How To Buy Property in Thailand - The Ultimate Step By Step Guide

Sorting out how to buy property in Thailand is similar to how most Westerners buy property in their home country. In fact, the process is largely the same on many levels. 

For factors unique to Thailand, real estate agents such as ours at Pulse provide a wealth of helpful information. This is particularly important if the buyer doesn’t know Phuket very well, or they don’t know if and how foreigners can own property in Thailand

In fact, here’s one critical piece of information every prospective buyer needs to know before they start their property search: Thailand is very much a cash-buyer market, as mortgages and bank loans for foreigners in Thailand are hard to acquire unless taken in the name of a Thai national. Send us a message and we'll see if there is an option for you.

With that critical bit of information out of the way, it’s time to find out how to buy property in Thailand. 

Step 1. Define Your Requirements

This works the same in Phuket as it does almost anywhere else. Requirements should be realistic in relation to both availability and your budget.

There are requirements such as the number of bedrooms, perhaps single-level properties for some, and maybe even a “need” such as a large kitchen for avid chefs. Then there are preferences like a modern design, a minimum area for the living space and/or the plot, a large pool, the list goes on and on.

However, there are a few considerations relative to Phuket. These include factors such as:

  • Sea view and/or proximity to the sea for investment properties
  • Proximity to the airport for frequent travelers 
  • Property ownership options for foreigners for those without Thai spouse
  • Proximity to international schools for families
  • Buying for residential, investment, or mixed purposes (common in Phuket)

If you don’t have a lot of experience living in Thailand, it’s best to rely on one of our property consultants for advice. Each one of them has lived on Phuket since at least 2005, which makes our collective local knowledge unsurpassed by any other agency. If you’d like a general overview of the various neighborhoods or beaches in Phuket, look no further than the wealth of information at Phuket 101

Step 2. Preliminary Property Research

Once you have a clear picture of what you’re looking for, it's time to let us know what you’re after so we can curate a list of options. At Pulse Real Estate, we specialize in Phuket property and we have a database of more than 700 Properties in Phuket for Sale. Either you or your property consultant can refine a search based on property type, location, completed or off-plan, and also more detailed filters like foreign freehold, private pool, and much more. 

Better yet, utilize our Property Finder where you provide us with your requirements, or simply shoot us an email and one of our property advisors will put together a personalized shortlist of properties for you.

Step 3. Inquiry & Initial Consultation

If you find a property of your liking, either add it to your shortlist on our website for later action, or send us an inquiry for a specific property directly. Your inquiry will be assigned to one of our property consultants who will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

It’s best to get a 10-15 minute consultation done right at the start of your property search. This way the agent can provide clarification on finer details, and they are in a better position to start offering properties that are a great match.

From there, our property consultant will also suggest other properties similar to the inquiries you submitted. You’ll finalize which properties you’d like to visit and your property consultant will do the rest of the work for you. 

Step 4. Viewing Shortlist & Property Inspections

This is the most exciting part of the property search. You’ll not only be able to compare the pictures to reality, but you’ll also be able to see the immediate neighborhood, as well as the areas beyond that. 

When you have agreed on a shortlist, our advisor will make arrangements for a property tour. Your property consultant will coordinate showings into a convenient schedule, and ensure gaining access isn’t a problem. This takes more work than you might assume, so it’s best to confirm what you’d like to see as soon as possible. 

We offer free pick up and drop off at your hotel/residence and will show you the properties in person. If you can not attend in person, we can record a video or set up a video call so you can conduct the viewing remotely.

Step 5. Price Negotiation

Our trained property consultants will help you with the negotiation process. We know the owners’ positions quite well and often help consult with putting in realistic offers. We can also consult on leveraging different angles we know to have worked in the past.

For example, when purchasing an off-plan unit, the furniture package that normally costs extra can often be included in the deal. You can also often get a price reduction if you are ready to pay a big chunk upfront. When it comes to dealing with private sellers, we can help negotiate the final price, distribution of sales tax and transfer fees, obtain the required documentation, and basically do a lot of the leg work so you don’t have to.

Step 6. Reservation Agreements

Once a price is agreed upon, a Reservation Agreement (RA) is prepared. The RA simply states that the buyer has the intent of purchasing the property from the seller to take the property off the market until due diligence can be performed by the buyer's lawyer.

The RA also includes the reservation fee amount and the date for the final transaction. A standard number for the reservation fee is 5-10% of the agreed sale price, but this figure varies.

Step 7. Due Diligence and Sales & Purchase Agreement

At this stage, it is highly recommended that both the buyer and the seller have appointed their own lawyer to prepare the paperwork, and in the buyers' case ensure that due diligence is completed.

Examples of due diligence to be made are a confirmation of the land title and ownership, presence of building permits for off-plan properties, Environmental Impact Assessment (condos only), building regulations, and that the property isn’t violating any local or national restrictions.

Once the lawyers have hashed out the details, both parties sign the Sales & Purchase Agreement (SPA). This is most commonly signed within 30 days of signing the reservation agreement, but it can differ. 

Step 8. Transaction at Land Office + Final Payment

The last step is completed at the Phuket Provincial Land Office/Land Department, where the completion of the purchase and final transfer of the property is done. A transaction can take anything from two to six weeks for an already built property to complete. Off-plan properties are not handed over until the property is completed and ready to move in, so the date of the finalization will depend on the construction schedule.

If either party is not in Thailand, the transaction can be completed remotely by signing a power of attorney with a solicitor. The final payment is made, transfer fees and taxes are paid and the property is officially handed over to the new owner.

Can You Buy Property in Thailand Online / Remotely?

Buying property in Thailand without physically being in the country is indeed very possible. At Pulse Real Estate, we offer virtual property viewings where we either record a video of the property/properties you are interested in or make live WhatsApp video calls, so we can walk you through the property as per your requests.

The sale process can be completed by giving your lawyer power of attorney (POA). This goes for both seller and buyer, so neither one has to be physically in Thailand to complete the deal.

This article is also available in Russian:

Вы можете прочитать на русском, как купить дом (виллу, кондо или квартиру) на Пхукете

Sales Manager - agent for Pulse Real Estate

Sales Manager

Do not hesitate to reach out for a personal consultation. We are confident we can help you find your dream home in Phuket.

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“Real estate cannot be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid for in full and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world.”
- Franklin D Roosevelt

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