The Turkish real estate market could be one step closer to losing its ‘wild west’ reputation as the prime minister is presented with a draft law all about the licensing of agents.

Gold Rush

Thanks to TV programmes like ‘A Place in the Sun’ Turkey became one of the “good value” hot spots for British people buying abroad when the property boom began some 10 years ago in 2003.

Turkish coastal regions became the new Spanish Costa’s as people who were priced out of the traditional markets of southern European countries looked for the next great investment opportunity or just for a place in the sun.

The property boom brought millions of Pounds and Euros into Turkey as buyers from the UK and Europe snapped up properties in the coastal resorts of Turkey.

Wild West

Turkish and Foreign entrepreneurs set themselves up as estate agents, developers or property investment experts even if they had no prior experience or suitable qualifications because there was little or no regulation.

The majority of property transactions appear to have been successful but a few buyers faced problems, ranging from small inconveniences and annoyances to the loss of large sums of money.

In the most extreme cases buyers who had handed over large sums of cash were left with nothing when builders went bust, estate agents ran off, banks/land owners repossessed property to recover builder debts or professionals worked against their clients.

Disgruntled purchasers took their cases to the Turkish courts, the British overseas authorities and even their UK MP’s. But little could be done.

Ten Years on

It looks like one element of the Turkish property purchase system could be about to change as estate agents seek legal regulation.

The deputy chairman of the Federation of Turkish Real Estate Agents met with the prime minister last week to discuss a new draft law to regulate the real estate business in Turkey.

They discussed the new draft law that proposes will introduce requirements for estate agent to hold minimum qualifications, training, certification and the standardisation of commissions across the country.

It will also set out the severe financial penalties if unregistered estate agents are found operating without a license.