1st Mistake: NOT USING A PROFESSIONAL REAL ESTATE AGENT
Do your homework and find a professional real estate company with trained real estate agents!
A professional real estate agent will know their area and know the value of the property in that area. This can save you tens of thousands of dollars when it comes time to negotiate.
- Make sure your agent is confident and knowledgeable and has the ability to not only find you what you are looking for but negotiate a great deal for you.
- Ask your agent if they have an office or are they working out of their house. If they ask to meet you at a restaurant or a coffee shop it might be because they don't have an office to conduct business from.
- Are they a member of a local real estate group and if so which one. The local associations hold their members to certain standards, which are usually very similar to the United States’ National Association of Realtors guidelines.
- If you don’t speak Spanish, make sure you understand what your agent has translated for you. Sometimes communication can be difficult, so make sure your agent takes the time to explain everything to you. Do not let them tell you to trust them or use the famous words "THIS IS HOW WE DO IT IN MEXICO". Make sure you have a clear understanding and agree to the entire process.
2nd Mistake: LOOKING AT PROPERTY WITH BAD TITLE OR LIENS
Make sure the person you are dealing with is the actual owner of the property!
You may be laughing that we would need to say this but you would not believe how many times we have been approached by people that say they own the property but really are not on the title. If they are not on the title and do not have a power of attorney then you are dealing with the wrong person.
Make sure you know how the title is held on the property prior to making an offer.
You and your agent need to know how the title is held... is it a private contract, Escritura, fideicomiso or a corporation? Knowing this prior to your offer will allow for any cost that might need to be incurred or negotiated prior to the offer being accepted. Doing this after the accepted offer could open you up to additional costs and fees.
Are there any Liens on the property?
You need to know if there are liens on the property at the time of showing or before. This is a very common question asked by professional real estate agents here before they show the property. If you or your agent are not asking this question prior to the showing they could be wasting your time and showing you properties with liens that could be extremely difficult to remove.
Some properties with liens can be cleared up at closing but you will need to be made aware of any liens. Most liens can be removed very quickly but some might take some time. Having an understanding of the lien will allow you to negotiate a better deal and have a more accurate time frame for closing.
3rd Mistake: NOT READING OR UNDERSTANDING YOUR SALES CONTRACT
Read your contract!!!
Understand the terms and conditions of the contract. If your contract is in Spanish and you need it translated ask your agent for help reviewing your contract. A lot of contracts are templates and have been translated... so ask your agent if they have an English copy of the contract.
If for some reason your contract has not been translated you can hire a translator to translate your contract. Cost can range anywhere for $25 per page to $200 per page for an official translation
The best advice we can give you is to use professionals. Trying to save a few dollars here and a few dollars there by using inexperienced people in your transaction could cost you $10,000's if not more in the end.
All real estate transactions anywhere in the world come with a level of risk. Just because you’re in Mexico it doesn’t mean you should leave your common sense at the border. You can have a safe secure transaction with reasonable expectations if you would take a little time and choose the right professionals for the right jobs.
4th Mistake: NOT USING ESCROW
Escrow is new to Mexico Real Estate... Knowing when escrow should be used will protect you and your money.
In certain cases some developments do not use escrow. It is important that you know which developments can and cannot be trusted. An experienced real estate agent will be able to advise you because they will know the reputation of the developers. In these cases you need to do your homework on the development and assess your level of risk. Many times a good real estate agent can help you save thousands because of their experience and history with the local developments.
5th Mistake: NOT UNDERSTANDING YOUR CONDO REGIME
Read and understand your condo Regime!
If you are purchasing in a gated community or a community with a HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION it is important to see the owners' rights, obligations, and restrictions. These are similar to our CC&R’s in the U.S. Once again this is where an experienced Rosarito Real estate agent will save you time, money and aggravation. Review this document with your agent so that you completely understand your responsibilities and obligations prior to purchasing.