With the following information we want to explain in an understandable, transparent and clear manner what needs to be considered when buying properties in Turkey.
The 7 Most Important Points When Buying Turkish Real Estate
- Choosing the right property
- Visiting the respective real estate in Antalya, Alanya or Istanbul
- Negotiations with the owner about the final price
- Regulation for foreign nationals
- Drawing up and signing the purchase contract
- The walk to the Turkish notary
- Entry in the land registry
I. Choosing the right property
1. How do I search?
At the beginning there are fundamental questions, such as where do I want to live, which province (e.g. Antalya) do I particularly like and which type of property suits me. Basically, the following points have to be clarified:
- Which province?
- Which city?
- The right neighborhood?
- Type of property?
- How many rooms do I need?
- Do I want a sea view?
- What is my budget?
2. Which regions are particularly beautiful?
Turkey has a beautiful nature and something special to offer in almost all parts of the country. To narrow your search down a bit, you can e.g. orientate on the climate. Those who prefer mild temperatures in winter and long for long summer months with a lot of swimming in the sea have a large selection along the Turkish Riviera.
Antalya - Real estate in Antalya
Antalya is a large city with over 1.5 million inhabitants and an impressively beautiful nature with miles of beaches. The Taurus Mountains are in the background. You can ski in winter. Land is not necessarily cheap here, but you get a lot for your investment.
Alanya - Real estate in Alanya
Alanya is a beautiful city with 3,000 years of history, turquoise blue sea and also long sandy beaches. In addition to the excellent beaches, the resort offers its guests a wide range of entertainment options, sights and culinary delights. There are many shops, restaurants, discos and bars here.
Kas - Real estate in Kas
Holidaymakers with a penchant for history and culture get their money's worth when visiting the port city, because Kas also has a history that goes back thousands of years. In Kas you will discover many traces of ancient civilizations along the Lycian coast.
Kalkan - Real estate in Kalkan
Below the Taurus Mountains is the city of Kalkan in the Kas district and the province of Antalya. Kalkan is a seaside resort and has a historic old town. Strict building regulations have preserved the old Ottoman buildings in the city center. Therefore, only a few all-inclusive club complexes have been created in Kalkan to date. The usual mass tourism takes place in the coastal city only to a limited extent.
Fethiye - Real estate in Fethiye
Fethiye is an international city for vacationers from all over the world: Almost 10 percent of the residents are foreign citizens. The city lies on the slopes of Mount Mendos. The Taurus Mountains rise above the Gulf of Fethiye, some of which are over 2000 meters high and covered with snow on their highest peaks.
Istanbul - Real estate in Istanbul
Istanbul is the only city in the world that spans two continents. The city has a unique energy both with a 2600 year history and ranked 3rd among the most populous cities in the world. Istanbul is a kind of hub for business, politics, culture, art, religion, science and history for practically all matters of Turkey and some other countries and regions as well. Architectures from the cultures of the Romans, Greeks, Byzantines, Ottomans and Turks shape the historic old town of Istanbul, which is located on a peninsula. It is this old town around the world-famous Hagia Sophia mosque that UNESCO has included on the list of world cultural heritage.
II. Property inspections in Antalya, Alanya or Istanbul
1. What to look out for during viewing tours of selected properties?
Foreigners can buy real estate or property in Turkey in their own name. According to the current cadaster law, this must be within the boundaries of a municipality. There are a few details to consider before buying a property: such as complete clarification of the ownership structure, energetic condition of the house or apartment as well as construction quality and condition of the interior outfittings.
The transaction costs when buying property are also to be taken into account. These can consist of fees for a broker, notary fees, translation of identification documents and real estate transfer tax.
2. How do you determine if it is a high value property?
If you want to buy a high quality property, you should start with the three L! Location, location and location! High-value properties have a good location. Afterwards, it is important to assess whether the property as a whole deserves the rating of high quality or whether it is just a well-equipped average property. If a property stands out due to its location, equipment and architecture, this sometimes results in a price that can no longer be reasonably understood using the standard criteria of profitability calculation. However, it then is also reasonable to expect that the property - given it is well looked after - can be sold again at a high price in the future.
