Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

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J.J.B.
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Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by J.J.B. » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:44 pm

Mrs J.J.B. and I decided to sell our house last summer. Cutting a long story short, the current status is that a supposed agent has surfaced who represents an elderly European couple, let down on two purchases in the past, who are desparate to buy our house. We agreed an acceptable price and the buyers are willing to split the costs 50/50.

I have never met this agent and so can't comment on the validity of all the facts and nobody has had any contact with their clients, so all we have heard from them is only what the agent has reported. I have engaged the services of a reputable law firm (paid up-front to a Forum sponsor :cheers:) and we are moving fast; it's been less than one month since the agent surfaced. Lease cancellations have been drawn-up, new maintenance agreements prepared, sale-and-purchase agreement drafted, etc. It cost me an extra 3,500 THB to get PoA documents couriered to Thailand in a rush (48 hours) and I have also asked a friend to clear the house of all personal possessions and ensure everything is working as it should.

The agent has reported that the clients are now angered and disappointed (they have already threatened to cancel the deal twice) because they can't understand that I'm not handing over the keys until I have received payment for the house in full. They seem to think it's quite normal to pay a 20% deposit, move in and then pay the balance when the house transfers at the Land Office - 30 days after notice is given. My response is that they can move in after the transfer has taken place and once the funds are cleared in my bank. If they want to move in before the transfer date, they can, provided I've received payment in full and the house is theirs.

Am I being unreasonable, do you think or using common sense? The clients claim that they can't "run away" with the house and that's really not my concern. I'm not, and never have been, interested in renting the house out. I don't want to be a landlord or liable for anything that happens in the house once it's no longer mine. Now the agent is, once again, saying the deal is off and quite frankly I'd rather wait until a more reliable buyer happens along.

What stance would you or have you taken if you've experienced something similar? And let's not get into the fact that the agent expects me to pay him 5% of the sale price for a mess entirely of his creation!
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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by centermid7 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:05 pm

YOU do what YOU are comfortable doing.

If they want to get pissy and can't wait the extra 30 days +/- then let them walk.

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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by Henry 14th » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:10 pm

Yeah Id walk away from that. I'd perhaps offer to put them up in a serviced apartment at my expense until the deal completes.

You have to wonder why they are so eager to move in.

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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by hhfarang » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:22 pm

Thailand is rife with property scamsters (scammers and gangsters). Be very careful. I personally would not let them move in until payment in full was made. Since you don't know the agent, he/she could be in cahoots with the buyer to scam you in some way. Stranger things have happened. There's a post I made on here somewhere about how a gang of scamsters tried to steal our house right out from under us while it was on the market and they were eventually caught and prosecuted after trying or doing the same to several other people. Proceed with caution. If they insist and you don't want to take the chance or lose the deal, maybe have a lawyer hold the final payment in "escrow" until the deal can close at the land office...
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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by malcolminthemiddle » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:25 pm

Why wait 30 days? Offer to go to the land department tomorrow to complete the deal. Or have I missed something?

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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by Big Boy » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:33 pm

J.J.B., that is precisely what we did. I was in my house at least 4 months before I paid. I think I paid 100,000 Baht deposit, and moved our dogs in the same day. We moved in the next day. I still had to transfer funds from the UK at that point anyway.

However, there was work to be done, and we agreed that we'd hand over the money as soon as everything was as I wanted it. We still have an excellent relationship with the seller, who is our next door neighbour.

What I did, didn't sound out of the ordinary at the time. However, reading your story, I don't think I'd let them in either.

A difficult situation in the current housing market. You have a lovely house there, but how long before another buyer comes along?
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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by Nereus » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:20 pm

If you are unable to be here in Hua Hin, then I would not let them in. If you knew the agent maybe, but even then it could be risky.
house transfers at the Land Office - 30 days after notice is given.
Not sure that I understand this part? No notice is required at the Land Department, unless it has changed recently.
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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by migrant » Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:06 pm

Not sure about Thailand, but here in the states it's very hard to kick someone out of a house, even if the contract supports it. We bought a house once, the seller had rented it with the understanding the people would vacate upon sale. They were notified 45 days prior to the closing of the contract but did not leave. Despite police help it took 30 days more to get them out, and they left the place a mess.

