Chiang Mai Locator, Chiang Mai Thailand
CHIANG MAI LOCATOR - Leading you inside Chiang Mai

The role of real estate agents

Last edited: August 29, 2016 at 05:39:30

In the process of finding property or customers to rent, buy or sell in Chiang Mai, you can use the services of real estate agents along with your own search on the internet and using all kinds of media.

In the commission-driven economy that Thailand is, it's sometimes hard to tell who is / are the agent(s) in between, because for every introduction a middleman usually asks for a commission and to any deal there may be several middlemen in between. Moreover, in a booming property market as we are in now, agents emerge like mushrooms in an autumn forest (while many of the disappear again in a recession) and right now, there are many new agents operating in the market.

Typical services and fees provided by real estate agents in Chiang Mai:

I. selling property:
at commission 3% of the value (some charge even 5%)

II. renting out property:
at commission equal to 1 month of rent for a 1-year contract, 1/2 month of rent for a 6-months contract, and up to 20% for shorter terms.

All of these fees are 
charged to the landlord / owner, the tenant or buyer doesn't pay. However, as a tenant or buyer it can still pay off to skip the agent, because then there is more leeway for negotiation that the owner can give to you.

III. property advice:
While agents in many western countries will give you a fair market value when it comes to renting (out), buying or selling, most agents in Chiang Mai don't. They mostly stick to what price you want to rent, buy or sell for.

IV. management of rent:
If you're not always in Chiang Mai, you can completely outsource management of your rent to some agents at fees typically of 10-20% of the total rental income.

V. assistance in buying or selling
Most agents help to sign some kind of standard contract to buy or sell property and give basic assistance until the transfer at the landoffice.

VI. renovation
Some agents offer assistance to renovation your property, typically at 20% of the total construction costs (materials, furniture and labour).

As part of their work, agents often help drafting a contract or checking title deeds but be careful as many contracts are not protecting your interests properly (and, sadly, even contracts by lawyers are often inadequate).
CM Locator has prepared comprehensive and fair contracts for you to use directly or with our help.


The world of real estate agency practice in Chiang Mai

Unfortunately, agency practices in Chiang Mai in general are not as professional as you would wish for or expect. This is due to a lack of proper training, low ethical standards, lack of industry standards, and poor legislation. The Thai government does not require agents to have any education or training (although there is a semi-official body in Bangkok that issues licenses that aren’t worth much, anyway). Since there is usually quite a lot money at stake, fast money grabbing and short-term thinking tend to dominate many agents' minds. The agency sector didn't set any standards and in fact, most agents do not cooperate with other agents, except for with a few befriended agents perhaps, simply because they don't trust each other.

Example of a real estate agent in Chiang Mai that appears not so active
Example of a real estate agent in Chiang Mai that appears to be not so active

Moreover, who is an agent is often unclear because any person introducing you to a counterpart is in fact acting as a middleman or agent, and expects a renumeration for it. Thailand is a commission-driven economy, so anyone introducing you to a business partner (buyer, seller, tenant) expects a commission for it. It could be your neighbour, your gardener, the security staff in the building, or the condominium management. Even the manager of a condominium building typically gets 3% from the owner just for providing information (which in fact should be part of the normal job responsibility without further reward). Although mostly uncommon or even considered unfair in Western standards, it’s very normal in Thai standards. Whenever you engage in a deal, simply accept that behind the scenes there may be several parties benefitting from introductions, it's just Thai-style doing business.

As a consequence of how agents (and some owners) operate in the market, information is not shared freely and the market is very intransparent. All agents are operating on their own little island and only care about their own commission. So far, no system, nor the internet has been able to change that situation.


The result is that you as a seller, buyer or tenant suffer. You have to go to many agents to find or give more information, agents won't do it for you. Also, you have to do your own research as to market value, many agents won't give you a fair market value, instead they may try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge by cashing in on the price difference between what you think is a reasonable price and the market price.


