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Guide to buying a property in Turkey, helped by our lawyers in Turkey

Guide to Buying a Property in Turkey

Updated on Wednesday 26th August 2020

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Buying a property in Turkey falls under Law No. 2644 of 2012, also known as the Land Register Law which provides for the conditions for purchasing any type of real estate: residential property, commercial property, agricultural land, or any other type of field. Foreign investors seeking to purchase real estate in Turkey are subject to certain restrictions which they can find with the Turkish embassies or consulates in their home countries. Information on the restrictions related to buying real estate in this country can also be offered by our law firm in Turkey. We can also help you with buying a property in Istanbul, the most important city in Turkey.
 

Finding a property in Turkey

 
Turkey is a large country with many areas where properties can be purchased. Foreign citizens can buy residential properties or land where they can build houses, while foreign investors have various choices depending on what their activities will be. It must be noted that foreigners who want to buy real estate in Turkey with the purpose of starting a construction on it must submit the project of the building two years before initiating the construction. The project will be submitted for approval with one of the Turkish ministries, depending on the purpose of the building. Our lawyers in Turkey advise foreign citizens to conduct a thorough real estate due diligence process in order to make sure the property is free of any debts or other technical problems, no matter of they are interested in buying a property in Istanbul or in other city.
 

Steps to buying a property in Turkey

 
The two steps for purchasing real estate in Turkey have been mentioned above: the first one is to find the property and then carrying out the due diligence process. Next, one should hire a lawyer in Turkey who can negotiate the sale-purchase contract on behalf of the buyer. It should be noted that in order to retain a property a deposit of 10% to 25% of the price must be deposited in a bank account. Then the final agreement can be signed. Before a new property title is issued, a preliminary request must be filed by the old and the new owners. The last step for buying a property in Turkey is for the new owner to file a request together with other documents with the Land Registry in order to have the property transferred and a new title deed issued.
 

Tips on buying real estate in Turkey

 
Foreign investors who want to buy properties in Turkey are advised to complete the following steps in order to make sure they have made the right choice:
 
  • when deciding to buy real estate in Turkey, visit the country in order to choose the right location;
  • discuss your options with a real estate agent with respect to the prices of properties;
  • hire a Turkish lawyer to check the property for any encumbrances, especially when it comes to a commercial real estate;
  • foreigners can purchase properties remotely by giving power of attorney to a lawyer;
  • foreign investors looking to buy land plots in Turkey must know that they can buy no more than 30 hectares of land;
  • foreigners must have an insurance policy (also known as Dask insurance) when buying a property in Turkey;
  • the real estate tax duty when buying a property in Turkey is set at 4.4% of the total value of the transaction;
  • other costs related to the purchase of the property are the registration and notarization fees which can represent around 1% of the transaction.
Here is an infographic with details about how to buy a property in Turkey:
 
 
How to purchase a property in Turkey1.png

 

Is an inspection trip necessary before buying a property in Istanbul?

 
Yes, an inspection trip is recommended for foreigners who want to purchase properties in Istanbul, and that to be sure about the acquisition. Because this option might not be at the disposal of an entrepreneur from abroad, we recommend you get in touch with one of our Turkish lawyers and ask for support in this matter. An inspection trip can be handled by one of our attorneys in Turkey, alongside a real estate agent experienced in this field. Such inspection has a preliminary status and shows if there are any problems with the property you wish to buy. In addition, a real estate due diligence is mandatory at the time of buying a property in Istanbul, and complete legal advice is offered by one of our Turkish lawyers.
 

Real estate due diligence in Turkey

 
Persons who do not have a clue about the real estate market in Turkey and need to buy a property will have to ask for professional support in matters of real estate due diligence. Such a procedure is quite recommended and that because the property is entirely verified. The real estate due diligence offers a complete report with information about the legal status of the property if there are any debts or lawsuits involved. Also, the construction licenses are verified with the local authorities, a part of the real estate due diligence procedure where one of our attorneys in Turkey can help. Here are some short details about the real estate due diligence procedure for properties in Turkey:
 
 
  • the complete documentation or the property can be analyzed by one of our Turkish lawyers;
  • our experts can verify if the property is involved in litigation or not;
  • also, the authorizations under which the property has been built are verified;
  • any encumbrances are normally detected at the time the real estate due diligence is made.
 
