Should you be buying a property for the first time in Thailand, you are likely to come across some unfamiliar terms but it is important to understand them for a smooth property purchase.
For example, condominiums that are not yet built are often referred to as a project where units are sold off-plan, meaning that they are not built yet as opposed to a ready to move in the project where the units are already finished.
Even before you have secured a property, your agent will need to check that the building you wish to buy in has sufficient foreign quota since only 49 percent of a building can be owned by foreigners according to the Thai Condominium Act 1991. The foreign quota is calculated on the overall saleable area of the condominium rather than on the number of units.
Once a unit has been found and the offer has been agreed, to secure the unit a booking fee is required. This amount will depend on the property but only once it has been received will the sales and purchase order be drafted which is the contract used to transfer the ownership.
This document outlines the terms of the sale detailing relevant information such as sales price, unit details including its number and size, the common area fee which is used to pay for the management of the building and the sinking fund which is a one-off lump sum held in reserve in the case of major building works.
Once the buyer and seller are happy with the sales and purchase order the next step is to complete the sale. This is when the buyer legally owns the property and the seller has received the funds for its payment.
The transfer of ownership occurs at the property’s local land department and this is the final stage of the process when the transfer fee is also paid. The transfer fee is two percent of the agreed sales price and the cost is usually shared between the buyer and seller however this forms part of the purchase negotiation.
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