I recently had an opportunity to represent a client who was selling a condo in Cancun, Mexico. I got quite an education as to how real estate transactions are handled in other countries, and became very thankful that I practice in the U.S.
Such transactions become tricky because the Seller wants to be sure to get his/her money, while the buyer wants to be sure to get clear title and be fully protected as the owner, before giving up the payment price.
In Mexico, real estate transactions occur before a Notary Public, a government appointed official who does much more than certify the correctness of signatures on a page. I found it indispensible to obtain co-counsel who practiced in Mexico and was familiar with such closings. Co-counsel actually traveled to Mexico to do the closing, as well as establish an escrow with a U.S. based title company to assure the funds would be available when the clear title was transferred and the transaction was completed by and before the Notary Public.