How do I pay for real estate transactions in Thailand?

Funds should be transferred from overseas to your bank account in Thailand (or the bank account of your lawyer’s trust account in Thailand).   You will then receive a “foreign exchange transaction form” (“FET Form”) from the receiving bank.  The FET Form will identify the property to be purchased with the funds.  By retaining a copy of the FET Form, you are authorized to send funds outside of Thailand upon your re-sale of the property in the future.  Otherwise, if you do not have an FET Form for any reason, it may be difficult to transfer funds outside of Thailand after you sell your property in the future.

True land title deeds are called “Nor Sor 4 Jor” or “Chanote” and are issued by relevant Land Office.  Land held under a “Chanote” title deed is accurately surveyed by the relevant Land Office and GPS plotted in relation to a national survey grid, and marked by unique “numbered” marker posts set in the ground by Land Office officials.

Land which has not been officially surveyed by the Land Office is commonly held under a “certificate of utilization” known as either “Nor Sor 3 Gor” or “Nor Sor 3.”  Such certificates of utilization may be upgraded to “Chanote” following an official land survey conducted by the relevant Land Office.  However, both “Nor Sor 3 Gor” and “Nor Sor 3” certificates may be sold, leased and mortgaged in the same manner as a “Chanote.”  From a risk management perspective, however, only land held under “Chanote” or Nor Sor 3 Gor should be purchased by foreign investors.

The difference between the two types of certificates of utilization (Nor Sor 3 Gor and Nor Sor 3) relates to accuracy of the land survey.  Nor Sor 3 Gor land has been surveyed by use of aerial photographs, while Nor Sor 3 land boundaries are simply recorded in relation to the neighbouring land plots.