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The Process of Buying and Selling Land in Thailand

The beautiful land of Thailand is an attractive spot for tourists. As people visit the country, they often think of buying land in the area. However, the truth is that by law, foreigners are not allowed to own land in Thailand. While it's true that foreigners cannot own property in this country, the good news is that there are still ways to get hold of properties without breaking any law. We will discuss these alternatives along with how to sell land in Thailand.

Buying Land in Thailand

Foreigners can choose between two options if they want to purchase land in Thailand:

  • Setting up a Thai limited company
  • Leasing the land
Since it is important for you to know all the details about these procedures, read on for explanation of both these methods.

Setting Up a Thai Limited Company

You must keep in mind that you cannot hold more than 50% shares of the company. At least 51% of the company's shares must be held by a Thai citizen in case you are a foreigner.

However, one thing to note is that since the US has a treaty with Thailand, if you are a US citizen, this restriction does not apply to you. According to the treaty, a US citizen can have full ownership of a company based in Thailand.

Once you start the company, the Thai owner can hand over their shares to you by signing over the company. If that happens, you will have to notify the immigration office, which will closely monitor your company's business activities.

Leasing the Land

Another way by which a foreigner can purchase land in Thailand is by leasing the property for thirty years. This is mostly done when a foreigner marries a Thai citizen. If you take this route, your Thai spouse will have to buy the property and lease it to you. You need to make sure that the title of the land is appropriate and that all the information provided is accurate. The lease agreement specifies the right of the buyer to resell the property, the registration fee and the duration of the lease.

Below are the legal restrictions of this process which you must go through before you sign any contract:

  • You will have to waive your rights over the land and clarify that you have no rights over the property as a non-Thai spouse.
  • Though you have purchased the property, it will be in your spouse's name who happens to be a Thai citizen. It will not be in your name.
  • You and your spouse who is a Thai citizen will probably have to sign a declaration at the Land Department, where it will be mentioned that the funds used for the purchase of the property are your Thai spouse's separate property.
While you can own property through this method, you will not have any rights to it during the course of your marriage or in case of a divorce.

Selling Land in Thailand

Selling land in Thailand as a foreigner is less troublesome than buying it. All you will need to do is to follow the points outlined below, and you will be good to go.

Advertising the Property for Sale

If you are thinking of selling a property in Thailand, you can advertise it in a newspaper and on social media platforms. You also have the choice to hire a real estate agent. You can also put up a sign that says the place is for sale.

Keep in mind that properties can be sold without the help of an agent. If you consider hiring an agent for this purpose, make sure you keep the right to sell the property. Avoid signing any agreement that does not mention a limited period.

Ensuring Your Property Sells Fast

Follow the tips below so that your property, specially your house, sells faster:

  • Finish all repairs before you show the property to a potential buyer. Otherwise, its value will be reduced.
  • Keep the property neat and tidy, even if you are not living there. Make sure the garden does not look unkempt and the house is cleaned regularly. First impression matters, so make sure your house looks welcoming and homey.
  • Do an appraisal to know the market value.
  • You must gather all documents related to the property. They should always be at hand when you need them so that you would not have to sift through papers before you find the ones you were looking for.
  • Always have a realistic view about the selling price of your property. Do not set your mind on a price that is higher than the market price.
  • Keep a draft purchase agreement ready and near you at all times.

Contract of Purchase

When you find a buyer for your property, make sure you document all the terms and conditions in a purchase contract. Both you and the buyer must sign this contract. All agreements and conditions must be mentioned in it. The buyer will make the deposit, and you or your agent can make this contract. The documents required for closing the sale depend on the type of property you are selling.

Final Thoughts

Thailand is becoming an attractive place for those who consider buying property abroad. However, due to the restrictions on foreigners for buying property, many prefer to buy a condo or an apartment in this country. That's because buying them is an easier process than purchasing property. This is thanks to the 1979 Thailand Condominium Act, which declares that a foreigner can fully own an apartment or a condo anywhere in Thailand if the building in which that condo or apartment is located has a 51% Thai ownership.

If you keep the above points in mind, you might be able to circumvent this restriction and be able to buy properties.

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