Real Estate Closings – Part I: The Road to Your Deed

By Jorge Chávez
Mar. 27, 2024

Far from being a mere formality, a real estate closing is a multifaceted process that requires careful planning and a thorough understanding of the legal and financial issues involved.

To learn about everything related in a real estate closing, the Vallarta Real Estate Guide editorial team reached out to Débora Espinosa, founder of Débora Espinosa Attorney at Law, a law firm located in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, who explained the procedures surrounding this detailed process.

Débora Espinosa, founder of Débora Espinosa Attorney at Law, explains the procedures surrounding this detailed process.

In the first part of this special article, we will review what a real estate closing is, how long it generally will take to complete, who manages real estate closings, the costs involved, and if those details or regulations vary between Jalisco and Nayarit.


Débora Espinosa defines a real estate closing as the point at which the parties involved (buyer and seller) fulfill their contractual obligations. It is the moment when the seller transfers the property by signing a public deed before a notary public, and the buyer makes the agreed payment.

At that point, the taxes are paid, as well as the real estate agents, so the transaction is over for them. However, the road to getting the full deed is just beginning.


According to Espinosa, the deed process can take anywhere from 45 to 90 days after the initial signing: “From the moment of signing, the notary’s office began to work on two things: getting the deed registered with the Municipality and getting the property registered with the State,” she adds.

This often underestimated period of time involves a number of factors that can add complexity and length to the process, including banking with trustees, collecting signatures, and municipal tax validation.


Espinosa highlights the importance of involving lawyers in the real estate closing process: “Although real estate agents play a vital role, they lack the legal knowledge necessary to guide parties on crucial issues. Lawyers, on the other hand, offer expert insight ranging from contract drafting to the appropriate selection of a bank fiduciary, thereby ensuring a sound and secure transaction.”

In addition, lawyers not only provide appropriate guidance in legal terms, but also take responsibility in ensuring that their clients’ interests are protected through every stage of the process.

“With the help of qualified legal professionals and a detailed understanding of the costs and processes involved, buyers and sellers can ensure successful and seamless transactions as part of the booming real estate market in Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas.” —Débora Espinosa, founder of Débora Espinosa Attorney at Law.


Closing costs may vary between Jalisco and Nayarit due to differences in notary legislation and ancillary services offered. While in Nayarit notary fees may be slightly higher, the choice of bank fiduciary and other services can influence the overall economics of a closing.


Closing costs vary according to the value of the property and its geographic location. On the one hand, Espinosa points to a downward trend in public ledger costs, although total expenses typically account for about 4 percent of the total transaction value. In specific cases, such as social interest properties, costs may be limited and more accessible for buyers.

However, the cost savings of a real estate closing will be discussed in more detail in the second part of this special feature article that will be published in our next issue.