Title Research in Mexico and the Importance of Proper Due Diligence

Posted By on April 27, 2016

One of the most important steps to closing a real estate transaction in Mexico is conducting proper due diligence. It’s also knowing that the real estate you are interested in buying here in Mexico has clear title and that the seller is the rightful and legal owner of that property.

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How could you buy real estate from someone other than the legal owner?

There have been times when foreign real estate purchasers do not fully understand how to ensure they are buying from a rightful owner. Sometimes they believe, or are misled to believe, that their acquisition is legal when in fact their transaction has not been secured by the proper title investigation allowing them to enter into a purchase agreement. Purchasers need to ensure they are getting a clear deed and paying the actual property owner and not a third party who thinks they own the property. Or worse yet, by a person who is being dishonest claiming that they own it.

How to reduce real estate buying risks in Mexico

The only way to avoid such a risk is by having legal professionals conduct the proper title investigation. Conducting the proper real estate title research means clearly understanding the history of the property since its inception. This includes understanding details of the all the elements that constitute legal transfer of ownership from when the land was created as private property until its current ownership status. This not only determines the legal right of the current owner to sell the property, but it tells of any defects of ownership transfers somewhere in the historical chain of title. It also displays how the property has been recorded in the municipal records, known as the Public Registry.

A real estate title search, when done correctly, will unveil any problems of inheritance, tax liens, hidden parties that may claim ownership, defects in title, improper legal paperwork and wrongful transfers. A title search will uncover any issues that may cause title problems for future owners.

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In Mexico, it is a common misconception that a Notary Public is responsible for formalizing the legal process of closing the real estate transaction. A Notary Public is only responsible for ensuring that all documentation and permits are in order so that the transaction can proceed. This includes verifying the rightful owner and ensuring there are no outstanding liens on the property. A Notary Public does not perform research for defects of past ownership transfers. This is where an established firm of title professionals such as Stewart Title helps prospective investors to extensively examine the title.

Having Stewart Title Riviera Maya as your trusted advisor gives you a solid layer of security and protection when acquiring real estate in Mexico. Stewart Title can save you time and money by providing back-up from an established multinational firm to do the process correctly on your behalf.

For a complimentary advisory session, you can contact Stewart Title Riviera Maya at (858)433-0694 from the US or from Mexico at +52-984-879-4387 / 88, or email us at gperez@stla.net. It will be our pleasure to serve you.

This article was written by Guillermo Pérez-Orduña of Stewart Title Riviera Maya for exclusive use by AREA Advanced Real Estate Advisors.