Thai Property FAQ’s

Here you may find the answer to general questions relating to Rayong Homes and/or your potential property purchase in Thailand. If the information you require is not listed, please contact me directly for friendly impartial advice.

DISCLAIMER: All information below was believed to be correct at the time of publication. Rayong Homes accepts no responsibility in the event of financial loss etc due to changes of Thai legislation and laws.

Q. Is Rayong Homes a legitimate Rayong real estate brokerage business?

A. Yes. Rayong Homes.com is the official website of Rayong Homes Real Estate Agency (Proprietor Nuanjan Reason). Rayong Homes is one of a very few legitimate real estate agencies that are trading within the Rayong area. Rayong homes and it’s associated businesses have been trading since 2008 and has hundreds of satisfied customers worldwide.

Q. How do Rayong Homes sales commission charges compare with those of other agencies?

A. Rayong Homes charges 5% of the total sale price if over 1,000,000 Baht, or a fixed charge of 50,000 Baht if under 1,000,000 Baht and there are no additional service charges. You are free to also use other agencies and/or advertise the property yourself. You are not required to sign a ‘sole agency’ agreement. With most other agencies, you are required to sign a ‘sole agency’ agreement and some also impose additional service charges .

Q. Please can you explain your full sales terms and conditions?

A. RAYONG HOMES REAL ESTATE AGENCY – STANDARD SALES TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

(The terms and conditions below apply to all private residential and land sales listed after August 1st 2016. Terms and conditions of trade and commercial sales are to be made by private negotiation with Rayong Homes).

(1) Rayong Homes will list your property until sold or withdrawn and conduct viewings etc free of charge.

(2) In the event of a successful sale of your property made by Rayong Homes, the commission charge will be as follows:

5% of the total sale price if over 1,000,000 Baht, or a fixed charge of 50,000 Baht if under 1,000,000 Baht. There are no additional service charges. You are free to also use other agencies and/or advertise the property yourself. You are not required to sign a ‘sole agency’ agreement (with most other agencies, you are required to sign a ‘sole agency’ agreement and some also impose additional service charges).

(3) Prior to any agreed sale made by Rayong Homes, Rayong Homes will attempt to obtain a substantial non-returnable deposit from the prospective buyer. If the buyer should withdraw from the sale at any point, the deposit will be forfeited and it will be shared equally (50/50) between Rayong Homes and the seller. If the buyer does not default and the sale is successfully completed, the commission will be payable to Rayong Homes in full in cash only at the time of transfer at the Land Office.

RELISTING FEE.

Please note: If for any reason you should instruct Rayong Homes to remove your property listing from the website, it will be removed immediately. However, if you should later instruct Rayong Homes to relist the same property, an administration charge of 5,000 Baht will be payable in advance of relisting.

Q. Can a foreigner own a condo in Thailand?

A. Yes, foreigners can own condos in Thailand. Buying a condo is the easiest way to own property in Thailand. Under Thai law, foreigners can own up to 49% of the units in a condominium complex free and clear.

There is a requirement that the money used to purchase the condo must come from abroad as foreign currency or as traveller’s cheques. You can prove this by having your receiving bank in Thailand issue a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (formerly called a ‘Tor Tor Sam’) upon converting the foreign currency to Thai Baht.

Be sure to have your receiving bank in Thailand convert your funds to Thai Baht. Do not have your funds converted prior to sending them to your bank in Thailand, or the Thai bank will not issue the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form which is vital for the completion of the condo purchase proceedure.

Q. I wish to buy a Thai condo. Please can you explain the WHOLE proceedure?

A. Condo purchase proceedure in Thailand is usually quite simple. First you have to open a Thai bank account (if you do not already have one).

In some instances your chosen bank may require a letter from the Thai Immigration Office authorising them to allow you to open an account, but in most cases this is not required. If a letter is required and you are in Rayong, the nearest Immigration Offices are at Maptaput or Jomtien. At the Immigration Office, a verbal explanation of your intentions to buy a condo is usually sufficient, but if you carry details of a specific property that you wish to buy this may make things easier. Be sure to take your passport with you.

You can open a Thai bank account the same day with no appointment necessary. Just a normal ‘Savings Account’ is usually sufficient. You will need the Immigration letter (if they require it) and your passport.