It is recommended to avoid any payment in advance and wait for the report revealed by the real estate due diligence. Let our team of lawyers in Turkey tell you more about the real estate due diligence process and the ways in which you properly purchase a property in one of the cities in Turkey.
 

How the due diligence is made


The specialist in the real estate field will go to the Land Registry or any other public registry where a property could have been registered and check the correct registration. The next verification will be related to an eventual leasing of that property and other obligations. If the investor is interested in buying land in Turkey, the real estate due diligence will include verification of the plans of the land at the local municipality. At the same entity, the specialist in real estate due diligence can verify construction licenses or any other licenses issued by the local authorities.

If the investor intends to construct buildings on a certain land, the checking will include the town plans and rules related to building. Other aspects to be checked are the tax obligations and environmental issues.

The purchasing of properties in Turkey is regulated by a few laws, such as: Law of Title Deed, Cadastral Law, Civil Code and Condominium Law.

Real estate in Turkey can be an attractive investment field due to the fact that Turkey is the 6th largest economy in Europe and has had a relevant economic growth in the recent years, despite the economic crises. Foreign entrepreneurs are encouraged to invest in Turkey, after the legislation has been modified and the Turkish authorities removed the reciprocity rule regarding the foreign citizens who are allowed to buy properties in Turkey.
 

Short facts about the real estate sector in Turkey

 
International investors are quite attracted by the real estate sector in Turkey and the business possibilities on the market, as the latest statistics for 2018 say. The political and economic stability of the country, being a great holiday destination and having the possibility of purchasing properties in the local currency are among the reasons for foreign entrepreneurs to choose Turkey for real estate investments. Investors from Russia, Kuwait, Iraq, Germany, and Iran are among the property buyers in Turkey. Istanbul, Antalya, Bursa, and Ankara are top cities in Turkey where the real estate investments are directed in a large percent. Below you can discover some important facts, and statistics about the real estate sector in Turkey:
 
  • the property prices in Turkey fell by 9.2%, throughout the year to November 2018;
  • real estate properties worth at least USD 250,000 come with Turkish citizenship;
  • 8% is the VAT rate for property sales in Turkey, down from 18% rate (available until the end of 2019);
  • approximately 6,276 properties have been acquired by foreigners in Turkey, in 2018.
 

Why ask for legal advice when buying a property in Turkey?

 
Some foreign investors might not have the time to deal with the purchase of a property in Turkey, and more than that, they can bump into all sorts of misunderstandings like the language barrier, legal aspects, documents, etc. Also, individuals wanting to buy a property in Turkey should pay attention to the potential frauds that might occur, especially if they do not have in mind asking for real estate due diligence. Such fears are normal, so the support of a Turkish lawyer is not only recommended but also mandatory, particularly for foreigners in Turkey. In order for you to properly analyze the market and minimize the risks, it is best to talk to one of our attorneys in Turkey and find out more about the support they can offer in terms of legislation, real estate due diligence, property contract and many more. The legal support of an experienced team of lawyers will play a big role for international entrepreneurs who do not have a complete picture about the legislation in the real estate field in Turkey and about how the deals are concluded.
 

Real Estate Law in Turkey

 
The Land Registry law regulates the purchase, sale and ownership of immovable property for foreign investors and those who want to make these types of acquisitions must know the legal basis for investments in real estate.
 
According to the real estate law, when purchasing real estate in the country the buyer must make a transfer of ownership from the owner. This is done at the Land Registry Office corresponding to the town or location of the property. The purchase process starts with a preliminary sale/purchase agreement concluded between the parties which contains the main conditions for sale and grants the parties some powers.
 
The sale agreement alone is not enough to transfer the ownership of the property. When making an application to the Land Registry Office, the buyer and the seller must present the following documents:
 
  • the title deed of the property;
  • identification documents;
  • the property value statement document;
  • earthquake insurance policy;
  • photos of the seller and buyer;
  • payment proof for the title deed fee and other taxes, if necessary.
 
The documents need to be translated and buyers can also use a power of attorney if they cannot be present themselves during the sale process.
 

