Keith’s weekly property news September 17-2023
As usual, September marks a busy period on the Turkish real estate scene. No exception this year, though notably still there appears to be less demand for locals on the sales front. That is more or less a continuation of what I noted in previous zoom notes. The “dead cat bounce” of temporarily increased sales does not really seem to be occurring, although that remains anecdotal til we see the official September numbers. But likely they will be low and this looks to continue for the near future. Good news, in some ways.
The rental market continues to see robust demand in all the familiar cities; Izmir, Istanbul, Kocaeli, Mersin, etc.
Sometimes we have to review a few items, which may be tedious for veterans of the zoom sessions. Although these points might be basic, that is not always the case for newcomers.
So this week, I would like to address the issue of where to get started when you are researching property in Turkey. There is a dead simple answer to this….www.sahibinden.com and www.hepsiemlak.com
You may have to register an account for sahibinden or use a VPN, so a little less straight-forward, but it seems most clients manage with this.
98% of all the properties in Turkey are listed on these sites and they are fully supported in English. You don’t need to get too clever and start using zingat or the many others that are online. Absolutely avoid these international portals with names like Right Move. Blue Spot or whatever. This will be highly inefficient and the sites are often seriously out of date. We love it when clients roll up their sleeves and do their own research, but love it a lot less when they send us links for us to vet from some obscure websites that are quoting prices in GBP. That should be a warning sign. Even our website is woefully outdated most of the time. Good properties do not stick around and it just is not worth the effort of keeping the website truly updated. Consider it as a snapshot of what may be available at any point in time. So, keep it simple. Browse sahibinden and hepsiemlak and you really will not be missing anything.
“Online vs In Country” buyers.
The way we operate for buyers is often different depending on this status. If you are considering an online purchase, we can immediately set up a whatsapp group and start narrowing down property options and calibrating. If you have definite travel plans for Istanbul, we usually suggest that we start this process 1 or 2 weeks before your arrival, both so we can get a stronger sense of your preferences, which will save all of us time when you hit the ground. We also really like to have a pretty good idea about budget and hopefully a few neighborhoods to target. Our job is pretty difficult if someone just rocks up at the last moment and vaguely proclaims an interest in investing in Istanbul. That puts a lot of burden on us. Of course, we do still try to accommodate these clients, but we really prefer the KYC. We do like to get to know you, listen to you, and offer you the best advice we can. I think that makes a difference. We do not just have a handful of projects that we are pitching. We are trying to source properties that are being sold here locally, at local prices. It is more labor intensive but ultimately a more normal, prudent way of investing in property. And, as I always say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you are in buying position, important to let us know that. That is when we kick into gear. We get quite a few random inquiries, so try to stand out from those.
A word on negotiating on a property
A lot of clients ask me how much of a discount can I expect. This is a tough question to answer. If you are dealing with a developer, you can often get 15, 20% or even more off the list price. Does this mean you got a good deal? In principle, I would probably just walk away from anyone who gave me one price and as I am walking out the door, offers me a price 30% less. It just lacks credibility. We are purchasing property, not a tea set at the Grand Bazar, so we demand the counter-party to be a little bit serious. We let them know this pretty clearly up front, but still we encounter BS. That is fine. We just walk. Some of the more reputable developers offer almost nothing in the way of discounts, so draw your conclusions. The best weapon in all cases is working with someone who has some sense of price history ina certain neighborhood or development.
On the secondary market, the outcomes are also pretty variable. However, as we mostly are looking at fair market value properties, we find we are not securing great drops in the negotiating phase. We are often also targeting properties that are 10 to 15% under market, so we are happy to close on those terms. Expect more than that and you could be in for a long wait. Be realistic. If you are buying a bit under market, and in an area that has reasonable prospects for price growth, and good yield potential, you will have done well for yourself.
In next sessions notes, property management tips and a few tricks for smooth closings.
Properties will be distributed in meeting…
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