Step-by-step guide to buying a home in Turkey

Updated: 04 February 2024 Created: 19 May 2013


A step-by-step guide allowing foreign nationals buying property in Turkey to do so as smoothly and safely as possible. Buying houses overseas may not be as straightforward as buying in your home country. The main reasons people sometimes think buying overseas property is risky are:

  • The fear of being defrauded and losing money as well as precious time;
  • Differences in applicable laws and legal systems governing real estate transactions;
  • Actual and/or perceived weaknesses in the legislation governing foreign nationals buying property in the target country and cities;
  • Language barriers, particularly legal jargon, which unfortunately exists in all countries;
  • The feeling of lack of control over the process arises due to not being based in the country you are purchasing.

We are Property Turkey, a real estate agent, and we understand and appreciate these concerns. Therefore, we've put solid guidelines and recommendations to help you buy safely and smoothly. Close analysis of the best practices and experience means we're well-placed to advise you on minimising and eliminating real estate investment risks. Follow our 11-step guide and report to buying a home in Turkey to ensure that your dream home in the sun becomes a peaceful and rewarding reality.

Property Turkey's 11-step guide to buying property in Turkey

Step 1 – Research the Market

The Turkish property market is growing daily, and the simple process easily matches that of European countries. There are thousands of residential properties for sale in Turkey at varying property prices and hundreds of real estate agents. Each agent will tell you different things and give different advice. Having been around for over two decades, our strong points are our market longevity, knowledge of Turkey, and experience in dealing with more than 5,000 properties, commercial properties, and land transactions.

Research which region and district in Turkey best suits your needs, budget, and expected lifestyle. A foreign person can purchase up to 30 hectares of property. We also provide diligent and frank information on all regions of Turkey, from Fethiye, Bodrum, Antalya, Kalkan to Istanbul and others. We shall also refer you to the best service for legal and technical matters involved in buying in Turkey.

Step 2 - Find the Right Real Estate Agent

When looking for homes in Turkey, check website testimonials and compare property agents. If they have an established record, they are solid and credible agents. Make sure they understand you and your requirements. If you feel they are reading a memorised sales pitch (and there are many of them around), chances are they are. Move away. They are not the right agents.

Buying an overseas property is more of a lifestyle choice than just bricks and mortar, so the agent you deal with should understand and appreciate the lifestyle you want. If they can't, they can't guide you towards the right area and type of investment. Turkey is a vast country, more extensive than France, and four times the size of the UK, so significant differences occur from region to region in terms of climate, culture of Turkish citizens, and landscape. Only a knowledgeable and empathetic agent can consult you in the right direction.

Step 3 - Talk to Your Property Agent and Build a Good Rapport

Some of us are shy about picking up the phone and talking to property agents about foreign property investment. We do not like being "sold to", and we try to avoid putting ourselves in circumstances where we might be confronted by a pushy salesperson. However, if you can't talk openly and at length with your agent, your agent cannot understand your needs and preferences. So, once you have found a genuine agent, invest your time talking to them at some length. Please get to know them and let them get to know you.

This is key to establishing a rapport and helping your agent to do their utmost. This rapport will follow you to Turkey, hopefully well after you purchase your new home. We place importance on building a solid rapport with our clients. We don't sell a particular property to you. We listen and decide where to look and what type of property in the real estate sector would be most suitable. We will understand your requirements and search deeply for unique and special homes to meet them. Therefore, please help us help you find that special place in Turkey.

Step 4 - Visit Turkey

To decide whether to buy a home in Turkey, visit the country, learn about the regions, and try out local restaurants and cuisine. We don't just sell you a property; we sell a lifestyle, dream location and idyllic surroundings where foreigners feel comfortable and at home. If anyone tries to sell you property on the phone, sight unseen, then beware.

Step 5 - Go on a Turkey Property Inspection Trip

A professionally organised inspection trip with a reputable company will help you in your property search to a great extent. We recommend at least four days of seeing various homes with us in our district offices, sorting paperwork, and getting accustomed to the local scenery and lifestyle. Avoid inspection trips offered by branded developers. Buyers only see properties sold by this developer, meaning you'll miss the region's vast properties and affordable prices. These trips are infamous for their hard-sell techniques.

Step 6 – Visit Properties for Sale

We ensure that you visit as many property types matching the real estate prices you want. During our initial phone talks, emails, and possibly face-to-face meetings before your viewing trip, we scoped out plenty of homes and real estate in your desired district. After all, buying a home in the sun is a big decision– we want to ensure you make the right decision, with many opportunities.

Step 7 - Negotiate the Price and Terms of Purchase

Whether you buy a retirement villa in Turkey or an investment apartment, we negotiate to ensure the best price and terms. Our extensive networks and contacts guarantee significant discounts from developers and private sellers. This is our job; as your consultants representing you, we do our utmost to secure the best deal possible. When budgeting for payments, remember that although much lower than in Spain, France and Italy, there are incidental costs associated with purchasing a house in Turkey. Take these into account and budget accurately.

