Buying in Turkey – step by step

Buying property in Turkey can be difficult. Pera Property provides a full service to ensure your Istanbul real estate is hassle free

Whilst buying in Turkey can be a difficult bureaucratic process, you need not worry. Pera Property ensures a start to finish service, ensuring you don’t need to deal with overzealous Turkish officials.

Nevertheless, it is still important for all foreigners to understand the buying process, to ensure expectations are met.

Step one – make your checks.

This is especially important if you’re buying second hand, but also applies on property purchased from developers. Especially important if the developer is a small one.

Simple checks ensure you avoid problems later on. These include, but not restricted to:

  • Is the person selling the property the legal owner – we check the title deed against their Turkish ID;
  • Has the property been built to specification – a simple check of the building permit at the cadastral office, as well as “imar” checks online sheds light on this;
  • Does the property have any kind of debt – debt must be paid off before the title can be transferred. We also obtain a confirmation from the title deed office, proving that the property is indeed free of any debt, or any other kind of encumbrances;
  • If the property is under construction, has the planning permission been obtained? Whilst it is illegal for developers to sell property without valid planning permission, it is still important to ask for a copy.
  • If the property is under construction – ask for the technical specification, to ensure the information given matches up with the showroom apartment;
  • If the property is under construction – check the developer’s track record. Do they deliver to specification, are apartments completed to promised internal standards, have they delivered the facilities they advertised.

This final point is a contentious issue. Whilst developers can advertise certain common facilities, like swimming pools, these can only be decided upon by the complex management – which is made up of residents. A management plan can only be put in place on completion, hence facilities can only be advertised – not promised by the developer.

Step Two – Sign contracts

Once you decide to buy and have agreed a price, we can start the contract phase. Buying from an established developer means contracts are pretty standard. You will also be given copies of the technical specification, as well as apartment plans, and a payment plan (if applicable). Information is generally provided in Turkish with an English translation.

Buying second hand is more complicated, and will need legal involvement. Contracts will need to be prepared by your solicitors, factoring in any special agreements. Again documentation will need to be in English. Your solicitor will need to conduct all legal checks, at the cadastral and title offices to ensure the property is up to scratch.

In both cases, we will normally take a power of attorney (POA) from you to conduct this work on your behalf. Whilst you will need to see and approve all documentation, to save you time and the hassle of Turkish bureaucracy, leaving Pera Property with a POA will ensure you can get on with your life, without having to visit Turkey.

Step three – expertise report and legal checks

If you are buying second hand, Pera Property will take of additional legal works, like applying for military clearance.

If buying from a developer and the apartment was under construction, you will need to visit the apartment to take care of any snagging issues.

All international buyers must be given an expertise report on the property they are buying. This is a detailed report on the property in question, not only confirming the market value for you, but giving you information on debt, encumbrances, and any title issues.

Step five – purchase certificate

In 2022, the Turkish government introduced a new rule insisting that all international buyers obtain a purchase certificate. The buyer must exchange USD, EUR, or GBP with the Turkish central bank for Turkish Lira, to the amount of the purchase price. The central bank then provide a purchase certificate to be shown on exchange of title (at the Tapu office). More info on this process is available at this link.

Step four – title exchange

At this phase, Pera Property or your solicitor will take care of title transfer for you. Whilst quite simple, it does involve a lot of waiting around for your turn. A task so boring that even Turks appoint a “chaser” to do the work for them. By appointing a POA to Pera Property or a solicitor, you will ensure that the only thing you need to do is pick up your keys.

Step five – pick up your keys

If you’re unable to visit Turkey, Pera Property will take possession of your apartment for you. Your keys will be in safe keeping until your arrival. In the meantime, Pera Property will also ensure your utilities are activated, a process which is quite arduous.

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Gümüşsuyu Mah., İnönü Cad.,
Ankara Palas Apt., 59 / 1, Beyoğlu 34437 - İstanbul - Turkey

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“Our mission is to guide our clients in accordance with their needs and requirements.”
Koray Dillioglu
D Koray Dillioglu
CEO @ Pera Property