Thailand's real estate industry is largely unregulated, so it is essential to hire the services of a reputable law firm when you buy a property. You will need a number of documents, if you are buying propety as a private individual, but on the whole it is easier to set up a company in Thailand with the help of a lawyer and then buy Thai real estate via the company.
If you are merely buying property as a private individual, you will need to produce your passport and an Exchange Control Form. When buying as a company, you will need the following documents:
- a certified copy of the memorandum of association
- a certified copy of the certificate of incorporation
- a list of shareholders, in English with a translation in Thai
- a Notaries certificate
- the Minutes of your directors' meetings with resolution to purchase the property in question
- a letter of advice to confirm specific signature/s
- a free debt letter
- a Power of Attorney, if you as director of the company are not going to be present in the property purchase
- the Title Deed of the property you are buying
- a certified copy of the IDs or passports of all authorised directors
- a certified copy of the authorised directors' home addresses
Before paying any money for the deposit and signing the agreement, your lawyer will undertake due diligence, such as a caveat search. If you are not going to view the property yourself, your lawyer can arrange a viewing on your behalf, but then you will have to rely on whatever findings that person comes up with and you will not know for certain in what condition the property is, when signing the agreement.
When the seller accepts the offer you've made, the vendor's lawyer will prepare a purchase agreement. This should include who pays the legal fees, taxes and transfer fees. After you sign this, you will be asked to pay a deposit of 10% of the purchase price, which is non-refundable, unless the party that withdraws from the sale is the seller. Should that happen, the vendor must pay twice the amount of the deposit to compensate you.
Completion takes between 30 and 60 days on average, which includes the exchange of contracts and payment of the remaining balance due. Only when all of these things have been completed, will the title deeds be submitted to the Thai Land Department, where registration takes place. A payment of government duties will become due at this point. For the most up-to-date information on buying property in Thailand, please visit the Thai Embassy website at www.thaiembassy.com.