We hope that these 50 questions with answers by real estate experts will ensure that you will make your property investment in Turkey safely.
Q1 What is your purpose in acquiring a property? Are you considering buying it for personal use or for investment purposes?
If you are buying for investment purposes, you should decide based on returns, and if you are buying for personal use, you should decide based on the needs of you and / or your family, in particular.
The Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer defines a real entity who acts in a manner whereby there are no commercial or occupational objectives, in respect of a good or service. If you are buying a property for commercial purposes (for instance to use as an office) then you cannot be evaluated as a consumer. Under these circumstances, you will be left outside the scope of the Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer, the purpose of which is to protect the consumer.
Q2 What is the location of the property compared to the center of the city? Have you researched its proximity to social needs such as mass transport, hospitals, schools and shopping centers?
The nearby presence of these types of facilities can create positive effects to the quality of life and comfort.
Q3 Have you looked into the proximity of the property to the airport, roads, energy plants, energy transmission lines, etc.?
If these types of facilities are present, information should be requested whether they are harmful to human health or not.
Q4 Have you researched the seller and builder of the property?
The previous projects of the company must be examined. This will help you to obtain an idea on matters such as the quality of production of the company and the profitability of the project. Information should still be obtained concerning the financial position and institutional status of the company.
Q5 Have you asked the title directorate about the ownership position of the land on which the property is located, and whether there are any usufructs, leases, liens, attachments, etc. on the title record?
If the land which the property is located on is owned by a person / organization other than the seller, a document concerning the contractual relationship between the seller and the owner person / organization should be requested. Research must be carried out at the Title Directorate, and the title record should be checked to see whether any annotations, declarations, etc., which reduce the value of the property, are present.
Q6 If the property has yet to be completed, have you examined its layout plan, project and model (if any)?
A detailed examination must be carried out as the characteristics of the block and / or complex your property is situated in are factors which will have a direct influence on your decision to buy. You need to find answers to fundamental questions such as: What size is the project area? Is it a complex which is surrounded by walls? Does it have security? How many blocks is it? How many independent units are there in total? What is the aspect of your property, and how many meters are there between it and the closest building?
Q7 Is there a show home for the property if it has yet to be completed? Have you looked around the show home?
If you are buying a property which has yet to be completed, this is the most important data in order that you can see the form it will be in when completed. Make sure to see it.
Q8 Do you know the gross and net areas of the property? Have you examined the floor plans?
Make sure to see whether there is any difference between the gross and net square meter area, and the impact of this difference on the living area you will benefit from. You may obtain information such as the aspect, the types of the neighboring apartments and its proximity to the elevator, technical volumes and fire escape stairs by examining the floor plan.
Q9 Have you asked whether the property has a construction permit?
The construction permit is an extremely important document, as it means that the project has been officially inspected and approved by the authorities. The Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer prohibits the sale of homes to consumers with advance payments, until and unless a construction permit has been obtained.
Q10 Have you learnt whether construction servitude was established on the property you have bought during the sales transaction?
In the event that you buy a property from a project where construction servitude has been established, your home and land share will be determined. Under these circumstances, while your construction servitude title deed will be registered in your name, your contract will also be endorsed in the land register.
Q11 Have you asked whether the property has an occupancy permit?
The occupancy permit shows that your property has been built in a manner which complies with the legislation. Home loans are not given for properties which do not have an occupancy permit.
Q12 Do you have information concerning the type and quality of the materials to be used in the common areas or in the building of the common facilities of the property you are considering buying, or the complex where it is situated?
You must make sure to see the document which contains the technical information related to the products, and is entitled the technical specifications or the site list.
Q13 Does the building have certificates showing that it is a green building?
As the certificates related to energy efficiency today ensure that the water and energy used in your building and home are economical, requesting these types of certificates is important in respect of sensitivity to the environment and the consumption fees which are to be paid. Looking into this will ensure that you make the correct decision to purchase.
Q14 Have you researched what is included in the sales price of the property?
Make sure to request that there are provisions in the sales contract concerning how much the total price, the amount of the purchase – sale duty, the amount of the habitation duty, the amount of the type classification duty, the amounts of the subscription fees, the amount of the stamp duty for the agreement and the amount of the VAT, which you are going to pay is, and who these fees are going to be paid by.
Q15 Have you learnt whether there is a car park, social facility or sports areas in real estate project, and if there is, whether the use of these areas is subject to a fee?
