Buying property in Turkey is a safe and easy process provided buyers use the services of a reputable estate agent and solicitor. Buyers should be aware that the recent popularity of Turkish property has encouraged the growth of internet companies, giving the appearance of reputable and qualified agents, as well as opportunists, selling property from bars, restaurants and even the back of taxis. So check the credentials of your agent and be careful from who you buy.
The Right To Buy Freehold Property In Turkey
Foreigners are allowed to buy freehold property in Turkey provided the following items apply:
Turkish Title Deed, called a Tapu, is an absolute right of ownership. A Tapu proves that the land has been officially recorded and ownership can not be contested. Unlike many other countries foreigners are able to purchase Turkish property freehold and in their name.
Nationalities with reciprocal rights include all European nationalities. If you are unsure as to your status to purchase please contact RestProperty via the contact page.
All the properties featured in our website have proper Title Deed and can be purchased free hold by foreign nationals.
The buying process in Turkey is very similar to that in many other European countries with a deposit paid on contract and a balance payment on transfer of the title deed.
The only anomaly of the Turkish process is the requirement for a “military approval”. Whilst this sounds dramatic, it is simply a process that has to be undertaken, to ensure that the buyer is purchasing a property for which they have a right to buy. Once the deposit has been paid the application is made by the seller or their representative. A translated and notarised photocopy of the buyer and sellers' passports and details of the property are submitted. The approval is granted approximately 6-8 weeks later, after which the sale can complete. We advise that you check with us for accurate time scales for the approval process as this varies from time to time and from location to location.
Once a sale is agreed, a purchase contract will be drawn up for the buyer and seller to sign and the deposit is paid. On signature of the contract and payment of the deposit the contract becomes binding on both parties. If following the payment of the deposit the buyer decides to pull out of the agreement the deposit will be forfeited. If following the payment of the deposit the seller decides to pull out of the agreement the deposit is refunded and penalty clauses apply. The level of deposit varies from property to property but as a general rule 10% applies.
Contracts should ideally be signed by buyer and seller face to face in the presence of the Turkish solicitor. However this is not always possible and it is acceptable for the buyer to sign the contract back in their home country witnessed by a local solicitor or notary public.
The use of reservation deposits is also common, with a small amount of money paid in order to remove the property from the market for a given time. This timeframe, usually three to four weeks, gives all parties a breathing space, in which to complete the conveyance and check the terms of the contract fully before signing and paying the contractual deposit. A reservation deposit is usually 2% and paid to the agent as guarantor for both parties (buyer and seller).
Property purchased off plan or in construction may have different payment schedules with interim or stage payments common place.
As a general rule, payment terms and purchase price go hand in hand with property price negotiation. You will therefore need to know the time scales you require to release or organise your finances when making an offer.
At completion both buyer and seller must meet in person at the local land registry office for the transfer of the title deed. This process usually takes place in a day and the solicitor and/or agent will oversee the proceedings. Foreigner buyers are required to have an official translator present to certify the registration.
On the transfer of the title deed the balance of the contact will be paid to the seller. In small towns such as Kalkan, the use of solicitors’ escrow accounts or agents’ accounts is not common place. The money will be put on security with the bank and released to the seller once the title transfer has been confirmed. In larger cities solicitor firms may offer escrow account services but buyers should be aware that this is not generally the case.
The easiest way for foreigners to buy is to give power of attorney through the Turkish Notary Public to their solicitor. Many forms of power of attorney are available to cover every circumstance but the general power of attorney to buy a property is most common. With power of attorney the solicitor can, with the buyer’s authorisation, sign the purchase contract, administer bank accounts for payments and act on behalf of the buyer for the completion process and formalities.
Power of attorney can be given to the solicitor in sole or multiple names depending on how many owners names will be recorded on the title deed. If a property is to be purchased in joint names then both buyers must be present in Turkey to give power of attorney.
Stamp duty is payable at 4% (formerly 3.3%) of the the title deed value and this is generally shared as 2% buyer and 2% seller. We or your solicitor can give advice as to how much the stamp duty will be.
A power of attorney costs on average 550TL at the Turkish Notary.
It is a requirement for completion that the property has government DASK insurance. This insurance covers 20% of the rebuild cost of the building in the event of an earthquake. After completion buyers should take out additional private insurance to increase the level of building cover for all risks and to insure the contents.
After completion the buyers should register the property with the local authority for payment of council and rubbish tax. Buyers also need to transfer the water and electric accounts with the utility companies and they levy a charge for this service. These processes can be completed by your solicitor with power of attorney.
On average the total buying costs for a property work out at an additional 3% to 6% of the agreed purchase price. The total buying cost will depend primarily on:
Post purchase, most foreign owners should undertake a Turkish will. Whilst property in Turkey will not generally revert to government ownership on death, there are differences in Turkish inheritance law and foreign owners should ensure they are protected. Your solicitor will be able to assist you further on the subject of wills, which are undertaken through the Notary Public.
Research the Property Market
Research your choice of location. Browse through properties on our website to get an idea of what properties are available in different locations and at what price. Then decide which combination of location, property type and price is most suitable for you.
Organise your Finances
Whether you plan to visit Turkey to buy or just to conduct some research, you need to know your financial position.
If you are buying with borrowed money speak to the lender and get a written confirmation of the amount you can borrow and the time scales involved. Turkish mortgages are an option for foreign buyers – please contact us for up to date information.
Generally it is not necessary to have access to large amounts of money for deposits when in Turkey as a reservational deposit will suffice. If however you do need access to your money during your visit, before you depart, check the time scales involved to release it from your account and transfer it to Turkey. Likewise deposits can be made with a cash advance on a credit card, but you will need to inform your credit card company before you fly.
Arrange An Inspection Trip
Whilst websites and brochures can give a lot of information they can not replace an inspection trip. RestProperty can arrange flights, airport transfers, and accommodation and offer financial assistance to cover the expenses of your trip. Please see our inspection trip webpage for more information.
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