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In Mexico Real Estate Sales Details Matter

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Puerto Vallarta
Credits: Will | Adobe Stock images

You have just discovered that your address or name in the deed (escritura) does not match what is on your phone or electric bill. Yes, the bills show that you are the person who pays them, but this mistake can be a problem when you decide to sell. You need to make sure you change your utility bills so they are the same address and name as shown on your escritura. In Mexico real estate sales details matter.

Very importantly your paperwork trail needs to satisfy the notary. He/she must have everything to not only establish a clear picture of you as the owner, but also to document the history of your utility use at the property. Your utility bills must match your legal address in your deed. Everything must match!

The original deed, or fideicomiso escritura, is recorded in the public registry and is then ready months later. The deed is then returned to the notary to hold for you to pick up the original.

You should have received a factura (official receipt) from the notary for expenses when you purchased. Some of these expenses can be deductible when you sell. Keep it with the escritura in a safe place.

Since 2014, all buyers must keep a CDFI encrypted file and pdf copy of the factura showing what they paid for the property. Without it, you will not have a basis of what you paid for the property, and your ISR capital gains tax will be much higher.

You need a copy of your predial or tax statement for the year you close. You will need this account number to check what your taxes are in January of the following year.

You also need to know if you owe capital gains or if you have a partial exemption. This means you need to submit a request for tax analysis through your agent, attorney or yourself.

Be realistic about your price and the condition of the property. You are in competition and only some people will love your home, not everyone. Choose a professional, experienced agent to sell your home, and very importantly, ask for current comps.

If you receive a full price offer with no unusual conditions, in Mexico this is considered a sale. When you sign the listing and offer the property, you have already signed into law the commitment to accept if the offer is the price you are asking and the terms are not onerous.

This article is based upon 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/her own due diligence and review.

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