FAQ

Table of Contents

  1.   Where is the office of Océano Realty Rocky Point located?
  2.   Can a foreigner own property in Mexico?
  3.   What areas does Océano Realty Rocky Point serve?
  4.   What types of property does Océano Realty Rocky Point sell?
  5.   Is there a Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?
  6.   Does Océano Realty co-broke with other companies?
  7.   Is a listing agreement required?
  8.   How do I choose an agent?
  9.   How is the sales price determined?
  10.   What kind of marketing will be provided?
  11.   How are offers presented?
  12.   What is the closing process?
  13.   How is the closing date decided?
  14.   What are the seller’s closing costs?
  15.   What is IVA and why do I have to pay it for the commissions?
  16.   Should I perform repairs to the property or let the new owner do it?
  17.   What are the buyer’s closing costs?
  18.   Is financing available?
  19.   What documents are required to return to the U.S. after visiting Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point)?
  20.   What are the best times to return from Puerto Peñasco to avoid long delays at the border check point?
  21.   Where can I get accurate information on the process for getting a U.S. Passport?

Where is the office of Océano Realty Rocky Point located?

Océano Realty Rocky Point main office is located in the Océano Plaza, at 22 Fremont Blvd. Puerto Peñasco, Sonora.
For your convenience, an overview and detailed map with directions to our office are provided below. Just click on the respective links.
Click here for contact information.

View an overview map.

View a detailed map.

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Can a foreigner own property in Mexico?

It is a common misconception that foreigners cannot own Real Estate in Mexico. But in reality it’s possible to do so. However, there is a restrictive zone and you have to consider the following alternatives:

Outside the Restricted Zone, a foreigner or foreign corporation can acquire any type of real estate just as any Mexican National can, holding the property as a direct owner complying with Mexican law. Within the Restricted Zone, a foreigner or foreign corporation may obtain all the rights of ownership but it must be in a bank trust, known as Fideicomiso.

The Mexican Constitution regulates the ownership of the land and establishes that; ‘in a zone of 100 kilometers along the border or 50 kilometers along the coast, a foreigner cannot acquire the direct ownership of the land’. These areas are known as the “Restricted or Prohibited Zones”. The latest Mexican Foreign Investment Law, which became law on December 28, 1993, makes the allowances mentioned above.

Any foreigner or Mexican National can constitute a Fideicomiso (the equivalent to an American beneficial trust) through a Mexican bank in order to purchase real estate anywhere in Mexico, including the Restricted Zone. To do so, the buyer requests a Mexican bank of his/her choice to act as a trustee on his/her behalf. The bank, as a matter of normal course, obtains the permit from the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs to acquire the chosen property in trust. The Fideicomiso can be established for a maximum term of 50 years and can be automatically renewed in additional 50 year periods. During these periods you have the right to transfer the titleto any other party, including a member of your family.

The bank becomes the legal owner of the property for the exclusive use of the buyer/beneficiary who has all the benefits of a direct owner, including the possibility of leasing or transferring his/her rights to the property to a third party or to a pre-appointed heir. During this period, the foreigner is considered as a Mexican National. The trustee is responsible to the buyer beneficiary to ensure
precise fulfillment of the trust, according to Mexican Law, assuming full technical, legal and administrative supervision in order to protect the interests of the buyer/beneficiary. Fideicomisos are not held by the trustee as an asset of the bank.

Even in unrestricted zones many foreigners and Mexican Nationals prefer to hold their property under a Fideicomiso.

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What areas does Océano Realty Rocky Point serve?

Océano Realty Rocky Point serves areas ranging from as far north as Santa Clara/El Gulfo to Kino Bay in the south.
This range includes, Santa Clara, El Gulfo, Cholla Bay, Puerto Peñasco, Desemboque, Puerto Lobos, Caborca, and Kino Bay.

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What types of property does Océano Realty Rocky Point sell?

We sell all classes of real estate including homes, town homes, condominiums, lots, and very large parcels.

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Is there a Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

Yes. The Puerto Peñasco Association of Real Estate Agents (PPAREA) regulates our multiple listing service.
As an association, we use third-party software specifically designed to manage multiple listing systems.
As such, the software has all the tools an agent would need to effectively service his/her clients.
meets your requirements. Note that the www.Oceano-Sales.com
website is integrated with the multiple listing service database increasing the exposure of each listing.
the exposure of each listing.

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Does Océano Realty co-broke with other companies?

Yes. Co-broke sales are a significant portion of our sales. Co-broking inherently increases
the chance of selling your property. Except for a few situations, our co-broke policy is to split commissions 50/50
with members of PPAREA.

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Is a listing agreement required?

Yes. In order to place a property in the multiple listing service and take advantage of co-broking,
the PPAREA regulations require a signed listing agreement.

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How do I choose an agent?

If you don’t already have a working relationship with one of our agents, one of the brokers
or the sales manager will assist you in choosing one.

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How is the sales price determined?

