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A Guide to Reservation Agreements for Property in Phuket

Posted by SEOWriter on April 26, 2024

If you’ve found the perfect property in Phuket and are ready to take the next step, the first thing you’ll likely encounter is a reservation agreement. This agreement is a critical document that sets the groundwork for your property purchase, ensuring both you and the seller understand the terms of the transaction. However, before you sign, it’s essential to know what you’re agreeing to and how to protect yourself throughout the process. This guide will help you navigate the key points to consider when dealing with reservation agreements in Phuket.

What is a Reservation Agreement?

A reservation agreement is a preliminary document that outlines the terms of the property transaction and secures your interest in the property. It’s often a single-page document, but it carries significant importance, as it determines the conditions under which the transaction will proceed and how the deposit is managed.

Why You Need a Lawyer

While some people might choose to go through the property purchase process without legal assistance, it’s a risky move. An experienced lawyer can help you understand the reservation agreement, ensure your deposit is protected, and guide you through the due diligence process. Ideally, you should hire a lawyer before signing the agreement or placing a deposit. This way, you have expert advice from the beginning, reducing the risk of future complications.

Key Elements of a Reservation Agreement

A well-constructed reservation agreement should contain the following key elements to ensure your protection:

  1. Property Details
    The agreement should clearly state what you’re buying. This includes whether it’s a villa, condominium, or apartment, along with its exact area (in rai or square meters). It should also outline the legal structure, specifying whether it’s freehold or leasehold. If it’s freehold, ensure there’s a Chanote freehold title and a clear land title number.
  2. Deposit and Payment Schedule
    The agreement should indicate that the deposit forms part of the total sale price and specify the payment schedule. This ensures you know when and how much to pay, and it outlines the conditions under which the deposit is refundable.
  3. Due Diligence Period
    A reservation agreement should grant you enough time to conduct due diligence. This period can range from 7 to 30 days, depending on the complexity of the transaction. Make sure the agreement specifies the due diligence timeframe and any requirements for the lawyer to carry out this process.
  4. Completion Timeframe
    If you’re buying off-plan, the agreement should include a timeframe for property completion. It should also state what happens if there’s a delay and how any revised schedule will be agreed upon by both parties.
  5. Deposit Refund Conditions
    The agreement should clearly define the conditions for deposit refunds. If the seller breaches the agreement, the deposit should be refunded in full. If the buyer breaches, the deposit is typically forfeited. Additionally, if due diligence reveals issues that could negatively impact the buyer, the deposit should be returned.
  6. Taxes and Fees
    The reservation agreement should detail how taxes and fees are shared between the buyer and seller. Understanding this early on will help you avoid unexpected costs later in the process.
  7. Legal Jurisdiction
    The agreement should specify that it is governed by the Laws of Thailand. This ensures that any disputes are resolved within the Thai legal system, providing clarity on legal recourse if needed.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Having a qualified lawyer involved early in the process can save you time, money, and stress. They can ensure that the reservation agreement is structured correctly, with all the necessary elements in place to protect your interests. Your lawyer can also negotiate on your behalf and make sure any future payments are subject to satisfactory progress in construction or development.

What to Watch Out For

While reservation agreements are generally straightforward, be cautious of any pressure from sellers or their agents to sign without proper legal advice. If someone suggests you don’t need a lawyer or implies that a deposit is non-refundable, take this as a red flag. Legal disputes in Thailand can be lengthy and costly, so it’s better to be safe from the start.


A reservation agreement is a crucial step in securing your dream property in Phuket. By understanding the key components and working with an experienced lawyer, you can ensure a smooth and secure transaction. Take the time to read and understand the agreement before signing, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek legal advice. This approach will give you peace of mind and help you avoid potential pitfalls as you embark on your property investment journey in Phuket.

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