Do You Need a Real Estate License in Mexico?

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Selling real estate in Mexico doesn't require a license. The Association of Mexican Real Estate Professional (AMPI) is the primary real estate association in the country. The primary goal of AMPI is to bring an increased level of professionalism to property sales in the country. This group established a voluntary code of laws and ethics for member agents to follow.

No License Requried

  • Real estate agent is a loosely used title in Mexico. In 2009, there are no laws that mandate a license or other credentials. However, the Mexican state of Sonora does require real estate agents to join a registry before conducting business within the state's boundaries. A real estate registry created by the Federal Consumer Protection Agency registers agents, but it isn't well know within Mexico, and it doesn't penalize those who don't register.

Listing Agreements

  • Listing agreements are created solely at the discretion of the real-estate agent. A uniform format isn't available and the forms are not reviewed by any government agency. In Mexico, there is not a separate designation between real estate agents and brokers; each agent is free to develop his own listing agreement and sales-contract style.

Government Regulation

  • Mexican real-estate ownership laws allow the government to regulate property sales as dictated by the interest of the public. Real estate agents should become very familiar with the intricate aspects of this law before attempting to sell or broker the purchase of a piece of real estate. Natural resources of the land, also referred to as mineral rights, cannot be transferred to a buyer. Mexico retains all rights to these and can exercise them at any time without compensation to the property owner.

Fraud Concerns

  • All real estate sales must be approved by a notary public before they are valid and can be processed by a lending institution or governmental office. After the notary reviews the title deed, it is filed at the Public Registrar for Property, and the deal is closed. Due to the lack of professional licensing and governance of the sale of real property, fraud is a major concern for both the AMPI and buyers alike. Real estate professionals should thoroughly research property records before listing real estate to avoid individuals who are only posing as the real owner of the home or business.

Federal Public Registry

  • The sale of both residential and commercial property must be recorded with the Federal Public Property Register office. Clear title and ownership won't be legally recognized until all paperwork is filed with this governmental agency. All information becomes public record after filing. Certificates of encumbrance are also filed at the Federal Public Property Register office, and are public record as well.

References

  • Photo Credit Tara Dodrill
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