Everything you need to know about buying and selling real estate in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, and the Banderas Bay region

Before Buying Real Estate in Mexico

Do Your Due Diligence

Just Do It!
You have found the dream property, and you want to make an offer. Everyone involved is very friendly and seems very nice. You trust your new friends, and assume you have protections in place to prevent you from having problems with the purchase.

Due Diligence is necessary, and your responsibility is to require it before becoming committed to sending money or being bound by a contract.

What does due diligence include?

  1. Contract of sale: what rights as a buyer do you have? What penalties are there for either side? Where do you send your money? What is included in your purchase?
  2. The escritura shows the property is legally registered in the public records. New construction will be the land escritura.
  3. There must be identification of the seller and evidence in the escritura that he has the legal right to sell.
  4. If you are buying a condo, the condo regime is to be registered (resale) or it is a written condition in the sales contracts for new construction. What are the bylaws and rules of the existing regime, or what does the proposed condo regime (new construction) say regarding home owner fees, pets or not, restrictions on owners, parking, etc.?
  5. If the property is under construction, who receives your payments for the purchase, and will the money be used for the construction? Does the developer have the ability to finish the property or is he depending on presales? There are not commonly bonds or insurance, so what are your risks, and are you comfortable with them?
  6. In resales, commonly purchase funds are put into a third-party escrow company registered in Mexico to do business.
  7. In new construction, funds usually go to the developer.
  8. Other diligence as needed, such as a land survey, recorded easements.

New Construction vs Resales
Time for a due diligence depends if the property is a resale or new construction.  Resales allow more time for investigation of the legal documents of the property and inspection. There is more legal documentation or should be in an existing property.

With new construction, the list of what needs to be created, such as individual condo registration in the tax registry, condo regime registration, is done closer to the physical completion of the property. Construction can take 12-18 months or longer.

Due Diligence – Its Your Right
Here in the market of the Bay of Banderas, we are experiencing a large number of condos for sale.  Many popular projects are the new construction.  Buyers become excited with the idea of something new, with updated kitchen and baths, enormous pools and gyms, hot tubs, or entertainment areas. It is your right to ask for documents of the seller and the development. Your attorney needs to review these documents and give you a report on the projects and the risks.

It is your right to have a competent attorney and other qualified professionals advise you of your risks.

AMPI agents have an ethical responsibility to allow you to use any professional (attorney, engineer, accountant, architect, etc.) you wish to use to evaluate your proposed purchase.

Any agent real estate attorney, attorney or other person advising you is under the civil code to be honest, competent themselves or allow you to use experts.

We want you to be happy with your choice of a home, condo or land here in Mexico. Insist on your right for due diligence.

About AMPI
AMPI stands for Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios, A.C. AMPI has international agreements with NAR, CREA, FIABCI and ICREA, which transcends the globe in cooperative agreements. Currently in Nayarit and Jalisco, there is no licensing requirement for real estate agents to practice.


This article is based upon Flex MLS reporting, legal opinions, current practices and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas areas. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller of Mexican real estate conduct his own due diligence and review. If you have any other questions, contact me through my website.

Harriet Murray



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.