How to buy or sell a property in Thailand through Power of Attorney document?

Recently, there is a trend of purchasing properties in Thailand sight unseen, due to travelling restrictions influenced by COVID-19, which makes it challenging for some buyers to enter the Kingdom to purchase a property.

Since there are many great deals on the Thai property market now, buyers opt out to capitalize on the opportunity to purchase a retirement, holiday, or an investment property in Thailand.

You are probably wondering how is it possible to purchase a property without visiting the country and why would somebody buy a property sight unseen?

Even though buyers cannot physically inspect the properties themselves, there are still ways to do it virtually, such as through virtual tour by using video calling apps. When doing a video tour with an agent, the buyers can ask questions directly on the spot and request the agent to zoom in or showcase any area of the property they wish to see more closely. Great internet connection is a key to a successful virtual tour to have the best quality virtual viewing.

Once the buyers find what they like and decide to proceed, the question arises; how to transfer or register the property to a buyer’s name?

The answer is simple: Power of Attorney document. Transferring the legal right to buy or sell property for another can be performed by granting power of attorney (POA) to specific individuals or corporations. If someone holds power of attorney, he or she has the legal authority to act in specific ways for another person, such as buying or selling real estate.

Below, the frequently asked questions are outlined on how the Power of Attorney works in Thailand.

What is Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person to act on their behalf as an intermediary agent. This document gives the authority on the representative person to perform certain acts, private affairs, business, or other legal matters on behalf of the principal.

Can a general form of a POA be used in Thai land office transactions?

Buyers and sellers of the property who wish to authorize another person to act on their behalf must full in and sign the power of attorney form, provided by the Land Office. The Land Office Departments in Thailand only accept the official standard Power of Attorney that they issue. For land and houses that document is called Tor Dor 21 and for condominiums it is called Chor 21. Using these forms will ensure that all the right information is provided. The filled in form and a certified copy of persons Id or passport will be presented to the Land Office official.

How to protect yourself in the event of signing the POA?

  • Clearly fill in all the correct details of the property
  • Clearly specify the authorized act and the scope of the power authorized such as buying, selling etc., including any special conditions
  • Ensure a consistent handwriting and ink color, or font if typing.
  • Don’t sign a blank form or partially completed form
  • If possible, have a principal’s fingerprint instead of a signature and two witnesses sign the completed form. If the agent is the principal’s spouse, the principal must sign as a witness and give a written consent

What if principal is out of Thailand before the POA is issued?

The principal must complete the form and legalize/notarize it by signing it at the embassy or consular in the presence of the embassy/consular officer

For how long is the POA valid?

The standard validity of the POA is 3 months from the date of signing.

Can one agent represent both parties at the same time?

An agent can represent both parties at the same time. In that case the principal must specifically clarify in the POA their consent to the agent representing another party.

Do you need to translate your documents to Thai?

All the documents required by the Land Office must be translated to Thai language. Translated documents must first be certified as correct translation of the original document.