Selling Costs Explained

Q: I am thinking about selling my condo in Gringo Gulch and buying a house. What expenses will I have and how do I pay? Sheryl, P.V.
A: You must pass your title free and clear of any liens or encumbrances. Prior to the closing, the Notario will order a no liens certificate from the Public Registry. Therefore, you will need to pay all utility bills up to the closing date. You must also liquidate and pay severance to any domestic employees. This should be done in front of the local labor board, and it is important to get a signed receipt, as the lien stays with the property and would come back against the new owner. Your condominium homeowners administration fees must also be paid up to the closing date and you will be asked to provide the new owner a copy of a letter from your administrator proving payment. You must also have your property taxes (“predial”) paid up to date. The bank trust fee must also be paid current, and typically there will be a bank fee to cancel or transfer the trust. I sure hope you have made a profit on your investment, and in that case there will be a Capital Gains tax to pay. If you are a Mexican citizen or a foreigner with tax residency of Mexico, you may be totally or partially exempted from this tax by virtue of your residence. Foreign visitors will need to pay the tax, which it currently set at 30% of the net gain. The Notario will help calculate and is responsible to collect this tax, so it is critically important that you keep all your official receipts (“facturas”) on any improvements or expenses you have had and provide these to the Notario in order to raise your tax basis. It is also important to understand that the legal currency here is Mexican pesos, so with the current weakness in the peso vs. the Dollar, even though you may not have a gain in Dollars, you may have a gain in pesos, which will be taxable here in Mexico. The good news is that you can claim this payment as a tax exemption back in the US. Your local AMPI Realtor can guide you through this process, and help preserve and protect your rights. Ask around and select a knowledgeable expert. You will have to pay Real Estate fees, but the expert advice is well worth the cost. Selling a property here is a complicated business and mistakes can be costly and must be avoided. Ask for a “factura” and you can write the fees off against those nasty Capital G

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