Buying a property is a significant investment. You have to be sure that the transaction goes as smoothly as possible.
However, the property market was unregulated for many years. For years, developers and agents have taken customers for a ride. Thankfully, that era is now at an end.
If you are buying a property in India, you must select the right developer and agent. What should you look for? We’ll give you the details.
How to Select the Right Developer
It is essential to find a developer who is keen to deliver on time and is scrupulous about quality. Unfortunately, there are plenty of bad apples, and you must know what to look for to avoid a negative experience.
- Research their reputation
The first step is to learn about their reputation. The easiest way to do this is to search their company name on the Internet. Those who are lax about quality control and who do not keep their promises are sure to have found a way to consumer complaint discussion forums, and maybe even a legal case or three.
Also, please take a good look at their website. Visit a few of the projects that have been completed for additional information on their quality and character.
- Quality of construction
Look for telltale signs of shoddy work such as cracks in the outer walls and cornice within a few years of construction. A well-built building looks solid even from the road outside.
If you can gain access to the inside, it is much easier to judge the quality. From the doors to the fit and finish of the plumbing, everything tells a story. Usually, if the construction is poor, the flat owners or occupants will readily complain to anyone willing to spare a few minutes. If you find damp wall patches in a new building, abandon any thought of buying from that developer. This is one irreversible problem.
- Business credentials
Visit some of the developer’s under-construction projects. Find out the RERA project identification number from the site-in-charge under the guise of buying a flat. Check the status of construction on the State RERA website. A good developer would keep the information updated.
- Bank credentials
Though banks grant loans, they also play an essential role in the property-buying process by offering a list of pre-approved sites. After all, banks also lose if the project is not completed on time. Dependable developers make it onto the pre-approved list. This is one of the best checks available.
- Judge their temperament
It can be hard to judge a business from an hour-long conversation, but you have to try your best. Make it a point to meet a person as high up in the company as possible. Usually, prominent developers have young salesmen to provide a pitch (much like car showrooms).
After the pitch is over, insist on meeting someone higher up. Have a set of probing questions prepared, and do not hesitate to push. After all, in a metropolitan area, you will hand over at least 2 crore rupees (more than $270,000) for a property. That is a lot of money, and you are entitled to ask candid questions.
Finding a Good Agent
Most big developers prefer to make their own sales pitch. However, a substantial part of the property market is still handled by agents. In the case of low-budget projects, agents are indispensable, since the developers do not have the resources or skills to market the project.
- Knowledge of the surrounding area
Agents usually work in a certain part of the city. They should be experts in real estate development stretching across 2–3 municipal wards. This makes them able to find the property that fits your criteria: road width, carpet area, budget, delivery date, etc. If an agent does not have a ready listing, they can usually find out in a day and call you back. Any agent who is unable to come up with a suggestion within 48 hours is not good enough.
- RERA registration
Due to new rules, not only developers but also agents have to register themselves. Ask any agent about their RERA ID and verify their credentials. It is best if you use an agent who has previously worked with your friends or family. This extra level of precaution could save you lakhs of rupees (hundreds of thousands of dollars) later on. If you use an unlicensed agent, you might have trouble with legal complaints later on.
- Check the agent’s honesty
The agent is paid a certain amount by the buyer and a percentage by the seller. The larger the sale price, the larger the agent’s income. It is in his interest that you pay a higher price. He would, therefore, be passive when you negotiate the price.
However, it is also in his interest to make the sale, and you have to gently remind him of that fact. There are dozens of agents on the market, so make sure that you shop around before settling on one.
If you keep your eyes and ears open and adopt some precautions, there is no reason why you cannot find a trustworthy, reliable agent to help you buy the property of your dreams.
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