Legal certainty when buying land

In recent years, acquiring land in Blue World City has become synonymous with a safe and well-planned future, which is why this has become one of the life goals of many people.

However, before signing any contract you must take into account the legal aspects and make sure they are clear and specific to avoid any risk in your investment. Here the importance of getting good advice and following the steps with full transparency and legality.

Once you know your options and opted for the one that best suits your needs, it is time to guarantee that you are facing legal ground and that your investment is not at risk.

Legal certainty: what is it and why is it important?

We can define legal certainty as the absence of doubts about a statement, that is, it is a principle of law that is part of fundamental rights and refers to the fact that the citizen knows or can know the content of the law.

To mention it in a simpler and more applied way in the matter of real estate, legal certainty is the evidence that proves or accredits the legal ownership of an asset. 

Now why is it important?

Naturally, when making an investment the aim is to guarantee the transaction, especially if it is a large capital such as the purchase of land.

It is logical to want to make sure that in the purchase process everything is legal, that there is legal support regarding the property and that everything is in order, and this is where the importance of legal certainty lies in the purchase of land or property.

To ensure your investment, we will talk about what you should take into account when buying land.

What to take into account before buying?

Because they are more susceptible to fraud, the purchase or sale of real estate requires greater security measures since non-legal —ejidal— land is much cheaper, which can be the ideal hook for inexperienced buyers.

Taking the above into account, it is best to have the advice of an expert real estate lawyer, if your real estate does not have one, you can seek the service of someone who supports you in documentation matters.

There are consolidated real estate companies that have the advice of experts in real estate legal matters – as is the case of BMF inversions – and that guarantee that the entire process complies with the rules, which saves you from having to seek advice for own account.

If this is not the case and you have to seek external advice, we recommend paying attention to the following points:

1. Seek advice from a notary public

This can confirm certain basic aspects of the land, for example, that the person or entity that sells it is really the owner and that it is duly registered in the Public Property Registry of the state in which it is located.

Although it is possible to verify the Public Property Registry online since the information is publicly accessible, it requires specialized knowledge to confirm that everything with the property is in order.

The notary will also be responsible for carrying out the signing of the sale and for the deed of the property to be carried out, as well as for the taxes that are paid, both by the buyer and the seller.

2. Verify the identity of the seller

Since the land is the most susceptible to identity theft, also seek the advice of your notary to ensure the identity of the buyer.

The risks of purchase tend to occur more with informal sellers, since they make use of common land to commit fraud and sell the same property to several people.

For this, with the property title the seller can guarantee that he has the possession rights of the property and carry out the sale of it. In our article How to deed land in Yucatán? We will talk to you in more detail about this topic.

Currently there are many facilities to acquire a property, you can even buy land online in simple steps, from which derives the importance of this point.

In the event that the deal is with a real estate agency, it is only necessary to investigate the legality of the company and its trajectory, this can help you have greater peace of mind regarding your negotiation.

3. Check the land use of the land

If what you want is a place to build a business, keep in mind that not all land is authorized to be used as a commercial area, so check that your land use is specified in the documentation.

If it is the case that the land is in a rustic state, you must make sure that it is possible to change the land use to start a business and which businesses are allowed.

This is important because it is not the same to have a laundry as a water treatment plant, for example.

4. Confirm the legal status of the property

This refers to processing the relevant documents to be able to proceed with the purchase, an example of this is the certificate of freedom from lien with which you make sure that the property is not mortgaged or seized, as well as verifying that there is no water debt, the property payments and corresponding services.

On some occasions, it may happen – in the case of purchases from private sellers – that a mortgage appears in the registry record that is liquidated but has not been canceled. A mortgage cancellation procedure can take a certain amount of time, so it is advisable to anticipate situations like this.

This step is important to know the amount of time that your purchase process can take and do the necessary steps to resolve what may arise.

5. Make all payments

Seller and buyer have their own responsibilities to the other party. Among them, the buyer must carry out the corresponding payments, both for the down payment —if applicable— and / or monthly payments.

