BY LINDA NEIL
Mexico’s federal consumer protection agency, PROFECO, has just taken a giant step forward in protecting the home buyer and his rights when acquiring property in Mexico.
September 22 marks the day NORM 247 went into effect. As of that date, FULL DISCLOSURE became law for all residential housing. Gone are the days when evasive agents could tell a story that was less than correct, and get away with it! Penalties for misleading information are hefty and complaints can and will be filed.
Among the essential items covered by the law are:
Advertising – must be truthful and accurate, misleading advertising is prohibited
Costs and property prices must be written in Mexican pesos. Dollars may be included but with the notation that the real price will be that of pesos on the date payment is made.
Properties offered for sale must disclose the status of services such as electricity, telephone, gas and water. Off-grid properties can be sold but full disclosure is a must.
All advertising and websites must include a working telephone number for customer service.
In an Offer to Purchase the consumer-buyer has a right to cancel within five days of signing the offer.
Defective construction – Buildings must have a five-year guarantee on the structure and a one-year guarantee on all else. Failure of a contractor to respond can result in penalties of up to 20% of the purchase price.
Contractors must indicate the source of their construction funds.
Buyers have the right to select the notary public who will formalize their purchase.
All forms for offers to purchase and related documents must be registered with and approved by PROFECO.
In addition to PROFECO, we have other groups, governmental and private, that look out for and protect Buyer and Seller rights when purchasing properties in Mexico, including:
AMPI, the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals with more than eighty chapters in Mexican cities. AMPI was founded more than fifty years ago and is associated with the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors® (NAR) AMPI and NAR both have strict Codes of Ethics to which all members must adhere to.
MLSBCS. The Baja California Sur Multiple Listing Association which has developed over the past twenty years, a set of operating policies and procedures which govern the listing and promotion of properties in the state. Members must adhere to these rules or be fined or removed from the association.
BCS Licensing authorities. The Economy sub-secretary oversees and approves the credentials of those licensed as brokers and their agents. No one may promote the purchase of a property without a license unless he or she is the owner of the property being offered for sale. Any person representing the sale of another’s property must be licensed by the state.
For those considering the purchase of a property in Baja California Sur, these entities have overseen the quality and professionalism of its brokers and agents. It probably enjoys stricter governance and affords greater buyer protection than any other state in the country.
Copyright, 2004-22, Consultores Phoenix, S.C. Reproduction prohibited without permission.
LINDA NEILis the founder of The Settlement Company, which specializes in real estate transfers, escrows and consultations. For reprints of this article or for further information on closings and consumer services, please contact The Settlement Company® at 011 52 624-142-2006 or 011-52-612-123-5056, E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, and website: http://www.settlement-co.com.