Legal Background Checks on Turkish Real Estates

real estate background turkey
real estate background turkey

Buying Real Estate in Turkey: How to do Background Checks

Going through the process of buying property in another country can be complex and full of challenges, especially for international buyers who may not be familiar with the local laws. This is a clear 5-step guide to help you check the background of a property in Turkey.

Where to Start?

The initial phase of real estate background check in turkey is accurately locating and distinguishing the desired property’s characteristics. This foundational step is critical and is often underestimated, where numerous foreign investors may overlook vital details or make unintentional mistakes.

Step 1: Pinpointing the Real Estate

The legal transfer of property ownership takes place when the formal real estate purchase agreement is mutually agreed upon and signed by all relevant parties at land registry offices, known as “Tapu”. Here, the purchaser signs a pre-established agreement that details the cadastral location of the property. Essentially, during the signing of the formal purchase agreement, the buyer is provided with only the cadastral information of the property, devoid of photographs, map locations, or specific street addresses. Hence, the focal point in locating a property is its cadastral location.

A cadastral location is comprised of several key components (if not fewer): İl (City), İlçe (County), Mahalle (Neighborhood), Ada (Block), Parsel (Plot), Blok (Building) and Bağımsız Bölüm (Apartment Number).

An example of a cadastral location may be: Antalya, Konyaaltı, Hurma, 1 Ada, 1 Parsel, A Blok, 1. Bağımsız Bölüm.

Any discrepancies, whether intentional or due to oversight, in this critical stage can lead to significant legal disputes and substantial losses for the buyer. Therefore, it is strongly advised that buyers secure the services of a qualified Antalya real estate attorney to verify the location of the real estate and to ensure the property being bought aligns with what was presented.

Step 2: Classifying the Real Estate

Classifying the legal status of real estate involves determining the exact nature of the property one is intending to acquire. In this respect, the following questions are in order:

  • Is it a buildable land or is it classified as farmland?
  • Is the orientation of the property to the north or to the south?
  • Is it located on a middle floor or on the top floor?
  • Is it a legal duplex apartment or just the first floor of an unauthorized duplex?
  • Is it an independent villa or a section of a property divided into two different sections?

Correctly classifying the legal status of real estate before proceeding with the purchase is of utmost importance. The legal characterization of a property not only impacts its valuation but might also restrict the purchase altogether.

Step 3: Identifying the True Owner(s) of the Real Estate

While it might sound obvious that the buyer should know the identity of the real estate’s owner(s), those identities might sometimes be obscure to the buyer, especially in cases where realtors are involved. Before paying for any part of the sale price, downpayment, or commission, it is highly recommended that buyers ask the realtors to be transparent about the identity of the owner and, in any case, the sale price should only be sent directly to the owner’s bank account. In the event of a breach of contract, the only way to recourse against the seller is to have paid the sale price to the seller or their duly appointed attorney.

Step 4: Property Background Check

Checking the background of a property in Turkey consists of details including but not limited to:

  1. Checking any debts, mortgages, or reservations that may be registered in the the title deed of of the property
  2. Checking the construction permit and the residential permit of the building that is issued by the municipality
  3. Checking any contradictions between the architectural project upon which the construction permit is based and the actual state of the property.

These details in the background of Turkish real estate bind the buyer regardless of whether the buyer was made aware of them at the time of the purchase. It is the buyer’s obligation to do their due diligence and be aware of any encumbrances in the title deed.

Step 5: Establishing Price and Other Crucial Terms

The sale price should not be the buyer’s only focus point as there are other important terms that the parties should clearly agree upon. The realtor’s commission, the deadline for finalizing the purchase, the amount of downpayment to be paid to the seller (if any) and the method of payment are all details that the buyer should be concerned with. Some of these terms may be verbally agreed upon whereas other terms must be put in writing. Before drafting and signing any written agreement, it is crucially important that the buyer involves an independent real estate attorney in the process. This independent real estate lawyer should not have any relation to the seller and/or to the realtor and should represent only the buyer’s interest.

Antalya property lawyer Baris Erkan Celebi and his real estate law firm in Antalya offer legal counsel and representation for real estate background check in Turkey. Antalya real estate attorney’s services include checking debts, mortgages, reservations, locations, classification, address and other relevant information.

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