Our Real Estate Agent Couldn’t Explain to Us What the Complications Were

My wife, Miriahm and I plunged into the comittment of purchasing a piece of property in Centro Morelia last May after searching around SMA, Guanajuato, and Guadalajara.. Our Spanish is fairly basic and our real estate agent from Tierra Colonial was affable and helpful. He negotiated the contract and introduced us to a notario who took on the case while we returned to Colorado, Little did we realize how complicated this transaction would be.

We even had an warning omen for on the day we were returning to el norte there was an article in the English newspaper about a Mexican family in DF who had been evicted from their house of 14 years for which they claimed they had legally paid for and and done proper notario paperwork. But some original relative who held a prior title has returned to claim the property and the Mexican family was out on the street.

We started getting phone calls from the seller and another notario telling us the papers were all ready and that we should come down and complete the transaction. Our real estate agent, whom we trusted, couldn’t explain to us what the complications were.

When we had been in Michoacan we stayed at Didi Rose´s Espiritu Libre B&B in Tsintzuntzan and she told us about this fantastic lawyer who she was working with in Morelia, Liliana Gonzalez.

We emailed Liliana asking her to take on our case to completion and she agreed. We couldn’t have done this without her. It turned out that the seller had legally bought the property from his aunt and had properly filed city documents. However, the first notario, realized that there was no legal proof that the aunt had title to the property. As so often happens in Mexico, land titles within family members agreements may not always be correctly filed.

Liliana was able to negotiate with our real estate company Colonial Tierra to have them do a title search of the deceased brother who had willed the property to his elderly sister. This was a long a tedious process of discovery which then had to create a new legal title for the old woman to be legally able to sell to her nephew who could then sell it to us.

But the complications were not over. When an official survey of the property was done, it turned out that the midline of the divided property was 1 1/2 ft into our property , impacting the carport entry. Once again Liliana with the help of Juan Morales of Tierra Colonial, and a new notario, Lic Solorzano, who was willing to sort out this complex case, arranged for a new additional title giving us the extra 1 1/2 ft the entire length of the property.
Liliana also called and gave us a toll free phone number so we could talk to her in real time.

Only when every aspect of the documentation, proper paperwork, stamps, and filings were done, did we get the go ahead from Liliana to send the closing money.

She was fantastic at every stage over 6 months of negotiations , prompt, clear, helpful , answering all our questions and anxieties.

Next month we’re returning to Morelia and we can’t wait to meet this fantastic attorney in person. And her fees were extremely reasonable, so much work for under US $1000. We can’t recommend her too highly. We never could have properly completed this purchase without her. Please feel free to contact us by email if you have any questions.

Jeffrey and Miriahm Dann
Boulder, Colorado

2 Responses to Our Real Estate Agent Couldn’t Explain to Us What the Complications Were

  1. Sounds like the City needed to survey the properties and that maybe the adjoining prooerty has a “CLAUSA 8” on the title.
    I am in Boulder today helping my daugher & her family move into a new home.
    Bill

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