This is straightforward really; it’s more or less the same as when buying anywhere but if you are buying a holiday home in Turkey you may not be able to meet the owners when the Estate Agent (Emlak in Turkish) show you around the property, especially if they are holiday home owners too.
1. Why are the owners selling? – Are they buying something bigger? Moving to a new area or simply selling up? Are they serious about selling or just seeing how much their property is worth? If they want a quick sale or you are a cash buyer this puts you in an excellent negotiating position.
2. What is the minimum the seller will accept and have they had any offers so far? – This gives you bargaining power if you like the property and are ready to make an offer there and then. You can always make a reasonable offer and don’t be afraid to do so.
3. Is the owner’s names on the Tapu, Iskan and utility metres? – The Tapu is the Title Deeds and the Iskan is the Building Permission or Habitation Certificate. The Iskan is conformation the property has been approved by the state committee. Owners should have their names registered on their electric and water metres, however sometimes they are still in the developers name.
4. Is the property freehold? – All properties in Turkey are Freehold to Turkish nationals and foreigners.
5. Are there any debts on the property? – Ask if the property has any debts to the bank or another person; are the maintenance fees paid up to date?
6. What is the sewage system like? – In most regions of Turkey you flush the toilet but you do not put toilet paper down it, this will clog up the drains and if this happens you will be asked to pay the costs for it to be cleared. If you buy a property on a complex for example they can easily see where the blockage is so there is no argument.
7. What are my rights on communal areas? – If you buy an apartment on a complex you have the rights to use all the facilities on the complex as long as you pay your maintenance fees. If you buy a semi detached villa with a shared pool, both owners will split the costs of the upkeep.
8. What are the neighbours like? – This can be tricky as you may not meet your neighbours if they are holiday home owners, possibly look for a property during the summer season when you will see more owners around. If you chat to owners on the complex you should have an idea when your neighbours are around and what they are like.
9. What is included in the sale? – If the owners are selling up they may sell their property fully furnished. This is where you can get a real bargain because if the property has just been used a few weeks of the year as a holiday home the furniture will be like brand new. Ask the agent for an inventory.
10. When will the sellers move out? – You may already find they have taken all their personal belongings especially if they are selling up. If not this can be a quick process in Turkey, a date is agreed after paperwork has been approved. The cash can be released and the same day you sign for the Title Deeds.
Buying a property in Turkey is more or less straightforward, use a reputable Agent, ask around for recommendations and always use a solicitor. After talking to expats you will soon learn who is trustworthy and who is not. This is generally what people do if they go on holiday first and fall in love with Turkey (which happens often) and decide to invest whilst on holiday. Whatever you do please, please, please do not take property advice from a waiter, taxi driver or bar person or someone you don’t know – this is asking for trouble! You wouldn’t do that in the UK so don’t do it in Turkey!
Most buyers have been visiting Turkey for years they decide to buy and look for good agents before they go to view properties. This is the best way to go about your property search; a good agent will listen to what you are looking for, ask your budget and put together a property portfolio in the area you want and you can view without feeling pressure to buy. You will be shown a selection of properties and if you wish to proceed they are with you every step of the way until the property is signed sealed and delivered.
All that is left to say now is happy house hunting in beautiful Turkey and your new lifestyle in the sun!