In the context of real estate, a notary is a person authorized to perform the legal formalities upon the final act of sale of a property. Whenever a property is bought or sold, a notary will always be involved in the final transaction to check, write, and guide all paperwork and payments.
(The only time a notary might not be involved is if you are transferring real estate assets in a trust between two individuals where no actual sale or change of the property name occurs - normally this will involve a different type of lawyer to do the final paperwork)
Why do you need a notary?
A notary is licensed to operate and preform legal transactions. The transfer of property from one individual is considered a legal transaction and must follow strict laws and regulations to ensure that all the correct documentation is in order and final payments are made.
How much do they cost?
Notary fees range anywhere from $800 - $1500 and are paid by the buyer upon signing of the final transaction paperwork. For some people this can been a hidden cost of the home purchase process and can come at a bit of a surprise if they have never done a real estate transaction in the past.