Below is a summary of the buying procedure for property in Turkey. The most important factor is to work with a well established agent who will guide you through each step of the process.
Many people buying property in Turkey are buying for investment, some looking for a holiday home with the aim of also making a little money and others as a dedicated investment that they may never even visit. It is essential that potential buyers of property in Turkey understand the procedures as it is a new country with regard to overseas property investment.
Buying property in an emerging market such as Turkey is very different from buying in a more traditional market like Spain, where millions of buyers already own homes from all corners of the world. In Spain the procedures are tried and tested and every notary is well experienced. However, in Turkey this is not the case and the lack of experience and firm procedures may lead to delays and confusion.
In Turkey there are some potential pitfalls as many properties do not have titles or planning permission or have simply been constructed illegally. In 2004 the Turkish Daily News reported 600,000 illegal homes in Istanbul alone. There are also various types of "title" available in Turkey giving different land ownership rights. For this reason and the fact that Turkey is new to the overseas property scene, it is extremely important to use a quality agent that can guide you through all the potential problems.
Once you have found your ideal property in Turkey and have decided that you would like to purchase you can usually expect to follow the procedure below:
The reservation contract takes the property off the market, usually for between 2 - 4 weeks, allowing time for the appointed legal advisor to carry out the required searches on the property in question. Usually a reservation fee of between €3,000 and €6,000 is paid at this point.
If you do not continue with the purchase due to a legal problem then you should contractually be entitled to a refund of the paid reservation fee, although this is not always the case. However, if you decide not to proceed owing to a change of heart or mind then it is standard that you will lose the reservation fee.
If you decide to proceed with the purchase then the reservation fee already paid is treated as part of the payment towards the property in question.
After the reservation contract is signed and the required fee is paid, you are presented with a report containing the findings of the legal checks. Subject to the report, you then sign the preliminary contract and at this stage you will be expected to pay the required deposit. On a resale property, this is typically 10% and on an off-plan (new) property you must expect to pay varying amounts of around 30%.
If necessary, at this point in the process the vendor is required to apply for permission for you to purchase a property in Turkey.
With off-plan property purchases in Turkey the buyer may be expected to pay a number of stage payments throughout the construction process.
Once all parties are ready to proceed the property sale is completed. The buyer pays the required tax payments and the final contract or deed of sale (Tapu) is signed. The signing of this document means that the land ownership is transferred to the buyer. This is usually done at the land registry office.
Once signed, the deed of sale (Tapu) is registered in the land registry.
Off-Plan Security For Buyers
In Spain and most other countries where full or part payment is made before the property is fully constructed, a bank guarantee must be in place to ensure that should the developer go bankrupt before completion of your property, your money is 100% safe.
In Turkey this is not a requirement and owing to the early stage of the overseas property market in Turkey and the comparatively immature banking systems such guarantees are either impossible or very expensive.
This makes it extra important to work with developers with proven track records and of substance that can offer quality property and run no risk of running out of capital during the construction phase of a project.
For current information and finance options available in Turkey then please visit our Turkey finance section.
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