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Frequently Asked Questions - Buying Property

This page contains many of the answers to questions asked by prospective clients intending to sell their property. If you have a question that is not answered on this page, please e-mail me at

Table of Contents

  1.   Where is the office of Océano Realty Rocky Point located?
  2.   Can a foreigner own property in Mexico?
  3.   What areas does Océano Realty Rocky Point serve?
  4.   What types of property does Océano Realty Rocky Point sell?
  5.   Is there a Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
  6.   How do I choose an agent?
  7.   How are offers presented?
  8.   What is the closing process?
  9.   How is the closing date decided?
  10.   What are the buyers closing costs?
  11.   Is financing available?

Where is the office of Océano Realty Rocky Point located?

Océano Realty Rocky Point main office is located in the Océano Plaza, at 22 Fremont Blvd. Puerto Peñasco, Sonora. For your convenience, an overview and detailed map with directions to our office are provided below. Just click on the respective links. Click here for contact information.

View an overview map.

View a detailed map.

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Can a foreigner own property in Mexico?

It is a common misconception that foreigners cannot own Real Estate in Mexico. But in reality it's possible to do so. However, there is a restrictive zone and you have to consider the following alternatives:

Outside the Restricted Zone, a foreigner or foreign corporation can acquire any type of real estate just as any Mexican National can, holding the property as a direct owner complying with Mexican law. Within the Restricted Zone, a foreigner or foreign corporation may obtain all the rights of ownership but it must be in a bank trust, known as Fideicomiso.

The Mexican Constitution regulates the ownership of the land and establishes that; 'in a zone of 100 kilometers along the border or 50 kilometers along the coast, a foreigner cannot acquire the direct ownership of the land'. These areas are known as the "Restricted or Prohibited Zones". The latest Mexican Foreign Investment Law, which became law on December 28, 1993, makes the allowances mentioned above.

Any foreigner or Mexican National can constitute a Fideicomiso (the equivalent to an American beneficial trust) through a Mexican bank in order to purchase real estate anywhere in Mexico, including the Restricted Zone. To do so, the buyer requests a Mexican bank of his/her choice to act as a trustee on his/her behalf. The bank, as a matter of normal course, obtains the permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to acquire the chosen property in trust. The Fideicomiso can be established for a maximum term of 50 years and can be automatically renewed in additional 50 year periods. During these periods you have the right to transfer the titleto any other party, including a member of your family.

The bank becomes the legal owner of the property for the exclusive use of the buyer/beneficiary who has all the benefits of a direct owner, including the possibility of leasing or transferring his/her rights to the property to a third party or to a pre-appointed heir. During this period, the foreigner is considered as a Mexican National. The trustee is responsible to the buyer beneficiary to ensure precise fulfillment of the trust, according to Mexican Law, assuming full technical, legal and administrative supervision in order to protect the interests of the buyer/beneficiary. Fideicomisos are not held by the trustee as an asset of the bank.

Even in unrestricted zones many foreigners and Mexican Nationals prefer to hold their property under a Fideicomiso.

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What areas does Océano Realty Rocky Point serve?

Océano Realty Rocky Point serves areas ranging from as far north as Santa Clara/El Gulfo to Kino Bay in the south. This range includes, Santa Clara, El Gulfo, Cholla Bay, Puerto Peñasco, Desemboque, Puerto Lobos, Caborca, and Kino Bay.

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What types of property does Océano Realty Rocky Point sell?

We sell all classes of real estate including homes, town homes, condominiums, lots, and very large parcels.

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Is there a Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

Yes. The Puerto Peñasco Association of Real Estate Agents (PPAREA) regulates our multiple listing service. As an association, we use third-party software specifically designed to manage multiple listing systems. As such, the software has all the tools an agent would need to effectively search all listings for the property that meets your requirements. Note that the website is integrated with the multiple listing service database.

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How do I choose an agent?

If you don't already have a working relationship with one of our agents, one of the brokers or the sales manager will assist you in choosing one.

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How are offers handled?

When a listing agent receives an offer, the agent will present the offer in its entirety to the seller/property owner. At this point in time, the seller has three options:

  1. Accept the offer as written.

  2. Reject the offer if it is totally unacceptable.
  3. Counteroffer, changing any unacceptable conditions. (When the counteroffer goes back to the buyer, the buyer has the option of withdrawing, accepting, or countering the counteroffer.)

When both buyer and seller agree to all terms (including changes made in any counteroffer), and indicate agreement by their signatures, the contract becomes"firm. "With signatures and notification to all parties, a sales contract now exists.

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What is the closing process?

After both buyer and seller have entered into the sales contract, we now start the closing process. Since most sales are between foreigners, a bank trust is typically involved. This is the main difference to real estate sales in the United States. The bank trust process can be very slow and take up to a year or more to complete but usually average about four months. Most sellers would find this delay in receiving their funds unacceptable so a more expeditious closing process is now being used. Unlike most closings in the United States, both the buyers and sellers are present in front of the Notario. In front of the Notario, the buyer will dispurse the funds to the seller and Notario at which time, the seller will sign over all rights to the buyer by means of a 'Power of Attorney', as well as signing a receipt of payment consummating the sale. The Notario will then start the bank trust process, with no further requirements of the seller.

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How is the closing date decided?

The closing date is usually decided during the offer and acceptace stage. The PPAREA approved Purchase Agreement has a line addressing this date. Usually, the date is based upon a time that the buyer will have the funds available. Since the Notario must be present at the closing, the closing date may need to be adjusted to accommodate the Notario's schedule.

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What are the buyers closing costs?

Below is a list of the standard expenses associated with a typical transfer of trust:

  1. Notary Public fees.

  2. Property transfer tax.
  3. Public registry fee.
  4. Bank trust fee.
  5. Attorney fee.
  6. Appraisal.
  7. Prorations of:
    • property taxes.
    • water.
    • bank trust fees.
    • homeowner's association dues (if applicable).
    • Federal zone fee (if applicable).
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Is financing available?

There are several institutions lending money for property in Mexico. Click here for a list of finance companies.

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