ceemac

Shake It Baby...
'Spying' Before Buying
I'm only using the word spying because it rhymes and sounds good heheh.


Seriously though, just a few pieces of advice for prospective buyers mainly of resales - it may be a useful checklist for some.
  1. Don't buy via a verbal agreement - all agreements should be in writing;
  2. Don't assume the person you're dealing with is the owner. You should ask for a copy of the title deed (Tapu) which will state who the owner is*. Then ask for the identity card (kimlik), of the person selling and compare the two. If everything is ok there will be no problem for the seller doing this - if there is any reluctance or excuses, walk away.
  3. If the person you're dealing with says they're a representative for the owner, ask to see their power of attorney (vekaletname), and check it against their identity card. Again, if they don't produce, walk away.
  4. Have the copy title deed carefully examined as it will also show whether there are any mortgages or other legal obstacles on the property. It will show any rights of way in favour of third parties.
  5. Never assume that the building has planning permission, or, if it has, that it is in compliance with it. Ask to see a copy of the planning permission (yapı ruhsat). This document will not only confirm whether the planning permission exists but whether it covers the building you are interested in. It will also show whether the building is in a scheduled zone such as a forestry zone, restricted building zone, military area where ownership by foreigners can be restricted or where further building is prohibited.
  6. Make sure the property you eventually settle on is unoccupied. Any contract you sign should have a clause containing vacant possession.
  7. Check that basic services are connected ie water, electric, telephone - never assume they are.
  8. If purchasing a property in a condominium, you should ask for full details of the service charges. These can often be quite considerable. This should always be obtained in writing. Checks should be made as to whether there are any unpaid taxes on the property and always ensure that taxes and debts on the property will be paid by the seller up to the time of sale. Again this should be clearly stated in the contract.
  9. If the property is being sold furnished or semi-furnished, a full list and description of the furniture, fixtures and fittings should be agreed and included in the contract of sale.
  10. It is my opinion that cooperatives are best avoided. Cooperative owned housing is often offered at remarkably cheap prices. This is because a purchaser does not become the owner of the property, you do not receive a title deed. You merely become a member of the cooperative and as such are liable for any debts or other obligations the cooperative may have. If you do decide to go down this road, always ensure thorough checks are carried out, and that the coop is well run and has no outstanding debts.
  11. Upon every property transfer in Turkey there is a tax levied at a rate of 3% of the value shown on the title deed. In Turkey this is generally split equally 1.5% each to the seller and the purchaser. In the resort areas of Turkey however there is a practice of shifting this entirely to the purchaser. You should have this agreed in advance and clearly stated in the contract.
  12. Drafting a contract of sale is the seller’s responsibility. You should make sure that the seller accepts this, otherwise the you will face extra legal fees from your lawyer if they have to do this.
  13. There is widespread practice in Turkey of under-declaring the actual value of the property on the title deed upon completion of the sale/purchase procedures. The seller will be keen to under-declare the value in order to reduce his tax liability. You, as the buyer may also benefit from this but the tax authorities in Turkey are increasingly picking up on this point in respect of sales of Turkish real estate to foreigners. (As a matter of prudence, you could declare a value of not less than 75% of the actual sale value. This may well involve paying a little more in tax now than a greater deal of tax in the future). If there is no clause in the contract sale specifically stipulating that another figure other than the actual sale price is going to be used on the declaration, you are entitled to have the actual value declared.
  14. Finally, you should never hand any money over or sign any document prior to taking independent legal advice.


* In point 2 I should clarify that an inspection of the copy title deed is a good indication of proof of ownership but it is not an absolute guarantee. The copy title deed could be an old one. Only a search of the records at the local Land Registry will positively prove ownership.

I have also assumed here that you will employ a solicitor to do all these things for you. However, there are many stories of solicitors not acting in your best interests, or being just plain incompetent. This is basically a checklist that you can go over with your solicitor to ensure he or she is checking - it will also tell them that you're no mug!


I hope I've covered the main pitfalls but please feel free to add any I may have missed.


C
 
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Martyn

Member
'Spying' Before Buying
Very good Ceemac, was actually thinking of doing this yesterday getting a lot of information in one place. Just one point that I read somewhere on your second point, that the fact they have a tapu with their name on doesn't mean the property is still theirs. The property could have been sold and they were a previous owner. The only way to tell is by what is registered against the property. i.e. I sell my apartment and it all goes through. I still have my tapu in my possession and then 'sell' my apartment to someone else showing them my tapu. I take a large deposit and do a runner. Anyway well done with the post.
 
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jcrian

Member
'Spying' Before Buying
Excellent article Ceemac, I have made it a 'stickie' and hopefully prospective purchasers will read it and use it as a check list.
 

carolk

R.I.P
'Spying' Before Buying
I live on a co-op and have the full title deeds for land and house plus hab cert, plus planning for the extension!
 

kemerkid

________
'Spying' Before Buying
This is as comprehensive a list of does & don’ts that I have seen here on TLF and should serve as a bible for all new buyers and sellers for that matter. These are things you just have to do. Nobody is going to do it for you.
 

Tess

Member
'Spying' Before Buying
Pete, Ceemac was a wonderful contributor to the forum.
He was very much a digger of information and a doer with daily posted threads with news stories.
As much as there are very many worthy members it is sad when one stops visiting who supported and contributed in such a positive way.
I miss him on here very much, a very worthy informative contributor indeed.
 

kemerkid

________
'Spying' Before Buying
Tess, when I come across an old post like this and don’t immediately recognise the name I always check to see when there last post was put up. ceemac was doubtless a valued member and having seen what happened to juco a few months ago I start to draw my own conclusions as to why they are no longer around. There are some heartless, selfish and self centred members on here who don’t seem to consider a persons worth. Shame but I guess that’s forums.
 

carolk

R.I.P
'Spying' Before Buying
Tess, when I come across an old post like this and don’t immediately recognise the name I always check to see when there last post was put up. ceemac was doubtless a valued member and having seen what happened to juco a few months ago I start to draw my own conclusions as to why they are no longer around. There are some heartless, selfish and self centred members on here who don’t seem to consider a persons worth. Shame but I guess that’s forums.

Great post KK but I guess I would change the last bit to that the 'shame' of forums! :(
 

Tess

Member
'Spying' Before Buying
Pete, Juco is another member of superb worth, a person worthy of much praise and behind the scenes he continually supported, researched and was a crutch to many.
A very sad day when he no longer was a part of this forum. Very sad indeed.
 
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