Here are 4 priorities for property buyers for Puerto Vallarta real estate or condos for sale.
One: Access to Information
Insist on a comparative market analysis of the “solds” and a list of the competition on the market for any villa or condo you are considering buying. Don’t take no for an answer. Although it is true that historically there has been a history of not recording true sales prices in the Mexican public registry, this doesn’t have to continue, and it is illegal. You, as a buyer have the right to information before you spend your money. Information of sold data: price, sell date, area, and if there is a mortgage, is important. Traditionally, seller financing commands a higher sales price.
Some agencies do not show any properties for sale but their own.
If you ask for the comparative market analysis and a list of what is available in the areas you like, you should find more than one office’s information, or this is a red flag.
Insist on comparisons of what features the sold properties have versus the one you are considering buying.
Opinion is cheap and thought requires work.
Be careful about which agent you choose. Mexico does not require education or fiduciary standards for persons selling real estate.
At the present time, anyone, national or foreigner can write up a sales contract for you to sign and receive a commission, whether his work is correct or not.
Foreigners should have permission to work from the government and be able to give you a copy of their RFC or registration in the tax authority, which shows they are legally working.
Anyone telling you not to use professionals such as accountants, engineers or attorneys, raises a red flag.
Insist upon the purchase funds being put into an escrow account. There is no reason for you to use an account of the broker (which is prohibited by our AMPI chapters in the Bay of Banderas.), or to use the notary or any private individual.
Don’t be talked into the idea that the cost of an escrow account is too expensive or a waste of money. Reputable escrow companies provide an important service to hold funds before closing and then disburse when the notary provides evidence of the transfer of the property.
Four: Use of an Attorney
Unless you are a national and understand Mexican real estate law and taxes, or you are a foreigner who is fluent in the language and understand the Mexican real estate and tax law, you are not capable of representing yourself. You need to pay an attorney here to review the legal documents of the property and advise you of his findings and if there is a known risk.
There are no formally approved real estate contracts, and not disclosure regulations for you to depend upon. You have to be aware and become good at asking questions and using good judgement.
You have a great opportunity right now to find a wonderful deal on a villa or condominium in our market of Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias and La Cruz, Punta Mita and many points in between. If you take sound steps in the process, you will be very fortunate and happy, for many reasons, to own a home here.
Author and article courtesy of Harriet Murray, Founder of Cochran Real Estate in 1997. Born in Louisiana, Harriet Murray had an early love of art and studied art education in college. Upon graduation, she went on to become an art teacher in New Orleans public schools. She later moved to TX and taught art there; as well as science, speech arts, and other subjects like most young teachers do. She is the current President of the Puerto Vallarta chapter of AMPI (after serving as Vice President under different Presidents for 15 years); and is AMPI certified in both the US and Canada, as well as a member of the NAR. She is a proud Certified International Property (CIP) specialist – an achievement only attainable after intense training in real estate in markets all over the world. This article is based upon legal opinions, current practices, reporting from FBS MLS of AMPI members, and personal real estate experience in Puerto Vallarta since 1997. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller of real estate conduct his own due diligence and review. Contact Harriet at email: firstname.lastname@example.org.