How to Buy a Condo In Thailand – 6 step guide
Buy a Condo in Thailand ; As a premier provider of total real estate solutions, we at Century 21 Thailand are glad to offer you this mini-guide on How to Buy a Condo in Thailand that lists out six vital steps that’ll help you experience a smooth and easy property transaction. You can have the entire process finished in a week’s time, with the clear and simple steps we have outlined here, provided all the required papers are in order.
Additionally if you’d like to gain the benefit of our extensive experience (over 20 years in Thailand’s real estate industry), please do reach out to us; we would be delighted to ensure that your property deals are executed in the most efficient, time-sensitive and hassle-free means possible.
- Do The Research before Buy a Condo in Thailand
Taking the time out to find out relevant details regarding the property will save you time in the long run. The critical points that must be on your checklist are as follows-
- Information Check – Is the information provided by the Seller genuine? Double check this by comparing your copy of the title deed with the original documents available at the Land Department Office. Pay attention to the fine print and note discrepancies, if any.
- Is the Seller listed as the actual owner of the unit?
- Are there mortgages or other charges registered on the specific unit?
- Does the unit size (and any other parameters) match up with the Seller’s own statements?
- Are there legal proceedings against the Seller that could potentially affect the transaction? (Check with the Court).
- If you are a foreign national seeking to purchase a unit, check the ratio of foreign ownership with the personnel at the building’s juristic office beforehand.
- Negotiate The Sale and Purchase Agreement
To execute a mutually fair sale and purchase agreement, you’ll need to negotiate the following –
- The sale and purchase price.
- The deposit amount (Deposit amounts are typically between 5 to 20%. To ensure a faster transaction, keep the deposit amount as low as possible and quickly execute the transfer of the property at the Land Department Office).
- Costs of transfer including the taxes. This amount needs to be allocated between the Buyer and Seller.
Points of Note:
- The Seller may be presented with an offer letter before the sale and purchase agreement is signed.
- The transfer of ownership with respect to the sale and purchase of property is only considered complete, when the transaction has been registered at the Land Department Office.
- The Buyer and Seller typically share the transfer fees where the taxes and stamp duty are nomally subject to the seller, but this is entirely dependent on the negotiations. Either the Seller or Buyer may end up being liable for 100% of both costs.
- Execute The Fund Transfer
With respect to buying a unit freehold, foreign Buyers are required to prove that they will pay the entire purchase price amount (specified by the land department) by a transfer in foreign currency. Here are the main factors to consider-
- The foreign Buyer’s name has to appear in the fund transaction records (FET) on one or the other end.
- Funds transferred are required to be in foreign currency only.
- Funds need to be transferred either from an account bearing the foreign Buyer’s name or to a local Thai account with the foreign Buyer’s name.
- If you are buying a unit as a couple, do mention that the fund transfer is being done on behalf of both spouses (not mandatory).
- Add a note on the transfer itself specifying that the funds are being transferred to purchase a unit.
- Prepare The Necessary Documents to purchase property in Thailand
If you are an individual purchasing the property you will need to provide your real estate dealer (or Century21 Skylux should you choose us) with the following information or documents
- Visa – Copies of the Buyer’s passport including the page with the visa that specifies the dates of the Buyer’s latest stay in the Kingdom. (This information is necessary for preparing the Power of Attorney documents the Buyer grants to a representative. The parties involved are not required to attend the transfer as the representative handles all these formalities on their behalf).
- Marriage Certificate – Copies of the Buyer’s marriage certificate (if married) and the spouse’s passport. (Certificates in languages other than English need to be translated; this translation has to be certified). The names, first names of the Buyer’s parents and the parents of the spouse need to be specified, if the unit is being purchased jointly. In case a married Buyer chooses to purchase a unit solely under his/her name, then a letter of authorisation is required that allows the Buyer to solely purchase a unit.
- Common Area Fee (CAM) payment – In order to have a successful transaction, a letter from the juristic office is necessary, attesting to the foreign ownership ratio and the payment for the common area fee for the unit. The real estate dealer/Century21will undertake the responsibility to obtain this document. In case the Seller is late with the payment of the CAM fees, the transaction can only proceed after the Seller has cleared this amount.
- Foreign Currency Exchange forms (FET) – The Buyer needs to request his/her bank to issue these forms in order to provide proof that the sale and purchase price is being paid in a foreign currency transfer to Thailand.