Establishing a sales price is primarily based on comparitive sales but can be difficult for custom homes.
In these cases, we apply the following factors to help arrive at a sales price; comparative sales, construction
square footage, lot square footage, beach access, and views. The ultimate decision is made by the owner.

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What kind of marketing will be provided?

The basic marketing package for each property includes:

  1. Sign on property.

  2. Flyers distributed to property and office.
  3. Pictures taken and loaded into the multiple listing service.
  4. Property information loaded into the multiple listing service.
  5. Property loaded into www.Oceano-Sales.com.
  6. Published in PPAREA sales magazine.
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How are offers handled?

When a listing agent receives an offer, the agent will present the offer in its entirety to the
seller/property owner. At this point in time, the seller has three options:

  1. Accept the offer as written.

  2. Reject the offer if it is totally unacceptable.
  3. Counteroffer, changing any unacceptable conditions. (When the counteroffer goes back to the buyer, the buyer has the option of withdrawing, accepting, or countering the counteroffer.)

When both buyer and seller agree to all terms (including changes made in any counteroffer),
and indicate agreement by their signatures, the contract becomes”firm.
“With signatures and notification to all parties, a sales contract now exists.

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What is the closing process?

After both buyer and seller have entered into the sales contract, we now start the closing process. Since most sales
are between foreigners, a bank trust is typically involved. This is the main difference to
real estate sales in the United States. The bank trust process can be very slow and take up to a year or more to
complete but usually average about four months. Most sellers would find this delay in receiving their funds unacceptable
so a more expeditious closing process is now being used. Unlike most closings in the United States, both the buyers and sellers
are present in front of the Notario. In front of the Notario, the buyer will dispurse the funds to the seller and Notario at which time, the
seller will sign over all rights to the buyer by means of a ‘Power of Attorney’, as well as signing a receipt of payment consummating the sale. The
Notario will then start the bank trust process, with no further requirements of the seller.

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How is the closing date decided?

The closing date is usually decided during the offer and acceptace stage. The PPAREA approved Purchase Agreement
has a line addressing this date. Usually, the date is based upon a time that the buyer will have the funds
available. Since the Notario must be present at the closing, the closing date may need to be adjusted to
accommodate the Notario’s schedule.

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What are the seller’s closing costs?

As is the case in the United States, Mexico also has a capital gains tax. This tax is calculated
by the Notario. It is important that you have this calculation from the Notario prior to
getting into a purchase contract. Without this calculation, as the seller, it will be impossible
to calculate the net from the sale. Sometimes during the negotiations stage, the buyer requests
that the seller have the property surveyed prior to close at the sellers expense. Another fee that
is arising more and more is the cost to cancel the existing trust.

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What is IVA and why do I have to pay it for the commissions?

IVA is a Mexican sales tax and is 10% in this area of Mexico. Mexican tax law requires that all deductible expenses must
have a ‘factura’ (official receipt) attached. As a strategy to reduce your capital gains, the Notario will deduct the
commissions from the gross sale. In order to do this, a ‘factura’ is issued at a cost of 10%. Remember that
the capital gains on the net profit is 35%. As the seller, you pay 10% to save 35%, with a net reduction of taxes of 25%.

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Should I perform repairs to the property or let the new owner do it?

As you get ready to sell your home, there are usually some simple improvements that can
help you get the most for your house and sell it quickly. One of our qualified agents will be able to help you.

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What are the buyers closing costs?

Below is a list of the standard expenses associated with a typical transfer of trust:

  1. Notary Public fees.

  2. Property transfer tax.
  3. Public registry fee.
  4. Bank trust fee.
  5. Attorney fee.
  6. Appraisal.
  7. Prorations of:
    • property taxes.
    • water.
    • bank trust fees.
    • homeowner’s association dues (if applicable).
    • Federal zone fee (if applicable).

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Is financing available?

There are several institutions lending money for property in Mexico.
Click here for a list of finance companies.

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What documents are required to return to the U.S. after visiting Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point)?

Effective January 31, 2008 United States and Canadian citizens 19 years of age and older, returning by land from Mexico will be required to show a government issued I.D. (drivers license) and a copy of their birth certificate. Children 18 and under must present a copy of their birth certificate. This is an interim change that will be in effect until June 2009 when all U.S. citizens will be required to present a valid U.S. Passport for re-entry into the U.S. For more detail on this and other foreign travel related information visit
http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/land_travel/qa_travel_docs.xml

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What are the best times to return from Puerto Peñasco to avoid long delays at the border check point?

Generally weekday traffic returning to Arizona is light to moderate with delays less than 15-20 minutes. Weekend return traffic Sunday (also Monday on 3 day weekends) can be moderate to heavy during peak hours (9am to 5pm) with delays occasionally well over an hour. Traffic wait time estimates are posted and updated hourly on the internet http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/wait_times/ . Our clients have reported that these wait time estimates have been accurate.

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Where can I get accurate information on the process for getting a U.S. Passport?

Passport information and application forms are available on line http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/forms/forms_847.html.