Buy a property in Phuket
24 February 2017
Let’s talk about the process of buying a property in Phuket when residing abroad. To begin with, I’ll never recommend a first-time buyer to purchase a property in Phuket without inspecting it himself.
For a residential investment, reasons are obvious. For a rental investment, while the financial aspect of transaction is important, a simple price list will never provide the necessary information to help you comprehend the environment, neighborhood, and potential for growth of the location you plan to buy in.
If you have already successfully finalized several transactions with the help of your local real estate agent, then the situation is different.
You have chosen the property you want to purchase but you won’t be able to be here for the transfer of ownership at the Phuket Provincial Land Office (commonly referred as the Land Department) because you need to head back home.
You can choose between hiring a lawyer who will oversee the administrative aspect of the transaction or you can handle the process yourself. In this case, make sure your trust is in good hands as this person will have all power on the process.
THE PROCESS IS SPREAD OUT OVER FOUR STAGES
Signature of a Power of Attorney (P.O.A.). Either you signed it yourself at the Land Office before your departure or your contact in Phuket would have sent it to your home. In this case, you’ll simply need to go and sign it in front of an officer of a Thai embassy or
consulate. This is a specific document, you can’t simply draw a letter yourself.
Transfer of funds. The transfer of funds must be made from abroad in a foreign currency towards a Thai bank in Thailand. The subject of the transfer must be specified such as “buy condominium 15/63 at Phuket condo”. If you are abroad, the funds will need to be transferred either to your lawyer account or to the account of the person who has the power of attorney as a document called F.E.T. Form (Foreign Exchange Transaction Form) proving the origin of the funds will be necessary to register the transfer of ownership at the Land Office.
Payment of transfer fees and taxes. Prior to the formalization of the transfer of ownership, the person having the power of attorney and the seller will have to pay in cash the various fees and taxes to the land officer in charge. The usual rule being that both seller and buyer share equally the cost.
Registration of the transfer of ownership. Once taxes and fees are paid, the land officer will release the updated title deed (Chanote) with your name being the last on the back of the document. You’ll simply have to get it during your next trip to Phuket or to have it sent by secured courier to your home.
As usual, I have plenty more to say on the subject, feel free to contact me if you need any information.
Phuket Property Expert
Stephane Quazzola, Managing Director
+66 (0)901 673 115