You must make sure to carry out sufficient research concerning whether the social facilities and sports areas (common areas and facilities such as indoor / outdoor car park, children’s playground, basketball and volleyball courts, tennis courts, walking tracks, swimming pools), which will have a direct impact on your quality of life are included in your real estate project. You should make your decision whether these areas are subject to a fee, or free of charge.
Q16 Do you know the features held by the building in respect of its heating system and heating and sound insulation?
You should request that there is a statement concerning this on the technical specifications or the site list.
Q17 Do you know whether the modern systems within the project have sufficient infrastructure and whether it is to be delivered in a manner where the minimum services will be provided?
You must make sure to research whether the services which will have a direct impact on your quality of life are included in your real estate project. You should research matters such as whether the infrastructure is sufficient to supply modern services such as elevators, intercom systems, satellite dishes, telephones, ADSL internet services, the prevention of fires and gas leaks, generators and heating / cooling, whether there are common areas such as a shelter, water tank and waste disposal rooms, and whether services such as security and cleaning are being offered.
Q18 Are the numbers of the car park spaces, social facilities and sports areas (swimming pool, green areas, playgrounds) proportional with the number of independent units within the building?
This must be learnt as it will have a direct impact on your quality of life.
Q19 Have the positions of the air conditioning units been determined and is there anything preventing you from installing additional air conditioning units?
There may be circumstances where permission is not given to install air conditioning units on the external aspect in accordance with the requirements of the management plan, or where there is no infrastructure for this. This should be researched.
Q20 Have you checked whether there are commercial units such as stores and outlets in the project? Are there any restrictions concerning the purpose of use of the commercial units?
These types of units can increase the circulation of people and vehicles within the project. The presence of these units and the regulations concerning their use in the management plan should be examined.
Q21 Have you obtained information concerning the management plan and the common areas? Was an apartment use handbook given to you when your property was handed over to you?
The management plan contains the conditions concerning the management and use of the block and / or site where your property is situated. The apartment use handbook creates an awareness by setting out a series of procedures which you are required to fulfill following the handover of the property, the details of the products used in your home, their usage settings and the contact addresses of the relevant organizations in the surrounding areas.
Q22 Have you obtained information as to what the completion date of the property as well as its common areas and facilities (including any possible delays)?
There is a requirement to state the completion (delivery) date on the contract, and many of your rights within the scope of the Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer begin on completion.
Q23 Is the contribution / monthly subscription for the shared costs of the property you are considering buying at an acceptable level for you?
The starting amount of the monthly contributions you are to pay must be known for as long as your ownership rights are continuing. The contributions you will pay in the coming years will be shaped based on this amount.
Q24 Do you have information concerning how the property will be delivered (rough / decorations / white goods)?
One of the main factors which determines sales prices is how the property will be delivered. This needs to be paid attention to when comparing prices.
Q25 If the electricity, water and natural gas subscriptions have been made and the title has been transferred into your name, are you aware as to whether it will be delivered to you following the declaration of the real estate value?
The establishment of the subscriptions and submission of the real estate statement by yourselves, will bring with them additional burdens and certain procedures that you will need to deal with.
Q26 Are there any provisions in the agreement concerning when the construction servitude and / or property ownership title of the home will be delivered to you?
In order that you can have full tenure over your property, there must be provisions on the contract concerning when the ownership is to be transferred to you.
Q27 Are you aware that contracts for the sales of properties will not be valid unless prepared in the presence of a notary public, as a statutory preliminary contract for the sale of real estate, or officially, at the title directorate?
According to the Legislation concerning the Protection of the Consumer, sales of properties with an advance payment must be registered on the title, and the sales contract must be prepared in statutory form, at a notary public. The seller cannot demand a payment or a document containing a payment undertaking (promissory note, etc.) from the consumer until and unless such a contract has been entered into.
Q28 Is it compulsory for contracts to be written at a specific type size?
It is a requirement that contracts and notices are written with a minimum type size of 12, in a language and manner which is clear, plain, legible and easy to understand.
Q29 Are you aware that you can annotate the preliminary contract of sale of the real estate, which you have entered into in the presence of a notary public, on the land register?
It is possible to place an annotation on the land register where contracts have been entered into officially. This annotation is important in order to show who has rights over the property and to prevent any losses of rights.
Q30 Has a preliminary information form been presented to you by the seller, before signing the contract for the sale of the property?
