For decades, Thailand has been a top destination for tourists and holiday makers looking to relax, unwind, and soak up some sun. The low cost of living and laid-back culture has seen a recent increase in foreign nationals looking to purchase property in Pattaya and make a permanent move to their own piece of tropical paradise.
While there are courses that real estate agents can take to provide them with the knowledge to sell and lease properties, there is no license required to become a realtor in Thailand. In addition, the real estate industry in Thailand is largely unregulated, meaning finding a reputable real estate agent among the masses available may prove difficult.
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Why use a Real Estate Agent?
Although you might be tempted to contact sellers directly, there are many benefits to utilising a real estate agent in Thailand:
- Real estate agents have expert local knowledge, with a large database of properties. They can help you find the perfect home, saving you the legwork.
- Often sellers will communicate in Thai; realtors have the necessary translation skills to assist with the transaction.
- Real estate agents will have an abundance of professional recommendations. They can point you in the direction of reputable property lawyers, trade companies, and even the best local restaurants!
How much do Thai real estate agents charge?
One of the many benefits of buying property in Thailand is there are no buyer fees involved when using a Thai real estate agent! The real estate agent will often make between 3% and 5% commission of the selling price, typically paid for by the seller. Subsequently, the agent’s commission is included in the advertised price of the property. The commission amount is typically negotiable, and foreign purchasers are welcome to discuss the selling price with the real estate agent. Although there aren’t any realtor fees, you can expect to pay a range of other fees and taxes:
- A transfer fee of 2% of the property price, payable to the Thailand Land Department. The transfer fee is occasionally split 50/50 between the buyer and seller, but often is at the expense of the buyer.
- 0.5% stamp duty is often paid for by the seller; however, sometimes it is also split 50/50 between the buyer and seller, and can potentially be negotiated.
- The purchasing process for a foreign national is fairly convoluted, and it is recommended that foreign purchasers use a property lawyer. It is important that you have a trusted lawyer on hand to translate the contract – often written in Thai – and go over any fine details to ensure a fair transaction. Prices are dependent on the particular firm and lawyer used; however, you can expect to pay a minimum of 30,000 THB for legal services.
It is important to do your research when sourcing your realtor to ensure you hire an agent who is working with your best interests in mind. Look for real estate agents who have been recommended by others, work for a well known or reputable agency, and have good reviews. With the right real estate agent, many foreign nationals can purchase their dream property and join the many expatriates that make Thailand their home.