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Buying Real Estate in Mazatlan, Mexico


So you have spent some time in Mazatlan and you have fallen in love with the beaches, the colonial cities, the people, the climate and you are now thinking to yourself …. I wish I could purchase property here! Well guess what? You can!

As time passes, more and more foreigners are choosing Mazatlan as their second home, permanent residence or retirement destination. In fact, Americans and Canadians choose Mexico for their retirement destination more than any other country in the world and Mazatlan is one of the top ranked retirement destinations in all of Mexico.

How do you go about purchasing a home or condo in Mazatlan?

1. Choose a real estate agency to represent you, the buyer:

The laws and procedures of purchasing real estate in Mexico are different compared to purchasing real estate in the United States or Canada so when purchasing a home or condo in Mazatlan it is best to be associated with a professional real estate company who know the laws and regulations. Be sure to select an agency that is aware of today’s real estate market, is up-to-date on all of the laws and regulations pertaining to Mexican Real Estate, has a bilingual sales team, who has an office where they can be found and also the proper contacts such as Notarios, Trust companies, financing companies etc.

2. Getting to know each other:

Once you have chosen a local real estate agency to represent you (we hope it’s Solutions Mazatlan!) it is now time to sit down with your buyers agent, tell us a little bit about yourself and go over your wish list for what you are expecting in your Mazatlan home. Your Solutions Mazatlan agent will ask you questions such as the size you are looking for, bedrooms, in what area, any particular style, what type of services would you like close to you and of course your budget.

3. The search: Now that Solutions Mazatlan knows your specifications, we can begin the search for your Mazatlan home or condo! We will compile a list of properties that we think would suit your needs, wants and budget and we will then begin the tour. We will only show you selected properties that you are interested in and properties that are within your budget.

4. Make an offer: Once you have found the perfect property it is time to make an offer. As your buyer’s agents, Solutions Mazatlan is here to negotiate offers with the seller and the seller’s agent of the selected property and to give you information on comparable properties. An offer will be written up and sent to the selling party with your signature and they will then either accept the offer or come back with a counter offer. Each offer is unique so deposits, payments etc. do vary but generally a good faith check /deposit is made to the seller or representing real estate company of the property by the buyer.

5. Processing of Documents and Paperwork with a Notario: Once the offer has been accepted, Solutions Mazatlan will help you with the paperwork and the buying process such as selecting and meeting with a Mexican Notary (notario) who fulfills a public function delegated by the government. The notario will take care of all the legal real estate process involved with the purchase of the property. The notario will require upfront fees to cover legal fees, appraisals, certificates of freedom of liens etc. Notario fees depend on which notario you choose to work with and also the specifics of the case.

6. Acquiring the Fideicomiso:  After meeting with the notario it is time to choose a bank or other trust company to hold the Fideicomiso of the purchased property. You must complete the bank applications for the trust and pay the fees upfront. These fees cover the permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and fiduciary banks.  Obtaining the Fideicomiso can take up to 3-4 weeks so patience is a must.  What is a Fideicomiso? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!

7. Preparing for Closing: Once the Fideicomiso is authorized and all documentation and certificates are ready, the notario will then draft the final document that you will be signing at closing and the date and time for the actual closing will also be decided at this time. Prior to the closing date the buyer will then deposit the remaining amount due into the sellers account of choice. Payment methods vary depending on the seller’s preference and what was stated in the original purchase offer agreement.

8. Closing Time: On closing day the selling and buying parties will meet with the notario and the buyer will pay the final closing costs such as the transfer taxes, registration fees etc. The fiduciary bank will likely attend this meeting to sign the documentation if this has not already been done.  At this time the buyer will be presented with the title (escritura) of the property.

9. Possession of the Property: In many cases the buyer takes possession within 30-90 days of the closing. However, possession date is normally mentioned in the original purchase/sales offer agreement and depends on the situation of the seller so it is possible for possession to take place immediately after closing.

10. Setting up your new home: Now that closing has taken place and all of the paperwork is done it is now time for you to set up your new house or condo and make it home. Although the sale has been finalized, Solutions Mazatlan is still here with you every step of the way to assist you with changing the name/s on the utility bills, setting up services such as phone and internet, helping you obtain an FM3, assistance with purchasing furniture, appliances and house wares and just about anything else that you could think of that pertains to setting up home in Mazatlan. Solutions Mazatlan wants to make your transition to Mazatlan as stress free as possible so if there is anything we can do - just ask!