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There are few purchases in life bringing as much excitement as buying a new house, and even more so if that house is overseas. While you are familiar with how buying a property works in your home country, you should also know that the same doesn’t apply for a purchase in a different country.

If you are reading this, you are probably considering buying a property in Turkey, and well, that you are doing your homework correctly before making your next move!

While buying a property in Turkey is fairly easy and quite straightforward, take note of these 5 PRO tips just to make sure that the whole process is as enjoyable and stress free as possible;

First things first, you should always keep in mind that buying a property in Turkey naturally involves some paperwork. So the best is to know which of them are the most important ones;

  • TAPU – (Turkish for Title Deed –  Ownership Certificate)
  • TAPU is the first and probably most important word you should learn and understand before buying a property in Turkey.
  • The TAPU is the single irrevocable piece of paper proving that you have taking over the ownership of a property in Turkey. No  TAPU No Ownership.
  • Always, always ask for a copy of the TAPU of any property you have decided to buy. The owner should and technically must provide you with a valid copy of the TAPU.
  • Click here for our comprehensible guide on the TAPU
  • ISKAN – (Certificate of Habitation)
  • Iskan is the Certicate of Habitation given by local authorities where the property is located, allowing for life to start in the complex. If the developer can not provide you with papers showing that Iskan has been granted (although the complex has been fully completed and looks perfectly fine to live in) it simply means that the complex is not exactly completed.
  • What will happen if ISKAN has not been granted? Well in that case, utilities such as water, electricity and gas cannot be connected to the complex!
  • Important Note: A Certificate of Habitation can only be granted to projects completed, so do not be afraid if the developer can not show you one if the property you are willing to purchase is in an off project OR under construction!
  • YÖNETİM & AİDAT – (Management  & Management Fee)
  • Whatever property you buy in Turkey, no matter how fancy or affordable it is, always make sure that a proper management (Yönetim) will be or has been established. And of course, don’t miss to ask for the management fee (Aidat) to avoid any surprises in the future.
  • YAPI RUHSATI – (Building License)
  • If you are about to buy an off plan or under construction property, make sure to ask for the Building License.

These are just few of the main keywords which, as a starter, will suffice for you to make sure that you are doing a safe purchase.

You might have a very good knowledge of the location, having maybe been there many times for holiday (or business) but when it comes to buying a property, you are now opening the doors to a whole different life.

When it comes down to buying a property, not only in Turkey, but anywhere around the world, all comes down in choosing the right location. You might think that you have finally found the right property for you, but once starting to live in it, you may find out pretty quickly that the location is totally wrong, which, inevitably will make your life harder than expected.

There is not a single definition for the right location, which, at the end of the day comes down to what you want and wish to have in and around your property. Have a good idea of what matters most for you and make a decision accordingly. If the property ticks most, if not all the boxes than you have a winner in hand.

The way to make sure that you are comfortable with the location is simply to ask your agent to take some time and visit the near proximity of the complex. Does public transport matter to you? Ask to see where exactly it is…Do you need a pharmacy nearby? Go and see where it exactly is..Or maybe shopping is what matters for you most? Here is an excellent opportunity to go and visit the nearest malls around…You want an easy access to the beach? No problem, just ask for it and your agent will be happy to take you there.

Location matters maybe as much as the property itself, so just make sure that both are exactly as you need them to be.

No matter how fancy a property might look from the interior, if there is not an efficient management running the complex, than you might want to consider again before buying the property.

Turkey has actually some very efficient rules concerning how a management should be established (it is actually a mandatory part of building a project) and also how to run it. However, especially in small cities, an efficient management might take some time before really getting useful.

If you are buying in places like Alanya, or Bodrum, always make sure to ask if the management has been established. To make sure that you got the correct answer, you can ask for the latest Management Board Meeting report. The report may not be available right on time of asking, so the trick is to take some time checking the informational board hang usually at the entrance of the building. As most, if not the majority of property owners are from overseas, if there is an up an running management board, you will almost always fine management reports and informational notes on these boards both in Turkish and English, which should give you an idea about the management.