According to the Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer, it is a requirement that a preliminary information form, carrying the details to be determined by the Ministry, is presented to the consumer a minimum of one day before the contract is signed.
It will be beneficial for you to examine the information form before signing the contract, in order that you can review your decision to buy for one last time.
Q31 Are you aware that a transfer or hand over period of more than thirty-six months cannot be agreed upon in sales of properties where there has been advance payment?
The Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer has restricted the transfer or delivery period of a property to thirty-six months.
Q32 Are you aware that the seller cannot demand compound interest from the consumer, even in the event of late payment?
Compound interest in consumer transactions is prohibited, in accordance with the Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer. The contract should be checked to see whether there are any provisions concerning compound interest.
Q33 Are you aware that the original of the property sale contract, which you have signed within the scope of a sale with advance payment and / or installments, needs to be presented to you?
It is an obligation for one copy of the contract to be given to the consumer, in accordance with the Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer.
Q34 Are you aware of the presence of your right to withdraw?
The right to withdraw is your right to abandon the purchase of the property without paying any penalty or showing any reason, within fourteen days from the date on which the contract has been delivered. In the event that you have used your right to withdraw, the seller is required to return the payment you have made in full, together with the documents belonging to you, within 90 days. Besides, sellers have an obligation to notify the consumer concerning the right to withdraw.
Q35 Are you aware that you may renege on the contract without giving any reason?
The right to renege means your abandoning the purchase of the property, without showing any reason, before the date of transfer or completion. In the event that you renege on the contract, the seller may demand that the consumer pays the expenses which have arisen from the obligations of the agreement – such as taxes, duties and other similar obligations, as well as a penalty not exceeding 2% of the contract price. However, the consumer will not be required to pay the seller a penalty in the event of any one of the following: the failure of the seller to fulfill its obligations, the death of the consumer, the consumer falling into a position where he / she will be permanently unable to earn any income, or the rejection of a proposal that contract be replaced by a contract to sell by installment, which is to be entered into under normal circumstances. In the event that you have used your right to withdraw, the seller is required to return the payment you have made, together with the documents belonging to you, within 90 days.
Q36 Are you aware that you cannot use credit for the full amount of the property price?
It is not possible to use credit for the full amount of the price of the property you are buying. It will be beneficial to discuss what percentage / amount of the purchase price of the property you can borrow, with your bank.
Q37 Do you know whether the early repayment fee demanded from you when you decide to repay your loan early is within the legal framework or not?
In the event that the interest rate has been fixed, where one or more of the payments are made in advance of their due date, the real estate financing organization may demand an early payment fee from the consumer, subject to this matter being set out in the loan agreement. The early payment fee may not exceed one percent of the amount which has been calculated by deducting the required interest discount, and which has been paid early in loans where the remaining term of the loan repayments from the consumer to the financing organization does not exceed thirty-six months, and two percent in loans where the remaining term is above thirty-six months. Early payment fees cannot be demanded where interest rates have been determined as being variable.
Q38 Are you aware that you can choose to have the interest rate of the property loan you are using fixed, variable or as both together?
Subject to it being stated in the agreement, the rate of interest in transactions directed at the financing of properties and financial leasing transactions can be determined as fixed, variable or by both methods within the same loan, in accordance with the requirements of the Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer. Where the rate has been determined as fixed, the rate which has been determined cannot be changed without the joint consent of both parties.
Q39 Do you know which conditions need to be realized for the property financing organization to demand payment of the full amount of your loan when you fail to pay the credit repayments on time?
If the property financing organization has reserved the right for the payment of all of the remaining debt in the event that repayments are not made, this right may only be used where the organization has fulfilled all of its obligations and the consumer has defaulted in respect of a minimum of two consecutive payments. The organization must give a warning of the debt becoming due at least 30 days in advance in order to be able to use such a right.
Q40 Are you aware that the promissory notes which you sign in connection to the sales price of the property you have bought must be issued in the name of the holder, and that otherwise these promissory notes may be invalid?
If a promissory note is to be issued as a legal instrument, separate to the contract, this promissory note can only be issued separately for each installment payment, and in the name of the holder, in accordance with the requirements of the Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer. Otherwise, the bill will be invalid in respect of the consumer.
Q41 Are you aware that you have the right to pay the full amount of your debt or any of your installments in advance, and that under these circumstances the seller has an obligation to give a discount of the amount interest charge for the installment payment?
