Avoid Costly Mistakes That Most People Make
Purchasing property in Mexico can be a fulfilling and life changing event if you do it right. So many times we have seen naive foreigners coming to Mexico expecting to get an incredible deal on properties that could be called “too good to be true”. Well we have to say that yes, most deals down here are out of this world and at a great discount compared to the United States and Canada, but if it’s too good to be true it's probably not true. If someone is offering you an incredible deal on a property but is asking you to do the transaction outside of traditional methods and without a professional real estate agent, we would have to say to be cautious.
Use a professionally trained Mexico Real Estate Agent
Do your homework and find a professional real estate company with trained real estate agents. A professional real estate agent will know their area and know the value of the property. This can save you tens of thousands of dollars when it comes time to negotiate. Make sure your agent is confident and knowledgeable and has the ability to not only find you what you are looking for but negotiate a great deal for you. Ask your agent if they have an office or are they working
out of their house. If they ask to meet you at a restaurant or a coffee shop it might be because they don't have an office to conduct business from.
Are they a member of the local real estate association and if so which one. This will guarantee that you will have the ability to file a complaint if something goes wrong. The local associations hold their members to certain standards, which are usually very similar to the United States’ National Association of Realtors guidelines.
If you don’t speak Spanish, make sure you understand what your agent has translated for you. Sometimes communication can be difficult, so make sure your agent takes the time to explain everything to you. Do not let them tell you to trust them or use the famous words “THIS IS HOW WE DO IT IN MEXICO". Make sure you have a clear understanding and agree to the entire process.
Make sure the person you are dealing with is the actual owner of the property. You may be laughing that we would need to say this but you would not believe how many times we have been approached by people that say they own the property but really are not on title. If they are not on the title and do not have a power of attorney you are dealing with the wrong person.
Use escrow in all cases involving the re-sale of property! Even when purchasing new construction, escrow should be used. In certain cases some developments will require you to release funds immediately in order secure the property. In these cases you need to do your homework on the development and asses your level of risk. Many times a good real estate agent can help you save thousands because of their experience and history with the local development. Or there may be fund control which will release portions of your deposit according to certain benchmarks, in which case you should be informed and aware of this. All of this should be in a written sales contract and disclosed to you before you release any funds. Understand the terms of your escrow and if you have any questions ask your escrow officer to explain them to you.
Read your contract!!! Understand the terms and conditions of the contract. If your contract is in Spanish and you need it translated ask to see if the development has an official translation or spend the money and get it translated.
The best advice we can give you is to use professionals. Trying to save a few dollars here and a few dollars there by using inexperienced people in your transaction could cost you $10,000's if not more in the end. Think about this for a second. You’re a foreigner buying property in a foreign country. Why would you want to take unnecessary risks?
All real estate transactions anywhere in the world come with a level of risk. Just because you’re in Mexico it doesn’t mean you should leave your common sense at the border. You can have a safe secure transaction with reasonable expectations if you would take a little time and choose the right professionals for the right jobs.