Buying Real Estate in Mexico


Although having a real estate license IS REQUIRED in Playa del Carmen and all Quintana Roo, according to a law passed in 2015, it is estimated that only less than 1% of those who are selling real estate are licensed.

Many in Playa del Carmen and Tulum, for example, say licensing of real estate agents is not important. Especially those who sell real estate without a license.
We are Living Riviera Maya Real Estate believe that having a real estate license to practice real estate sales is the universal professional standard.
This is especially true when working with foreigners seeking assistance to buy real estate in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya.

What does having a real estate license involve? There is a minimum number of hours with specific courses by certified providers that are required in order to obtain a license. Course duration is usually 3-6 months.
Then an exam.
Every year, real estate practitioners must complete 30 hours of continuing education courses to maintain their license!

Considering that the laws and tax situations are always changing in our country, I as the owner-broker at Living Riviera Maya Real Estate feel it is important to provide knowledgeable service with licensed agents to you our clients when you want to buy Mexico real estate
Rest assured, every one of my real estate advisors on my team is licensed to provide you knowledge thorough service with full disclosure and full transparency regarding all the facts of the sale.

When you travel to the Riviera Maya to buy real estate, you rely on us to know the market and to orient you to properties and relative prices.
Not only that, it is natural to expect that we would negotiate for you and protect you in the buying process.
How can an unlicensed person represent you in your real estate purchase, and charge a professional fee for the transaction in absence of a current license and courses, nor do they abide by any professional association standards?

Naturally, You are best served when working with a licensed agent.

You buy real estate in your home country using a reputable licensed agent. Why would you differ from that when outside your home country? We encourage you to use the professional experience and knowledge of a licensed real estate agent.

Riviera Maya is a paradise and many move here or semi-retire here in Playa del Carmen and turn to real estate to supplement or replace their income. Most remain unlicensed, uneducated in the field of real estate because it is easy.

Buyer beware! They have no credentials and should not be referred to as agents. They are called “unlicensed individuals”. We do not use the word “agent” for these people. The word gives credibility which is not the truth.

There are “real estate” people everywhere. At the airport, in taxis, in restaurants, on street corners. They all “know a guy who knows a guy who can get you a good deal”.

Again let me say, you use reputable professionals at home, why would you stray from this practice in a foreign country? That is especially important to ensure a safe transaction. Sadly since being here in 2003, I have heard many horror stories that have happened when a buyer did not use a reputable agent and company.

There are also real estate “agents” that call themselves REALTORS®.

The word “REALTOR” is a trademarked name that ONLY members of the United States National Association of REALTORS®, NAR, have permission to use.

IN Mexico, AMPI Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios is the equivalent of NAR in United States or CREA in Canada.
Being an AMPI member means that we are held to high ethical standards. Complaints can be filed against us and we have to abide by the rules and regulations or we are subject to the honor and justice committee.

There are “agents” that choose not to be a member of AMPI, or perhaps do not even qualify to be a member. Being a member of AMPI is not a requirement, only State licensing is required.
Just like in the States or Canada. If you were looking to hire an attorney, a plumber, a doctor, would you want them to have the proper education, credentials, and membership in their professional organizations? Being a member in one’s professional organization demonstrates that they are forthcoming about being a professional, not just someone off the street. In the case of AMPI, AMPI owns and operates the AMPI MLS (Multiple Listing Service) in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, and for Puerto Peñasco-Rocky Point it is AMPI MLS. This is a very important tool for the AMPI agents to use to help sellers price their homes correctly using CMA’s (a Comparative Market Analysis). It also helps an agent find homes for their buyers.

Even if you do not work with us at Living Riviera Maya when buying real estate in Playa del Carmen or Tulum, please BEWARE and do your homework!

Ask questions of your real estate “professional”, what they are members of, how is your money safe? Is your down payment safe? Is there an escrow process? How will you be assured you will get title to your property?

It is VERY safe to purchase property in Mexico. It needs to be done correctly. This is a foreign country, so PLEASE do not “leave your brains at the border”. Be safe. Ask questions.

TIPS on Developments. If you like the idea of a new property, for instance, a condo in a new development, then please remember that although the sales staff are friendly, knowledgeable and want to sell units, they also represent the development. I suggest you use us as your representative. It costs you nothing. When we refer you to the development, and if you buy, the development pays us. You can still work with the development but now you have US to ask questions such as: is this the correct process? Are these documents correct before I sign them? Is this a legitimate development? Will I get my title? We say it’s like getting separate attorneys in a lawsuit. Make sure YOUR representative watches out for your best interests.

We have access to all developments, just ask!

I am Judi Shaw and I live full time in Playa del Carmen Mexico since 2003. I am a licensed REALTOR®, belong to AMPI and I am an international Member of NAR. I was once licensed as a BC real estate agent, however, that was many years ago and I have not maintained my license there are I live here in Riviera Maya. If you have interest in buying real estate in this area, please do contact us. I and all my agents are licensed according to state law of Quintana Roo.

Since 2003 I have been helping people such as you make wise real estate investments in Playa del Carmen. I and my whole team at Living Riviera Maya are qualified to represent you to search for and invest in real estate in the area.

Since licensing IS a requirement in Quintana Roo, and so few are truly licensed, let alone belong to any professional organization, it is extremely important that a foreign purchaser such as you, work with a qualified real estate agent in Playa del Carmen for your real estate transaction.

We as AMPI members and NAR members are held to high ethical standards; attend continuing education classes, and keep up to date on current issues so they can help guide their clients through the buying and selling process in Mexico.