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Buying Procedure

Buying a Turkish property is a smart decision and simple if you take things slowly, ask lots of questions, read around the subject and make sure you take legal, professional and financial advice.

The following steps apply to anyone who is considering a property investment in Turkey whether it is for a retirement home, a holiday home or investment property.

1. Decide why you are buying
Before you even think about looking at brochures, visiting property exhibitions or searching the Internet, take the time to rehearse exactly what it is you are looking for. This may sound basic, but the reasons for your purchase will affect all the subsequent decisions that you have to make. Some people buy property purely as an investment; others want to relocate, some want a second home on the sun.

2. Choose your location
If you are looking for investment property in Turkey, for example, it is important to choose a property of the type and location that will give you a maximum return. As a general rule, properties by the coast attract higher rental incomes. If you want a property to retire in Turkey to, consider buying somewhere further inland to get more for your money and think about how far you are prepared to travel for shops and other amenities. If you plan to make a permanent move and take up employment in Turkey you may be more interested in Antalya property, that is close to the major population centers.

3. Decide your budget
There are no hidden costs but only additional costs when you buy property in Turkey. As a general rule allow 8% to 9% (slightly more for off-plan properties) on top of your purchase price, to cover various buying taxes, 3% agency commission and lawyer legal fees.

4. Do your research and consult an Agency
Once you have a clear idea of what you want to buy and where, spend some time on detailed research. Magazines, Sunday supplements books, guides and the Internet are all useful sources of information and it's a good idea to visit a few property exhibitions and consult an Agency.

5. Visit in person
Never buy any property without making a personal visit at least twice. While you are there, spend some time in the immediate area, get to know people, ask questions and find out what the local amenities are like. See how the environment changes throughout the day. Are there busy times where traffic becomes a problem? Is there a noisy bar or club nearby? Where's the nearest hospital ?

6. Find a lawyer
Turkish property law is not complicated but make sure you have a good local lawyer to look after your interests. Be aware that under Turkish law only the person named on the title deed has the right to sell the property and that some investors have been tricked into paying large sums of money to people who were merely tenants of the property.

7. Negotiate terms
Once you've chosen a suitable property, the price and conditions will need to be agreed. It is quite acceptable to make an offer subject to mortgage approval and, for properties that are still being built, you'll want to agree a schedule of stage payments rather than pay the whole amount up front. If you have not already appointed a lawyer, you can do this now before entering into an agreement enforced under Turkish law.

8. Be prepared to act quickly
The property market in Turkey is buoyant and properties can sell extremely quickly. Assuming you have done your research and have appointed a lawyer; be prepared to make a fast decision and back this up with a deposit to secure the deal. The deposit can be made in cash or by credit card. Avoid the temptation to pay by cheque as this can take up to 10 days to clear - ample opportunity for a rival investor to step in with a cash deposit.

9. Exchange contracts
With the offer accepted and the deposit paid, the next step is to exchange a real estate sales contract, 'Satis Sozlesmesi' which states the agreed price and what is to be included in the sale. There should always be two original copies issued one to the buyer and the other to the seller. This usually happens the same day from the offer being accepted and its where your lawyer really starts to earn his money by making sure that there are no outstanding debts attached to the property, for which you may be liable.

10. Final completion
Final completion takes place when the title deeds are signed before a Government Tapu Official and you pay the balance of the purchase price. The signed deed is lodged with the land registry book and your lawyer will take care of the remaining formalities such as payment of the relevant transfer taxes.


GUIDANCE FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS WHO WISH TO BUY IMMOVABLE PROPERTY (REAL ESTATE) IN TURKEY

This guide is prepared to assist foreign nationals to avoid problems in buying immovable property (real estate) in Turkey. However, the guidance should not be considered a substitute to necessary professional consultancy service.

1. Legal Basis:

Real persons of foreign nationality can buy property in Turkey . Information on the names of the countries whose citizens can buy immovable property (real estate) in Turkey can be obtained either from the Turkish diplomatic and consular missions abroad or your country`s diplomatic and consular missions in Turkey. Real persons of foreign nationality are advised to take due notice of the following points in order to avoid incurring loss when buying immovable property.