It's hard to avoid being taken advantage of if you don't know how to work with and how in Chiang Mai. Working with an agency company as opposed to a single freelancer does not guarantee better standards, nor does working with an agency run by foreigners, although they generally have some higher standards. Some of them, however have already adapted to Thai standards and engage in the same doubtful practises as their Thai colleagues do. Read more about malpractises by agents underneath.

CM Locator aims to be as complete and as objective as possible in providing you an overview of agents operating in Chiang Mai in our directoy.

CM Locator also offers a number of real estate services, acting as your Property Pal.

Amongst the real estate agents operating in the market, we recommend:


These agents excel in customer service, knowledge of the market and honesty, although they will not cover the entire market.


Common malpractises by real estate agents in Thailand:


If you are dealing with a real estate agent of your own choice, beware of common malpractices in the market. Always remember that the main driver for most agents in Chiang Mai is simply to get commission or short term benefit, not to serve the best interests of their customers on a long term basis. Whatever an agent tells you, that it represents your interest or alike, the main driver is usually for them to make the deal happen. No deal no commission, that's it.

Some agents claim to represent your interests only, meanwhile selling and buying property, which makes it very doubtful that they can truely act purely on your behalf. In fact there is an inherent conflict of interest  if they have a property on offer that they want to introduce to you (Thai however, have no understanding of the notion of conflict of interest, both in business and in politics).


Examples of malpractices by agents are:

  • Vulture practice: The urge to quickly grab commissions is so large, that some people simply drive around to pick up phone numbers of properties and try to sell them to someone they know. Often, they even destroy or take away the original signs of the landowners because they want to prevent potential buyers from contacting the owner by themselves.

Vulture practice: sign by owner advertising sale of land with phone number made nearly invisible

by someone who wants to prevent others from contacting the owner.

  • Upmarking: You intend to sell a property for say 1 million baht. The agent finds a buyer and tells him/her that the price is 1.2 million baht, but does not inform you about this. The difference, 200,000 baht goes into the agent’s pocket. Reminder: always connect directly to the other party to verify information.
  • Wrong information: The agent tells the buyer that renovation of a condo in a certain way is possible, for example extension of the wall onto the balcony. But after the condo is sold, the buyer finds out that it’s not allowed by the management of the building. Reminder: always check the sources directly yourself.
  • Double commission: In Thailand, it’s common that the seller or landlord pays commission to the agent. The buyer or tenant normally doesn’t pay commission. However, in some cases the agent may double charge.
  • Wrong term: The agent brings a tenant to a landlord. The tenant intends to stay 6 months, but the agent tells (the tenant to say to) the landlord that the term is 1 year so as to get more commission.
  • Not sharing / paying commission: When two agents work together to make a deal happen, they are supposed to share commission. For example, agent A has the seller as a customer, agent B has the buyer, and they find each other through the contact of the two agents. After the seller pays the commission to agent A, agent A is supposed to pay out half of the commission to agent B, but agent A doesn’t do that. This happens a lot and is a major reason why most agents in Chiang Mai simply don’t trust each other and therefore don’t cooperate. Typically, agents in Chiang Mai work alone or only with a few other agents that they know and trust. Owners also sometimes don't pay agents after introducing a customer that leads to a deal, claiming that they already got the contact through somewhere else.

Above examples are just a few of how you can suffer from very common agency practices. As a general rule, always be careful whom you work with and what you agree with them. Also, double-check with any buyer, seller or tenant if what you have agreed with the agent is the same as the information the agent has conveyed to that person.


If you need help, contact us. CM Locator does not hold any portfolio of properties, our only aim is to help you with Property advice.


Copyright: Chiang Mai Locator
DISCLAIMER: Any information about property on these pages reflects the personal opinion of our financial reporter and is meant purely informatively. No claim is made as to the exact accuracy of facts and figures nor about any future returns you can make by investing in property in Chiang Mai. Investing or di-vesting Thai property is not without risk, and the risk is to be assumed by you as an investor, and you only. Neither our financial reporter nor this site accept any responsibility to your financial decisions, which you make alone.


