Real Estate

Time Scales to Buy, Sell, and Transfer Property in Mexico

It might take longer to sell your Mexican home than you anticipate, and the transactional procedures might also require additional patience from both sides

Hourglass of sand measuring time elapsed

Whether you are buying or selling land or property in Mexico, you need to manage your expectations regarding the time scales involved in finding a buyer if you’re selling, and then exercise patience as you move in the procedural phase to close the transaction after you have agreed a price and signed a contract.

It might take longer to sell than you anticipate

Mexico’s real estate markets are very regionalized and, in most cases, localized.

The location where the property is situated will influence how long it takes for a property to attract a buyer and transact through to closure between the parties.

Property transaction volumes are much higher in big cities, major resort areas, and popular colonial towns than in smaller towns, villages, and islands—and this transaction rate will determine, to a greater or lesser degree, how long it takes to match a buyer with a seller.

Typical time scales when buying a home in Mexico

When you are in the market to buy a home in Mexico, you may find the buying process frustrated by the seller—especially if it is a private sale instead of buying from a developer. This might sound strange, as you might think that the seller will be keen to close the transaction.

However, many factors come into play with Mexican property transactions; sellers may have to negotiate with family members, other ‘interested’ parties (e.g. distant relatives who may or may not be associated with the deeds), as well grapple with nuances of Mexican cultural behaviors in regards to ‘letting go’ of things—like long-held heirlooms.  This article about property cycles across the generations shares some helpful insights.

Some transactions may go through very quickly: for example, when the seller needs fast cash, or a developer is selling you a brand-new property.

Whatever the final time scales end up being, expect the buying process to be different to what you may be used to in the USA, Canada, and Europe—and realize that you may have to be patient if you found your ‘dream home’ and think you can move-in quickly; in some cases, you can; in other cases, you won’t be able to.

Typical time scales when selling your home in Mexico

When you come to sell your Mexican home, you will realize that the location of your property will not only affect its sale price, but also the time it takes to sell the property.  Some properties can remain on the market for years before they sell; this is particularly true of homes situated in remote or rural areas.

Conversely, some homes can sell soon after they are listed—these tend to be properties in Mexico’s popular places including larger cities (especially trendy neighborhoods of Mexico City) as well as popular beach resorts and trendy or sought-after colonial mountain towns.

Most of Mexico’s realty markets are not as “mature” as property markets in the USA or UK, for example, and transaction volumes are lower.

As a rule of thumb: land and property in rural and remote places, as well as those in areas with less well-developed amenities and local services will take considerably longer to sell —perhaps a year or more— than properties situated in larger towns and cities, and the most popular towns and resorts.  These also tend to be places which offer nearby local services and amenities—shops, schools, community centers, clinics, hospitals, etc.

Typical time scales when closing on a property transfer

Once a buyer and a seller have agreed to proceed in earnest, the paperwork can take anything from a few weeks to several months to reach a close.

If you are buying, you should not rush your Notary Public or lawyer as they conduct the necessary checks as part of their due diligence.  If any untoward matters arise, these may add delays, but addressing them helps to protect the buyer and the seller.

Typical closing times for property sales in Mexico

A property purchase can close within a month to six weeks if you are paying cash (no need to arrange finance) and have a motivated and well-organized seller.  However, it’s not unusual for the closing process to take three months or even more.  Patience and flexibility are key negotiating tools in Mexico.

Most real estate transactions in Mexico go through without major delays, and with all the necessary paperwork and title deeds completed to legal norms.

The solidity of the legal procedures involved in Mexican real estate transactions has enabled US insurance companies to provide secure title insurance. It’s important, however, that both buyers and sellers exercise patience and understanding. Mexico’s legal system is bureaucratic; managing your own expectations (and your practical plans) to suit will save a lot of unnecessary stress as you purchase or sell your Mexican home.

Tip: a good local realty agent might help

Finding and working with a well-established realty agent in the locality you intend to move to in Mexico can bridge important gaps in most people’s capabilities, in terms of providing local knowledge and planning, as well as helping to save valuable time as the good agents will know the transactional procedures and might be able to provide facilitation that can accelerate the sales process.

Learn more about property in Mexico

Mexperience offers detailed insights about property in Mexico for buyers, owners, renters, and sellers.

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