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.
Foreigners are allowed to buy freehold property in Turkey provided the following items apply:
- The property has a government Title Deed (Tapu) recorded at the Land Registry
- The property is located within a town development (Imar or Mevzi Imar Plani) area
- The property is not located close to military installations
- The land does not belong to the forestry commission
- The foreigner is of a nationality with reciprocal rights to buy.
Turkish Title Deed , called a Tapu, is an absolute right of ownership. A Tapu proves that the land has been officially recorded at land registry and ownership can not be contested. Unlike many other countries foreigners are able to purchase Turkish property freehold and in their name.
All property for sale in Kalkan is within a town development area, has land registry Title Deed and complies generally with the requirements for foreigners to buy. If you are interested in acquiring rural property please click here to link to the rural property webpage
Nationalities with reciprocal rights include all European nationalities. If you are unsure as to your status to purchase please contact us or click here to link to the approved nationality list
All the properties featured in our website (with the possible exception of some of the listings under rural property) have land registry 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 i.e. they are on the approved nationality list and the property is in a permitted area.
Under new rules from 2013 the process for military approval can now be waived in certain circumstanecs. The criteria requires that:
- The property being sold already has a foreign seller
- There has been an exchange of ownership to a foreigner on the plot number that the property stands after 05.05.2011.
Consequently it may require a check at land registry to determine whether the property you wish purchase will need a new military application on your behalf or not. In many cases we know from our previous sales.
If a new application has to be made then this is undertaken by the seller or their representative at the land registry with our assistance. The documents required are translated and notarised photocopies of the buyer and sellers’ passports and copy of the title deed. Timescales for the approval to be granted varies from time to time and from location to location (Kaş versus Fethiye for example). At the time of this update typically approval times are 6 weeks.
It is being advertised that it is now possible to buy a property in day in Turkey due to these changes. However as you can see it does depend on a number of factors.
Deposit and Contract
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 parties to sign the contract and return by scanned email.
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 3% 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.
Completion. Transfer of the Title Deed
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. In many cases buyer and/or seller will have arranged a power of attorney to their lawyer, agent, or someone they trust to represent them at the completion rather than travel to Turkey for this process.
On the day of the transfer of the Title Deed the balance of the contact will be paid to the seller. Buyers should be aware that escrow services are not common in Turkey. The balance is paid to the seller direct (gross) and both the buyer and seller have to bring their sale/purchase expenses with them or wire them to their own accounts in Kalkan for the completion. Most of the expenses have to paid out on or in advance of the deed transfer and are not cut from amounts by the solicitor on the middle as in many other countries.
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 with banking rights 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. For UK citizens, a power of attorney can also be easily arranged from the UK – please contact us for further details.
The level of stamp duty (property transfer tax) is payable at 4% of the the title deed value and this is generally shared as 2% buyer and 2% seller. This tax is subject to change (was formerly 3% then 3.3%) and we or your or solicitor can confirm how it will be at the time of your purchase.
Turkish solicitors in this area generally charge from £500 for conveyance and an additional £350-£500 to complete the purchase process with power of attorney. A power of attorney costs on average 600TL at the Turkish Notary. A power of attorney arranged in the UK will cost approximately £600.
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. We undertake this service for our buyers using the reputable insurance companies of Allianz or Anadolu Sigorta.
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. In 2017 the utility transfer costs are 25TL for water and 250-1050TL for electric.
In Turkey it is usual for the buyer to pay an agency fee of 3%. At Black Lion we waive this fee for new build properties but we still charge it for resale property. Overall therefore buyers will pay between 3.5% and 6.5% on top of the purchase price to complete their purchase.
Post purchase, most foreign owners should undertake a Turkish will. Whilst property in Turkey will not revert to government ownership on death (provided there are next of kin), there are differences in Turkish inheritance law and foreign owners should ensure they set up a will to distribute their assets according their wishes rather than standard interitance law. Your solicitor will be able to assist you further on the subject of wills, which are undertaken through the Notary Public once the deed is on your name.
For more information on buying property and frequently asked questions, click here to link to our Buying FAQ’s webpage
Research the Property Market
Research your choice of location. Visit property web sites 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. Kalkan is one of Turkey’s more exclusive destinations and you will find property prices higher than in some other Turkish locations.
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 although very limited in scope and relatively expensive- please contact us for the very latest information.
Generally it is not necessary to have access to large amounts of money for deposits when in Turkey as a reservation 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. Most UK banks will accept a faxed transfer authorization but you need to arrange this with them prior to your visit. Like wise 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 property web sites and brochures can give a lot of information they can not replace an inspection trip. Whilst we generally do not offer organised trips (except for the Lavanta Development), we can assist in arranging flights, airport transfers, and accommodation and offer financial assistance to cover the expenses of the your trip. Please see our viewing trip webpage for more information.
Book An Appointment
If Kalkan property is on your viewing list, please arrange an appointment to meet with us in our office. This will ensure that we are able to give you the best possible service, by allocating plenty of time to answer your questions and assist you in identifying the properties matching your requirements. We can then view your selected properties in a professional manner.
Currently many of our properties for sale are also holiday rentals. This can make access very difficult during the summer months but the earlier you let us know that you wish to view the better chance we have of arranging entry.
You will be under no pressure to make a decision to buy when in Turkey, but should you want to proceed with a purchase whilst you are here, please check you financial position before you arrive.