Purchasing property in Turkey is a smart decision and simple if you: take things slowly, ask questions, read around the subject, and have an experienced real estate agent by your side working with you all the way.
The following steps apply to anyone who is considering to buy a property in Turkey whether for retirement, a holiday home or investment purposes.
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're 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're looking for investment property in Turkey, for example, it's 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're 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 4% various buying taxes, 3% agency commission and 2% lawyer legal fees. You can get a mortgage in Turkey and, for the latter, it is normal for banks to advance a foreigners loan of up to 50% of the declared value of the property.
4. Do your research
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.
5. Visit in person
Never buy any property without making a personal visit. While you're 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 other than your agent to look after your interest, a lawyer can also help. Lawyers will usually charge you 2% of the sale price of the property. 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.
8. Be prepared to act quickly
The property market in Turkey is buoyant and properties can sell extremely quickly. Assuming you've done your research; be prepared to make a fast decision and back this up with a deposit (usually around 1-2%) 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 conditions are 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.
10. Final completion
Final completion takes place when the title deeds are signed before a Government Tapu Official with the balance paid of the purchase price. The signed deed is lodged with the land registry book and your agent will take care of the remaining formalities such as payment of the relevant transfer taxes.