The Baja Report

Real Estate and lifestyle in beautiful Southern Baja


Published on: November 29, 2023

                                                                               YOU MADE IT TO CLOSING

I receive questions about the closing process on real estate transaction and purchasing homes in Todos Santos at least once a week. Closings are complicated, there's a ton of unfamiliar paperwork and you need the guidance of an attorney specializing in real estate law or a dedicated closing agent to get you through this process.            Once you have a purchase agreement signed by both parties and outlining the obligations of both the buyer and the seller, you should proceed with a specialist that will guide you through your unique requirements as every transaction is different. 

Things to be diligent about include:

Title Report. Get this done immediately. The seller needs a clear title or transferring ownership will be much more complicated and full of delays. Look out for any liens on the property, mortgages, or someone else with a claim to the property. Was the property owned by the ejido previously? Then you need to address "Derechos" or First Right Of Refusal. Are there any tenants living on the property? Are there restrictions to the use of the property, easements, etc? Have the property taxes been paid up to the current date? Getting a Title Report done early will answer all of these questions and allow you to move on quickly to the fun part of ownership.

Documentation.  Reviewing all documentation including the Offer To Purchase, fideicomiso, deed, deed of trust, and disbursement instructions carefully and diligently requires time and patience and of course familiarity with the documents. Have them all explained to you by your closing coordinator paying attention to the details so you are not in the dark with anything and there are no surprises.

Recording. Your coordinator should be getting everything done together with the notary public and making sure the registry is up to date and both the title and deed of trust are recorded properly. And finally escrow needs to be signed by both parties in a timely manner so disbursements go out as soon as possible and to the correct parties.

Closing is a big deal! Make sure it is done right and everyone wins together.

Another question I get frequently related to closings is if the closing can simply be done at the notary? The answer is yes it can, and this is seen as a way to save a few pesos by eliminating a closing attorney. This is definitely not the place to be skimping as you want a professional partnering with you in this process and his fee will be a fraction of your total outgoings. But yes, a notary will be providing you with any help with your due diligence, they will not know of any squatters on the property for example. They do ensure that the title to the property is free of any liens but that is the extent of it.

If you are in the Todos Santos area and want to speak with a bi-lingual Closing Attorney, you are in luck as we have an excellent one downtown and is an excellent resource for anyone here locally. If you are selling to a friend or family, or someone has offered you that amazing deal and you are not using a realtor or real estate agency, then I recommend contacting Felipe Lara at 612-157-8140, He will be happy to guide you through this process.

Good luck and enjoy your new purchase!

Photo: Alec Quevedo Alec Quevedo

Keywords: Attorney Advice. Closing Tips Escrow Details Legal Docs Notary Role Ownership Transfer Purchase Process Real Estate Closing Title Report Todos Santos Property

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