2. Official drawing up of contracts:

According to effective Turkish legislation, official contracts transferring ownership of real estate must only be drawn up at the Land Title Registery Office where the immovable is located. It is possible also to sign, in the presence of a notary public, a “promise-to-sell” contract prior to the official sale.

Acquisition of ownership of the immovable, the sale contract of which is concluded, can take effect only after registration at the Land Title Registery Office.

3. Military approval
Details of the property and you (the purchasers) get forwarded to the Land Registry Office. An official transfer application is made and all documentations get sent to the Army for approval. This is to check that the property is not located in a restricted zone for foreign purchase etc. Approval normally takes 2 - 3 months . Cost is aprrox 1.500 – 2.000 TL

4. Title Deed Transfer (Tapu)

Once military approval has been granted, the title deeds are re-issued into the new owners name and forwarded back to the local Land Registration office who, in turn contacts your agent. It is at this point that the last payment gets paid to the vendor/builder and the deeds are collected. Your agent or solicitor can pick up your deeds on your behalf if you have given them power of attorney. Your title deed can then be kept in a safe place pending your next visit.

Buying Costs

Main Property Purchasing Costs

1.Purchase tax:

4% on the ‘declared’ value of the property to be paid to the government. As house prices are set by the City Council for taxing purposes, their valuation is much lower than the actual purchase price This is a one off payment and it is due once the TAPU is received.

2.Map search:

2 maps are needed. The first is a map of where the property is located and is sent to the Army. This costs approx. 60 Euro. The second is a 1/5000 map used in the title deed process. This costs approx. 600 Euro but price varies for different Municipality areas.

3.Title deed registration:

50 Euro registration of title deed in your name. This is paid only once.

Please note, The charges for purchasing can differ from region to region. it is therefore difficult to give a detailed and complete picture of the final cost involved.

Additional fees

Utility Registrations

Water and Electricity to be transferred into your name – approx. 200 Euro

Compulsory Government Building Insurance (DASK):

This insurance has been compulsory since 2000 and costs approx. 60 Euro a year depending on property size.

Real estate tax

An annual property tax is collected by the municipalities (i.e. local governments) at the rate of 0.3% for land and 0.1% for a house. This can be paid annually or in two payments, one in May and the next in November.

5. Legal Restrictions on Sale of Real Estate to Foreign Nationals:

A. Foreign nationals can buy immovable property in Turkey, as a work place or private residence, provided that the legal restrictions are observed. However, the total area of the immovables purchased by a foreign national may not exceed 30 hectares even if the immovables are in different localities.

B. Permission has to be obtained from the military authorities of the region, through the Land Title Registry Office, before the purchase of an immovable. Sale to foreign nationals of immovable property located in a military security area is prohibited by law, and it is important to clarify this matter before any payment is made.

6. Practical Information:

A. Real persons of foreign nationality should submit them the following documents to Land Title Registry Offices when acquiring immovables;

- Identity document or passport,
- Foreign nationals whose acquisition of property is subject to a valid residence permit: Residence permit issued by the relevant police department,
- If they wish to act on the basis of a power of attorney issued abroad (i.e. outside Turkey), the original or certified copy of the power of attorney together with a certified Turkish translation.

B. Before a real estate sale contract is drawn up, an inquiry should be made at the relevant Land Title Registry Office as to whether such immovable is subject to restricted real rights, mortgaged, or any other situation exists which prohibits its sale.

C. Foreign nationals who wish to buy real estate in Turkey are advised,

- not to sign legally binding sales contracts or make any payments before obtaining information at the correct Land Title Registry Office about the immovable involved,
- not to initiate procedures before investigating the sales persons or agencies involved, and to refrain from conducting business with persons or agencies who are not able to provide sufficient proof of their credibility.

In case of a disagreement concerning the sale or purchase, the matter has to be referred to the judiciary, and a lawsuit has to be filed with the Turkish courts. It is not possible for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Turkish diplomatic missions to interfere in the judicial process.