Top 8 Reasons Foreigners Purchasing Real Estate in Mexico Hire a Lawyer
There are several procedures to complete, information to verify, and the process may be intimidating if you do not speak Spanish or have the proper representation. Your lawyer will deal with the various government agencies so you can avoid all the red tape, including, obtain the current cadastral (property survey) and submit the permit to the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Coordinate the parties involved in the transaction, make arrangements with the banks, notary, and the seller.
Only in Your Best Interest
The notario is an experienced lawyer licensed by the Federal Government and the State, but the notario is not your representative. The notario is an unbiased representative of the government who is capable and legally authorized to carry out the real estate transaction. Nevertheless, we recommend hiring an attorney to represent only your best interests. If any discrepancy is discovered after the fact, the buyer will have no recourse against the government or the notario.
Provide a complete title search on the property, including the chain of ownership, confirm the seller is authorized to sell the property, make sure no one else has a claim on the property, reveal any liens or encumbrances and verify the seller’s documentation.
Prepare Purchase and/or Pre-construction Contracts
Whether buying pre-owned or pre-construction, you need a lawyer to draw up a contract and review the terms and conditions of the transaction. Taking advantage of the discounted price of a pre-construction? You need to protect your investment, your funds will typically be used during the construction, and you are trusting the developer to provide a title at completion. A lawyer will conduct due diligence on the developer regarding their legal status, license, ensure permits are in order, review their history, and confirm the title deed holder of the land.
Mexico does not adhere to the same regulations regarding escrow accounts; your funds may be held in a personal account. Although your realtor or developer maybe trustworthy their bank accounts are subject to their financial issues, and if their accounts are seized you have no guarantee of recovering your funds. Choose an insured escrow service held in segregated accounts in Canada or the US.
There is no need to buy title insurance when you hire a competent lawyer. Many foreigners are without a title deed; they experience delays, misrepresentation and unexpected claims to the property, choose a law firm that provides a title guaranty.
Protection Against Repossession
Ensure you are not about to buy Ejido land ‘Propiedad comunal.’ The communal commissary or the government may reclaim this land at any time. The property may seem like a great deal, but it is not meant to be sold to foreigners, and you will not receive a title.
Licensed in Mexican Law
You should understand that your lawyer from back home cannot represent you during a real estate transaction in Mexico, only a licensed Mexican attorney can provide advice on Mexican law.
Buying real estate in Mexico is safe and secure provided you retain a reliable lawyer and use the proper legal channels.
MexLaw real estate lawyers are experienced in the particulars of Mexican law and culture and are accountable to our Bar Association’s rules of Ethical Conduct as well as international professional standards.