Where the sale is to be paid for in installments, the consumer has the right to pay the full amount of his / her debt in advance of the due dates. The consumer also has the right to pay one or more installments at the same time (subject to not paying less than the amount of one installment). The seller has an obligation to give the necessary discount from the interest, based on the amount of the payment, in situations where it is charging interest and commission.
Q42 How would you understand that your property has faults / defects?
Goods which do not comply with the specimen or model agreed upon by the parties, or which do not possess the features they are objectively required to possess, and therefore constitute a violation to the agreement, at the time of their delivery to the consumer, are known as faulty / defective goods.
- where one or more of the features set out in their presentation and usage guidelines or advertising and promotional materials are not present,
- where they do not comply with the qualities stated by the seller, or those determined in the standards and technical regulations,
- where they do not adhere to their purpose of use when compared with equivalent properties,
- and which contain material, legal or economic defects which reduce or completely eliminate the benefits reasonably expected by the consumer, are accepted as being faulty or defective.
Q43 Are you aware of the rights you have in the event that your property has been handed over with faults / defects?
In such an event, the consumer has the right to renege from an agreement which also contains the return of the payment, or request that the goods are replaced with fungible goods, or that a discount equal to the cost of the defect or free of charge repairs are made. The seller has an obligation to fulfill this demand as required by the consumer.
Q44 Are you aware that the time limits during which notifications of fault have to be made have been removed, and that the burden of proof rests with the seller for six months from the hand over date?
The Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer deems that any faults / defects which have emerged within six months after the handover date were in existence at the date of the handover, and places the burden of proof that the good was not faulty / defective.
It will be to your advantage not to exceed this six month time limit in the event that you have determined any faults / defects which are the responsibility of the seller.
Q45 Do you have information concerning the periods of limitation to which the legal rights you have in the event the property has faults / defects are subjected to?
Unless responsibility has been accepted for a longer period, any responsibility for faulty / defective homes, is subject to a period of limitations of five years from the date on which the home has been handed over to the consumer, even in the event that the fault has become apparent at a later date. The term of the responsibility carried by the property financing organization which has supplied the loan, is 1 year from the date of delivery.
Q46 Are you aware that in the event that a condition set out in the property sales contract is “unjust”, it is invalid?
Any agreement conditions which have been placed in the agreement unilaterally by the seller or supplier, without discussion with the consumer, and which give rise to an imbalance to the disadvantage of the consumer in a manner which is in violation of the principle of good faith in respect of the rights and obligations of the parties arising from the agreement, are “unjust” conditions. Any unjust conditions contained in agreements which have been entered into with a consumer, are expressly invalid.
Q47 Are you aware that in the event that you have used credit, the bank will be responsible together with the seller for the property being handed over with faults / defects, or not being handed over at all?
In the event that the property financing organization, which has provided the loan, has supplied the loan for the purposes of the purchase of a particular real estate and the financing of a particular agreement, and that these two agreements constitute an economic unity from the objective point of view, where the consumer uses one of his / her rights to choose due to the property not being delivered at all, or not being delivered on time, the property financing organization which has provided the loan is responsible together with the supplier. The responsibility of the organization which has provided the loan remains for one year following the date on which the property has been handed over, and is also limited by the amount of the loan which was used.
Q48 Have you asked your seller whether he / she has insured the payments you have made?
According to the Legislation for the Protection of the Consumer, sellers which have obtained building licenses for projects of a certain size are required to take out building completion insurance or insure the payments of the consumer, through vehicles of security which are to be determined by the Ministry (such as a progress payment system, conditional loans or advance payment amounts). Make sure to ask your seller which of the vehicles of security determined by the Ministry your payments are insured under.
Q49 Have you asked whether the property has building completion insurance?
This is a type of insurance which has been foreseen for projects of a certain size, and carries the objective of ensuring that the consumer receives his / her property, in the face of sellers who are unable to deliver the property, due to reasons of bankruptcy and other reasons. The building completion insurance of the project is beneficial in terms of protecting you against unexpected unfavorable occurrences.
Q50 Are you aware that the seller has an obligation to resolve the fault / defect in the event that you use your right to free of charge repairs?
Where you have requested from the seller or the builder of the property that the fault / defect be eliminated, the seller or builder is required to eliminate this fault / defect within sixty days. You may use your other rights to choose in the event that repairs are not carried within the required period.