The buying process doesn't end once you have negotiated an acceptable price. There are still a number of steps to be taken before you can even think of moving in. You will need to:
In a private treaty sale, the transfer process begins with your legal representative examining the Purchase Agreement prepared by the vendor's representative. This Purchase Agreement should detail the following:
Your legal representative is responsible for checking the details of the Purchase Agreement, ensuring that it has a clean title and that it doesn't contain anything detrimental to the purchase or intended use of the property, e.g. caveats, encumbrances or title restrictions.
Make sure the Purchase Agreement details all fittings and inclusions to the property that you believe should be incorporated into the purchase. Such items are collectively known as chattels, examples of which include the cooker and rangehood, curtains, light fittings, and etc.
The Purchase Agreement is signed once all the inspections are satisfactorily completed and the finance has arrived into your Thai bank account. Each party signs their own copy of the Purchase Agreement, which has been prepared in duplicate. The vendor keeps the copy you have signed and you retain the copy the vendor has signed. This process is referred to as the 'exchange of contracts'.
Once all the parties have signed the Purchase Agreement, it cannot be altered or changed. However, there may be unforeseen changes of circumstance which affect either party to the contract, between signing and settlement, that may require a change to be made to the Purchase Agreement. Provided all parties agree, there is no reason why changes cannot then be made.
If you are buying a condominium, you will need to show that the funds have been sent into Thailand in foreign currency from overseas. The local receiving bank should be asked to provide the buyer with a Tor Tor 3 Certificate of remittance, stating that the funds arrived in Thailand for the purpose of buying a condominium. These certificates need to cover the full buying price of the condominium and need to be presented at the Land Department when the transfer is made. The certificates do not need to specify a particular property. The funds sent into Thailand must be in a foreign currency and be converted into Thai Baht on arrival - DO NOT send Thai Baht from overseas, as it will not be accepted for the purchase of a condominium.
Remember to remit the monies into your Thai bank account in foreign currency, and ensure you alert your bank to provide you with a Tor Tor 3 for the remittance.
The settlement date is the day on which you finalise payment and assume possession of the property. In legal terms, settlement is the completion of the property transaction.
Your legal representative should arrange the settlement date, time and location and inform you of the details and requirements.
On settlement day, the balance of the purchase price is paid and the title deeds (legal documents stating property ownership) are taken to the Land Department for registration of the transfer, and the keys to the property will be handed over.
You will also need any Tor Tor 3's (if you are buying a condominium), your passport and a photocopy of your passport, and details of your parents names, dates of birth and place of birth. You will also need a copy of your name and your parents details translated into Thai language for the Land Department.
You are entitled to vacant possession at the time of settlement. You are also entitled to a final inspection just prior to settlement - if the property is not as expected, i.e. the property has been unfavorably altered in some way since you exchanged contracts, talk to your Thai lawyer. Your lawyer may choose to inform the vendor that you will not settle until the property is returned to the state it was in at the time the offer was made.
Immediately following settlement, ensure that you take out a cover note insuring both the property and any movable possessions included in the sale. It may well be worth taking out this cover note even earlier, i.e. as soon as you sign the Purchase Agreement. This will ensure that the property is fully covered, just in case the vendor's insurance is inadequate or unpaid.
Most insurance policies will provide for either 'replacement' or 'market value'. A replacement policy will give you 'new for old', whilst an indemnity insurance will give you 'old for old'.
Further information on insuring your home can be found in Insurance Needs.
Now you are ready to get stuck into planning your move.