Restrictions on real estate purchase in Turkey

 
The Turkish real estate law contains some restrictions on the type and area of land that can be purchased by foreigners. The restrictions are as follows:
 
  • purchase a maximum of 30 hectares of land;
  • property purchase is not possible in military areas and security zones.
 
Individuals who acquire a land that has no immovable property constructed on it must submit a plan for the development of real estate within two years of the purchasing the land.
 
For other issues related to real estate like mortgage for individuals or companies in Turkey you can submit an inquiry to one of our experts.
 

How to buy a property in Istanbul

 
Buying a property in Istanbul is not complicated, nonetheless, one should pay attention to the offers on the market before making a decision. The process of buying a property in Istanbul can be entirely overseen by one of our Turkish lawyers with experience in this important sector. A real estate due diligence is required before buying a property in Istanbul, and that to make sure the acquisition has no hidden problems or other issues. All the documents of a property in Istanbul will be attentively verified by our Turkish lawyers, so make sure you get in touch with us and ask for legal advice. Here are some details about the properties in Istanbul:
 
  • Luxury residences and villas are available for sale in Istanbul and are attractive to real estate investors interested in this sector.
  • Some offers on the market might not reflect the reality, due to false announcements. This is a case where you should talk to our specialists.
  • There are many facilities linked to complexes and residences in Istanbul, such as restaurants, shopping malls, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, etc.
  • In terms of o prices, one can buy a property with around USD 1,500-2,000 per square meter.
 
Istanbul is home to approximately 16 million people. Yet, there are many construction developments on site, as the city continues to develop at a fast pace. A panoramic apartment, near to the Taksim Square in Istanbul costs around USD 350,000 and has about 108 square meters. This is just an example of a property for sale in Istanbul, but the prices vary, depending on the area, zone, interiors and exteriors, facilities, and many more. Those interested in buying a property in Istanbul are invited to talk to one of our lawyers in Turkey and solicit all the details involved.
 

5 things to consider when buying a property in Istanbul

 
Buying a property in Turkey and especially in Istanbul requires attention and legal advice from a team of lawyers. We have gathered 5 things you should consider and pay attention to at the time you intend to buy a property in Istanbul:
  1. Ask for advice from the start – If you are a foreigner interested in buying a property in Istanbul, you should seek legal advice from a specialist instead of acting on your own. They have experience, and more than that, they can ease the communication path.
  2. Choose the neighborhood – Istanbul presents many real estate opportunities in a wide range of areas, so you should choose in accordance with your needs. The help of a specialist is needed, particularly if you are a foreigner who doesn’t know much about the Turkish real estate sector
  3. Verify the documents – If you decided on a property to purchase in Istanbul, it is highly recommended to analyze the documents. Our Turkish advisors can handle this kind of task in a very professional manner, in order for you to be sure the real estate transaction will be correct.
  4. Inspect the property – If the documents are correct, it is time to verify the property, with help from our consultants. The risks of the properties, the facilities, the utilities, the structure enter the attention of a future property owner. Our advisors can help.
  5. Prepare for the transaction – Our Turkish lawyers can oversee the real estate transaction for your future property in Istanbul, so make sure to address to our team from the beginning. We remind you that all the documents are verified by our team before you sign them.
 

Do I need to come to Turkey for buying a property?

 
No, there is no need to travel to the country for buying a property in Turkey, as long as you appoint us as your representative with a power of attorney. We have experience in the real estate sector in Turkey and we represent many clients interested in acquiring commercial or residential properties in Istanbul or any other city in Turkey. However, once the documents are prepared, you can travel to Turkey and also inspect the property if you would like. We remind that all the formalities for buying a property in Turkey can be entirely handled by our team of specialists:
 
  • They can verify the property and the documents.
  • They can commence a real estate due diligence.
  • They can prepare the sale-purchase contract.
  • They can validate if the property is correctly registered.
  • They can closely work with the municipalities.
 
There are many reasons to pay attention to when buying a property in Turkey, a matter where our team of legal advisors can give a helping hand. You can solicit any information you need regarding the acquisition of a real estate property in Turkey.
 
 
For full information on the documents required to purchase a property in Turkey, do not hesitate to contact our law firm in Turkey.