3. Questions that interested parties should ask
- What impression does the object have on me?
- What equipment is included in the price?
- Are significant projects or infrastructure investments planned in the area (in Istanbul, for example, the "Istanbul Canal", public transport, shopping malls or parks)?
- What is the recreational value in the surrounding area (e.g. parks, lakes, mountains, rivers and forests)?
- Which shops are on site?
- What is the medical care like?
The first inspection of a property should always be done with all your senses and preferably in daylight on a bright day.
III. Negotiations with the owner about the final price
1. How do I negotiate the best price?
Best price guarantees for real estate in Turkey?
Due to extensive brokerage the Timondro Network already offers best market conditions. Owners appreciate the sustainable customer satisfaction and efficient property sales transactions of their projects and homes. In return they are willing to offer bargains. We pass on price advantages to buyers with the aim of long-term customer loyalty. This is a reason for the success of the Network. The price guarantee adds value to the portfolios of our properties for sale in regions like Antalya, Alanya, Belek, Bursa, Fethiye , Istanbul, Kalkan, Kas, Kemer and Trabzon.
>> For properties with a "Best Price Guarantee" we guarantee the most economical offer available on the market <<
Basic negotiation options
On Timondro.com you will find the most competitive prices in the respective region. The real estate specialists from Timondro.com are also at your side during the negotiations with owners, property developers, other brokers and banks. In Turkey personal contacts, appearance and language (preferably in accent-free Turkish) still play an important role in price negotiations. Turks are sometimes willing to make price concessions to maintain a good relationship.
Checking the appropriateness of prices
In the Turkish property market, prices are particularly dependent on demand. The background is a strong construction sector with many jobs. For this reason, fluctuations in demand not so much in supply are the most important factors influencing prices. Real estate prices usually react with a delay of a few months. Turkey on the other hand has a well-functioning, dynamic property market, so that price adjustments can sometimes occur within a few weeks.
Value of the Turkish Lira
Changes in the exchange rate of the Turkish lira to the dollar and euro in particular have a direct impact on the property price in foreign currency. From a national perspective, if the Turkish lira falls in value, it loses purchasing power. Turkish real estate will then become cheaper for foreign investors.
Central bank monetary policy
The Turkish central bank can use the key interest rate to determine the financing costs of properties. This instrument is used to stabilize the economy and or trigger demand. When interest rates are low, loans are cheaper, which usually leads to more demand and thus rising property prices. The primary factor here is the level of domestic demand, since foreign citizens make up only a few percent of total transactions.
A look at the figures for 2019 shows that purchases by foreign citizens have been following a positive trend. According to TurkStat, the sale of properties in Turkey to foreigners rose by 14.7 percent compared to the previous year and totaled 45,483 properties as of 31 December 2019. Before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic and the associated flight bans, industry representatives agreed that foreign investment in the Turkish real estate market would continue to increase in 2020.
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages for home owners when paying in cash or financing?
- Advantages of cash payment
This means conducting the full payment of the purchase price by bank transfer, check or in cash. In this case, the possibilities for bargaining are greatest because the owner has the entire purchase price immediately at his or her disposal. When paying in cash, the incentive for owners to cut back on the final purchase price is therefore higher. As a result cash payments often result in the highest discounts.
- Advantages of Financing
Even with a lesser equity amount, acquisitions are possible, for example to benefit from a current offer. Lesser savings are required and capital in general and or profitably invested capital does not need to be touched.
- Disadvantages of financing
Apart from the financing costs and depending on the financing model (immediate 100% payment or in installments) the owner does not receive the full purchase price immediately. In this case, the discounts on the final price are usually lower than with cash payments.
3. How can I finance my property in Turkey?
- Turkish banks
Turkish banks generally also grant property loans to foreigners. As a rule, these must take carry an equity share of 50%. The conditions depend on the individual situation of the applicant. The creditworthiness is checked by proof of income (income statements) and or asset certificates.
