Although not new to Mexico, Title Insurance is now being made available to the thousands of property buyers in Mexico. Our focus is on making Title Policies available to the foreign investors in Mexico; however, we also hope to educate the local purchasers of the benefit of insuring their Real Estate Transactions.
Title Insurance exists to "Insure" the buyer, or lender against Title related issues when they purchase real property. Yes, the Mexican system of transferring property is a very good one, however, problems can exist which are impossible to see during the closing process. Just like in the United States, where there is also a very good system of recording transactions, Title Insurance is used on almost every transaction. Many buyers are lead to believe that because they are getting a bank trust or because they use a "Notario" to finalize the transaction that there cannot be any problems with the title. This concept is incorrect. The Notario's job is to do his/her due diligence to verify that all of the documents that are presented at the time of closing are accurate. If one of the parties has committed fraud in the transaction then the Notario would not have any way of knowing this so they would not be liable in the transaction. In that case, an Insurance Policy would cover the insured party up to the amount of the policy. Typically, the Title Company will defend the insured at their own expense and if they are not able to win a favorable result for their client, they will pay the amount of the damage up to a maximum of the amount listed on their policy.
Another mistake made by Buyers in Mexico, is thinking that because they are purchasing on a property that has a Master Title Policy, they do not need to purchase their own individual policy. This is a huge mistake. The Master Title Policy only insures the Developer and does not insure the new buyers in any way. If a developer has a Master Policy on their project it lets the new buyer know that the developer is serious about insuring that their project is in good standings regarding the Title. Once they have the policy in place, they normally begin to construct their project. If the developer puts any liens on the development, or does not pay one of the subcontractors, a new lien can be placed upon the project. This could turn into a problem to the new buyer if they are not properly insured.
First Title Services does not issue Title Insurance; instead, we work with the companies that are offering to insure property in Mexico. We find out which company offers the best policies, the best prices and the best service and this is the company that we will recommend to our customers. Once our customers decide on the company to use, we will help by expediting the process. There is a shortage of trained, experienced sales representatives in Mexico and we make sure that you as the customer do not get forgotten about. We assist with the Master Policies for developers and the Buyer's Policies for the "Sale Outs" as well as individual Buyers Policies on Resale transactions.
Escrow exists in Mexico to allow the Buyer confidence that they are putting money into a US account where money can only be disbursed from the account according to the Escrow instructions that the Buyer signed when they signed their purchase contract. On a resale transaction, Escrow is very helpful because the buyer does not have to give funds directly to the Real Estate Agent, the Real Estate Broker or the Seller. Instead, they would agree to the terms of the Escrow Instructions and deposit their money with the neutral third party, the Escrow. As the terms of the instructions are met, the Escrow Officer will disburse the funds to the appropriate parties.
In the case where the seller is the developer, the escrow can be tied to something called a Fund Control. This allows the buyer to know that their money is only being disbursed as the development is moving forward according to specific instructions. If the developer does not accomplish a construction milestone, then the Escrow Officer will not release the funds. The Fund Control is often handled by a third party company with engineers that certify that each milestone has been reached. First Title Services offers this service to all of the developers that they work with.
This is an area that is very different in Mexico when compared to the United States. In Mexico, the Buyer typically pays for the closing costs which can range from 6 to 8 percent of the purchase price. There are a number of variables that affect the final closing costs; such as where the property is located, the citizenship of the Buyer, the bank used to setup the Bank Trust, if the trust is being transferred or if a new trust is being setup, the specific Notario used to finalize the transaction, etc.
First Title Services provides an on-line "Good Faith, Cost Estimator" for Buyers. This service is used to help Buyer get an "ESTIMATED" cost to close their transaction. Our closing services are designed to close our customer's transactions with the Notario in an expedited manner for a reasonable price, while keeping our customers updated on the status.
Our closing services manager has over six years of experience working directly for the Municipal Office of Rosarito as well as two years working for a Notario and four years working for a Correduria Publica (A Federally Appointed Attorney that facilitates Commercial Transactions in Mexico).
Every Real Estate transaction in Mexico must be closed in order to transfer ownership, so let us help you understand the process, expedite the process and get it done for the best price.
Please click on the link below to get a GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE of the costs involved to close your transaction. Actual costs will be given once your application has been submitted and received internally by First Title closing department.
GOOD FAITH COST ESTIMATOR
This is a service that is relatively new to many of the Developers in Mexico. Our Fund Control service works in conjunction with the developer to integrate their construction timeline and construction milestones with the Escrow for their buyers. Our licensed engineers will visually inspect the construction progress and certify when a milestone has been met. Once a milestone has been accomplished, the engineer will notify escrow in writing that they may now disburse funds according to the Escrow Instructions.
This service is very valuable to the developer as they are able to market their development letting their buyers know that they will only use the funds they need as they complete the different phases of construction.
A property inspection is offered by our licensed engineers to perform a visual inspection of the subject property prior to the buyer closing on the property. We recommend to all of our clients that they have an inspection done no matter if the property is new from a developer or a resale transaction. For a very minimal cost, a buyer will have a much better understanding of their property after they receive the written report from our engineers.
A recent article in the Baja Times Newspaper by Roberta Giesea, titled “Home Inspections”, discusses the importance of having a third party inspector that does not have emotional ties to the property give it a physical inspection.
In order to legally buy and sell Real Estate as a foreigner in Mexico, you must have the correct immigration status. In simple terms, a Buyer of Real Property in Mexico must have an, FM3 Visa or an FM2 Visa. One of the first questions we ask new customers is if they have their Visa's to purchase property in Mexico. If they do not, we are able to use our many years of experience to walk our customers through the process. We will expedite the process by notifying you in advance of what you will need to start the process, as well has help you through the process to get the correct Visa for your situation.
Also, if you plan on working in Mexico, you must have the FM3 (Work) Visa which is different from the FM3 (Rentista) Visa. If you have the standard FM3 (Rentista) Visa and need to get the Work Visa, contact us, we can help.
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