The payments also include the corresponding taxes, such as ISAI and VAT, which are borne by the buyer.

In general, to guarantee the money granted, the promise of sale is registered in the Public Property Registry, in this way the seller cannot offer the land to another person.

If you do not comply with this, you must be aware that you run the risk of being fined or, in serious cases, the cancellation of your contract with the other party.

It is important that the developer guarantees your assets in writing so that you feel safe to negotiate, but you must clearly read your documentation to know your obligations and rights so that both parties carry out an optimal process.

Seller’s rights in the sale of land

We consider it necessary to briefly mention the obligations and rights of the seller that guarantee a sale with legal certainty:

  • The seller must not deliver his personal documents or deeds to the buyer under any circumstances, the only one who can receive them is the notary. This is to ensure the security of your property and misuse of your information or fraud.
  • The transferor must ensure that the money for the corresponding payments is in his account before handing over physical possession of the land. For this, it is advisable to make payments in bank transfers or by means of checks to credit the account, in addition to the fact that both parties must keep copies of all the receipts generated by said payments for possible future clarifications if necessary.
  • The seller may request references to the buyer to ensure their safety, for this they will have the support of the notary, so it should not surprise you that they are requested.

Remember that the seller will also want to make sure that the entire process is carried out in accordance with the law and the rule of law. Therefore, you can facilitate this transaction by having all the documentation that the notary will request ready.

Differences between common land and land with legal certainty

If you want to buy land with legal certainty, you should avoid ejido lands, no matter how attractive they are due to their low cost, and to explain the reason for this in more detail we will start by defining what an ejido land is.

An ejido land is a proportion of land designated by the government for the common use of a locality, either for agricultural activities, livestock or any other use that they wish to give for the benefit of the community. Usually this is for the benefit of specific government projects, whether federal or state.

The epidermis is in charge of taking care, so to speak, of the land and seeing that the projects are carried out and keeping it running. This can lead to them trying to sell land that does not belong to them.

It is true that there is a regularization process that allows converting an ejido into private property, however, until it is done and the property title is obtained, it is not safe to acquire it.

Unfortunately, there are many people who have been victims of fraud using ejido land, there have been cases of more than one person defrauded by the same land.

If you are dealing with an ejido seller, you must be very careful since if the rights as a plot have not been granted, it is illegal to sell federal property.

Not having the corresponding deed that protects the right to a property is a great risk that we suggest you avoid. It is necessary that you know all the measures required to guarantee the legal security of your land and the process of your purchase.

For the aforementioned, we tell you the main differences that exist between private land and communal land:

1. In terms of ownership

An ejido land is assigned to an evidentiary for a specific use but it remains part of the State.

Contrary to that of the private owner, who has the possession rights of the land which allows him to sell, donate or inherit.

2. In terms of documentation

In the case of ejido lands, each evidentiary receives only a certificate of parcel rights to the land, but this document is not a property title.

In a private property you must have the corresponding deed and registered in the Public Property Registry.

3. In terms of the person or type of owner

An ejido does not belong to a single person, but rather, as we mentioned earlier, is owned by the government. It is land lent to peasants to work it but they do not have any other type of right over it.

The owner of a property has absolute power over it to do with him what is most convenient for him.

4. In terms of use

In most of the private lands there is freedom of land use, which is convenient for those who want to build a business.

In ejido lands it is very unlikely to make a different use of the land for which it was assigned, since it continues to belong to the state.

Buying with legal certainty guarantees a safe investment

Buying a land can be as simple as you propose if you prepare for it, there are many opportunities to invest in states like Quintana Roo and Yucatán as well as a variety of business ideas to earn money with a land.

Buying lots in Cancun, Mérida and Playa del Carmen, in addition to guaranteeing a profitable investment, gives you the opportunity to secure a wealth in the cities with the greatest investment potential in the Mexican southeast.

Now that you know the differences and the risks of acquiring land that is not regularized, our recommendation is always to have the advice of an expert in the field.

At BMF inversions we have professional and trained advisers to guide investors to make an intelligent decision that strengthens their assets and generates greater profitability.