What is Due Diligence?
Due diligence is the research and analysis of a company, organization, or individual which is done in preparation for a business transaction or investment. A reasonable person takes extra precaution before entering into an agreement or a transaction with another party to prevent unnecessary harm; the procedure helps identify potential risks and liabilities. Due diligence serves to confirm all material facts and legal parameters in regard to a sale or acquisition by investigation and evaluation of a potential investment.
What is the importance of Due Diligence on Thai property purchase?
Investing in real estate certainly involves a huge amount of money. We cannot deny the fact that there are some fraudulent dealers and developers taking advantage of naïve investors who can easily be victimized in unscrupulous deals. Therefore, investors must take extra precaution before finalizing any transactions. Due diligence is a useful tool for estimating the status of a prospective project and the developer. The failure to conduct the necessary safeguard in ensuring that the potential property investment is what the seller claims, usually results in severe consequences such as serious financial and legal distress on the part of the buyer. You must remember that almost always after completing the transfer, the seller will not be held responsible for any problems the buyer did not discover.
What are the important factors to consider in carrying out Due Diligence on Thai property purchase?
- A guarantee that the seller is holding the said property under a true title of ownership. Land descriptions contained in any title deed must match the records on file with the Land Department. It is necessary to establish whether or not the chanote or title deed has been correctly and legally issued.
- Awareness of the burdens existing on the property. It is necessary to review the Register of Records stated at the back of the title document. This contains all encumbrances and liens currently levied upon the property.
- Determining whether the seller holds title to the property and, therefore, has full legal rights to sell the property.
- Awareness of any pending or potential legal action involving the property.
- Make sure that the developer has all of the permits and legal documents for a project that is not yet built.
- You or your legal consultant may have some minor concerns with the sales contract, details that you can correct before signing to purchase.
- Know the details and status of the developer. It is essential to know how long the developer has been developing properties in Thailand. Knowing the amount of their registered share capital is also beneficial.
- You must have a clear understanding of the rights and obligations of each party. This includes who pays which taxes and fees, when the deposit and balances gets paid, how long the project will take to completion, and what remedies there will be if the project is not completed on time.
When should I start the Due Diligence procedure?
The need for thorough, detailed due diligence begins prior to the signing of a binding contract. The necessary title and background investigations provide the initial basis to confirm a safe purchase. This will also ensure that both parties deal with each other fairly.
It is best that you have a lawyer in Thailand to review the contract drafted by the seller. This will ensure that the contract contains proper terms and conditions that meet the standard terms according to the law. Furthermore, it will confirm that the contract does not contain terms of any hidden cost or drawbacks. Your lawyer will also negotiate and discuss with the seller on your behalf of any proposed changes until both parties mutually agree with the content of the final contract then set to meet for signing.
How long does Due Diligence procedure take?
Completion of a due diligence procedure varies with each situation. Due diligence is all about research; that is why a reasonable schedule should be allotted to ensure that all essential aspects are scrutinized. Your lawyer or consultant will evaluate and define the timeframes in which due diligence will be conducted.