- Timondro Network
Some properties can be financed through means of the Timondro network. Such offers exist mostly for newly built condominiums or apartments and flats that are still under construction and or newly completed. In these cases, the final funding is provided by the developer. With regards to projects under construction the focus is particularly on condominiums in:
New buildings in Alanya
New buildings in Antalya
New buildings in Bursa
New buildings in Istanbul
- Classic banks in the country of residence
If you would like to take out a loan in your home country, you can contact your house bank. Loan commitments for overseas property vary from bank to bank. Some banks do not engage in the financing of overseas property, others do. Experience shows that individual customer relationships with the house bank also play a role.
- Other financing options
Some Turkish banks are also active abroad and offer financing for Turkish real estate. However, the interest rates are sometimes significantly higher than with other forms of financing.
- Own property and or assets
In addition to financing through the Timondro network this is the most economical form of financing. In this case property you already own can be mortgaged to finance your apartment or a house in Turkey.
IV. Regulations for foreign buyers
1. What steps need to be taken? (Notary, tax number etc.)
Many dream of a house on the beach or a chic condominium in a big city by the sea or simply want to enjoy life in a new setting with lots of sun. The property purchase in Turkey can also serve as an investment by renting it out and holding it as an investment. With the right exit strategy the return on investment is high.
The acquisition of real estate in Turkey by foreigners is basically free and uncomplicated. Since the construction sector in Turkey plays an important role in addition to tourism, industry, services and agriculture, the processes are efficiently organized. There are a few key things to consider.
It is important to know that the purchase is governed by Turkish law regardless of the legal status of the buyer. This also applies to inheritances, even if the testator is a member of another state. The decisive factor is the location of the property.
The following steps should be taken when buying a property in Turkey.
- Drawing up the purchase contract
- Payment arrangements
- Signatures at the notary
- Preparation of appraisals - Mandatory report
- Representatives / power of attorney
- Required documents
- Processing at the land registry office
- Taxes and duties
- Sale / rental by foreigners
2. Who will take care of these things?
We will guide you through the legal and organizational steps involved in transferring ownership to your name. Basically, there are a number of legal issues to consider when purchasing. In particular, the final owner and the authenticity and completeness of the information provided must be checked reliably. Caution is advised with particularly cheap offers.
V. Purchase contract is drawn up
1. By whom?
There are standard purchase contracts in which the most important clauses are regulated. In the case of new buildings, attention should additionally be paid to the contractually guaranteed completion date(s). A tolerance of up to three months is commonly accepted and included in many contracts. The Turkish Chamber of Industry and Commerce regularly updates the model contracts for its members.
3. What should be included in the purchase contract?
After successful negotiations, everything that was agreed on should be written in the contract. The contract forms the basis for processing the sale and is intended to protect buyers and sellers from risks. What is decisive is the exact description of the property in question (by location or hall plan), the interior design, the sales price and any special clauses.
4. Should a lawyer be called in?
In addition to the consultation by property specialists from Timondro, you can also get advice from a lawyer. The lawyer can check the sales contract and point out other important items. The attorney can also make payments on your behalf if you are bound by time or do not want to return to Turkey at short notice. You can also give one of our property specialists the appropriate power of attorney if you do not want to bear the additional costs for a lawyer.
VI. The walk to the notary
1. Why involve a notary?
It is important to know that the legally effective transfer of a property takes place at the land registry and not at the notary. Notaries are not authorized to make entries in the land registry in Turkey. Nevertheless, they play an important role in the sale of properties. On the one hand, they instruct sellers and buyers about their rights and obligations arising from the purchase contract. On the other hand, they are obliged - and practice this conscientiously - to involve a sworn interpreter with foreign citizens. If the contracting parties - usually the responsibility of the buyer - have not appointed a sworn interpreter, the notary will call in an interpreter and the processing of the case will be suspended until then.
