The long term growth of the real estate market, depends a lot on how the home buyers are empowered to take decisions and given a platform to fight for their rights. Legal recourse is normally the last option for any home buyer, when something goes wrong. Nevertheless, there are several measures that buyers can take, to empower themselves.
Home buyers also need to be proactive in their decision making, by using various new-age analytical tools available in the market.
“Customers, today, are already taking informed decisions and making comparisons over digital and mobile platforms,” says Sumit Jain, national director – residential services, at Colliers International. Marketing that focuses on enhancing customers’ experience, is likely to become a key enabler and make easier for customers to evaluate purchases, adds Jain.
Proactive steps required
Home buyers should make regular visits to the project site, to verify that the construction is progressing as per schedule. “The installments paid by the home buyers, are linked to the progress of the work carried out by the developer. Hence, site visits and follow-ups are a must,” maintains Ameet P Hariani, managing partner, Hariani & Co. Payments should be made, only after verifying the progress on the site. “These are necessary precautions that must be taken, to stay apprised of one’s investment and to avoid nasty surprises, in case of delays, default or fraud. It is also prudent to engage an attorney / lawyer and architect, to review a project before investing in it,” suggests Hariani.
Experts point out that the time frame, within which the possession of the flat needs to be given to the purchaser, is governed by the agreement entered into with the developer. However, if a builder fails to commence the project even after considerable period has elapsed after entering into the agreement, appropriate legal steps can be initiated.
Home buyers more empowered now than in the past
The recently enacted Real Estate Regulation Act, provides for registration of projects and uploading of sanctioned plans on its official website, for easy access to flat purchasers and to boost transparency in such transactions. The Act also provides measures, to ensure that builders do not divert funds from one project to another.
“In the long run, this will benefit the real estate sector at large. As buyers turn proactive and their concerns are addressed, there will be renewed accountability and transparency. This will bring efficiency in the market,” opines Pankaj Kapoor, founder and MD of Liases Foras, a real estate ratings and research agency.
The Indian real estate market is a cyclical one, just like other realty markets across the world. Buyers and investors need to understand these cycles, as well as the specific dynamics driving the real estate markets in their part of the country.
“Thanks to rapid internet penetration and consumer awareness, people now have access to a lot of information, which was out of reach in previous years. This allows them to make more informed investment decisions,” says Santhosh Kumar, CEO – operations and international director, JLL India.
Experts also cite several recent cases, related to delayed possessions that have been decided in favour of the home buyers. The first step towards customers’ empowerment, according to experts, begins with home buyers becoming aware, alert and proactive.