The Notary, Closing Coordinator, and Real Estate Attorney

In Spanish-speaking countries, notaries are highly trained attorneys who provide legal advice and draft legal documents. In Mexico, a Public Notary is an experienced attorney appointed exclusively by the state governor. His or her role is to sign and authenticate documents and provide legal advice as necessary.

If you are buying property in the Bay of Banderas, and you hire a real estate attorney, this attorney should work just for you, and have no conflict of interest by representing also the seller, real estate agent, or the developer.  In our market, we have created a closing coordinator working oversite of the notary. These coordinators should be a Mexican-licensed real estate attorney.

A closing coordinator doesn’t represent a buyer or seller in a transaction. A coordinator does all the tasks associated with a transfer of property required by the state and federal government for transferring property. 

At closing he must be in his notary’s area of jurisdiction and office. CCs’ are paid for their work by the notary public granting the purchase deed.

A real estate attorney is chosen and hired by either buyer or seller. This attorney has to represent only the interests of the party who hires him, and this party is his only client. Work to be done includes a review of any document associated with a purchase sale for his client and conducting title verification, including a search for liens. 

He can be requested to negotiate the terms of contracts in conjunction with the real estate agent, always representing his client’s interests. The attorney is paid directly by his client according to the terms of an agreement signed between them.

If a coordinator tells you that he or she will represent your interests without any charge, this is a strong conflict of interest. He cannot represent your interest. He represents the interests of the state and federal government through the notary making the transfer of property.

This article is based on legal opinions, current practices, and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas areas.  I recommend that each potential buyer or seller of Mexican real estate conduct his own due diligence and review.  


  • Harriet Cochran Murray

    Harriet was born and raised in Louisiana. She has a BA in Art Education and has lived in Vallarta since 1996, founding Cochran Real Estate a year later. She is also a Certified International Property Specialist and a long-time Realtor who travels the world to attend courses and give presentations.

    View all posts

Most Popular