Step 8 - Reserve the Property and Freeze the Price

Once you find your dream home, villa, or apartment in Turkey, we will pay a deposit and proceed with the purchase process. The cost of reserving real estate in Turkey is non-refundable. This amount is given to the seller as a reservation deposit and is deducted from the agreed purchase price. However, the reservation deposit is lost if you don't proceed with buying it. We also visited the tax office with you to get a Turkish tax number and a bank to open a bank account in Turkish lira. You need both to buy a home.

Step 9 - Appoint a Solicitor by Power of Attorney to Conclude the Purchase

The purchase commitment is completed in a week if all finances and paperwork are in place. Alternatively, the easiest way to purchase in Turkey is by granting power of attorney to a solicitor in Turkey to conclude the deal on your behalf. This saves time, means you don't need to stay in Turkey while the property is being sold, and ensures a smooth purchase without any hitches or hiccups. We have worked with many qualified and highly recommended solicitors. We will introduce you to a lawyer who can give legal advice during your inspection trip. You are, of course, welcome to select your own solicitor.

Step 10 - Final Checks on the Property

After signing contracts, the purchase should take around four weeks to complete. Your appointed solicitor will, during this process, make all necessary checks– including title checks and municipality checks. NOTE: Since March 2019, military clearance has no longer been required on properties.

Step 11 - Take Ownership of Property (TAPU)

The final step to complete your real estate purchase in Turkey is to get the valuation report and register the Turkish TAPU for the property transfer. Once we secure all the paperwork, you have purchased earthquake insurance. Both sides carry out their contractual obligations – take property ownership via the land registry offices and, after paying tax rates, receive the title deed (TAPU) to your new home. The property sale can also be completed at the notary office with prior agreement and notification. Congratulations on being a property owner.

TAPU in Turkey

Step 12: After the Property Acquisition

As an after-sales service, we help set up the utilities in your name and buy furniture if needed. Don't forget to arrange bill payments, which include an annual property tax. International buyers who don't plan to stay in Turkey might like to appoint a key holder and/or occasionally arrange for a property management company to inspect your home.

Can I Buy Property in Turkey and Get Citizenship?

You can buy real estate in Turkey and get citizenship with a clean criminal record. Foreign buyers should follow guidelines for Turkish citizenship through an investment program. After spending the stipulated minimum amount, first, apply for a residence permit and then apply for Turkish citizenship and a Turkish passport via the program approved by the ministry in the capital city of Ankara. Buyers from foreign countries can have dual citizenship. See more information here about the buying process, the citizenship application process, and the required legal documents. (Learn about Turkish citizenship.)

How Long Can You Stay in Turkey if You Own Property?

If you own a property, you can stay 90 days out of 180 days. To stay longer than this, apply for a residence permit. Many foreign buyers have received permits for their property purchases. Do check before buying, though, because once again, there is a stipulated amount to spend. If you apply for residency, you need to prove income to support yourself.

Can I Rent Out My Property in Turkey?

Yes, you can rent out your house in Turkey via Airbnb or other platforms. Many look at the rental yield to earn a rental income or cover the costs of running a property. However, there are rules on long-term rental properties and short-term rentals. To rent out your property short term, follow the 100-day law: you cannot rent it for more than 100 days; you must obtain a licence and permission from your neighbours. You must pay rental income tax on both short- and long-term rental properties. If you want to pursue this for passive income, contact us today and find out about our rental guarantee properties.

Can a Foreigner Get a Mortgage in Turkey?

Yes, certain banks in Turkey give mortgages to foreign citizens looking at property for sale. However, check the mortgage rates because sometimes it works out financially better for foreign property buyers to source other funding or cash payments for a minimum property investment in Turkey. Please note that, like other countries, there are eligibility criteria, and banks may only lend a small percentage of the sales price. (More about financing.)

Search Our Property Portfolio

Our property options cover most places in Turkey. You will find what you want, from luxury properties in expensive districts like Kalkan and Yalikavak to plots of land in Belek to build your own custom villa. Whether you like contemporary apartments and the city vibes of Istanbul, the famous city of Antalya, or quieter and more rural locations, start purchasing by finding your ideal home.

Search for architectural quality in beautiful landscapes near historic sites or along the south and west coasts, home to the best beaches and many sailing opportunities. Each listing contains everything to know, including the property selling price, type like resale property, key-ready or off-plan, photos, home features and contact details to find out more via email or arrange a viewing. (See property for sale in Turkey.)

Use Our Services

We present our services to make a property transaction or find an investment opportunity in Turkey with peace of mind. Our agents are full of knowledge from the latest trends in luxury apartments to local living costs, foreign purchases, professional advice and more. Call us today to learn more about our service fees, what real estate property services we offer, or more information about this guide to buying property in Turkey.

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