The property buying process in North Cyprus is relatively straight forward – far more so than in many nations where you have to mess about with formal offers and preliminary contracts, surveys, searches and even viewing the property on the day you sign the contract in case it has changed in someway from what you made an offer on!
However, the process does still differ from the UK property buying procedure for example, and so in this article we’re providing a property buying process in North Cyprus update for anyone unfamiliar with the steps that need to be taken as well as those unaware of the new estate agency laws.
The new estate agent law that came into effect in the TRNC on the 2nd of January 2008 makes it illegal for anyone other than a fully Government registered TRNC Estate Agent to sell a property. The reason for the introduction of this law is to then make all registered estate agents legally accountable for that which they sell. This protects buyers from being given false information and it places significant onus on the estate agents to ensure everything is present, correct and as it should be with developments they sell, the liquidity of any developers whose properties they market and the validity of title deeds etc., on any properties they resell.
In terms of title deeds – nothing much has changed – you still have title deeds recognised internationally such as pre 1974 Turkish title deeds or foreign owned deeds whilst the vast majority of land or property for sale has exchange title. You need to speak to your solicitor about the differences between the deeds, but as far as the government of Northern Cyprus is concerned, all types of deed carry the same government backing.
In terms of how you go about making a purchase in North Cyprus, the first thing to do is contact a range of registered estate agents and give them the criteria that you are looking for in your property. They will match your brief to a selection of homes that you then view. Having found something you like you make an offer through the estate agent if it is a resale property, or you can negotiate directly with the developer if it is an off plan property.
You should engage an independent solicitor to act on your behalf and they should check the terms and conditions of the subsequent sales contract that you will sign once your offer has been accepted. Ensure that any purchase contract is conditional to any surveys or searches being completed satisfactorily.
As with any property purchase, buying property in North Cyprus should not be entered into lightly, furthermore you should wear your business minded hat at all times and not be swayed by estate agents, vendors, developers and even your solicitor when they tell you not to bother having a survey, not to worry about having the same solicitor as the vendor, not to care about having to transfer the balance before getting the keys etc. The rules of the road are NOT different in North Cyprus in this respect. Don’t be pushed around and make sure you tread slowly, carefully and by thinking through each step before you make it.
Having done so, the buying process should be straightforward and without hassle.