With exception on condominiums, Thailand’s real estate market is largely unregulated. This makes any foreigner venturing into the country’s property areas vulnerable to the mercy of property agents.
Well, property agents are not really vultures per se but if you are not careful, their actions may lead you to emotional and financial distress.
Property agents are there with one purpose and that is to sell. Many of them considers selling properties as their bread and butter and so you have to understand that they will do whatever it takes to lure you into buying the property. Whether it is of your best interest or not, they simply do not care but well of course, with exceptions on a majority of them.
They will present you with glossy and brightly printed catalogues, let you watch the dashing smiles of the obviously paid models of a developer company’s advertisement and those meticulously angled and enhanced photos and videos may entice you to immediately strike a deal. To add to the visual manipulation, their sweet words will even pull you closer to sign the documents but the questions is; did they mention the factual and possible disadvantages attached with the property? The most likely answer to that question is a straight no.
Remember, they are there to sell so how can you expect someone who wants to sell something to you but will tell you every negative things that entails such property?
Added to this fact is that property agents’ roles and capacity is limited to selling unlike the property lawyers.
Property lawyers specialize not only on the laws that oversee the property market, they can do even more.
Due Diligence, Title Search and other pertinent investigations are essential factors that should not be set aside when planning to buy a piece of property in Thailand. For a more thorough consideration of these factors, let me discuss additional facts about them below.
Due Diligence allows you to determine whether the seller is the actual owner of the property, if the property is free from any encumbrances or if the property has the needed structural integrity and quality. A Title Search will confirm whether the said property is in line with the zoning ordinance of the area where it is located, if the title deed is genuine and that the seller is the rightful owner of the property.
Moreover, a property lawyer can even do background checks on the developer if they are in financial capacity to finish the project or if the said development, in case of a condominium, has not breached its 49% quota for foreign ownership yet. Additionally, property lawyers can do further research on the property, the developer or the seller if they are not involved on any litigation by accessing court records.
In summary, a property agent cannot do what a property lawyer can but on the contrary, the latter can accomplish the functions of the former and more.
Well, no one can stop you from hiring the services of a property agent or both the property agent and lawyer. But if you want a thorough property search with a lesser costs in your part, you should go for a Thai-registered property lawyer.
For property or legal consultation, see Siam Legal’s licensed lawyers and attorneys in Thailand.
Whichever way you should take, remember the vultures are waiting to pounce on you.