Living in Mexico. EVERYTHING you need to know (and then some)
how to find a REAL real estate agent in mexico
November 18, 2021
The sad truth is people in Mexico do not have to have a license to sell real estate. Now, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a legal real estate organization or that there are no licensed agents. It simply means that anyone from anywhere can sell you property in Mexico. And they do.
It’s sad because most foreigners hear “Oh, I was a real estate agent in the U.S.” and equivalate that with being the same as being a real estate agent in Mexico. That is a huge misconception that has cost quite a few people quite a few dollars (yes, dollars and not peso since foreigners are usually shown real estate for sale in USD and not the local currency of MXN, which is different and a lot less expensive btw).
The properties here in Mexico, along with the laws, the rules and the regulations differ a lot from those in the U.S or Canada or Europe. This is a large factor as to how so many people lose their shirts in real estate deals gone wrong here.
One of the biggest issues with real estate here, especially along the Yucatan Peninsula, are people trying to sell property for which they do not possess title. Yes, you read correctly. There are a lot of very convincing folks out there who want to sell land they don’t legally own. It was a personal experience of mine earlier this year. Someone with a plot of land for sale for which, she told me after we were in the car and half way to the destination, she did not (yet) have title.
There are also a lot of folks out there trying to sell houses they don’t own. So how do you protect yourself when you’re looking into buying real estate in Mexico? It’s simple. You use a licensed real estate agent.
Although I just said people here do not require a license to sell real estate, it doesn’t mean that everyone is unlicensed. There is an organization called AMPI (Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios S.A.) whose base is in Mexico City.
AMPI has been around 65 years and has developed offices and extended its organization into nearly every major town and city across the country. Their goal is to train real estate agents to buy and sell property properly. This entails attending classes, paying membership dues and obtaining certificates. That is, considering they pass the qualifications to be accepted into the organization.
Once certified, every single professional AMPI agent is registered on the website of their city. You can review the page of listed agents and choose one by simply clicking on their photo. This will bring up their contact information and ensure you have a qualified agent who is registered with the state working in your best interest.
What’s the difference between hiring a Mexico AMPI agent over a U.S. real estate agent living in Mexico? The difference means a bilingual agent who understands the local laws. AMPI agents are legal residents with local identification, while a majority of past-U.S. agents living in Mexico are not legal residents and do not possess local Mexican identification.
It also means having an agent who can be held legally responsible if something goes wrong. It means having a professional state-certified agent to work with local escrow firms to ensure deals are closed legally and on time.
The biggest difference is peace of mind. You can find a list of certified real estate agents in any major part of Mexico by simply keying in the word AMPI followed by your city or town of interest.
For example, there is AMPI Cancun, AMPI Playa del Carmen, Merida, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, etc. On the page, you will find the certified agents available to help you with your next real estate purchase.