Advices & Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying Property in Turkey
8 Useful Advice for Who Would Like to Buy Property in Turkey
Make a Deal with a Professional and Reliable Real Estate Company
First of all, the most important thing is to make sure you know the company and the people you are dealing with. Many people come to Turkey and meet a person who has a friend that is supposedly selling an apartment at a very reasonable price. The most important role of a real estate agent would be to help her/his customers avoid potential pitfalls.
So the first thing to do is to find a reputable Real Estate company that you can trust. You may google it for your search. The quality of the real estate website is the first indication of the level of competence of the company. That's a good start for you. Also, before your potential purchases, you can search about the company to see if anyone has anything negative reviews about them.
When you find a reliable real estate company, you should call them to get a feel for the buying process. The professional real estate company must be always courteous and answer all questions in a forthright manner. Most professional real estate agents, especially ones in tourist towns, should have at least one member of staff who can speak English fluently.
Request Inspection Tours
After choosing some properties that you are interested in, you can send an e-mail of inquiry to the company. It is important to get to know the area and decide whether it is the right location for you.
At this point, if the company offers you cheap accommodation and a day or two property viewing tours, you can book your trip.
Save Your Money
Some people think they can save money by not dealing with a Real Estate Company and it can end up costing them a lot more. For instance, you as the buyer, have no real way of knowing the correct market value of the property as it is not controlled in the same way as it is in the UK, for example.
So, with professional real estate agents, you can avoid the long and stressful journey of buying a property in Turkey. With a professional real estate agent, you can aware of all purchase expenses and save your money.
Get a Lawyer Support
There are also many things that can go wrong if you don't deal with a reliable Estate Agent, another thing you can do is to get your own independent lawyer support. Remember, the estate agent is acting on behalf of the seller as well as yours, so although they can draw up contracts themselves, it is still better to have that extra layer of protection from someone looking after your interests solely.
Again, you should do your research to find a reputable lawyer with who you can converse easily within either your own language or a common language such as English. Do not go with a lawyer with who you cannot communicate at a high level as this can lead to misunderstandings and you want to avoid them at all costs.
Although the Real Estate Agent has probably checked the "Title Deeds" do actually belong to the person selling the property, it is usually also done by the lawyer as a safety measure on your behalf. They will check the seller's information, that they own the property outright and that the property is not liable for any outstanding debts. This should be done before any deposit is paid.
At this point, you should also be asking how much are the maintenance charges for the property. If it is a simple residential property it should be quite cheap as you only pay for communal stair lighting and maybe garden cleaning but if it is a property on a site with a swimming pool, fitness area, etc then the prices will increase. That's a weighty matter that you should be aware of before purchasing.
Buying Off-Plan Property
Another potentially huge pitfall is buying off-plan properties abroad. You can actually save a lot of money by purchasing off-plan but you have to be wary. Some companies do not have the total money required to finish the building when each person agrees to buy and invests money does the project continues. In the real estate market where there are many new buildings going up this can be very dangerous.
There are some companies that are fully solvent and they only build when they know they have the money to complete the project. You should get these types of assurances from the company if you choose to buy off-plan and of course have any penalties written into the contract, just in case they fail to deliver on their promises.
Make Sure Whole Buying Property Process
After the Title Deed (tapu) of the property has been clarified, your lawyer, Real Estate Agent, and the seller will draft a contract clearly stating all the conditions of the sale. This should be as detailed as possible, with the times of payments clearly stated and any penalties for anyone not complying with the contract written and agreed upon. This is when you should pay your deposit.
You should check that the Estate Agent is bonded to hold the deposit and be careful not to pay too much too soon. (Read more about property purchasing in Turkey)
Before foreigners purchase real estate, it is necessary to obtain permission from the military authorities in the region. In the past, you had to apply to the headquarters in Ankara to do this and it used to take from 3 months up to a year. This meant that when it came to purchasing the property you would pay up to 90% to the seller and then the final 10% when you receive the title deed. However, there has been a change in the system recently and it is now done locally. So the title deed (tapu) is transferred usually between 2 and 4 weeks. This is great news for you and means you can pay a lower deposit as the seller doesn't have to wait so long for his final payment.
Control of Right of Succession
One last thing about purchasing a property in Turkey as you want to look into the inheritance rules that are in place as they may not be the same as your home country. It is probably a good idea to draft a will with your lawyer so that in the case of any death in the family the property will go to the person to whom you have chosen.
For instance, you could be married to someone who has a daughter neither of you has seen in 20 years for whatever reason. If your partner dies, the total property value may not automatically go to the grieving spouse but 50% of it could be due to go to the daughter. It is just something to bear in mind.
To sum up, you are cautious as long as you choose a good estate agent and lawyer and you make sure you are fully aware of every step of the procedure and ask questions as you proceed to clarify any issues. Hereafter you don't have anything to worry about and you can just enjoy your home in Turkey. In addition, if you consider buying a house in Turkey, you may visit our testimonials page.
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