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Property acquisition in Mexico & Trust

Step-by-Step Walkthrough of the Purchasing

Process of Property in Mexico

By: Resendiz Wong Abogados, Real Estate Attorneys in Mexico

Step 1. Find a piece of undeveloped property, home or condo which you would like to purchase and verbally agree on a price with the seller.

Step 2. Upon receipt of the buy/sell agreement (convenio de compra/venta), which is typically composed by the seller’s real estate agency, have your attorney review the detailed costs, inclusions and exclusions, as well as pertinent timelines set out within. Once everything has been approved by your attorney, a deposit of around 10% shall be paid to the seller, and cancellation penalties shall be set in case either party pulls out. These cancellation penalties are normally equal to the amount of the deposit, but this is something which may be negotiated by your real estate attorney in Mexico.

Step 3. If the property is located within the restricted zone, you will need to establish a trust with a local bank. This process is explained in more detail in our “Guide to Buying Property in Mexico” which you may review by following the link provided. Your legal representation will notify you as to which banks are currently offering the best rates for holding the property deed on your behalf.

Step 4. You will need to request permission to purchase Mexican property from the Foreign Secretary’s office, where you will be required to sign the “Calvo Clause”, in which you agree not to seek assistance from your government in the case of any conflict pertaining to the property under consideration, and that in the case you do request such assistance from your government that you will automatically forfeit your rights to the property.

Step 5. Your attorney will investigate as to whether the seller is in good legal standing and is legally permitted to sell. In the case the seller is a real estate development company, it is also important that your attorney ensures that they are properly registered and all of their permits are current and in good standing.

Step 6. Once you have received copies of the property deeds from the seller, your attorney will verify with the Notary Public that they accurate and there that there are no existing liens on the property.

Step 7. Your attorney will also verify that the property is not included in an ejido land claim. Ejidos are explained in more detail in our “Guide to Buying Property in Mexico”.

Step 8. Your attorney in Mexico will then review any official land appraisals provided by the seller and then arrange to have the property reappraised to ensure that there are not any significant incongruencies.

Step 9.
Your real estate attorney in Mexico will verify your legal status in Mexico to the appropriate authorities by presenting copies of your Passport, Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Visa, etc.

Step 10. Your attorney will require that the seller provides up-to-date original versions of, the original property deed, current tax receipts, utility bills and all corresponding land-service fees of the property in question. All of these documents must be shown to be paid in full to assure that you are not left responsible for any unpaid debts. (Under Mexican Law, all liens or unpaid debts are transferred with ownership of the property).

Step 11. Unless otherwise stated in the purchasing agreement, the seller will pay the Capital Gains Tax, the price of which will be determined by the Notary Public.

Step 12. Full payment is made at the time the deed is signed over to you. This shall take place in the Notary Public’s office in the presence of your real estate attorney in Mexico. Your Mexican attorney’s and the Notary Public’s fees are paid at this time as well as any corresponding taxes involved in the land purchase.

Trademark Registration

RWA renders specialized advice on Industrial Property in order to protect trademarks, inventions, trade names and in general, all kind of industrial property right in Mexico. Our commitment is to provide our clients with accurate and cost-effective legal advice on the existing legal procedures to obtain the protection of rights on trademarks, patents, utility models, industrial designs, commercial names and slogans, further considering the tax, civil, and criminal aspects for an integral service. Likewise, we handle the negotiation and preparation of license agreements, transfer of rights, planning, research, and development of protective strategies including representation in civil, criminal, or administrative procedures involving unfair competition practice, illegal exploitation of patents or illegal use of trademarks. In connection with copyrights, we carry out preparation and filing for the registration of computer programs, audio-visual, radio, television, musical, literary, photographic and architectural works, scientific books, technical, pedagogical and didactic works, lithographic works, pictorial, drawings, engravings and the like, including the negotiation of license agreements which imply exploitation of such works, and any protective or registration procedure before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial). Specifically, RWA offers in this area the following services:

  • Registration of trademarks, trade names, slogans, patents and PCT National Phase Applications in Mexico before the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI).
  • Preparing, filing, maintaining, prosecuting, and enforcing all types of intellectual property rights;
  • Protection of computer hardware, software programs, and confidential information;
  • Guidance in the structuring of technology transfers, technical assistance, and payment of royalties;
  • Filing, defense and appeal in all types of intellectual property proceedings before administrative authorities, including civil and criminal actions;
  • The seeking and obtaining of injunctive relief, including temporary mandates, restraining orders, and permanent injunctions;
  • Guidance and assistance in the development of strategies to protect intellectual property rights and operations in Mexico; and
  • Advice on procedures before the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property and other authorities to initiate seizure and confiscation processes to prevent the sale and distribution of counterfeit merchandise.

Incorporating a Company in Mexico

Resendiz Wong Abogados is the premiere Mexican law firm in assisting U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals in purchasing both private and corporate real estate anywhere in Mexico. Our firm has extensive experience in assisting both buyers and sellers in all types of real estate transactions in Mexico.

Purchasing real estate in Mexico as a foreign citizen can be a very complicated and arduous process without the assistance of a carefully selected legal representative. The extreme variances between real estate law in Mexico and in the U.S. are alone cause for confusion, but when you consider that all those laws and regulations are in a foreign language, you are really going to have your hands full if you try and go at it alone. When buying property in Mexico, it is very helpful to find an attorney in Mexico who is not only well versed and experienced in Mexican real estate law, but one fluent in your native language as well so he or she will be able to transfer that knowledge to you in an articulate, easily digested explanation. For these reasons among others, our firm staffs attorneys fluent in English as well as German and French, and to better serve our American clients, our firm also staffs U.S. citizens to encourage a more comfortable, at home atmosphere throughout the intricate and complicated process of purchasing real estate in Mexico as a foreign citizen.

Resendiz Wong Abogados has been recognized by both the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and the U.S. Department of Commerce as a dependable source of ethical and reliable legal representation and advice for U.S. citizens in Mexico. If you would like information on how you can verify this, or if you would like to receive a list of U.S. companies and individual private home buyers who we have represented for reference purposes, we would be happy to provide such information. Simply send us your detailed request to rwa@resendizwong.net.