ames group logo

El Notario Público

A Must-have in Mexico

 

When we think of our American notaries, we typically think of the friendly, old insurance guy down on Main Street next to the post office who’s paid to certify that you are who you say you are, asks you for your thumbprint and $24.00 which  buys you an official-looking stamp marked onto the document you’re having notarized. Think Wilford Brimley! But in Mexico, they’re a whole lot different and if you’re going into a real estate purchase without representation, you would be well-advised to know what the Notario Publico is responsible for as he plays his very large role in your investment.

-Mexican Notario

notario signing documentAs stated elsewhere within this document, in Mexico, the Notario or Notario Público is a public official appointed by each state’s governor for a lifetime term in whom is vested the power to attest to the validity and veracity of a property and it’s transfer, and to then certify documents for legal transactions that require proof of authenticity. He or she also provides for the strict security of original records and documents, is an integral, indispensable part of all real estate transactions in Mexico and someone whose presence and is legally required.

He or she must be a Mexican citizen, at least 35 years of age, be a law school graduate and have a minimum of 3-years in practice. Only then may he or she take a grueling examination that he or she must pass in order to accept his or her state-governor’s lifetime appointment.

In order to service the needs of the various communities within the states in Mexico, there must be at least one Notario for every 30,000 citizens in a given state who attests to EVERY legal document used in dealing with the government. For the investor, these include all of the real estate documents requisite in a real estate transaction which must be made before a Notario in order to be valid. If the document is not notarized by a Mexican Notario, it simply doesn’t exist legally so when investing in real estate, the investor’s first stop, or that of his or her agent or counsel, after reaching an agreement on the property, should be the Notario.

-The Notario & you

It should be well-noted here that the investor does not need the assistance of an attorney in Mexico to complete a real estate investment. In point of fact, from a purely legal perspective, since the investor/buyer chooses the Notario, that Notario is completely capable and legally authorized to carry out the transaction and, in larger developments, may actually have a satellite office in those major developments; part of the old, “Oh, that’s OK; we’ll handle everything in-house. It’s easier on you that way. We’ve been doing this for years. Trust us!” That being said, although stories abound relative to the Notario representing both parties and not needing an agent or other representative because, “the Notario takes care of everything“, the prudent and experienced investor knows that the Notario is responsible only to the government in certifying that the transaction meets all of the government’s requirements. And, as with any representative who is not under written contract to their principle, he or she should not and does not offer any advice to either the buyer or the seller relative to the dozens of issues that are inherent in any real estate investment. The sales agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller to represent his or her seller to the best of his or her ability. With the Notario responsible to the government and his or her responsibilities clearly pledged to the state that employs him, that leaves the investor as the only party completely alone; and in dealings with investments, this is never a good thing. Again, competent counsel costs the buyer nothing and anyone suggesting that the buyer does not need such counsel should be, at best, suspect. As always, The AmesGroup supports our positions on critical matters with the opinions of other experienced, qualified experts in the field. We respectfully refer the reader to Mexlaw, a premiere Mexican authority in these matters.

-Additional Duties

Although the duties of the Norario are certifying a deed’s validity through an “escritura”, checking that development and other permits are current and valid, collecting requisite taxes,  determining the ejido’s state of land to certify it has been through the necessary processes articulated elsewhere within this website making it eligible for the investor’s purchase and finally registering the Title Deed, there exist other other responsibilities for the Notario more fully set forth in the Case Study section.

-Nutshell Takeaway

W

Noratios are highly-skilled representatives of the Mexican government

W

They are a necessary part of real estate investment in Mexico

W

Their responsibility is to the government and the orderly completion of documentation

W

The Notario does not represent the buyer or the seller and is unable to advise the parties outside that of the documentation

W

Competent counsel is the buyer/investor's protection; protection which costs the buyer/investor nothing.

W

All transactions should be done with the Notario's knowledge and approval

WordPress Lightbox