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What not to do when buying a property in Turkey

21st March 2014

Buying a property in Turkey? Take a look at YellAli's guide to ‘What not to do when buying in Turkey’.

Turkey is a beautiful country with vast and stunning coastlines, incredible mountain views and a lovely climate. It offers many affordable properties in desirable locations, so it’s no wonder that each year thousands of us are choosing to buy here. 

But how do you buy a property in Turkey successfully?

Ali is here to give buyers some top tips - so don’t jump in without first reading our essential guide.

Finding your ideal property

1, Do not forget to do your research

As with any property purchase, especially if you are looking to let the property to holiday makers, it is important that you do your research on the area thoroughly.  Find out if the area is; 'on the up', are there new hotels?, restaurants?, hospitals? and other amenities available?. 
It is especially applicable if you are choosing to buy in rural areas or up and coming coastal areas to research the development, surrounding area and the potential demand for rental property before you buy. Or you could end up buying a property which is not in demand for rentals and not financially viable.

2, Don’t just look at one location

As they say; it’s all about ‘location, location, location’. It is a fundamental factor in understanding the potential of the property, especially if you are planning on living in Turkey.
You need to get answers to such questions like; is the necessary infrastructure in place? How close are the appropriate transport links, shops, restaurants, and schools?

3, Do not forget to compare prices

You should also try and see what similar properties in the area are being sold or rented out for. If you are considering buying a property for holiday lettings then this can give you an indication of the possible return you could expect to see when you come to sell or let the property.

Purchasing the property

1. Do not use a lawyer that is associated with the property developer or estate agent. 

You need to find an independent lawyer. Buyers can slip up, if they don’t have a truly independent lawyer who can carry out all the proper checks.

Firstly you need to make sure the title deed of the property or land is free of any debt, you can appoint a lawyer to carry this out. It is important you find a competent lawyer whom you can trust.

He will check if the property can be sold to a non-Turkish buyer. You will often be asked for a small reservation fee for the property. Your representative will need to draw up a contract between the seller and purchaser, included will be details of the completion date, payment schedule and terms and conditions.

Your contract should state that the purchase price includes all certification/name change fees/usage bills and no further costs will be payable. 

2. Off plan buyers – do not pay all the money upfront

For off-plan purchases, if the property is currently being built, only agree to make payments against actual delivery of the build, not an arbitrary date passing. Near the completion of your build hold some money back as leverage to ensure all work is carried out to your expected standards and the plans.

3. Do not assume that a signed Turkish contract is legal

You need to get this contract notarized and signed by both parties. You will need to have both a British and Turkish versions of the contract (or a bi-lingual contract) which is signed in the presence of a notary public. This will ensure that the contract is officially accepted by Turkish law and that the terms within the contact are binding for all parties.

4. Do not use a translator that is associated with the property developer or estate agent. 

It is always advised to seek your own independent registered translator for any legal documents, including a power of attorney. Using your own independent translator can help you to ensure you know what your signing when it comes to any important documents not written in English.

5. Do not think it will take months for military approval.

This process has now been simplified and today if any foreign owned property has already been military approved, any new foreign buyers do not have to re-apply for military approval. This new legislation means all foreign buyers (non Turkish Citizens) can obtain their title deeds much quicker from the Tapu office and dramatically cut the waiting time from 2-3 months to only a few days.

Please note: If the property owner is Turkish, then you have to apply for military permission.
This law applies to all parcels that have been previously cleared after 5 May 2011

Related Information

1. Are there any additional costs when purchasing a property in Turkey?

2. How do i find an estate agency in Turkey?

3. Are there any restrictions for a foreigner purchasing a property in Turkey?

4. Are properties in Turkey freehold?

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