Leave a comment

Your Name or Pseudo
Your Email (not displayed)

Nomad Guides Chiang Mai
Get a 1-year Thai visa from overseas
Tulou Chinese Restaurant
Save up to 89% on banking fees wiring money internationally
Rent an apartment in Chiang Mai
Latest members (All our Members)
Chiang Mai Communities
arafat tutu
100% lost loves spells - marriage broken relationship+27710570936‎
Maama Tutu and Dr Arafat Love and Marriage spell call +27710…
arafat tutu
Traditional Herbalist Healer - love Spell Marriage Spells+27710570936‎
Maama Tutu and Dr Arafat Love and Marriage spell call +27710…
arafat tutu
Success Magic Business Spell Caste Call +27710570936
FINANCIAL PROBLEMS +27710570936 Looking for jobs increase …
arafat tutu
Lost Love Spells - Get Your Ex Back‎ +27710570936
Love spells and broken relationships contact Maama Tutu +277…
arafat tutu
Best Female Spell Caster - Lost Love Spells Expert@+27710570936
Maama tutu and Dr Arafat love spells @+27710570936 This lov…
arafat tutu
Sandawana oil for money/business/lucky +27710570936
Maama Tutu +27710570936 Sandawan Oil and skin: A high conse…
arafat tutu
Expert Woman Healer - Sangoma And Native Healer +27710570936
Maama tutu and Dr Arafat love spells @+27710570936 This lov…
arafat tutu
Noorani Magic Ring Sangoma And Traditional Healer +27710570936
The magic ring or wallet can help in the following: do you n…
arafat tutu
Wealthy Magic Wallet To Bring U Money Everywhere +27710570936
The Magic Money Wallet Doctor +27710570936 has got strong cu…
Russell Strand
שלום אני ראסל Strand לעבוד כבלוגר בא…
Mama Shamie
Lost love spells caster / psychic healer +27737053600
World’s no.1 female lost love spells caster Mama Shamie +2…
Mama Shamie
African traditional healer with black magic +27737053600 lost love spells caster
Lost Love Spells Caster /Spells Caster In Johannesburg,Canad…
Admin Locator
Chiang Mai Toastmasters Club
Speak English, Build confidence, Conquer your fear, Master t…
James Graneria
Chiang Mai Social Group Of Friends
Do you want to meet up with fellow peers in Chiang Mai? Are …
Peter Cook
Mahasiddha Yoga ( - Just north of the…
Simon Laroche
Language Exchange
Free of costs language exchange between farang and Thai…
Admin Locator
Couchsurfing Chiang Mai
Weekly meet up with local Thai and Couchsurfers, long stayer…
Steve Kramer
Chiang Mai Fencing Club
Dedicated to the sport of Fencing, playing Foil, Epee, and S…
Admin Locator
Latin Tunes @Meridien
Salsa lovers gather at the Meridien, salsa in style, every l…
Admin Locator
Salsa @Sahara
Salsa dance lovers swing it out on Thursday at Sahara, Nimma…
Admin Locator
Bird Watchers
Regular outings for bird lovers…
Admin Locator
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transsexual group (LGBT)
Our LGBT group aims to allow friendships between both Thai a…
Admin Locator
Monday Jam night @ Boy Blues Bar
Every Monday night is Jam night at Boy Blues Bar Bar. Many f…
Admin Locator
First Northern Thailand Toastmasters Club The Confidence Builders
Meets the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month at 6pm. 053-21…
Admin Locator
MahJong group
Saturday mornings 10 am. Contact Ruth at 085-615-1413…
Admin Locator
Hash House Harriers: CSH3 (Saturday mixed Hash)
Mixed family hash runs every Saturday. Pick up point is The …
Admin Locator
Support group open to those affected by alcoholism in a rela…
Admin Locator
OA (Overeaters Anonymous)
Every Saturday from 4-5 p.m. Please ask the guards or nurses…
Admin Locator
Film Space
Every Saturday night screening at 07.00 pm (Free Admission!)…
Admin Locator
Expat Club
