Currently in Mexico there is no licensing required for real estate sales professionals. In order to assure that realtors are performing in a professional and ethical manner, the Mexican real estate association, A.M.P.I., (Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios), has taken on this responsibility on behalf of buyers, sellers and the general public.

A.M.P.I. has published ethical and fiduciary standards that its members are required to maintain. Those standards provide some assurance that the often complex process of a real estate transaction is less likely to go awry through a lack of due diligence on the part of the real estate professionals.

In addition, A.M.P.I. standards require that their associates be involved in the community they are servicing. Among the requirements for membership in A.M.P.I., there is a need for 100 hours of continuing education and testing, and foreigners working in real estate must be approved to do so by immigration. In a real estate market as active as the Puerto Vallarta area, it is important to know that your realty agent will still be around the day after the ink has dried on the sales agreement.

Another key advantage that A.M.P.I. brokers have over their non-AMPI colleagues in this market is access to the Multi-List Vallarta service. This multiple listing service was developed and is managed by Producciones Viva, the company that publishes this magazine. With more than 650 qualified properties currently in the database, it is the most advanced multiple listing service in the country. Through the MLS, area brokers have access to a much wider range of properties than would otherwise be the case.


When you're ready to think about buying or selling your property, you need to ask yourself the following questions: Do you have the time, energy, sources of information, and contacts to buy or sell a property in Mexico? If you were one of the 'do-it-yourself' people, would the results be as good or better than they would be if you had professional assistance? Would it have gone smoother? Would it have given you more personal time? Would you have purchased for less, or sold for more, if a real estate agent was involved?

Read the following information and learn how a real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about a real estate transaction.

The Buying Process
The process of buying a home or investment generally starts with determining your buying power; that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a real estate agent some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, they can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you.

Once you know how much you can and want to invest, the next step is to find the properties that most nearly fit your needs. This is the time to choose a real estate agent one who is also an AMPI/Multi-List Member. A Member of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals [AMPI] and Multi-List Vallarta agrees to abide by a strict Code of Ethics. Our members have many resources to assist you in that search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

Your job is to make the final selection of the right property for you. This is when excitement and emotion run high. Your real estate agent can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are members have access to a variety of informational resources. Members can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. There are two things you'll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

There are a myriad of negotiating factors, including, but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should also provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

As soon as you are reasonably sure the property is right for you, the process of obtaining financing, if necessary, begins. Your agent can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders. This is something relatively new in Mexico, but financing is available.

Closing or Settlement
Finally, there is the closing, or settlement, as it is known in different parts of the world. Every area has its own unique customs. Your agent can be the best source of information regarding a swift and secure transaction. Again, your real estate agent can guide you through this process and make sure everything flows together smoothly. This can actually be the most important part of the whole process, and ensuring that your title is transferred properly.

It also involves establishing a trust account (or Fidiecomiso, as it is known in Mexico) with a Mexican bank, which foreigners need to use in order to own real estate along the coast of Mexico. The trust system has been used for over 25 years in Mexico, offering a manner in which foreigners can actually obtain property in the country. Your broker can help explain this in more detail.

Property Management and Maintenance
If you purchased a property for investment purposes, your agent can be instrumental in the realization of your financial goals through a continued representation of your interests. All member agencies have 'in-house' property rental programs featuring marketing, tenant screening, collections, automated payment services, maintenance programs, etc, that can be tailored to your specific needs.

Selling Your Real Estate

This process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. Your real estate agent can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

The next step is a marketing plan. Often, your agent can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of the property. Marketing includes the exposure of your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, a large percentage of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer.

Your agent acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through Multi-List/AMPI associations or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The Multi-List/AMPI Code of Ethics requires Members to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. Studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends and family, and personal contacts.

Requirements to become an A.M.P.I. Vallarta member.

Associates (Brokers):

  • Fill out application for membership (Solicitud de Ingreso).
  • Complete the form of personal data (Hoja de datos personales).
  • Written statement about the significance of belonging to AMPI.
  • Four photos for the ID that can be color or black or white.
  • Copy of current pictured ID, passport.
  • Copy of Current FM3 or FM2 immigration authorization to work.
  • Copy of the RFC and the registration with Hacienda.
  • Copy of the Acta Constitutiva.
  • Copy or a rental factura in case you pay a rent for the local or your office.
  • Copy of the document that accredits the individual as legal representative for the corporation.
  • Two letters of recommendation by two active AMPI members.
  • One year experience working in real estate within the Puerto Vallarta or Banderas Bay area prior to the AMPI application date.  In the case that the applicant represents a corporation the applicant has to demonstrate that the municipal permit was issued a minimum of one year prior to their application to AMPI.
  • Demonstrate that you are duly registered and established (copy of the municipal permit, water, electricity and phone receipts in your name).
  • Copy of one of your facturas (that your company issues when you receive a commission).
  • Diploma or a real estate course approved by AMPI – 100 hours min.
  • Diploma of Spanish course.
  • Letter of no criminal record.
  • Two commercial references.
  • One or two bank references.
  • The logo of your company.
  • Take the AMPI Test and Orientation
  • Pay the national and local dues.
  • When working with a developer make sure the agent’s commission is 4% plus iva
  • Do not bring pre-existing problems to the AMPI board
  • Agent’s affiliation to AMPI  is  Broker’s responsibility
  • Send a Complete resume by email in a PDF or word document.
  • Attendance to at least 50% of the General Assembly monthly meetings during the year.

Affiliates (Agents):

  • You must be an agent working for an AMPI Associate (Broker).
  • Fill out application for membership.
  • Complete the form of personal data.
  • Four photos for the ID that can be color or black and white.
  • Copy of pictured ID, passport.
  • Copy of current FM3 or FM2 immigration authorization to work.
  • Reference letter from the Broker.
  • Pay the national and local dues; please see “affiliates” section.
  • Take the AMPI test and Orientation
  • Written statement about the significance of belonging to AMPI.