Things To Know About Real Estate Agents in Mexico

Today, I am going to cover a topic that many expats have told me they wish they knew before moving to Mexico.

And that is How Realtors in Mexico Work?

You see, Mexico doesn’t have a centralized real estate system like the MLS in the U.S. or Canada. So most realtors will only show you houses they are managing. And it makes total sense. They get a commission from the homeowner when that house gets rented.  So they’re not going to work for free. 

Nothing new there.

Rentals in Merida can be found in all price ranges – this one is a 2 bed 2 bath for only $600

But working with the right real estate agent can make all the difference when you want a large inventory of rentals available.

The right real estate agent is going to work hard to get rentals they can manage and ultimately rent out to you. The right real estate agent will have a good inventory of rentals in different budgets to accommodate different people.

Another thing you should know about realtors in Mexico is that not all of them focus on rentals. Some realtors prefer to only focus on sales. And It is important to understand that the real estate industry in Mexico is not regulated in the same way as it is in the United States or Canada. So, anyone can call themselves a realtor without needing a license.

How Do You Avoid Working With The Wrong Realtor?

Well, luckily you’ve got the internet.

Chances are if your real estate agent is legit, they will have an online presence. Do a Google search for their name and/or company. If you don’t find anything, chances are they aren’t really experts. Facebook is also a great tool to do a search for a person or company. And if they have good or bad reviews, you’ll be able to see this.

And finally, ask others who live in Mexico for their recommendations. Make a note of the recommendations people make about agents that they’ve worked with.

And if you like convenience, we’ve done a lot of this research for you so you don’t have to. If you want the full list of our vetted and recommended real estate agents in Mexico, check out our COMPLETE Mexico Relocation Online Guide.

Things to Watch Out For

Be careful if an agent asks you for money upfront before you find a rental. This isn’t common practice. A house hunter, who is not an agent, may ask you for money upfront. This is common. And that’s because they do the work upfront.

A real estate agent and a house hunter are very different people.

The main differences are: a real estate agent will show you only their inventory of homes for rent. They get paid by the landlord when the house gets rented. So you don’t pay anything for their service.

You just pay your rent and any deposits you agree on. Whereas a house hunter is a person who will look for rentals in your budget and your list of needs but you pay them for their service upfront. Additionally, they may charge to help you translate a contract from Spanish to English and to assist in any of the rental processes.

Both have their advantages.

In the video below, I cover the top questions you should ask when renting a house in Mexico. We’ve compiled this list of questions from years of experience of questions other expats wish they would’ve known to ask. You’ll feel much better about covering your bases when you know what to ask.

That way you are saved from the headaches of not knowing what to ask.

YouTube video

Mariana Lange

Mariana Lima-Lange was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when she was a child. She spent every summer visiting family throughout Mexico and is very knowledgeable about Mexican culture, lifestyle, and traditions. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Reader Interactions


  1. Linser Wayne says

    That was probably the single most useful video Ive seen on Mexico in my research. Thank you for making it. I am coming from Canada and wondered about requirements for property insurance? Or is that just required if you buy a property? Thank you.

    • Mariana Lange says

      Thanks! Glad you thought it was helpful
      Property insurance is not required in Mexico to buy property because most people pay cash. If you were to get a mortgage then yes you would need property and life insurance.
      However, I highly advise against getting a mortgage. The interest rates are high and it’s hard to get approved.

  2. Lyanne says

    Several states have MLS and our rules and regulations are strict. Baja California Sur’s FLEX MLS is considered to be the best of the best in Mexico.

  3. Ron Kamann says

    My husband and I are thinking of moving to Mexico City. We are going to Mexico City for 9 days in October. We would love to meet with someone and discuss renting. If possible, also look at done apartments. Is this possible. ?

    • Mariana Lange says

      Hi Ron
      If you’d like, you can set up a private tour through one of our recommendations. We also have a directory of rental agents in Mexico City that can help you out.

      To get access you first have to purchase the Complete Mexico Relocation Guide

  4. Cheryl says

    Hope you are well. I would like to live in the mountains in Mexico. I am a single women. I would like rural home. Any tips please.

    Kind Regards
    Cheryl xxxc

    • Mariana Lange says

      My best advice would be to go on a scouting trip before you set your heart on living anywhere. If you’d like to check out some rural areas up in the central highlands I’d recommend
      Valle de bravo

      If you’d like a private relocation tour, we have a few recommendations for those towns. Check out our Mexico Relocation Guide

  5. Cody says

    I am interested in moving to a town with a large presence of LGBTQ+ folks. Can you help me please?

    • Mariana Lange says

      You would like living in Puerto Vallarta, Cancun or Mexico City. Those are the largest LGBTQ areas in Mexico that I am aware of

  6. Rogelio Chaparro Hernandez says

    Good afternoon, Mariana.
    I´m interested in developing or changing a piece of land where I live from residential to a mixed usage commercial & residential. I live 100 miles from Mexico City. What advice can you provide me?

    • Mariana Lange says

      I advise you consult with a real estate lawyer in that area who knows about converting land from residential to mixed

  7. Michael Graves says

    Mariana, good morning. I’m a retired man in my 60’s and I want to live in Mexico City for 6 months this year. I’m thinking about living in the Polanco neighborhood. What are your thoughts about this neighborhood and can you recommend some rental real estate agents who specialize in Polanco? I watched your video and found it very informative and helpful. My primary language is English although I do speak some Spanish. Thanks.

  8. Michael says

    I am planning on buying land in Oaxaca near the ocean. I noticed many realtors were asking 10 percent commission- is that normal?
    Gracias, Michael

    • Mariana Lange says

      That seems high. It is usually around 6%
      You’re free to shop around and try to negotiate that.

    • Mariana Lange says

      I’d recommend working with a good real estate lawyer to work on representing you and making sure you understand your contract. They can also check that the land is not ejido and that it is free of liens.
      If you need a recommendation, we have a directory of recommended real estate lawyers across Mexico that can help you with the purchase transaction.
      See what’s included when you buy our complete Mexico Relocation Guide

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *