Contract Review

When you purchase property in Thailand, in most cases, the seller will provide a “Contract of Sale” or “Sale and Purchase Agreement” after you make the initial deposit. The contract may be in English or Thai. It is important to review this contract carefully before you sign it. Sometimes you may need to have the documents translated and execute both of the versions.

Importance of Contract Review

While the title deed for the property describes exactly what and where the property is and who currently has a right to the property, the sales contract describes exactly when and how the seller will sell you the property and upon what terms and condition. In Thailand, the usual contract of sale only lists basic rights and does not list all the exhaustive rights and obligations of the seller and the buyer. More exhaustive sales contracts, as are common in many other countries, allow for all possible contingencies such as default by the seller or buyer. You should then have a contract reviewed:

  • To make sure the sale goes smoothly, it is important to have a good understanding of what the sales contract says.
  • In some cases the contract may be lacking some extra conditions which you have negotiated with your counterpart and agreed that it should be contained in the contract.
  • The contract could be missing some other essential provisions that become real important once problems arise. For example, the original sales contract might not include a provision for whom will pay the taxes on the sale of the property.
  • It could be lacking provisions regarding completion of construction of off-plan developments and makes no references to the penalties the developer must pay in the event of delays.
  • Often sales contracts which are signed before development is completed will include the construction plans, schematics or blueprints. If the seller has to complete development before the transfer of property, the contract should clearly lay out a schedule and standard for the construction or other development.

While many sellers will say that their sales contract is standard, we have seen many errors and omissions in sales contracts. There is no need to use a so called “standard” contract if it does not meet your needs. When executing any important contract, it is always a good idea to get a lawyer’s comments on the terms of the contract to make sure they are legal, complete, and enforceable if something goes wrong. This is especially true if you are in a foreign country.

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