So what if you are buying in an off plan or under construction project? How to make sure than there will be an effective Management in your future complex?

There is no other way than to ask for referral from the developer and maybe go and check for previous projects built by this same developer. This will clearly give you an idea of how managements done in projects build by this developer.

You are now sure that legal papers are in place and both the property and the location fits to what you want. It’s time now to agree on the price and, more importantly, how you will pay for it.

Yes, Turkish people love to negotiate, and this is somewhat part of the Turkish business culture. It’s time now for you to jump into the negotiation train and get the best possible price for your property. However, be careful, offers beyond the reasonable may backfire and be interpreted as a disrespect from your counterpart and end the talks instantly. Be decisive yet also realistic. Use your agent recommendations and make your moves wisely.

Have you finally reached an agreement? It’s time now to agree on the payment plan.

Always bear in mind that no seller will ever handle the TAPU (title deed – certificate of ownership) unless you have made the full payment for your purchase.

If you are buying a finished, ready to move in property, the ideal payment plan may look like this:

  • Deposit payment on time of agreement:
  • This is a payment done just to make sure that the property you are buying is taken out of the market. Usually amounts to 2% up to 5% of agreed purchase price. This payment, unless agreed otherwise with the Seller, is usually not refundable.
  • Balance payment on time of delivery of the deeds:
  • The delivery of the deeds, depending on the location you have bought your property might take anything in between 2 days and 2 weeks. Make sure to have your funds ready on day of delivery of the title deed (TAPU in Turkish), without which the Seller will not agree to sign the final papers.

If you are buying an off-plan OR under construction property, an ideal payment plan may look like this:

  • Deposit payment on time of agreement:
  • This is a payment done just to make sure that the property you are buying is taken out of the market. Usually amounts to 2% up to 5% of agreed purchase price. This payment, unless agreed otherwise with the Seller, is usually not refundable.
  • Payment Plan:
  • This the part where you’ll negotiate a payment plan based on a monthly, two monthly or 3 monthly payment basis. Usually sellers are open to suggestions and leave some room for the frequency at which the instalments are paid. The ideal would obviously be to leave some time in between payments, which, in return, will leave you some room to follow the construction progress and, in case things are moving slow, stop and re-negotiate a payment plan should you feel its necessary.
  • Final Payment:
  • Always leave some final payment for when the Seller has fully completed the project and is ready to deliver the title deed. An acceptable ratio would be to leave %30-%20 of your purchase price to the very end, and paying it when it’s time to take delivery of both your apartment and your title deed.

Never forget that there is not a single ideal payment plan, and that a payment plan actually is a negotiation tool. One payment plan may very well suit one type of Buyer, while completely useless for another. So to make an ideal plan comes down to how you negotiate your purchase.

Buying a property overseas is, above everything, an exciting journey, and, even for most, a life changing experience. However, this experience might turn rapidly sour even if you make the smallest mistake. This is why, the assistance of a local, honest and professional expert is always recommended.

Unless you feel that you are yourself a local expert, we strongly recommend you to always be assisted by a local expert who will help you and guide you through your purchase and avoid that you do mistakes which you will painfully regret in the future.

We, as Capitol Estate , have accumulated over 10 years of experience, assisting over 1000 Clients from all over the world in buying a property in Turkey and have deep knowledge of naturally each of these points mentioned above and much more. So, if you are considering buying your dream property in Turkey, just contact us and let’s have a chat. We will listen to you, understand what you want and look out for the best options to propose to you. Finally, we will make sure that your purchase is stress free, risk free and as enjoyable as it has to be!

Have more questions? Need more information? Just contact us on the +90 242 522 22 66 or email us to for any of your queries!


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TOLGA OZCAN is the Co founder of Capitol Estate. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook, subscribe to our blog and be first to read when he posts a new article in the blog.

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