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Liked a property on TV? Research well before buying

Vardhaman Kishore liked a property on TV and planned to buy it. The offer was attractive. A 2BHK for only Rs 11 lakh in an ‘upcoming’ locality on the Bhiwadi-Alwar Road and an upfront payment of Rs 11,000 only till the house is ready for possession. The intermediaries facilitated the transaction. Sounds good? When Kishore actually visited the site, there was no sign of construction!

Attractive schemes abound – no registration costs, free parking, all inclusive brokerage and handling charges or no brokerage at all or even a miniscule amount to be paid till possession. The market being stagnant over the last few months and with a large stock of unsold inventory, sellers are getting innovative in the property market!

Upcoming areas are most prone to real estate frauds. This is especially because the entry prices are low and with additional schemes, the area garners extra attention. A proposed metro line or an industrial expansion or government focus is enough to encourage buyers. Mukesh Chaturvedi of Riddhi Siddhi Properties recounts, “A small time developer in Bhiwadi was accused of fraud, of usurping money and not allocating land even after the agreed time period. The case is still ongoing in the court. Buyers should be advised to look for clear titles and do a thorough research of the area before investing.”

“It is very important to check the reputation of the builder and his past projects and whether he has been delivering on time. Attractive cash discounts should not be the sole criteria to select a property,” says Chaturvedi.

In another reported scam, hundreds were cheated and not allocated properties even after the lapse of the agreed time period. Consequently, the developer was tried and in addition to the principal amount plus the interest rate, he had to give back extra charges as costs for mental anguish caused to the buyers! While it sounds like a well deserved punishment, not all buyers get lucky. No amount of cash refund can refund the time you may have invested!

All kinds of media are a medium of research – be it television or the internet. Along with print media, these mediums are additional platforms where you can know about a property. For example, Magicbricks gives you a thorough understanding of rates and trends. You also get to know what other buyers and residents have to say about the location – its merits and demerits. It helps buyers arrive at the right property and the right developer.

Most local realtors who advertise online get good responses. Manish Vishisht of Mahaveer Properties says, “Enquiries have gone up ever since we advertised online but most buyers insist on a thorough check of the property and the location before buying, which is a good sign as it shows they are cautious.” Therefore, as a buyer, you need to be alert about where you are parking your money.

E-tailing may be proving to be a real challenge for traditional retail these days, but India is nowhere close to a scenario where buying properties online makes sense. Buying a property is often the biggest financial commitment that an Indian makes in a lifetime. While aspiring property buyers can certainly obtain a lot of information about a project, express interest and request a site visit online, the final price negotiation and transaction still needs to take place at the developer’s office, says Ramesh Nair, COO – Operations and National Director, Jones Lang LaSalle.

Buyers, prioritize what you want from your property. If it is for end-use and you cannot afford a central location, try marking priorities – location and cost advantage, proximity to commercial areas, proximity to schools, vegetable markets, provision stores, bus, railway or metro stations. Amrit Sinha, an analytics consultant in a Gurgaon based firm says, “When I planned on a property near Narela, all I was happy about was that the area would come up when the metro starts functioning. I can wait for a few years before I would actually need to move to Narela.” Sinha believes that he has made the right choice because the entry prices were very low as compared to the rest of Delhi.

If you are a property buyer, check your options but make sure you have done your research too!

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