If you were to invest in stocks, whose would advice would you trust, and who would you choose to work with?
- Some who tells you, "Trust me, I’ve bought stocks before …"
- A qualified broker who backs years of experience with certifications and up-to-date knowledge?
The answer is obvious. For some reason, however, it seems to be less obvious when people are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into Mexico real estate.
Considering the amounts in question, real estate investors should apply the same logic to choosing the professional who will represent them in this purchase. Some common misconceptions prevent buyers from applying simple, strait-forward logic in this case include. The following are some DON’Ts.
- DON’T assume that the same laws apply to the Mexico real estate industry as in the U.S. or Canada.
- DON’T feel that when buying in Mexico, it’s OK to be lax, since Mexico is a different culture.
- DON’T carry out processes in ways that simply seem illogical, which you would NEVER do back home.
The fact is that laws in Mexico protecting buyers or sellers are not as well developed. This, however, should not be a deterrent to investing in real estate in Mexico. Working with the right professionals, buying in Mexico is completely safe.
Real estate in Mexico is a less sophisticated market, with less information available on a large scale to be manipulated by larger companies, meaning that more "hidden" opportunities are available be discovered by smaller investors.
This also means that investors need to know where to look for sound advice.
The combination of these points shows that perhaps the most important step for investors buying real estate in Mexico for the first few times should work with an experienced, qualified broker who combines official, measurable knowledge with a thorough familiarity of the area’s market.
The following are items which are strong indications of professionalism.
- Degree in Mexico Real Estate – This is a recent step in moving the industry to a higher degree of all-around professionalism. This university degree is granted to students completing a 4 year program, or to professionals who demonstrate a high level of experience and course-work knowledge, as well as passing a strictly controlled exam. So far, only a handful of brokers hold this degree.
- Experience – Years of experience says a good deal for a broker. Along with this go reputation and references from past clients.
- Membership in AMPI – AMPI, or the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals, is the only professional association in Mexico, and has chapters throughout the country.
- Certificates – A number of Mexico’s best universities, as well as the professional real estate association offer certificates to show that agents have studied a certain aspect of the industry in Mexico.
- Ongoing Courses and Diplomas – This is a sign of updating information about procedures and laws.
It is important to note that none of these are mandatory for an agent to be in practice in Mexico; it is up to you as the buyer to investigate and be sure you are working with a broker who will help you find the best investment opportunities, and carry out your transaction safely to protect the large funds which you are investing.
While it may be difficult to find agent with the degree, a related degree can also be a plus, and the the combination of other factors can still build the overall picture.
If you decide to invest in real estate in Mexico for the first time, there will be no shortage of agents on hand. Some will be in it because they couldn’t manage another job, and they saw quick money. Others will be high trained professionals, knowledgeable, qualified, and dedicated to doing things right, for the best interest of their clients.
The bottom line – they both cost you as the buyer the same; NOTHING. The commission for the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent generally both come from the seller. You’re biggest investment on this side of things will be the time and the effort to check out qualifications. This relatively small investment, however, can do wonders to protect the very large investment you are making.