When you have your new account, transfer the funds from your overseas bank to the new account in foreign currency only. You will not be able to obtain a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (see next paragraph) if you send Thai Baht. Usually with a European bank this will take an average of 5 working days, but it may be a good idea to ask your overseas bank prior to coming to Thailand. When your money arrives in your new Thai bank account it will automatically be changed to Thai Baht for a very small charge.

When you have signed a contract with the seller of the property that you are buying, take this contract with your passport and Thai bank book to your new bank and ask for a Foreign Exchange Transaction Form (a letter showing that your funds have come in to your Thai bank account legally from abroad). This should be issued while you wait as they can see from their records that your money has come into Thailand legally from abroad to fund the purchase of the property detailed on the contract. The fee for this letter is normally 200-300 Baht.

Your seller or agent will then make an appointment with the Land Office. If you buy a condo, the seller must obtain clearance letters from the condominium complex stating that there are no outstanding debts on the condo unit that you are buying and that foreign ownership is less than the maximum 49% allowed under Thai law.

On the appointed day, take the Foreign Exchange Transaction Form, your passport, purchase money and money for taxes to the Land Office. The seller should take the condo clearance letters, passport or I.D card and existing Title Deed (Chanote). There you take a number and wait your turn.

When your number is called, Land Office staff will check your paperwork and check that there are no debts or claims outstanding on the condo unit. If everything is in order, you pay your property taxes and transfer fees (in cash only) and a new Title Deed (Chanote) is issued in your name. Usually taxes are split 50/50 between buyer and seller. You then pay the seller their money and the condo is 100% yours!

NOTES.

The Foreign Exchange Transaction Form was formerly called a Tor Tor Sam (Tor Tor 3) Form.

If you do not speak, read and write Thai language, it is advisable to employ the services of a translator who is familiar with Land Office proceedure. I provide this service free of charge for my customers. However, if you are not buying the property through my agency, I can still provide this service for you at very little cost if required.

Usually, upon deciding to buy a condo, you will pay an immediate 10% non-returnable deposit on the property to the seller either by cash or bank transfer. This will be detailed on your purchase contract as proof that you have paid. You can take this contract to the Land Office in case of problems, but unless you are specifically asked to do so, there is no need to show this to anybody.

Usually the only things that can slow down the purchase of condos in Thailand are public holidays and condominium complexes that are slow to issue the condo clearance letters. The rest is quite straightforward if all of your documentation is in order. Just check the Thai holidays on the internet and remind the seller to apply for the clearance letters from the condominium complex. Bear in mind that under the current Thai Condominium Act, the condominium complex is allowed up to 15 days to issue the letters.

I would advise opening an account at a bank branch near to the property that you are purchasing because communication between bank branches in Thailand is currently not too reliable. This will be easier for you when you find your property and have to apply for your Foreign Exchange Transaction Form.

Hopefully you can easily complete any transaction within a maximum of 30 days. Most transactions are completed within 2 to 3 weeks.

Q. Please can you give me full details of your rental management service?

A. Rayong Homes offers 2 options should you wish to rent out your property using Rayong Homes as your agency:

(OPTION 1) Rayong Homes charges 20% for full management service which includes the following:-

Initial listing on the Rayong Homes website.

Duplicate listings with other media sites.

Taking confirmation of customer bookings and obtaining non-returnable deposits.

Meeting and greeting your customers upon arrival.

Collection of fund balance.

Supervision of laundry and cleaning.

Arrangement and supervision of emergency repairs.

24/7 customer support (either in person or by contractor).

Payment of all utilities when due on your behalf.

Bank transfer of funds to yourself or in person by cash if you prefer.

Full accounts provided with receipts after every occupation.

(OPTION 2) Alternatively, Rayong Homes charges only 10% for the following services and the customer will be given your preferred contact details in the case of any problems or enquiries prior to, during or after check-in:-

Initial listing on the Rayong Homes website.

Duplicate listings with other media sites.

Taking confirmation of customer bookings and obtaining non-returnable deposits.

Bank transfer of booking deposits to yourself or in person by cash if you prefer.

