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  Buying Guide  

The following is the process that should be followed when buying property in Turkey. Please be aware that the fees quoted are approximate and that these procedures may change.

1. Once you have decided to purchase a property, you should ask for a photocopy of the deeds and go to the Land Registry Office (Kadastro), which has the maps of the area, and check the deeds against the area map to see if everything is in order. The parcel number must correspond to the map. Maps cannot be photocopied so it is a good idea to do a rough drawing of the building, the land it is on, the properties and streets surrounding it and take it with you to compare to the map. It is important you do this so that you end up buying the property you want to buy and not some other less desirable property. The parcel should also show an outline of the building you are going to purchase. If there is no building shown on the land you will need to go to the municipality and see if it is possible to get building permission (iskan) in the future, if the building permission isn't available it may be the case that the owner has just not bothered to get permission or that there are some illegalities regarding the land or building/s.

2. If all is in order at the Lands Registry Office and both parties agree on the price and conditions a deposit is then decided upon (usually 10%). However if the price of the property has been reduced the seller may ask for a higher deposit or full payment. Foreigners are often asked to pay a deposit as the seller has to wait three months for the buyer to get permission whereas if they sold to a Turk the transaction would be completed in a few days.

A contract (protokol) is then drawn up and authorised by the notary * see step 8 for another method of drawing up the contract. The real estate agent is paid their 3% commission at this stage

3. You then take out compulsory earthquake insurance on the house; the price depends on the size of the house. Cost: approximately $45 for a $100 000 house

4. Following this the Land Registry Office will provide a document that gives the details of the land/property, this document will be sent to the military along with your other documents. Cost: approximately $50.

5. A notarised copy of your passport, 2 passport photographs, a copy of the earthquake insurance and the document from the Lands Registry Office is then sent to the military where they will check whether you are able to purchase land in Turkey. The 'reciprocity principle' must apply between the country of the person wishing to purchase the property. In other words, if a Turkish citizen can become the owner of real estate in your country, then the same right applies to you in Turkey. In addition they will check that the property is not near a military zone. This process can take up to 4 months. As of July 2003 foreigners are able to buy in areas that do not have a municipality.

6. Whilst waiting for the permission to purchase or at some stage in step 1 you should get a tax number from the Tax Office (Vergi Dairesi) which is on the Bodrum highway next to Garanti Bank you will need this to open a bank account with a Turkish bank(to transfer payment for the property to)

7. When the permission is given the agent or your lawyer will inform you. At this stage you should inform your agent of when you will be in Bodrum to exchange deeds they in turn will notify the relevant parties. You should remind your lawyer to check if there are any outstanding bills to be paid on the property and that they insist on the payment of these by the owner. Your funds for the property purchase should be transferred into the country through a Turkish bank at least a week before you exchange deeds. The funds being transferred should be specifically identified, for example: transfer purpose for the purchase of Land in Gumusluk Title Deed No. 3467. Keep all receipts to prove the original purchase.

8. Then you go to the municipality and they will give you a document that shows the price of the house. If you have drawn up your contract through the notary the price shown will be the real price of the house. However most people draw up the contract through a lawyer so that when they go to the municipality the price paid for the house and the price given by the municipality that will be written on the deeds will be different. As an example, a house for $30 000 will be written on the deeds as $12 000. The fees at the deeds office will be 3%, which is $360. This is done in order to reduce the tax paid to the government.

A lot of foreigners don't feel comfortable with this as they feel it is something illegal. However this is common practice in Turkey. It is up to the buyer whether they want to put a lower amount on the deeds or not. If you decide to do this you cannot have your contract authorized at the notary, in this case you can appoint a lawyer to draw up the contract.

9. You then go to the Deeds Office (a translator employed by the deeds office will be present) and the property will be transferred into your name. The fee at the deeds office is around 3% of the price that is written on the property title. (The translator's fee is included in this). The usual process is that you go to the deeds office on the morning of the day you intend to exchange the deeds, pay the fees and they will then give you an appointment in the afternoon for the exchange of the deeds. Final payment for the property usually takes place after the deeds have been exchanged but this depends on your agreement with the seller.

10. After you have purchased the property you should put the electricity, water and telephone bills in your own name. This will cost approximately $60, $45 and $15 respectively.

11. Finally you should register with the local registrar (muhtar).
The Real Estate fee does not include the payment of any of the above fees.
The agent is usually involved in steps 2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8.

It is recommended that you appoint a lawyer to draw up the contract and carry out the research explained in steps 1 and 9. The list of lawyers below is provided by HM Consul at the British Embassy, Ankara. However neither Her Majesty's Government nor any official of the Consulates take any responsibility for the competence or probity of any firm/advocate on the list; or for the consequence of any legal action initiated or advice given.

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