- Clearing Any Mortgage – If the concerned unit has been mortgaged, then the Seller is required to contact the bank holding the mortgage and make a request to calculate the total amount due to clear it and to send an officer from the land department on the transaction date to clear the mortgage amount before the transfer takes place.
- Organize The Payment
To make the payment process smooth, the real estate dealer/Century21will undertake the responsibility of pre-calculating the total tax that needs to be paid at the land department office on the date of the transfer of ownership. The Buyer only needs to present a cashier’s check that’s equivalent to the purchase price amount. Here are the important points to remember –
- In case the unit is mortgaged and a payment needs to be made to the bank, the Buyer is responsible for preparing a cashier’s check equal to the said amount.
- The Buyer is responsible for preparing either a draft or cashier’s check (at the Seller’s order) that’s equal to the unit’s net purchase price (taxes and expenses not included) or any balance that’s due to the Seller post payment of the bank mortgage (if any).
- The real estate dealer/Century21 will facilitate the transaction. The Buyer needs to send the real estate dealer/Century21 copies of the draft(s) or cashier’s check(s) post purchase. They will then forward them to the Seller/their bank in order for them to verify with the issuing bank, that the check(s) and draft(s) are genuine.
- On the date of the transfer, the Seller and/or the Buyer must have in cash the amount necessary to be paid as taxes to the government.
- Register The Sale/Purchase and Transfer Of The Unit At The Land Department.
Here are a few key points to keep in mind to facilitate an easy transfer process.
- The involved parties need to schedule a date of transfer at the land department.
- All parties involved (namely, the Buyer, Seller and the bank, in case the unit is mortgaged) or their authorised representatives are required to be present at the Land Department Office on the transfer date. If any party is missing or otherwise not represented, the transaction cannot proceed.
- The Buyer or their representative, is required to present the original cashier check(s) to the Seller or the bank representative.
- Once the Seller or their representative gives the cashier’s check to clear any loan, the bank will file the requisite documents to release the mortgage on the unit (if any).
- Both parties/their representatives will sign the sale and purchase form given to them by the land officer and the documents involving the unit’s transfer. Both parties/their representatives need to remit all the necessary documents to the land officer including the Seller’s original duplicate of the title deed to the Land Officer. If any of the required documents are missing the transaction will not proceed.
- Once the Land Officer informs the parties concerned that he/she is prepared to remit the original duplicate of the title deed mentioning the name of the Buyer as the owner of the unit to the Buyer or the Buyer’ representative, the said party will remit the check to the Seller or the Seller’s representative. The parties involved will pay the taxes and costs due for the transaction.
- Finally, the Buyer or his representative will receive the original duplicate of the title deed specifying the Buyer’s name as the new owner of the unit.
While the above are the six main steps you need to consider there are also a few other factors to keep in mind such as any loans involved and the post formalities.
- Loans – While there are several banks that do offer loans to foreigners, the rules and regulations for such loans tend to be different from those offered to Thais and their rules for approval and respective interest rates also tend to vary. We at Century21 will be glad to assist you to find a proper loan with the most favourable terms and rates, if you require one for your property transaction.
- Post formalities – Some of the post formalities involved are as follows –
- Keys – While Century21 or the building’s juristic personnel may have the keys, in certain cases, in general, the Seller’s representative is required to remit the keys and any key cards to the Buyer’s representative.
- House Registration Certificate (Tabien Baan) – The Seller needs to remit this certificate to the Buyer. This certificate will be blue in colour if the Seller is Thai, or yellow in colour if the Seller is a foreigner (In case, the Seller is a foreigner who did not apply to have the unit officially registered to him/her, then this form will be blue. The form will be blank in case the previous owner failed to register the unit as the principal registered address. If the Seller did register the unit as his/her principal address he/she is required to remove his/herself from the Tabien Baan before or after the completion of the sale. In case the Tabien Baan is missing, the new Buyer may apply for a new form after declaring its loss.
- Electricity and Water Meter related documents – The Seller is required to prepare the documents to transfer the above mentioned documents to the Buyer. In case the deposit paid by the Seller to the electricity authorities was not included in the sale and purchase price, the Buyer needs to refund this amount to the Seller.
We at Century21 hope this guide how to purchase property in Thailand has given you a clear overview of the entire process. In case you require any assistance on any aspect of your property transaction, please do reach out to us and we will do our utmost to offer the best possible guidance and solutions.