Kate - Charles O. | CANADA

Kate - Charles O.Kate - Charles O.

As a foreigner, buying a property in Turkey is intimidating. Regardless of how much you research you do - both online and on the ground - you still don't know everything. And you're at a significant disadvantage. There are lots of youtube videos and websites that make it seem easy - but it is not.

From our experience buying in Istanbul, the best tool you can have as a foreigner is a knowledgeable, experienced agent that you can trust.

Unfortunately, when my husband and I first came to Istanbul looking for properties for citizenship, we did not find this.

We dealt with several agents who were very slick and had the sales process down - but we did not feel we could trust them.

We have bought properties in several other countries and we know how to do our market research, compare price per square meter, look for the best areas, look at local market prices etc. And from our interactions with these agents - while some were quite nice - they never seemed to be working in our best interest. They only seemed intent on making a quick sale and showing us overpriced properties.

It was frustrating. And we didn't feel we were getting the help we needed to make a good investment decision. We felt we were being taken advantage of because we were foreigners.

At one point in our search, we pretty much gave up. We had a week left in Istanbul and we weren't being shown any good options. We figured that buying in Istanbul just wasn't going to happen for us.

In one last attempt at research, I came across a listing on Istanbulhomes.com and emailed them about it. Within 20 minutes I had a full response from Mr. Onur Arslan, an agent with the company. I explained our situation and what we were looking for. Within the hour he sent me 6 listings that fit our criteria, budget and desired areas - all of which were also suitable for citizenship. We picked out the properties we liked and he immediately arranged a viewing tour for the next day.

We were still very wary when we met Mr. Onur because of our experience with agents in the past. However, I was impressed immediately at how professional he was. He had done his homework on each of the properties we were seeing and made sure we had the paperwork details on all of them before going to see them.

He also explained the entire process of obtaining citizenship through property investment and how Istanbul Homes could help us through the process. If we had any questions, he would immediately have the answers. Or if not, he would jump on the phone to find the answer for us within minutes.

Throughout the process of looking at properties, I never felt Mr. Onur was pushing us or trying to manipulate us into making a decision. He would however give us the relevant project information that we needed to know as investors. He would point out things we didn't even know we should be considering - which we appreciated. He was there to help us - but not to push.

While we looked at several properties in our desired area and price range, we just weren't finding something that entirely worked for us.

I finally asked Mr. Onur if he knew anything that would fit our criteria, but in an area we had not considered. He immediately suggested a certain project we'd never heard about before. When we went to do our research that night, the project really peaked our interest. It fit us perfectly. He then took us to see it along with other properties in the area so we could compare them. We knew almost immediately that this property was the one we wanted. If it hadn't been for Mr. Onur's suggestion, we wouldn't have found this property - which we really love.

As with all the projects we had seen, Mr. Onur immediately went to work negotiating with the builder, trying to get us the best deal. We were very happy with the final price he negotiated for the property.

Even after we'd signed the sales contract, Mr. Onur was checking with us and helping us to make the relevant bank transfers. He was calling our lawyer to help the process move smoothly, informing us about what to expect next.

He also helped us connect with a good property management firm that could look after the property for us. Basically, he made a very intimidating process simple for us.

Overall, our experience trying to buy a property in Istanbul was not positive at first. However, after meeting Mr. Onur it became much better. Now that we know him, we have someone we can trust for future real estate investments. We are very grateful for his help.

Thank you