Advice on Buying a Property in Turkey for Foreigners
Since 2004, foreigners have been buying a property in Turkey and statistics released by TAKBIS (Land Registry and Cadastre Information System) show that every year, increasingly more nationalities choose to invest in Turkish real estate.
Initially, sales were restricted to nationalities that had a reciprocal agreement with Turkey, but in 2013, the Turkish government abolished this rule which in turn boosted the foreign market even more. Property purchases in Turkey by foreigners have increased every year, and this figure will continue to increase in the years to come.
Buying Property in Turkey: Foreign Versus Turkish Buyers
The Turkish government has simplified the buying process for foreigners as much as possible, but due to logistics, there are still some differences in the procedure for Turks and foreign nationalities.
When a Turkish person buys property, payment and signing for title deeds (Tapu in Turkish) take two to three days. Foreigners usually complete the process in roughly five days, because of transferring the money from foreign accounts. This is factoring in two days for viewing and sales contracts and three days for money transfer and application for title deed. An exception to this rule is if military clearance needs to be obtained in which case, the process will take roughly 6 weeks.
2: Aftersales Service
When Turks buy a house, they want to complete as much of the process themselves, typically to save money but because they also know the system. Real Estate agencies are not offering any service after Tapu delivery for Turkish Citizens. However, foreigners don’t speak Turkish, don’t have knowledge about navigating offices and red tape procedures, and often seek support from their estate agent to complete aftersale services. This can include water and electric connection or name changes, residence permits as well as other house owner obligations such as paying council tax or carrying out maintenance.
The Buying Process
For foreigners buying property in Turkey, Antalya Homes Emlak A.Ş. offers a comprehensive service from sourcing properties to your requirements and budget as well as settling in and introducing you to responsibilities of home ownership in Turkey.
After completing a viewing trip, customers make a deposit on the property of their choice with a passport and 5.000 USD (or Euro). After notarising passports and obtaining tax numbers, we also prepare and notarise sales contracts with the help of a lawyer of your choosing. You can give power of attorney to a lawyer or to a representation to proceed on behalf of you at Notary Public.
At this point, if the customer wishes to open a bank account or use bank loan, we can also help with that, but importantly, we start the process with the General Directorate for Land Registry and Cadastre to have the Tapu transferred into the buyer’s name.
When we are notified that the deeds are ready for signing, full payment for the property needs to be transferred to the seller. (Example of Turkish title deeds.)
The Chamber of Commerce says real estate agents can charge 2% from the seller and 2% from the buyer. However, if a buyer buys an off plan or brand-new home from a construction company, they often waive buyer's commission rates.
Choose an Established Real Estate Agency
Unfortunately, many estate agents in Turkey have bad reputations because they cut corners and are dishonest with foreign buyers. So, you can hear different stories such as fraud, telling a lie, purchase expenses, additional costs and losing many. We have heard many stories of international buyers that have lost extremely substantial amounts of money, or they cannot rely on their estate agent for aftersales service.
Customers can check whether a real estate agent is legally allowed to operate, but also ask whether that company has experience with foreign buyers by asking for testimonials, of which you can read ours here.
Also, be aware of doing business with taxi drivers, receptionists, waiters or travel agents. Most normally have a brother, friend or uncle who builds and sells apartments, but they work on a commission basis and because they have no legally established business, have no interest in protecting the rights of buyers.
Our list of common questions and answers will be useful to any foreigner buying property in Turkey. Alternatively, to speak with an experienced sales representative via email, telephone or by visiting one of our local offices, contact us today.