*Mike S*What a great site! My question is how you went about finding land. Did you use a broker?
>editor: For the last piece of land I did use a Thai broker. For other pieces I was able to go direct to the owner.
>Although the brokered deal turned out OK, brokers for the most part are a pretty slimy bunch. OK, sure you can’t say that about every single one, and it is partially the system to blame.
>The common practice here is to find out how much the owner wants for the land. Then the broker adds his own mark up. So the official estate agents fee of 3% really doesn’t mean much. You can ask your broker and he will swear up and down on a bible that he is only getting 3%.
>What it all comes down to is there may be a huge mark up on the piece of land the broker show you. I have to somewhat temper my comments previously about farang real estate agents. [farang real estate agents are expensive](http://coolthaihouse.com/blog/?p=95 “farang real estate agents”). It is a very common practice here, which I would say historically the farang agents just picked up from the Thai agents. It is one of those ‘everybody does it’ things.
>There is virtually no way to find out if your agent is unethically padding his pocket. You might ask, what is the difference? If I buy the land and the price is right, what do I care how much the agent makes? wrong o…… This is a hidden charge that interferes with you finding out the true cost of land, it is misinformation since the agent represents his share is 3% and is just downright wrong.
>There are some strategies to ‘cut the agent out’ of the entire equation, but I won’t go down that path. The ending advice is to do your own research, use the services of multiple agents (ie. don’t rely too heavily on the information from any one particular agent), get to know an area well that your interested in.
>One thing which is perfectly legitimate though, is if you target a specific piece of land that you are interested in (before involving a broker), you can find out who the owner is via the land office and go direct to him.
>I am going to be posting more specifically on my land search and transfer adventures at a future date.