Purchasing a property is a time-consuming transaction involving multiple steps. If you are able to find a property broker who is professional and honest, he can ensure the entire process moves along smoothly without any problems. Since there are no entry barriers in this profession – no examinations to pass or degrees to get, finding a property broker who is professional and upright, can be a challenge. However, there are certain precautions you can take.
First, select the area in which you plan to buy a house, and then ask people you know from that locality, to recommend a good broker. Let word-of-mouth recommendation act as your first level of filter. Second, opt for verified brokers. For instance, some of the progressive states such as Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and New Delhi, require property brokers to register themselves with the government. Only those verified can operate legally.
In metros, brokers are also members of industry associations such as the National Association of Realtors (NAR), et al.
“Go with a registered broker who is a member of the brokers’ association in your city,” recommends Sajid Mustafa, manager at Bengaluru-based Silverline Realty, a real estate consultancy. “Such a person is unlikely to be a fly-by-night operator.”
Services to expect
The property agent should shortlist properties and show you those that match your specifications. Once you have selected a property, the price negotiation takes place between the buyer and the seller and a final price is arrived at.
Next, the buyer pays a token amount to the seller, after which, the latter provides the former with a photocopied set of property documents. The agent should then direct you to a good lawyer, who authenticates the documents. You can also do your homework about the property yourself.
Go to the office of the sub-registrar of properties and pay a fee to the lawyer to check the following: there is a clear line of ownership of the property over the past few decades; the seller is indeed the current owner of the property; and whether there are court cases around the property.
If the documents are in proper order, the property broker gets a sale agreement drawn up. This will contain the price at which the transaction will take place and will also contain a schedule of payment.
The buyer pays the next instalment after 15-20 days. The balance amount is paid after the property gets registered in the buyer’s name.
The consultant should be there at each of these steps to take care of any glitches that may arise. “The broker’s primary responsibility towards his client is to structure the deal in such a manner, that the latter does not get cheated,” explains Rajan Ahuja, director, Realty Verticals, a Gurgaon-based real estate consultancy.
Beware of unscrupulous brokers
There are several ways in which an unscrupulous property broker can cheat you.
One, he could get you to buy a property that is disputed or embroiled in litigation despite having prior knowledge of this.
Two, he could get you to purchase a property in the project of a poor-quality developer. This means that the developer has a reputation for delaying projects or lacks the financial strength to complete his project.
Three, a broker can cheat you by not handing over the money given by you to the seller. To avoid this, conduct all money dealings directly with the seller.
The property broker should also not overcharge you. In case of resale properties, brokers charge around a per cent of the cost of the property from the buyer. If the buyer is purchasing the property from a developer, the brokerage fee is paid by the developer to the broker. The buyer does not pay for anything.