Q. Can a foreigner own land or a house with land in Thailand?

A. A foreigner cannot own land in Thailand, but it is still possible to safely invest in, and enjoy land or a house with land for a long-term period. There are at least 4 ways to safely invest in a house and/or land in Thailand:

1. Nominee: The easiest, although maybe not the most suitable for everyone, is the nominee method. For this method, all you need is for a Thai National that you can totally trust, to buy the house in his/her name for you. This is the cheapest method year over year and works well for foreigners married to Thai Nationals.

2. 30+30 year lease with possible option to buy: With this method, you are secure by having a 30 year lease from the legal owner, registered on the land. The lease is a legally binding document which must be officially registered at the Land Office. This is usually done at the time of transfer. You can either lease directly from the legal owner, or you can fund the purchase of the land and transfer the legal ownership to a person of your choosing. Foreigners are no longer permitted to lease from their Thai spouse, so usually they transfer the legal ownership into the name of a trusted member of the spouse’s family or a close Thai associate and lease from them instead.

All terms of the lease, including the initial term, are declared to be paid in advance in the lease agreement. If it is mutually agreed by both parties and written into the agreement, the lessee will also have the option to buy the property from the legal owner outright if Thai law is changed to allow it in the future.

Please note that only the first 30 year term of the lease agreement is legally binding.  Legal ownership of the land could change during the initial 30 year term, so subsequent 30 year terms are renewable solely at the discretion of whoever is the legal owner of the land on the legally designated date of renewal. However, this is almost certainly the safest and most popular method of property investment if you are a non-commercial entity.

3. Nominee with mortgage: With this method, a Thai nominee is required but you are secure by using a mortgage. The Thai nominee buys the property. The property is then registered at the Land Office as mortgaged. The mortgage is structured such that the buyer (foreigner) must sign the title documents in order for the property to be sold thereby securing his investment. If a problem arises with the Thai nominee, they can be replaced. I would advise engaging the services of a lawyer if the ‘nominee with mortgage’ option is preferred.

4. Company: With this method, you form a Thai Limited Company which will buy and own the house. To create a company, you must have 2 Thai partners. The Thai partners will own 51% of the company and you will own the remaining 49%. But there is only one director (you) who has sole signing rights for the company. Technically, the company should be a ‘working’ company and taxes must be paid on the company each year. Most people employ the services of a lawyer when forming a Thai Limited Company and you can choose your own partners, but the lawyer will usually provide the 2 Thai partners if required. This is another popular way to invest in property.

Q. Can a foreigner borrow money from a Thai bank to fund a property purchase in Thailand?

A. This is not common, but technically, yes. It will depend on your visa and employment status within Thailand. Lending criteria differs from bank to bank, so you will need to contact your own bank and consult them in person. It is advisable to make sure that your funds are in place BEFORE embarking on multiple property viewings.

Q. How much property tax do I have to pay in Thailand?

A. PROPERTY TAXES EFFECTIVE FROM MARCH 30th 2010.

COMPANY SALES.

The fees for purchases and sales involving a Thai Limited Company which many foreigners form to buy houses and land are 6.5% of appraised or contract value, whichever is higher.

PRIVATE SALES.

Fees on any type of property transfered between individuals are charged at 5% of the declared value if the property has been owned for more than five years by the current owner.

If a property has been owned for less than five years by the current owner the fees are higher, between 6.5% and 7.0% of the declared value, at the discretion of the Land Office.

Q. Can Rayong Homes assist me with the purchase of a property I have seen in Thailand?

A. Yes – I will be happy to assist you at any level with your Thailand property transaction. I just charge a small commission fee upon successful completion and any ‘out of pocket expenses’ to be mutually agreed beforehand.

Q. What are the land measurements used in Thailand?

A.  Land in Thailand is measured as follows:-

1 Talang Met = 1 Square Meter = 10.7 Square Feet.
1 Talang Wah = 4 Square Meters = 42.7 Square Feet.
1 Ngan = 100 Talang Wah = 400 Square Meters = 4,277 Sq Ft.
1 Rai = 4 Ngan = 400 Talang Wah = 1,600 Sq M. = 17,109 Sq Ft.
1 Acre = 2.5 Rai = 10 Ngan = 1,000 Talang Wah = 4,000 Sq M = 42,772 Square Feet.

Q. What kind of visa do I need to live, work or retire in Thailand?

A. Thailand visa requirements can differ from country to country. For excellent advice, forums and up to date information regarding the Thailand visas relevant to your country of origin, please click here.

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