At Tropicasa Realty, we pride ourselves in our proficiency and knowledge but also our attention to detail and response to our clients, ensuring that your Puerto Vallarta real estate experience is smooth sailing. We have put together this easy reference guide on the different aspects of selling your property in Mexico to help address your concerns and questions completely and thoroughly.
A New Listing
When we take a listing, we want to be ready to immediately respond to incoming offers to allow us to respond to pending offers quickly and effectively. For this reason, we request the necessary documents at the beginning of the listing process. Below you will find a list of documents needed to complete along with an explanation on why each document is important. Those documents indicated with an asterisk are requisites for all listings that will appear in the AMPI Multi-List and the others are requirements for Tropicasa to ensure your security throughout the selling process.
- Signed Listing Agreement – In order for the listing to be submitted to the MLS Multiple Listing Service, a signed listing agreement is required by the legal owners of the property.
- Escritura (Deed of Title) – We need to know that you indeed are the owner (either fee simple or in fideicomiso) of the property. This is also an MLS listing requirement. We will need a copy of the original deed with its registration forms at the end, and upon closing, this document will be required to bring to the Notary.
- Government-Issued Photo IDs – This demonstrates your identity and in the event of a sale, must be presented to the Notary overseeing the closing as well as the escrow company that will be holding the funds. Two scanned (not photographs), color copies will be required of your IDs (i.e., Passport and Driver’s License).
- Current Property Tax Bill and if possible, its corresponding payment – In calculating some of the taxes, it is important to know the current tax value of the property. The Notary uses this to calculate estimates on capital gains tax payments as well as the Buyer's closing costs. MLS also requires this to list the property.
- Inventory/Exclusion List – It is the Seller's choice if you want to provide an inventory or a list of exclusions. Buyers want to know what is or is not included when they view a home.
- Property Disclosure Statement – Your agent will provide this to you to complete as disclosure on the property.
- Capital Gains Tax Estimate – your agent will provide this to you from a Notary qualified to make that calculation at the time you list the property and using the documents you have provided.
- Administration Letter in the Case of Condominium – We will provide you with a letter for the administrator of your condominium requesting those documents. These are all documents that you as an owner are entitled to have and Buyers will use this documentation to determine the condition of the HOA.
- ID Requirements Format – This is a format required under Mexican real estate law which is basically a summary of the documents and information required by the Notary to close a transaction. We provide this to our clients at the beginning of the listing process so that they know what to expect.
- Privacy Statement – Again, a requirement under Mexican law and we will provide a privacy statement for our clients in an easy-to-read bilingual format.
Additional Items/Documents to Complete the File
In today's market, buyers are thorough in due diligence when buying. The more complete the information we have, the more confidence a potential buyer will have in the transaction. Remember, these documents are only provided upon request in submitted offers and are kept confidential.
- Federal Zone Concession – This applies to oceanfront, river and properties that front on a Federal highway.
- Copy of the Payment of the Trust Fees – It is important to have the information on the trust bank as it will be approving the deed transferring title in the event of a sale. Trust fees must be current before the bank will act.
- Copies of Utility Bills (recent) – We will need to see the services on the property to show the Buyer as well as to prepare the transfer document to transfer the utilities to the Buyer at closing. The Notary will also need to see this as proof of domicile for you, the Seller, here in Mexico.
- Rental Calendar and Income and Expense Statements – For those that rent and may be marketing the property as an investment property, this will be important. The calendar is also important in the event you have reserved the property for dates that will be post-closing, as a Buyer will be due those rentals and/or deposits on a pro-rata basis.
Condominium Documents (in Spanish)
- Condominium Regime – The Notary will need this document to close and it is also important to review as it usually includes the Bylaws. The Spanish recorded version is the binding version, therefore more vital than the English translation.
- Bylaws – to make the Buyer aware of any restrictions and conditions within the HOA.
- Copies of Minutes of The Meetings for the past 3 Years – This is important to see how the condominium is run, any issues that might be pending, any modifications to bylaws, or other factors.
- Condominium Financial Statements for the past 3 years – Important to see the finances of the condominium, how are the maintenance fees used, who is paying and who is not, and if there is a reserve account established.
