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What is the role of a Notary Public in a property purchase?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2021 | Real Estate Transactions |

Property transactions, such as purchases and exchanges, are frequent in our economy and are typically rare for the average individual. Unless a person involved with buying and selling property does so for an occupation, the average person will only have to make large purchases of real estate a few times over the course of their life.

Unlike typical lower rate exchanges, property transactions are easily hundreds of thousands of dollars and can be worth millions, depending on location and demand. Because of the high cost, a seller may want peace of mind knowing that their transaction will be secured.

The role of the Notary Public

A Notary Public is an official government representative. Appointed by the state, they are allowed to represent the government in verifying documents, confirming identification, and approving documents to be legally authorized.

In a property transaction, the Notary Public ensures that the sale is valid, that both parties understand their responsibilities in the transaction, and that if either side does not fulfill its obligation, they can be remanded or otherwise confronted by the legal consequences of such. This helps to prevent fraud, ensuring the previous owner of the deed receives their bargained and mutually agreed price.

Notaries necessarily make property transactions more complicated due to the stakes involved. They are added as an additional step to try and prevent fraudulent real estate transactions. A notary’s stamp acts as a governmental seal of approval. Paperwork signed and stamped by a Notary Public is difficult to dispute as its role is to secure transactions.

Notary Public and the law

A Notary Public is not authorized to practice law unless they have received a J.D. Degree. Notary Publics, who are not also lawyers, may not give legal advice or act in any capacity that would be considered practicing law. If legal counsel is needed during the sale of a property, it should be obtained from a proper legal source.