Mistakes to avoid when buying property in Thailand
Thailand has been a popular getaway for foreigners for years, and has recently seen a boom in property and tourists and investors from different regions are taking serious notice. Whether buying a retirement home, investment property or holiday home, Thailand has a lot to offer and areas such as Pranburi and Hua Hin are looking set to be the next big places on the property scene. Everyone who has ever looked into buying property in Thailand will have heard a few horror stories, let’s look at what can go wrong and how to avoid it.
Buying without an estate agent
You should seek a local expert who is experienced in real estate transactions in the local area in which you intend to make your purchase. The agent knows the step-by-step process, how to communicate in Thai, and they’re extremely familiar with the location and the geographical area as well as its significant history and local culture. They can give you a tour of quality properties in their inventory based on your requirements and tastes. A good agent will stay away from any low quality or poorly reputed properties. They want satisfied customers and they will avoid problematic developments. It is likely they will be working in a highly competitive environment where reputation means everything. Another key benefit of a using an estate agent is that they will act as a conduit between you and the vendor. They will obtain an agreeable price for you and act on your behalf to serve your best interests throughout the entire process.
Thailand has a lot of long term ex-pats and every town will have its ‘bar stool agents’ who have a friend with a house for sale, etc. It is strongly advised that you only deal with reputable agents with experience, knowledge and contacts. They will certainly be able to introduce you to the best local lawyers to use for your transaction, which brings us on to:
Buying without a lawyer
There are few instances where buying a property in Thailand without a lawyer would be advisable. You should remain open-minded and aware as contracts in Thailand do not always adhere to the international standards that we are used to and may seem quite unfamiliar, so prior to purchase you should take the time to sit down and discuss the purchase process with a lawyer. You need to understand the correct process in Thailand for a foreigner to legally acquire property and make sure you are able to work within this process. Lawyers will have staff that can visit the necessary land departments and conduct due diligence to make sure the seller owns the property and that it is free of loans or liens. They may also draft sales agreements and contracts that protect you to the fullest extent of Thai law. Check the scope of their services – many will do a complete purchase package that should be all inclusive.
PART 2: COMING SOON