- Current Budget – All Buyers want to know what to expect insofar as monthly maintenance.
- Survey – Especially with lots, it is helpful to provide a Buyer with a topographical survey of the property, if possible.
- Proof of Service Letters – Generally, in the case of lots, we should provide letters from each utility company showing that service is (or is not) feasible on that lot.
- Feasibility of Construction and Zoning – Especially for lots, often it is key to know what you can or cannot build on a certain property or what can be added to existing construction.
- Certificate of No Liens – to show that there are/are not liens against the property and if there are, the nature of the lien so that it may be removed prior to closing. Your agent will be able to help you obtain this certificate.
During the Listing
During the time your property is on the market, your Puerto Vallarta or Riviera Nayarit property will appear in print and web-based advertising, on social networking sites, featured as Open House and in our wide network of innovative real estate marketing options. It will be featured on the Tropicasa website and promoted to real estate agents all over the world through the MLS systems. In addition, we will have photos and/or videos taken of your property for promotion.
The Closing Process
Once we have received an offer on your home, your Tropicasa agent will review the offer with you and answer any questions you may have. We also have an in-house attorney and will provide you with recommendations on how and if to respond with a counteroffer or if it is better to accept the offer as written. However, the final choice is always yours and our team will work with you, preparing your response as many times as needed until you feel comfortable with the sale. This can all be done digitally with the original signatures required once we have the final accepted offer.
Once you and the Buyer have reached an agreement, there will be a term of due diligence for the Buyer to review the documents pertaining to the property, conduct (at their expense) the necessary inspections and other contingency items that may or may not apply.
Once escrow is open and contingencies removed, this generally means that the Buyer has deposited the required 10% good faith deposit into the escrow account and is satisfied with the due diligence. Tropicasa will then work closely with the Notary on your behalf to coordinate all closing aspects of the transaction. As the Seller, you will need to be present at the closing or grant a power of attorney to someone that you trust to sign documents at closing on your behalf. Your real estate agent cannot act as your representative in this aspect as it would be a conflict of interest. If you cannot be present, the power of attorney can be prepared for you to sign.
If you are in the United States, you need to have the power of attorney notarized by a local U.S. Notary and then "apostilled" by the Secretary of State of the state in which you sign. If you search online for "apostille + secretary of state + (the name of your state)", you will find information on this easy process.
If you are Canadian, you must have the power of attorney signed in the Mexican Consulate nearest you and each consulate has its own format and rules. This link shows the information on the consulates in Canada.
In final preparation for the closing, you will need to prepare to liquidate your staff or employees if you have them, and your agent will be able to assist in this process, and you will need to make sure that all bills associated with the property are paid in full. You will need to provide wire instructions to your agent so that we know where to send funds and there may be some incidental costs to cancel your fideicomiso trust or bring yourself current on taxes and fees. Your agent will provide you with a proration statement prior to closing to show what expenses you will need to pay at closing, prepaid costs that will be reimbursed to you at closing, taxes due to the government, if any, and finally the estimated net proceeds that you will receive on the closing date.
Once the closing date arrives, the Notary office will set the time of closing according to the schedules of both Buyer and Seller and based on the Notary office workload and availability. Up to three days prior to going to the Notary, the Buyer will usually do a walk-through of the property just to make sure everything is in place. As Seller, once you leave your property for the closing, you will not return.
At the Notary office (or in advance with our in-house counsel), you will review the paperwork with the Notary and closing coordinator to make sure everything is in order. Aside from the deed transferring title to the Buyer, you will be signing disbursement instructions to the escrow agent which instructs the escrow agent where to send your funds. It is important that you provide COMPLETE wire instructions to your Realtor prior to the closing so that there is no delay in you receiving your money. Wires sent prior to 1:00 p.m. will be transferred that day and may be received in your account on the same day. Funds sent on Fridays after this time will result in them being received on or after the following business day.
Once documents are signed, the Notary will send the escrow agent the disbursement and copies of the deed and funds will be released. You provide the keys to the Buyer and the closing is complete. Be sure and keep a copy of the transfer deed and tax payment statement for your own records, which you will be given this at closing.