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

Complete your due diligence first

What should buyers know about real estate escrow and deposits?

If you have found a property, and you want to make an offer, I recommend the following:

Your offer should include time for you to conduct due diligence, an inspection, or other concerns.  Beware of your having to put your deposit into the escrow company before these issues are resolved.

There is no requirement for escrow in Mexico

Mexico does not require funds to be put up by the buyer in order to have a binding offer. In fact, the country does not require escrow. But for you, as a foreign buyer these two issues are important to understand for your safety.

Complete your due diligence first before making deposit

You can put your escrow deposit into the title company once you have accepted the results of your due diligence. Don’t be convinced to do otherwise by an agent who doesn´t know the facts. This might be a way to get you to comply faster, but you do not need to send money in advance of diligence on your behalf.

If you withdraw from the offer, then you don´t have to fight to get your funds back from the escrow.  Many times, the title company may require your signature and the sellers. This is to protect this company from legal issues, but it may take a lot of time and the procedures are not the same, as you would expect.

You would send the second deposit, or balance of the purchase price into the escrow company several days ahead of closing.

Title insurance is offered, and you have to decide if you want to pay for this.

Insurance is not required for a purchase, or for a mortgage. It is optional. Be sure to check with your attorney or notary if there are issues, which warrant insurance. Some of the reasons to buy insurance are if the property is adjoining the federal maritime zone, is over a million USD purchase price, or research discovers the property has had problems in the past.

Better to ask than assume

You are better served to ask how the process is different from what you know if you are buying in a different country.  Others may let you assume procedures, which do not exist.  With so much information available to us, we can become overwhelmed with details and start relying on our prior experience. In this day and time, we have to be aware of lack of knowledge and dishonesty from people working with us.

Buying real estate is very serious step to take in any country, even if it is your own.  For foreign real estate, you need a new set of glasses.



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



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