Paragon Properties Buying

The Buying Procedure - what happens next?

Property Selling - Guide

Here's a simple guide to buying property in Thailand which we hope will help you grasp the basics and what steps are involved. The ownership laws and land measurements are alien to many here for the first time, but as daunting as it may seem we are here to assist and guide you at each step.

Whether you are planning to retire here, buy a holiday pad, or buying purely as an investment, it's always a good idea to understand the fundamentals. Paragon Properties' are a Member of The Real Estate Broker Association of Thailand, allowing customers to buy, sell and rent with total confidence. If you have any questions regarding any aspect of buying, selling or renting, please don't be afraid to ask - we'll be pleased to help. Owning a property in Thailand FAQ 

Finding a Property

Property Renting - Budget

The properties on offer in Pattaya are wide and diverse, so ideally you should have an idea on what kind of property you want to look for i.e. condominium, house, land, or commercial premises etc from the onset - with lifestyle often being the biggest factor in influencing the decision - for example, condos are relatively low maintenance, suited to retirees, people who don't want to do any yard work, or people who travel or live away from here because most condos offer good security.

Houses offer potentially more value for money and family living, although with gardens & swimming pools the upkeep & maintenance costs are generally higher. Both budget and location are always important factors and often one will influence the other. You should take time to set your budget, ideally before you start looking, so that you know what you can comfortably afford to spend.

Having established your budget, location and what type of property will suit your lifestyle or requirements, Paragon Properties' staff will show you properties currently in our database and from that will create a short list of selected properties that match your requirements. Of those properties of interest, we will arrange viewings, accompanied by our staff, who can offer advice on good (and bad!) aspects of the area, the development and the developer, the actual property and the prevailing market conditions.

Many people profess to know what property is right for them as soon as they see it, simply by a 'gut feeling' instinct. Regardless, you are advised to note the advice given by our staff as they may just help to prevent future problems.

Making an Offer

Property buying - Make an offer

Upon finding a suitable property, you should declare your intention to purchase and/or make an offer. To help you with this, we will advise you on making a suitable offer by providing relevant information such as: current market price, duration that the property in question has been on the market, any previous reductions made in price and if the owner is looking for a 'quick sale' (in which case there is an increased chance he will accept a lower bid). There are many reasons why sellers often state they are looking for a quick sale including financial or emotional reasons, but in instances where a property has a seemingly 'too good to be true' price, caution is needed and a closer inspection of the property may be the order of the day.

Other factors such as the time of year i.e. low or high season, may influence the seller in either accepting or declining an offer of less than the asking price - For example, with high season around the corner the owner may hold out for the asking price knowing that he stands a very good chance of getting it. Either way, the worst that can happen from making an intial lower offer is that the seller says 'No' and you have to try again.

Acceptance of Offer

Property Buying - Acceptance

Upon acceptance of your offer, the next step would be for you to submit a deposit, usually 10% of the agreed sales price. If however, funds of that size are not readily available to you, it may be acceptable to the seller in some circumstances that a 'holding deposit' of a lesser sum be submitted in the first instance - which would at least convey your serious intent to buy. Upon submitting the deposit it would usually be understood that the property be either withdrawn from the market, or marked 'UNDER OFFER'.

At this stage, Paragon Properties will request the seller to make available all relevant paperwork associated with the property including the title deeds (known in Thailand as the 'Chanote'), House Book or 'Tabien Baan' plus the documents for any Thai Ltd Company where applicable. These will be checked by our legal department for authenticity, title searches made, balance sheet status.

Purchase Agreement

Property Buying - Purchase Agreement

Paragon Properties will draw up a Sales & Purchase Agreement, which includes all particulars of the sale such as; names of both parties, supporting evidence i.e. copies of passport or ID cards etc., the agreed sales value, property particulars including house/land sizes and contents.

The purchase agreement will also identify the payment schedule agreed, noting the deposit(s) or sums paid by the buyer, the balance yet to be paid and also the date for which it should be paid by (also known as the completion date). Here in Thailand most sales complete within 1 month, although this is flexible and can be mutually agreed between buyer & seller.

Paying the Balance

Property Buying - Paying the Balance

In instances where you need to arrange transfer of the balance from your home country, you should instruct your bank to transfer the funds in your own currency and should clearly state the reason for transfer e.g. 'For the purpose of purchasing condominium'. For further details please see Transferring Money for Purchasing a Condo in Foreign Ownership.

You are advised never to transfer funds directly to the seller for your own security, as there is nothing to prevent the seller from walking away from the deal after having received your money. In all cases you should transfer the remaining balance to one of the following;

  • Your own bank account in Thailand (keeping in mind that you are not able to withdraw the money without being here in person).
  • Your representative's bank account here in Thailand. This can be anyone who you have appointed to conduct your property transaction for you, usually it will be either your broker or your appointed Lawyer.
  • In these cases it is important that they have an 'escrow' or client account, which is completely separate to their current accounts from which they operate their business.

In all cases please always allow yourself ample time with which to return home and make the transfer, so that you don't go past the completion date.

Transfer of Property Title

Property Buying - Paying the Balance

Upon receipt of the balance the property title will be transferred, most commonly, in one of the ways described below depending upon the method of ownership and circumstance. In all cases, Paragon's Staff will inform you on the method of ownership for each property that you view. This can have a significant bearing on the costs you will incur in buying the property, so it is advisable that you ask confirmation in each instance where you are unsure.

  • With properties that are owned either in 'foreign' or in a 'Thai' name and where ownership is being transferred into your name, or your Thai Ltd Company name, the transfer of the title will be carried out at the Land Registration Office. There will be a one-time 'transfer fee' involved, payable to the Land Office. The transfer fee is set by the Land Office and the amount is dependant upon three main factors: i) the assessed/declared value of the property ii) the land and/or house/condo size and iii) the duration of ownership by the seller. Often the buyer & seller will share the transfer fee amount 50/50, although usually can be negotiable. As a rule of thumb guide, many use a figure of up to 6% of sales value when budgeting transfer fees, although in most cases it is considerably less.
  • With properties already owned in a Thai Ltd Company and the company is included in the sale, the company documents will be changed to reflect a change in director name. There is no 'transfer fee' applicable in this instance because the property does not actually change title, so the Land office is not involved. A fee of approx 10,000 THB for the company papers to be changed is required here.
  • In instances where it is necessary for you to set up your own Thai Ltd Company with which to transfer the title into, the approx cost is approx 35,000 THB for the company, plus the transfer fee above.

Following transfer, all relevant documents including title deeds, house book, company documents (where applicable) and keys will be handed over to you. These documents should always be kept in a safe place.

Please note that prices given above were applicable in 2010, please check with us for any subsequent changes.

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