For whatever reason, at some point during your stay you may well decide to sell your home. It could be for financial reasons, or because you are upsizing or downsizing, moving to a different part of Thailand, the list goes on. Whatever the reason you will need an agent.
Agents will generally charge a 5% commission fee on the final sales price. This has been the standard for many years here in Pattaya. For this fee you should receive value for money so always check what an agent will do for their money. Agents will market your property, discuss SOLD prices in your area, bring prospective purchasers around to view your home, negotiate on your behalf, attend the land office with you if required, and see the process through from the beginning to end. If the agent makes it all look like easy work then it is probably because the agent is well organised and professional. At the end of the day your ultimate goal is to sell your property with as little fuss as possible.
Realtors/Real estate agents/estate agents
There are hundreds of agents in Pattaya, which is the land of the entrepreneur, with many people trying their hand at careers they know nothing about. You need to be looking at the agents that are well established, with excellent reputations, or for those that have worked for these companies and gone off on their own (Eg: Cornerstone Real Estate).
The biggest question when selling your property is regarding the value of it. How much will it sell for? Do not rely on advise from someone who you met last week that used to live close to your village that sold something “similar” 3 years ago for 5,000,000 Baht. Times change, currency values fluctuate, the condition of properties varies and some people lie to make their side of the story sound better!
The only way to understand the true value of your property in the current market is to get several independent valuations carried out by established real estate agents. Their experience in what has SOLD in your condo or village is what you need to understand.
There are many properties that can sit on the market for a long time, sometimes years. This is generally due to the asking price being too much for the condition it is in. You might not like what the realtor has to say about the value of your property, but that doesn’t make them wrong. They have access to lots of historical evidence, have sold many comparative properties, and have a better understanding of what the market is doing. But don’t just have one valuation, get a few. Be aware that some agents will happily let you “name your price” just so that they can get your property onto their website to bolster their portfolio. A good agent will stand by their word and tell you the truth, and help with identifying areas that you could improve, not just what you want to hear.
Once you have decided on an agent (or several) ensure that you have a signed agreement regarding commission and sale price. If you change the price with one agent, you need to contact all the others.
Try to avoid agents who simply ask for your “NET” price. These companies are generally only looking out for themselves by adding much more than the standard 5% commission onto the price. This scenario only benefits them, plus it will also cause confusion as to the real selling price of your property when clients research websites and see your home with varying prices.
Preparation for Sale
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Buying a property is a massive thing for most people and the buyer will only want to view a property that they can imagine themselves living in. If you want to get as much money as possible for your home then you need to make sure that it looks its best.
Before getting real estate agents around to value your property, and certainly before they come to take marketing photos you need to put right anything that is wrong with the property. Sometimes when we live in our home many of us will put up with an unpainted wall or an electric socket with wires hanging out, or simply do not even notice these things. But when you are trying to sell your property for as much as possible these things need to be rectified. A good agent will always point out things that you should look at improving to help them sell your property quickly and for the best possible price.
It’s up to you how much you spend on improvements. Obviously the intention is that any improvement you do make will add value to the property as it is one less thing for a buyer to use as a negotiating tool to drop the price. But in many cases the repairs were long overdue and will only help to bring the property back to life to help sell it, not increase its value.
If you live in a house, then the garden needs to be mowed, trees and shrubs trimmed, and the leaves cleared. The washing up in the sink needs to be cleaned and put away, and the children need to put all their toys away. If you miss any of these things and show your home in a mess then you need to be prepared to receive offers reflecting this. Some potential buyers just cannot see beyond clutter and dirt and will be put off by the condition. Especially if the buyer has looked at new homes and visited a “show home” that’s brand new with everything decorated tastefully and looking at its best! Buyers that can see beyond a messy home, or worn condition may use it as a bargaining tool to try to drop the sales price.
When you do have viewings try to make the place as welcoming as possible before the agent and buyer arrive. This includes getting the children out of the way if possible, turning off the TV or radio, maybe just leaving some ambient music on. Some buyers become uncomfortable when a seller is there as they feel they can’t be as honest as they would like to be. Human nature prevents most people from being critical direct to the owner, so a lot of sellers step out during the viewings and leave it to their agent. It is what you are paying them for, and they have experience in showing properties to buyers. Some sellers roast coffee beans in the oven, or bake bread to give off a lovely aroma to arouse the senses…. It’s up to you how attractive you make your property.
We have an offer
Any serious and genuine offer from the buyer will be made to the agent. Once the agent has qualified the offer and the ability of the buyer to pay, the agent is obliged to bring that offer to you, regardless of what amount it is. It is then up to you to decide on whether you choose to accept it, make a counter offer or decline it completely. The agent will make the potential buyer aware of your response. Hopefully there will be an offer made that is acceptable to both parties.
When an acceptable offer has been agreed upon, the agent will draw up a legally binding contract that clearly defines the deposit, sale price, timeframe and other details such as included furnishings which may be agreed as part of the sale. It is also at this point that the buyer would need to pay a deposit in order to remove the property from the sales market. The value of this deposit can vary depending on terms, but it is generally about 10-20% of the sale price. This deposit is normally held by the agent or a lawyer, not the seller. Once the contract has been signed by both parties it is legally binding, so should the buyer or seller need to withdraw from the sale/purchase for any reason, then that party is legally bound to compensate the other to the value of the deposit.
This isn’t the west…
Generally the agreed completion dates here in Thailand are quite quick. Most properties are sold in a “sold as seen” condition. Most ownership documentation can be checked within a few days and it’s possible to complete a sale within a month of an offer being accepted. Unlike some other countries it is not a long drawn out process with surveyors and solicitors taking months to check searches, debts, and the history on the property. 90% of all transactions in Pattaya are also cash so there are typically no banks slowing the process. It is also very unlikely to find yourself in a chain of sellers who need to sell their properties before buying yours.
To get the best one-on-one advice for your particular property then please arrange to speak with one of our agents who can arrange to visit your property to discuss all of the matters with you. Call us on or complete this form with the details of your property – CLICK HERE