On behalf of the 65 members of AMPI Puerto Peñasco, I would like to wish all a “Feliz Pascua”, Happy Easter.
The spring months of the year are traditionally a busy time for real estate transactions. So in the next few months reviewing our local activity will be a strong indicator of the overall health of our real estate sector here in Puerto Peñasco. Look for a market analysis in this column after the May 2015 transactions have been completed.

Many people have no idea that real estate practices are in many ways as sophisticated in the Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) area as they are in much of the USA. It may be news to Rocky Point visitors that there is a real estate organization similar to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in Mexico, or that real estate agents in some areas of Mexico are required to have licenses. You might be surprised to learn how the practice of real estate in Puerto Peñasco has matured in the past few years.

AMPI, the Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios, A.C., or the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (in English), is the national organization that acts very similar to the US’s NAR. Where NAR operates nationally, AMPI is a grass roots organization with 72 chapters in 32 states and the Federal District in Mexico City. There are 6 chapters in the State of Sonora, including AMPI Chapter 51 here in Puerto Peñasco, with approximately 65 members. AMPI has a formal relationship with NAR and our Associate Members are included in the International membership registry of NAR. While NAR is only for realtors, AMPI opens its membership to real estate-related professionals, such as attorneys, Notarios, appraisers, and accountants, to name a few. The advantage of this approach is that all members, regardless of their specialty in the real estate industry, subscribe to the AMPI Code of Ethics, which provides a level of practice above minimum requirements and in addition to any law or government regulation.

In part due to the efforts of AMPI, in the interest of elevating real estate practices and establishing protocols, in 2005 the State of Sonora became the first state in Mexico to require people engaging in real estate transactions to be licensed by the state. Five more states have initiated licensure laws, other states are considering following suit, and now the federal government is considering the merits of a national license. Virtually every person who engages in any sort of property transaction for a consideration in Sonora, including sales and rental agents, promoters of properties and property managers, is required to have a real estate license issued by the State of Sonora. Oversight of real estate activity, licensure and license renewal is provided by the Secretary of Economy, State of Sonora. In addition, real estate professionals have been recently included in Hacienda (Tax) regulations that require all transactions greater than $50,000 to be recorded to the proper taxing authority.

AMPI Chapter 51 Puerto Peñasco has partnered with the Secretary of Economy, State of Sonora, to provide real estate education in northern Sonora, and our Chapter has done so for the last 3 years for real estate licensure, the 96-hour course known as the “real estate diplomado.” Available to AMPI members as well as to non-members, attending the 96-hour diplomado is required prior to application for a real estate license issued by the State of Sonora. Licensees must renew their licenses every 3 years, and there is an education requirement for license renewal, including a class in Ethics for all AMPI members as part of the license renewal requirement.
It should be noted that AMPI membership is not required for Sonora real estate licensure. However, AMPI is the only organization that requires members to sign an agreement to abide by a code of ethics, and has a complaint process for members and their clients regarding potential ethical violations by its members.

AMPI is also the only organization that provides regular educational opportunities for real estate professionals. The very real advantage to real estate clients is that when working with AMPI members, they are working with agents and other professionals with the best possible knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as with ethical standards which must be met.
While the dream of a house near a beach has always had its allure, Mexico as a retirement option for people in the USA and Canada makes more sense all the time. If owning property in, or moving to, Mexico is possibly in your future, you can move forward with confidence in real estate practices and professionalism. You can find a Sonora licensed AMPI real estate agent in Puerto Peñasco/Rocky Point to help with your real estate needs at www.RockyPointAMPI.com.

If you have questions about the information presented here please feel free to contact me. In addition, if you have questions about our market and desire to seek more detailed information please contact a licensed professional from our AMPI organization.

Richard Savino is the Designated Broker for Realty Executives Rocky Point and is a Past President of the Puerto Peñasco chapter of AMPI. He can be reached at rsavino1@gmail.com or (480) 707-3822 US.