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Real Estate in Puerto Peñasco: Choosing a Realtor

by Gretchen Ellinger

Gretchen Ellinger Receives State of Sonora Real Estate License from Minerva Zatairin and Edwin Beraud at the State Department of Economy in Hermosillo on 12 June 2008.

Licensure for real estate agents is a reality in the state of Sonora, and a new era of real estate professionalism has evolved in Puerto Peñasco! When considering a real estate transaction, the most important choice for a prospective client may very well be selection of an agent to represent their needs. A few short years ago, northwest Mexico was the Wild West of real estate, with many transactions occurring with very little oversight, and widely varying qualities of professionalism and real estate expertise among salespeople. “Buyer beware!” was the mantra. There have been many changes since then!

Most recently, the State of Sonora became the first state in Mexico to require Licensure for real estate salespeople. A 102-hour course, called the Diplomado, was brought to Puerto Peñasco by ISAP and CMIC (state governmental departments), with assistance from AMPI and PPAREA (national and local real estate organizations, respectively) from the state university in Hermosillo. Many real estate agents have taken the course, and a few have completed all the requirements and received their licenses. A requirement for licensure, in addition to background checks, fingerprinting, and much paperwork, the course provides a broad overview of real estate law, ethics, and practical application to real estate transactions in Mexico, which are quite different than in other countries, including the USA.

The Diplomado, as well as the local Puerto Peñasco Association of Real Estate Agents (PPAREA) and the Puerto Peñasco chapter of AMPI, the Mexican national organization of real estate practitioners, and a thriving multiple listing service at their fingertips, afford real estate agents more opportunities than ever before to develop their skills and expertise. The result is that Puerto Peñasco clients, whether buyers or sellers, can choose from among many talented and qualified real estate practitioners.

Choosing a Realtor with experience in the area of your need, education, membership in local organizations, and a license from the state of Sonora is an excellent place to start your real estate adventure. Some agents specialize in representing buyers or sellers, others are experts in certain areas of the locale, still others deal with only commercial or only residential properties. Some represent one development. All should be able to refer you to someone who can better help you, if your needs don’t fit their areas of expertise. Your well-chosen Realtor will successfully guide you through the process of your particular type of transaction, getting your Mexico adventure off to an excellent start.

Gretchen Ellinger has lived and been a realtor in Cholla Bay for over 5 years. She is the Cholla Bay Manager for Century 21 Sun and Sand, and also operates Casa Monica Cholla Bay Bed & Breakfast. Contact her at or 602-412-3311 (USA).

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