Tips on Buying Condominium Units in Thailand
Initially try and find a condominium unit(s) on your own based on the place/location/style that suits your needs and meets your taste within a budget that you are comfortable with.
If you cannot find anywhere that suits you, contact a few property agents to help show you more properties from different developers either off-plan or completed.
Once you have found a property that you like, we recommend you seek legal advice from a reputable law firm prior to making any payment to the Seller, agent or developer. A deposit of less than 50,000 THB is reasonable to secure the property prior to your meeting with your lawyer.
It is always worth consulting a knowledgeable property lawyer to ensure your best interests are fully protected. Unscrupulous agents and developers are not uncommon in Thailand and are often acting primarily in their own interests.
A due diligence report on the property is highly recommended, especially if the Seller is an individual or when you are purchasing from an off-plan project.
A sale and purchase agreement should be reviewed or drafted by your lawyer to avoid any hidden agenda, expenses or onerous terms.
Once the agreement has been signed by both parties, the Seller will need to obtain the foreign quota certificate and the free debt certificate from the condominium juristic person. The buyer (if a foreign national) will need to transfer the funds from overseas into Thailand for the amount of no less than the purchase price and, prior to transferring the funds into Thailand, will need to instruct the bank that the purpose of the transfer as is for “purchasing a Condominium Unit [No….] of […Name of the Project…] (if you purchase in joint names you will need to add you and the other person(s) i.e. in the name of […names…])”.
As soon as both parties have all relevant documents, it is time to effect the registration at the land office. It will take half a day or one day to complete the registration. The balance/full payment will need to be paid on this date.
The buyer will then receive the original title deed (proof of ownership), keys etc. and the seller will receive the full payment, all taxes and fees have been paid and, of course, the agent receives his or her commission.
The total time frame should be 15 – 45 days from the date of signing the Agreement to complete the entire process.
Off-Plan vs. Completed Project
Should I buy an off-plan project or a completed one?
If you buy an off-plan project, yes, the price may be lower than a completed one. But it may be a gamble. Failed developments where the developer becomes insolvent and unable to repay its buyers are certainly not unheard of in Thailand. Proper due diligence should be conducted and an experienced lawyer who knows well the market/potential pitfalls and is able to give you real independent advice that could save you from making a very costly mistake. Developers registered as a public limited company should be at the top of your list and are usually a safe bet.
If you buy a completed project, naturally the price will generally be higher than the off-plan ones. But the property is there. It physically exists. You already know where the unit is located, whether or not it has a good view, the condition of the property overall, and the extent of the facilities of the project.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Mr. Sirichot "Beer" Chaiyachot is a licensed attorney that specializes litigation and commercial cases. He performed processes of litigation including drafting of demand letter, preparation of case files, submission of documentations to the court including assist representation with senior associates. He also takes care of the legalities involved in acquisition of property and property solutions by Foreign and Thai nationals. Sirichot earned his Law degree at Naresuan University International College and had been admitted to the Thailand Bar Association in 2011. He got his notary public license since 2012.