General Meetings on the 4th Saturday of the month, except De…
Admin Locator
Open night @ Sangdee
All are welcome to perform. Sirimangkalajarn Soi 5 from 8 PM…
Admin Locator
Meditate with the Green Papaya Sangha
In the tradition of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. T…
Admin Locator
Pool League
Every Friday at 9pm at participating bars in a home and away…
Admin Locator
Chiang Mai Expats Club Coffee Morning
Coffee meetings are on 1st and 3rd Friday of each month Frid…
Admin Locator
Alliance Francaise Films
Alliance Francaise Films: Every Friday at 8 PM…
Admin Locator
Trinity Baptist Church
Meeting for old-time worship and fellowship with Dr. Jack L.…
Admin Locator
Traditional 2nd hand market
A Traditional 2nd hand market - Every Saturday morning from …
Admin Locator
Big Day Out
1st Sunday of every month. Live music and BBQ, 080 1222561…
Admin Locator
New Beginnings group of Alcoholics Anonymous
Open meetings at 10:00am on Sundays.…
Admin Locator
International Group of Alcoholics Anonymous
Chiang Mai International Group of AA meets every morning at …
Admin Locator
Classic Cars of Lanna
Meets the last Sunday of every month…
Admin Locator
Every Sunday 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm We have bats and gloves… ju…
Admin Locator
Alcoholics Anonymous
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. Info: 084-485-0100, chi…
Admin Locator
Salsa dancers
Salsa dance lovers swing it out on Tuesday at Coffee Monster…
Admin Locator
“Informal” Expats Ladies Lunch
“Informal” Expats Ladies Lunch: The lunch buffet at the …
Admin Locator
“Formal” Expats Ladies Lunch
“Formal” Expats Ladies Lunch: First Thursday of every mo…
Admin Locator
Nicotine Anonymous
Nicotine Anonymous: Wednesdays and Saturdays, 1 p.m., 086-19…
Admin Locator
Quiz Night @ Garden Bar Lotus Hotel
Quiz Night at the Garden Bar Lotus Hotel Chang Puak. Teams o…
Admin Locator
Chiang Mai Photographic Group
Chiang Mai Photographic Group: meets every other Wednesday a…
Admin Locator
Open Microphone Night
Open Mike Night at the UN Irish Pub every Wednesday, from 8.…
Admin Locator
Co-dependants Anonymous
Co-dependants Anonymous: Support group for those having prob…
Admin Locator
Friends of Bill
Friends of Bill meeting (General 12 Step meeting, all addict…
Admin Locator
Swiss Lanna Society
Swiss Lanna Society weekly informal gatherings, 6:30 p.m. ev…
Admin Locator
Royal British Legion
Royal British Legion meeting has moved to Basic Line Hotel S…
Admin Locator
Badminton group meets every Tuesday from 2-4 PM at the Munic…
Admin Locator
Judo group meets at the MMA club near the Railways station o…
Admin Locator
Money Club
CM Money Club meets last Thursday of every month. Info: Don …
Admin Locator
CM Geeks
The Chiang Mai Computer Club meets every Tuesday. It is open…
Admin Locator
Chiang Mai International Rotary Club
The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club meets on Tuesdays a…
Admin Locator
On-location Sketching Group
On-location sketching group: Monday mornings from 8:00-10:30…
Admin Locator
Karate Practise
Karatedo Federation Wado-kaj organises free Karate practise …
Admin Locator
Tai Chi - Chi Kung
Every Monday and Wednesday 8am at Suan Buak Hat Public Park …
Admin Locator
Women's Book Club
CM's International Women's Book Club meets every last Monday…
Admin Locator
Gentleman's Club
The Gentleman's Club for real gentlemen and males approachin…
Admin Locator
Back to Basics Group of AA
Back to Basics Group of Alcoholics Anonymous meets Monday to…
Admin Locator
Hash House Harriers CH3 (male only)
Male runs every alternate week on Mon/Tue. Pick up from The …
