PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN LOOKING TO PURCHASE REAL ESTATE IN MEXICO
There is NO REAL ESTATE LICENSING REQUIRED in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit! There IS licensing required for the State of Sonora which includes Rocky Point-Puerto Peñasco.
There is no Federal office that regulates "real estate agents". Mexico is a right to work country and many people are "wanna be" real estate agents. Buyer beware! They have no credentials and should not be referred to as agents. They are called "unlicensed individuals". We do not use the word "agent" for these people. the word gives credibility which is not the truth.
There are "real estate" people everywhere. At the airport, in taxis, in restaurants, on street corners. They all "know a guy who knows a guy who can get you a good deal". You use reputable professionals at home, why not in a foreign country? That is especially important to ensure a safe transaction. One where you don't have to post on a message board "I bought property in Mexico, paid my money, never got title, and I lost everything". This is one of many horror stories that have happened when a buyer did not use a reputable agent and company.
There are also "agents" that call themselves REALTORS®. The word "REALTOR" is a trademarked name that ONLY members of the United States National Association of REALTORS®, NAR, have permission to use. There are "agents" that choose not to be a member of AMPI, or perhaps do not even qualify to be a member. Being a member of AMPI is not a requirement, only State licensing is required.
AMPI is Mexico's real estate association, similar to NAR. AMPI is the Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios. Being an AMPI member means that we are held to high ethical standards. Complaints can be filed against us and we have to abide by the rules and regulations or we are subject to the honor and justice committee. We are required to attend educational classes to stay informed of current real estate laws.
Just like in the States or Canada. If you were looking to hire an attorney, a plumber, a doctor, would you want them to have the proper education, credentials, and membership in their professional organizations? Being a member in one's professional organization demonstrates that they are forthcoming about being a professional, not just someone off the street. In the case of AMPI, AMPI owns and operates the AMPI MLS (Multiple Listing Service) in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, and for Puerto Peñasco-Rocky Point it is AMPI MLS. This is a very important tool for the AMPI agents to use to help sellers price their homes correctly using CMA's (a Comparative Market Analysis). It also helps an agent find homes for their buyers.
Even if you do not use us, please BEWARE and do your homework! Ask questions of your real estate "professional", what are they members of, how is your money safe? Is your down payment safe? Is there an escrow process? How will you be assured you will get title to your property?
It is VERY safe to purchase property in Mexico. It needs to be done correctly. This is a foreign country, so PLEASE do not "leave your brains at the border". Be safe. Ask questions.
TIPS on Developments. If you like the idea of a new property, for instance a condo in a new development, then please remember that although the sales staff are friendly, knowledgeable and want to sell units, they also represent the development. I suggest you use us as your representative. It costs you nothing. When we refer you to the development, and if you buy, the development pays us. You can still work with the development but now you have US to ask questions such as: is this the correct process? Are these documents correct before I sign them? Is this a legitimate development? Will I get my title? We say it's like getting seperate attorneys in a lawsuit. Make sure YOUR representative watches out for your best interests.
We have access to all developments, just ask!
I am Robin Miller, the “Mexican Beach Bum” and I live full time in Puerto Peñasco-Rocky Point. I am a REALTOR® and am a Broker in Rocky Point. I lived in Puerto Vallarta for 2 1/2 years and worked with the same company, Prudential California Realty Vallarta Division in the South Office in downtown Puerto Vallarta. If you have interest in that area, I will refer you to my previous broker who is competent and well versed in the area, living there for over 10 years selling real estate.
I have been in the Mexico Real Estate Industry for nearly 10 years, assisting clients with their Mexico vacation home buying and selling decisions.
As a member of AMPI, the Mexican National Association for Real Estate Agents, and a member of NAR, the U.S. National Association of Realtors®, and with access to the MLS, I am qualified to represent buyers as they search for and purchase the perfect vacation home.
Since licensing is not a requirement in most areas of Mexico, it is extremely important that a foreign purchaser uses a qualified agent for the real estate search and purchase transaction. AMPI members and NAR members are held to high ethical standards; attend continuing education classes, and keep up to date on current issues so they can help guide their clients through the buying and selling process in Mexico.
Ask us for a FREE guide to safely purchase Mexico real estate in Puerto Vallarta or
Puerto Peñasco/Rocky Point Mexico.
I can be reached at:
US: 602-539-3124 (My Magic Jack in Mexico)
Mexico Cell: 011-521-638-109-0443
View Puerto Vallarta Real Estate For Sale
Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (NAR) and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
All real estate agents are not REALTORS®, but all REALTOR® members are real estate agents. REALTOR® members are committed to a strict code of ethics known as the REALTOR® Code, and are the only ones who have the right to list your property on the MLS® Systems of their local real estate boards. To correctly be referred to as a REALTOR®, a real estate agent must be a member of NAR.
Here's why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.
- Navigate a complicated process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multipage settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
- Information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
- Help finding the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.
- Negotiating skills. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
- Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
- Someone who speaks the language. If you don’t know a CMA from a MLS, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
- Experience. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you have done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle many real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
- Objective voice. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, homebuying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
Here are some questions to ask:
Here are the top 10 questions you should ask any real estate agent you’re going to work with:
Is he licensed? Many countries don’t have a licensing system. In those that do (such as Panama and Brazil) you should only work with licensed agents.
How many years has he worked in real estate? You can count years accrued as a constructor or builder, working as a sales agent for a developer, or as a serial remodeler and flipper.
Does he have any local connections and how long has he lived here? If your agent was born in the area, married a local from the area or has lived there for a long time, he will usually have more in-depth knowledge of local market history, dynamics and pricing. And if things don’t go to plan, he’s more likely to try fix it instead of skipping town.
How many listings does he have? In much of the world, there isn’t a Multiple Listing Service. Your agent will need to get out there and find good listings. That takes us to question #5…
Will he work with other agents to get you the perfect property? Some agents don’t like doing this as it normally means a split commission – a lower fee to them. But some agents realize that customer satisfaction is a top priority. They’ll take the cut, hoping that your positive experience will lead to future sales when you tell friends and family how thrilled you are with your new home.
What commission/fees does he charge? In most countries overseas, there’s an agreed percentage that agents stick to. In most, the seller pays the commission. But in some countries, both the buyer and the seller pay a commission. Find out not just how much you’ll pay, but also who pays, if it’s included in the purchase price, and if you’ll pay tax on it.
Does he or one of his staff speak the local lingo? This is crucial. If they can negotiate with the locals, they’ll get a wider choice of properties and often a better price.
Is he a member of a local governing body? Here in Panama, it’s called ACOBIR and it mediates disputes between agents and also between agents and clients. If you’re unhappy with the service you received, you can lodge an official complaint which the governing body will investigate.
Has he got local market knowledge? Test your agent. If you ask about average prices per square foot in specific neighborhoods, rental rates or the best areas for re-selling, he should give you a ballpark answer straight away.
Has he got happy customers? It’s always best to get written confirmation from previous buyers that they’re happy with the agent’s services.
One last thing to remember; it cuts both ways. If your agent gives you good service and finds a property for you, it’s not nice to approach the property owner directly and try to cut the agent out of the deal to save a few thousand dollars. I’ve seen this happen several times, only for the buyer to hit a glitch with the purchase, or need the agent’s help when it comes time to sell the property on.
This article by Margaret Summerfield