Despite the notarial certification, the sales contract signed by the notary only fulfills the function of a promise to sell or a written letter of intent, because, as stated above, the notary can not excecute the final purchase transaction for real estate under Turkish law. This sales promise does not offer sufficient protection against malicious intentions of the seller, despite notarial certification. In his own interest, the buyer should ascertain whether tax debts, mortgages or other charges in favor of third parties are registered for this property in the land registry. A competent property specialits or lawyer can also determine whether the alleged person or group of persons who act as seller are the actual the owners.
2. Legal basis for the involvement of a notary
There is no legal obligation to involve a notary, but a reputable owner - and buyers are advised to do so as well - will insist on it. Serious violations of the legal system can be detected by the notary, who also legally establishes the identity of the parties involved.
3. Who has to appear at the notary?
All contracting parties must appear. Alternatively, a representative can be appointed by a notary. Appropriate powers of attorney must in turn be issued by a Turkish notary. In this respect, the Turkish system is well thought-out and provides legal security in principle.
4. What documents are to be brought along?
- Original passport and notarized translation of the passport into Turkish
- Provisional tax number in Turkey
- 2 passport photos
- Proof of the home address in your home country by providing a gas / electricity / water / cell phone or telephone bill (not older than three months)
- If a representative is appointed: notarial power of attorney and identification documents of the authorized representative
5. What are the costs?
There are costs for the translation of your passports into Turkish, notary fees for notarizing the sales contract and fees for the sworn translator for non-Turkish-speaking buyers (optional authorization). As of March 2020, these total to around 2,500 TL (currently around € 360 or $ 379).
VII. Entry in the land registry
Why is this a requirement?
The real property sale takes place at the land registry in whose district the property is located. For the center of Antalya e.g. the land registry in Muratpasa takes the lead. The land registry checks whether all the requirements for the transfer of ownership between seller and buyer have been met. It should be noted that buyers who do not speak the Turkish language, comparable to the procedures at the notary, must have a sworn interpreter present. The purchase contract only becomes effective with the signature of the sworn interpreter. When all the formalities have been completed by the land registry, the land registry certificate (the title deed or in Turkish "tapu") is issued. The buyer is now officially registered as the owner and gets the title deed handed out. This is usually a very happy moment for everybody.
You need to go to the land registry with the documents listed below and state your intention to purchase a property. It is now only necessary to make an appointment in advance for mortgage-financed transfers (see below). For regular transactions appointments are not required anymore.
- Title deed
The owner of the property brings the currently valid land registry certificate or title deed with him. Currently valid because the certificates were changed to a new system some time ago and now contain additional information. In principle, old owners do not have to apply for a reissue of the certificate, unless the property is to be sold.
Both parties must be able to identify themselves with valid ID documents. An ID card or passport is sufficient. In the case of foreign nationals, the passport must be translated into Turkish by a sworn translator.
- Minimum value
The municipality in which the property is located indexes the minimum taxable value of the property. The sales price can not be lower than this value. The request is made automatically by the land registry. However, these values are generally far below market prices and therefore only play a role in transfers between relatives.
The seller must provide one and the buyer two current photos in the standard format 6x8 cm (2.36x3.15 in).
- Earthquake insurance
The purchaser needs to make an earthquake insurance for the property.
- Tax evidence for inheritance
In the case of transfers by inheritance, a tax clearance certificate must be submitted by the testator's tax office.
For mortgage financed porperty sales a prior appointment is required. You can make the appointment for example over the internet: Tapu Randevu Sistemi.
- Foreign citizens
In addition to the passport translated by a sworn translator, the ID documents of the sworn interpreter (who must physically be present at the land registry), the valuation report of a certified expert for the property at hand must be submitted. The selling price must not be significantly lower than the value specified in the mandatory valuation report.
- Feedback from the land registry
After having verified all submitted documents the land registry sends notifications by SMS stating the fees as well as the land transfer tax that need to be paid. This means that the documents submitted have withstood the verification by the land registry. The fees shown must be paid by bank transfer. Also by SMS - usually on the same day - you will then receive an appointment to reappear at the land registry for the final transfer of the property. The title deed for the new owner will be issued. And finally you do own a property in Turkey.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to - contact us.
Your Timondro team
As of April 11, 2020