I would want full payment prior, or at least the amount deposited in a non refundable escrow accout (if that exists in Thailand

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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by J.J.B. » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:18 am

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions, please keep them coming. I appreciate the diversity of opinion and experience, even though the sentiment is leaning toward the side of "don't do it"! I'm not sure if this a scam but that uncertainly alone is enough to make me pause.

Legal counsel advises me that in Thailand it is necessary to provide 30 days' notice to the Land Office to transfer the ownership of a house. I'm sure it's a bureaucratic paper exercise (TIT) but if that's the norm then it's what I should expect to contend with. Also, while I suggested an Escrow-type arrangement, these things are apparently not so easy in the LOS. It requires the setting-up of a trust, since this sudden cash injection to the practice is viewed as straight income and taxed accordingly. It's certainly worth investigating, but if the buyers are happy to handover their payment in full, to me or my lawyer, what legitimate gain do they hope to achieve if I get the money at the start or end of the transfer period?

BB, it sounds as though your situation may have benefitted from the Thai connections you have and, of course, your honest face 8) . I'm sure if I knew or had met the buyers I might think differently. Likewise, if the property agent was one of my friends or someone I trusted, like one on this Forum, I could have been more trusting. We have all read, on here at least, some horror stories of people doing things we never consider doing ourselves and perhaps in this property market I'm a fool not to entertain a reasonable offer. But then, only fools rush in. :|
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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by J.J.B. » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:22 am

Nereus wrote:
house transfers at the Land Office - 30 days after notice is given.
Not sure that I understand this part? No notice is required at the Land Department, unless it has changed recently.
It could be the transfer of the lease, honestly there are so many moving parts it's hard to keep track, but there's definitely some 30 day notice period for something at the Land Office - perhaps one of our friendly, neighbourhood agents can confirm.
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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by Takiap » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:00 am

I'm not sure how this whole business works, but when Mrs T and I bought our land I set very clear and simple rules:

Mrs. T and I would go draw the money out at the bank, and hand it over to the seller at the land office once we had the chanote and etc. in our hands.


If we sell our home now, it would work exactly the same way, in that, the buyer would get the home once my share of the money is safely in my bank account.


In your case JBB, the agent may be wary of you meeting the buyers in case you guys complete the sale without the agent which would mean that they would not get their commission.

As others have said, do it in a way with which you feel comfortable.


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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by jingjoe » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:38 am

If the buyer is changing the lease of the land to their name , there is a 30 day wait at land office, in case some one wants to dispute it.
After i decided to remain in thailand and not relocate back to oz, i bought a house here a few months ago. I changed the owner ship of the land into the thai mother of my kids name, and have a 30 year lease off her. I paid a deposit and left the balance in a banks cheque made out to the owner in escrow with the lawyer.
I moved in and started doing renovations, 2 days ago the 30 day period expired, i picked up my chanote and lease agreements from my lawyer ,translated into english and the owner received their cheque.

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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by RCer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:00 am

Have them put the money for the house in a netural account (US we call it an Escrow account). When the land office finishes, you get the money.

Don't give them the keys without spending the money.

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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by Nereus » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:39 am

It could be the transfer of the lease, honestly there are so many moving parts it's hard to keep track, but there's definitely some 30 day notice period for something at the Land Office - perhaps one of our friendly, neighbourhood agents can confirm.
Ok, if that is the case. But the way around that is to go with the owner of the land to the Land Dept. and remove your name from the lease. It costs 80 Baht! I have done it that way with my own house to avoid income tax.

Then the new owners have to draw up a new lease with the land owner. There are registration tax fees involved with this, so I would suspect that the land owner does not want to do it, but your "agent" is not telling you. BUT, you would need to have full payment before doing that!
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Re: Moving in before paying for house - your thoughts?

Post by brianks » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:43 am

A friend of mine found a buyer for his house in Korat and the next day they went to the Land Office and completed the sale with money transferred into his account that day.

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