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Escrow Services

Escrow Services and Money Transfer in Turkey 


What is Escrow?


Why use an Escrow Service when buying a property in Turkey?

What does Escrow Cost?

The Duties of an Escrow Service


What is the process of Escrow?


Things to be Aware of While in Escrow.


What is a Closing Statement?

What if there is a Cancellation?


What is Escrow?


Escrow is a deposit of monies, a deed, or any other instrument from one party for delivery to another party upon completion of specific conditions or events. 


For example, a buyer puts the amount left to pay to complete the purchase of a property intro escrow (usually with a bank or other financial institution).  The escrow service holds onto the money until both parties – buyer and seller- confirm that all legal documentation is complete, and the transfer of the title deed has been successfully finalized.  The escrow service will then transfer the money into the seller’s account. 


On occasions, the Lending Institution will play the part of escrow.



Why use an Escrow Service when buying a property in Turkey?


An escrow service makes sure that every prescribed detail has been completed to every party’s satisfaction before money changes hands.


In a major transaction, particularly one in which the process, procedure, and language are unfamiliar, it is important to have the peace of mind of knowing that you have left no avenue for any party to take advantage of you.




What does Escrow Cost?


Escrow Services are not internationally regulated, so it would depend on which country and service provider you choose to use.  Escrow services take into account things such as the actual cost of service and overheads, their liability, and their profit. 


Usually they will have a schedule of fees available for you to look at, or will be able to give you a quote via email or other communication.



The Duties of an Escrow Service include


  • Handling the funds and/or documentation in as required in the instructions as given by the principal parties,
  • Conducting the transaction in a timely manner,
  • Paying all ‘Bills’ as authorized,
  • Responding to any questions or directives from any authorized ‘principal’ party,
  • Closing the escrow only when all instructions including the allocation of monies have been carried out. 




What is the process of Escrow?


The exact process would depend on the escrow service you use.  However, a generalization of the process is as follows:


The principal parties (Buyer, Seller, Lending Institution and Borrower) create escrow instructions in writing.  (If a broker is involved, he will normally provide the escrow officer with the information necessary for the preparation of your escrow instructions and documents). These instructions might include


  • The intention of Joe (with address and or ID Details) to buy a property from Onur (with address and or ID Details), with the transaction taking place on ……………..Day/Date in this location……. Town/City/ Province


  • That the moneys in the amount of TRY,€, £, $, …………… which has been deposited by Joe should be transferred to Onur after the Property (address and details) has been legally handed over from Onur to Joe, entered into the Land Registry Book held at  (place of Land Registry Office), and the transaction has been concluded to the satisfaction of all principal parties.  This shall be proven by the signature of said parties.


  • That the moneys in the amount of TRY, £, $, …………… which has been deposited by Joe should be transferred to Deniz Emlak (Real Estate Agent) after the Property (address and details) has been legally handed over to Joe, entered into the Land Registry Book held at  (place of Land Registry Office), and the transaction has been concluded to the satisfaction of all principal parties.  This shall be proven by the signature of said parties.


  • That any taxes and charges due to the Land Registry Office will be paid at the time of registration.



The escrow office will process the escrow, following the escrow instructions, and when all instructions and provisions have been carried out (the exchange of Title Deed, and of Monies), the escrow will be ‘closed’, and a Closing Statement or Settlement Statement will be issued.




Who Chooses the Escrow?


The escrow service is usually chosen by a consensus of all principal parties. 


A Real Estate Agent, Emlak, or broker may recommend an escrow service, however it is the right of the principal parties to make the final decision.


 Internationally there are laws which prohibit the payment of referral fees to escrow providers with the intention of preventing the possibility of compromise.


Things to be Aware of While in Escrow.


  • As with any important transaction, make sure you fully understand the escrow instructions.  You have the right to ask the escrow officer for further explanation, or involve a lawyer.
  • An escrow officer is there to follow the instructions involved in the escrow.  They have no right, nor responsibility to comment on the instructions, or advise you if your negotiations are fair or equitable.  If you have questions pertaining to the negotiations to have or intend to enter into, it may be advisable to speak to a lawyer.
  • If you have taken out a loan, the Lending Institution will need to be in contact with the escrow officer, as it will be considered one of the principal parties.  The Lending Institution will require a copy of the escrow instructions, the title deed, and any other documents required by the escrow instructions. 
  • If an escrow is cancelled before completion, the escrow service may impose a cancellation fee. 
  • Ask your escrow provider what you should do to make the process run as smoothly as possible.  These may be things like:
    • answering any correspondence quickly,
    • finding out what options you have to deposit funds into the escrow account, bearing in mind that if, for example, you turn up on the day with a personal cheque, it may take a week until the escrow can be closed,
    • discussing your expectations for the closing, such as when you will receive the documentation – closing statement, deposit of funds to the seller, etc.  If you have special requirements, such as a bank cheque on the day of closing, it is best to inform the escrow officer early in the proceedings.



What is a Closing Statement?


A closing statement is the account of financial transaction that occurred during the course of the escrow, given once the escrow is closed. 

It may include such things as:

  • Credits (such as deposit of funds)
  • Debits (such as payment to seller, payment to Real Estate agent or Emlak, escrow fees)
  • It should show the property purchase price
  • Any payoffs to existing loans
  • The cost of all services
  • Any payment owed to you at the end of the proceedings.


Be sure to check the closing statement carefully.  If you do not understand any part, please ask your escrow officer to explain.


It is advisable to keep all documents pertaining to the selling or buying of a property, including all documentation of escrow.  These are usually needed for taxation and administration purposes. 


Escrow Service will normally keep their copies of the filed documentation for a period of 5 years after, but will then usually them destroyed due to storage costs and statute of limitations laws.



What if there is a Cancellation?


Most escrow services have a cancellation policy outlined in their general provisions documentation, often to the effect that monies shall be refunded upon receipt of cancellation instructions signed by all principal parties.


 In the case of the parties disagreeing over points of the instructions, the escrow services has no legal right or responsibility to judge, comment, or take any side. 


Usually the escrow imposes cancellation fees, which vary from country to country, and most often are taken straight out of the deposited funds. 


It is advisable to make yourself aware of their policies, fees and charges in relation to cancellation before commencing the escrow process.


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