Admin Locator
Jam night @ Boy Blues Bar
Swinging music with live jam, every Monday from 9pm…
Admin Locator
Ball hockey by CM Highlanders
CM Highlanders plays ball hockey every Monday.…
Admin Locator
CM Travel Club
Chiang Mai Travel Club gathers at Sangdee every 2nd Monday o…
Admin Locator
Upstairs at Sangdee
Performing artists every Monday at Sangdee. For those intere…
Admin Locator
Hash House Harriers CSH3
Mixed family hash runs every Saturday. Pick up point is the …
Admin Locator
Sri Sathya Sai Baba Group
Study and discussion group for CM devotees of spiritual mast…
Admin Locator
Gay and Lesbian Club
Regular meetings…
Admin Locator
Readers & Book discussion group
Monthly over lunch to discuss a previously agreed book, cmre…
Admin Locator
Dining Out Group
Once a fortnight, alternating between Asian and Western food…
Warren Lee
Racquet Ball
Though there isn't a proper racquet ball court in Chiang Mai…
Alan and Melanie Kornfield
Circle of Light
The Circle of Light Group is a reading & discussion group fo…
Roland Mogg
Chiang Mai Beach Volleyball Club
Welcome to CMBVC! We are one of Chiang Mai's most active spo…
Amy Dapice
Urban Sketchers Chiang Mai
Urban Sketchers is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rai…
Jenny Jung
Maum meditation
Maum meditation is throwing away the false mind,and is Chan…
Skylar Santian
New Life Foundation Thailand
New Life Thai Foundation is a unique international, mindfuln…
Cinlada Srisuparat
WED ZOUK BAREFOOT at Birds Nest Cafe
We would like to invite you all for our regular zouk meet up…
Ken Lang
Tons of Time!
Weight being a problem for us all these days, but truly bein…
Rod Savvides
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Chuan step by step.. Daily weekday classes every …
Claudio Caselli
Yin Yoga with Claudio
Price: 200B - Contact Claudio: 0847 744705…
The Yoga Tree Chiang Mai
This movement meditation practice is for anyone that is insp…
Natha Yoga
Esoteric Integral Yoga
The Esoteric Integral Yoga course is an in-depth course prov…
Soragarn Sangsai
Football Club
Football Chiang Mai - Football fan in Chiang Mai…
Ratthawisutth Klomchitt
Chiangmai AutoCAD Training
AutoCAD for Engineering and Architecture drawing training…
Documentary Arts Asia
Documentary Arts Asia Monday & Thursday Showings
The Documentary Arts Asia Theater has regular screenings of …
Income Tax discussion
How to legally claim tax rebate as a foreigner working in Th…
Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Backgammon
Anyone interested in forming a group?…
Elf B
Tantra Yoga Community
A unique course about the extraordinary spiritual adventure …
Chiang Mai Improv Theatre
We are all about PLAY! Come and regress to being 5 years old…
Laughter Yoga
A laughter yoga class and circle at the Yoga Tree Chiang Mai…
TEFL 360
TEFL Courses…
Bambi Rabid
Comedy Workshop
Think you're funny? We're looking for people who'd like to…
Jessie Q
Chiang Mai Jugglers and Prop Enthusiasts
Wanna meet and play with other Prop Manipulation geeks? Lear…
John Bales
Chiang Mai Chess Club
Welcome to Chiang Mai Chess Club…
Warren Lee
Squash Players Chiang Mai
There are 2 main groups of squash players in Chiang Mai. …
Warren Lee
There are a few groups in Chiang Mai that gather for salsa, …
Writers without Borders
If you're an expat in Chiang Mai, Thailand, or, more specifi…
The Yoga Tree Chiang Mai
An exploration of dance and movment, the BIODANZA way, of ho…
Steve XiengMieng
Green Papaya Sangha
Meditation in the tradition of Vietnamese Zen Monk Thich Nha…
Simon Laroche
Bridge Chiang Mai
Welcome to Bridge Club of Chiang Mai…