As with other professions, real estate advisors are obligated to meet certain criteria in order to maintain their businesses. A real estate license issued by the State of Sonora is the first requirement. No license issued in another state or country may replace or substitute for the Sonora Real Estate License. Once an advisor has obtained a Sonora real estate license, other obligations follow.

First come the obligations to the State of Sonora, which include the following: 1) To always use the real estate license with a sense of personal responsibility, trying to comply with the rules and requirements established by the State of Sonora, and 2) in all real estate activity to work to the achievement of the objectives of the Government of the State of Sonora, which include respect for real estate activity, granting legal certainty, stability, harmony, contributing maximum knowledge and efforts to protect the safety and security of the clients, as well as aid in the economic development of the State of Sonora.

Much more interesting to potential real estate sellers and buyers are the obligations of a real estate advisor to real estate clients, as discussed below.

1) Clients have the right to request that the real estate advisor present his or her Sonora real estate license.

2) The real estate advisor must provide adequate advice to guide the seller regarding promotion, sale or rental of the subject real estate, explaining the benefits as well as the expenses of promotion of the property.

3) The real estate advisor must have the seller’s authorization, in writing, in the form of a Listing Agreement, that will serve as a binding agreement regarding the seller’s commitment to sell the property, his agreement to the terms of promotion, the price of the property, the length of the contract to sell, and the compensation that will be paid to the real estate advisor(s). The listing advisor will keep a record of all parties interested in the property and will provide those, upon request, to the seller.

4) In the case that an offer to purchase the property is presented, that offer must contain the following “essential elements” in order to be considered valid: the identification of the property, the identification of the prospective buyer, the offered price, the form of payment, and the conditions of the proposed purchase, such as how and when payment will be accomplished.

5) The real estate advisor is obligated to be educated and honest about the commercial value of the property, as pertains to its “sell-ability.” The advisor should use any available previous sales of comparable properties in order to estimate and support proposed sale values of client properties.

6) Above all, and extremely important, is client confidentiality. During and after the termination of the professional relationship between clients and real estate advisors, the real estate advisor may NOT disclose confidential information of prospective, current or past clients; may NOT use the confidential information of any client to the disadvantage of that client; may NOT use confidential information of any client to the advantage of any other party, unless clients give their consent after having been informed of the facts; unless disclosure of personal information is required by a court order; unless the client intends to commit a crime and the information is necessary to prevent the crime; or unless defense of the real estate advisor or one of his employees or associates against an accusation of misconduct requires disclosure of client confidential information.

A case of discomfort with a real estate process or a complaint for a problem with a real estate advisor that was not resolved with the real estate advisor or the advisor’s superior, may be taken to the Honor and Justice Commission of the local real estate association, A.M.P.I. Chapter 51, Puerto Peñasco, telephone (638) 688-3558, or to the Department of Economy of the State of Sonora, telephone (662) 259-6100, (662) 250-1889, or (662) 212-0291.

Blanca Esthela Valdez Diaz, Attorney at Law, is a Real Estate Advisor who is licensed in the State of Sonora, and currently serves as Vice President of A.M.P.I. Chapter 51, the local chapter of the Mexican national real estate association.