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How to find a property: Is it necessary to use a real estate agent?

Property can be acquired through a direct transaction that is completed with the landowner or, alternatively, a real estate agent may be hired to find a suitable property satisfying the relevant requirements. Real estate agents are paid via commission if and when the transaction is completed. As per market practice, the real estate agents charge 3-4% (including VAT) of the purchase price. Such commission is usually borne equally between the buyer and the seller.

How secure is the Turkish land registry system?

The land registry system used in Turkiye was initially formed by the Ottoman Empire, and gradually developed into the existing system over the years. It is a reliable and secure system, whereby every piece of real estate transaction is officially registered. Land registry records are public; therefore, the rights of third parties, who acquire ownership or an interest in any form of real estate in land registry records, are respected. Beyond the official ledgers, information regarding the legal status of real properties (ownership rights, rights registered in favour of third parties, encumbrances, etc.) is also maintained in a computer system called.


Am I paying the right price?

There are real estate appraisal companies which determine the current market value of properties. These companies can be used to understand the accuracy of the purchase price. Alternatively, real estate agents working in the neighbourhood can be visited to understand the market value of the properties within the relevant area.

Is it necessary to conduct a site survey?

Before proceeding with any real estate transaction, it is advisable to conduct a site survey to provide information regarding the legal status of the target property, and to identify any foreseeable legal risks and their effect on the use of the subject properties for the intended purpose. The main information and documentation to be evaluated in carrying out such site survey are as follows:


Evaluation of current ownership

Ownership details of the property should be examined prior to the transaction to ensure that the seller legally owns the property.


Encumbrances over the property

Title deed records of the property should be examined to determine if there are any outstanding liens, mortgages, or any other encumbrances in favour of third parties attached to the property. It should be also examined if there are any other annotated rights, such as easements, promises to sell, etc. If there are no encumbrances or annotations, the ownership of the property may be transferred without any restriction or legal risk.


Cadastral Records

The cadastral records of the property must be in conformity with the relevant zoning plans, and must not contain any notable or unusual information. Also, the cadastral borders (ownership borders) of the property must match the borders of the property as indicated in the zoning plans.


Zoning Status of the Property

The zoning plan and plan notes must be examined before the municipality in order to identify the types of activity (such as residential, office, hotel, etc.) building can be used for.


Construction License and Building Utilization Permit

The construction license and building utilization permits are the main permits that must be obtained from the relevant municipalities in order to construct a new building or to carry out alterations to an existing building. The property must hold a valid construction license and building utilization permit that confirming that the building is constructed in accordance with the construction license. If the reason for the lack of an occupancy permit is an inconsistency between the completed building and the construction license, the relevant municipality may demolish the building or require it to be modified so as to conform to the construction license, and the landowner may be subject to various fines, as well.


Current Physical Status of the Property

The actual status of the property and its neighbourhood should be evaluated by visiting the property. Due diligence regarding the compliance of the current physical status of the property with its original as-built projects should be carried out before entering into any agreement.


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