Buying Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
The world media enjoys stories of doom and gloom and as if the global financial melt down isn’t enough to keep people down in the dumps, many of the once beloved foreign property shows are reporting the negative sides of buying abroad. Buying in Turkey is no more of a risk than buying in the UK, but the reason we here of international property deals going wrong is because people fail to engage the services of professionals to guide them through the Turkish property maze. We take a look at some common buying pitfalls and offer our advice on how to avoid them…
Healthy Suspicion Saves Money
The old adage ‘fools rush in’ really does apply when foreigners enter the international property market. The media is full of people handing over money to strangers who claim they have a fantastic villa at a knock down price or buying from a developer or real estate agent whose credentials they haven’t checked and who ends up ‘doing a runner’ or ‘going bust.’ Before parting with any cash, it is vital that you research the company you are going to buy from. Don’t take their word that they are the biggest of the best – they are bound to tell you this – they are looking for a quick sale. Confidence tricksters all around the world are skilled in extracting money under false pretences. You would never hand over money for a property in the UK without using a lawyer so don’t do it in Turkey.
Get a Translator
Unless you are fluent in Turkish you must engage the services of a registered translator who can translate every document relating to your purchase into you native language. Never sign any piece of paper or document until you know exactly what it says. The translator will stamp it with their stamp, which puts the onus on them to make an accurate translation of the document.
Choose You Own Lawyer
Do not take the recommendation of a lawyer from an agent or developer even though they seem to be trustworthy and you are impressed with their work. You must engage your own lawyer to represent your interests only, after all a solicitor recommended by the seller could be acting purely in their interests and covering up a host of legal steps necessary to complete your purchase successfully. By engaging an independent lawyer, you can ask him to check the credentials of the company who is acting as the seller. Furthermore, if you have a dispute with the seller, the lawyer who has worked with them for years and has only just met you is likely to take their side.
Ensure Clean Title
Getting your lawyer to check out the land and property title deeds is absolutely vital to buying you property in Turkey and if you have not done this, you leave yourself wide open to abuse. Make sure that your solicitor goes through them with you and never assume that he has done them. You must ask to see the results of his search. You can sign a preliminary contract, which specifies that you will buy the property subject to various conditions like clean title deeds. This way the seller is honour bound to take the property off the market until you complete such tasks. Once the sale has gone through you need your lawyer to register the property in your name and in Turkey this is a complex process that takes time.
Check Your Boundaries
Your lawyer also needs to check the boundaries surrounding the property you are buying rather than relying on old plans or the word of the estate agent or seller. Anyone can point to a few sticks in the ground and claim that they are the official boundary – they may indeed be, but until a surveyor has verified this you really do not know what you are buying.They must also be within the Local Development Plan or Implementary Plan zone and because you are a foreign buyer they must not be located in anything deemed a military area.
Control Power of Attorney
You may decide to make a power of attorney (POA) agreement where someone like your lawyer acts on your behalf for the purchase of your Turkish dream pad. Sometimes you may even give this power to a real estate agent and you must ensure that you are completely clear with what you are allowing them to do and ensure that the POA has a time limit on it. At the end of the term make sure you receive all of the documents back; if you have given copies of your bank details and passport details to anyone, be sure that they can be trusted ad make sure you get them back once the sale is finalised. Identity fraud is a serious crime and handing your personal detail over to someone who does not act in your interests could lead to complications at a later stage.
Inspect Your Builder's Insurance
If you are buying off plan or have commissioned a builder to construct a home for you, you must check that he has sufficient insurance to protect you should he go bankrupt. You should also have clauses in your contract with him that relate to timeliness, Thus if the builder fails to deliver on time he should pay you penalty clauses. Ask you solicitor to obtain a copy of the insurance and get it translated into your native language.
Do Your Homework
Before you even put a toe into Turkish water, do some homework about where to buy and what will best suit your needs. Don’t get carried away with pictures of those golden sands and turquoise seas. Be clear about why you are making this investment and understand everything you can about the location you are buying in. Also make sure you know in advance what steps are involved in buying a property legally.
If you follow our simple common sense tips your property purchase in Turkey will go smoothly and when the red tape and legal issues are behind you , then you can sit back and enjoy the dazzling Turkish sunsets!