The answer is that a notary (which some may refer to as a notary public) must acknowledge any real estate or related document that will be recorded in the office of the County Recorder where the real estate transaction will occur. Notaries are individuals authorized by the State to certify documents and attest to the authenticity of signatures, among other things.
If you are a buyer obtaining financing on a real estate purchase or a borrower refinancing your property, there are several documents included in the loan packet, particularly the deed of trust, that require a notarial acknowledgment. Typically, the lender will send your loan documents to escrow, and the escrow officer will coordinate the signing of your loan documents with a notary.
If any party to an escrow is in a trust, or taking title in trust, a certification of trust -which is a notarized document — is often required by the title company.
If you are a seller, you will need to sign a grant deed and have it acknowledged by a notary. If any party is granting or conveying an interest or quitclaiming to another, he or she will need to have their signature notarized by a notary.
A California notary must be registered with the Secretary of State, and will be subject to several requirements before being commissioned to perform notarial duties. Please see the California Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.ca.gov, for more information.