications, reverse mortgages, and other NSA types of assignments are also down? No, although some of them are.
What it does mean is you’re facing all these established competitors and all those other newbies who are going after a much smaller pool of available work. The established competitors will already have relationships that let them pick up many of the non-refi assignments. But fees are dropping in all lines.
It’s likely that work will be slow for the next 2-3 years. If enough of your competitors give up & go do something else, you might be able to start profitably then. But now?
Unless you have a relevant background that you can use to network for assignments, it’s not a good time to become an NSA.
As with anything else on this site, please note that I’m not an attorney — nor a CPA or a financial planner. I’m basing what I’ve said here on several published sources that I’ve shared in the notary groups on Facebook when and as they seemed relevant to the NSA business, along with my experience as an NSA for over 20 years. Your circumstances may vary from the nationwide trends. Please consult a professional advisor for an analysis of your business plans.
Please see my articles on business basics for where you might find free or low cost help on your business plans.