Whether you’re the buyer or the seller of a property, once you’ve agreed on price and terms, you’ll be interested in getting a transaction started. A transaction coordinator, also called a closing coordinator, is the person who helps with all the legal paperwork and details to prepare for the transfer of title from the seller to the buyer. Make sure you choose the right person for the job.
Here in Baja, most of our transactions are not typical seller to buyer exchange of deeds. Most involve bank trusts and Mexican corporations (representing development communities) which means more legal documentation and more people are involved.
In my years representing buyers and sellers here, I’ve often heard a buyer or seller say something like “My friend has a cousin who’s an attorney and they say they can oversee the transaction.” I want to recommend, please, get someone who is already in our market, reputable and with a record of experience in this matter.
It’s important that you and your real estate agent talk about which closing coordinator would be most appropriate for the type of closing and entities involved. This can keep a 45 day closing from turning into a four month transaction which may cost you money, time and, worse case scenario, the loss of the deal all together.
A closing coordinator can be either a business person or an attorney. He or she should have recent experience with the fiduciary departments of banks, local development communities, local notaries and escrow accounts. As a good rule of thumb, only hire someone who has completed at least six real estate closings in the last year.
Buyers generally pay for the services of a closing coordinator and select whom they want to use. A closing coordinator should be able to give you a written price quote for their services, certificates of no liens, appraisal, notario fees, recording fees, escrow fees, bank trust fees and any additional or unique costs related to your closing. If you will be getting a bank trust they should also be able to tell you which banks are the easiest to work with, what their fees are, and which are the most economical and efficient when it comes time to sell again.
If you’re selling a property, you can specify in your sales contract parameters for the buyer to choose a qualified closing coordinator.
There are a few well known closing coordination companies in our area. Get a recommendation and shop around. Then after your efficient closing, reward yourself with some relaxing time in your new Baja home and drink a margarita because you want to, not because you have to.