If you are looking to purchase a home or an apartment, what is the first step you take? A vast majority of Indians ring up a real estate broker in their area to help them with their property search. While this is the most common approach, sadly it’s the most flawed.
Would you believe us if we told you that you don’t really need a middleman to negotiate a real estate deal?
Here, in today’s post, we show you why and how to complete real estate deals without using a real estate agent/broker.
Do you need a Real Estate Agent or Broker while Purchasing a Home in India?
Not really. Here are the top reasons why you need to cut out the middlemen while purchasing a property.
Real estate brokers create artificial scarcity to make you rush into a decision
Have you ever made a bad choice just because you felt left out? Your broker may pressurize you to make the same mistake. Brokers often create a sense of emergency making you feel like you’ve got to act quickly so that you don’t miss out.
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your life. Don’t let anyone coax you into making a choice that you aren’t 100% confident about.
“A broker may drop names of upcoming projects in the vicinity which may be just speculation,” says Ganesh Vasudevan, vice president and business head of property portal Indiaproperty
They may tempt you with Glitzy Brochures and Sample Flats
This is one of the most common tricks used in real estate selling. Don’t fall for sample flats and other colourful brochures. Instead, make sure that you visit the property in person to get a clear picture. And, don’t forget to talk with past buyers to get genuine feedback.
They charge Huge Commissions
This is the biggest setback of using a real broker. When the broker shows you a property that you like, you have to pay a hefty commission to the broker. This may have been the practice pre-internet era. But, with online listings of properties available and detailed project websites, you can now avoid paying this commission by searching for properties all by yourself.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to finding your dream home without using a real estate agent.
Step 1 – Shortlist Preferred Properties in your Chosen Area
Purchasing a home is a long-cherished dream for many Indians. Now is the time to make it happen. Start by deciding the city and residential area you want to live in. If shifting base is possible (that is if work permits), you can even consider upcoming Tier-II cities.
Tier-II cities have plenty of advantages compared with over-congested and saturated metros. These include- ample green spaces, lesser pollution, lower land prices, unhurried yet vibrant lifestyles, plenty of modern infrastructures, smart city plans and more.
Once you have decided on the city, the next step is to decide on the preferred residential areas. Instead, of limiting yourself to the top posh areas, consider upcoming development zones also.
Once you have chosen the city and your preferred localities, it’s time to start searching for properties here. The internet comes handy. Make use of property search websites like MagicBricks, 99Acres, Makaan, Nobroker, IndiaProperty, CommonFloor, OLX Homes, Quikr Homes, Propertywala, etc. to help with your search.
Make a shortlist of properties that catch your attention and meet your initial requirements – location, budget, etc.
Be caution while using real estate websites as they are often full of misleading listings by brokers. As a thumb rule, free online listings are quite likely to make false claims.
“In online listings, agents often use wrong photos, false specifications and low prices to draw attention and generate leads. When people contact the agent, they are told that the listed property is not available and they can choose from other properties,” says Vasudevan of Indiaproperty
Always connect directly with the builders’ sales team to know the exact details once you have received the exact details you can verify the same on the RERA website.
Step 2 – Evaluate Properties on your Shortlist
“A broker is just an intermediary. So, he is not answerable in case of overpricing or any other issue. If you have been overcharged, nothing much can be done,” says Indiaproperty’s Vasudevan.
Rank properties on your shortlist. You have to consider several factors like location, amenities offered, builder reputation, feedback of other buyers, etc. It would be prudent to visit 2-3 shortlisted builders past projects and talk to their old customers get the feedback. You could also join the builders’ completed projects’ facebook groups and see the kind of questions and feedback the residents are posting. You could even ask them questions and evaluate their response.
While shortlisting properties, look beyond the price. While the price is an essential factor, other factors too play an equal role. For instance, a property that doesn’t come with maintenance by the builder post-sale may have a lower selling price than another with regular maintenance. While choosing the former may seem like a better choice, it isn’t a cost-effective choice in the long run.
Rank properties in your shortlist according to your preferences.
Also Read: Difference between cost per square feet and value for money
Step 3 – Connect with the Builder
This is a crucial step. Make sure to connect with the sales team of the builder directly. Ask for a site visit, get to meet previous customers of the shortlisted builder, and research about the builder online. Even if you use a broker till this step, make sure that from here on it’s you and the builder.
Step 4 – Handling the Finances
Purchasing a home has plenty of financial implications. You need to save for the down payment of the property, arrange for home loans at the best rate, deal with capital gains tax of selling your old property, etc.
One of the biggest benefits of choosing a reputed builder is that the company will handle most of these for you. From finding a suitable lender to help you with home loans to dealing with property registration, stamp duties and other paperwork, a builder who is customer-centric can help you out.
Check other legalities including – no-objection certificate from the water, land, electricity authorities, safety certificates, project sanction plan, no violation certificates, etc. Perform due diligence in this step to avoid any issues later on. If you suspect even minutely, that something is wrong, make sure to get it clarified with the builder.
Step 5 – Closing the Deal
This is the last step of purchasing your dream home. Discuss the payment procedures with the builder, handle your home loan processing and make the booking amount. You then receive an allotment letter which has all relevant details like flat number, square feet, date of possession, etc. You also have to sign a sale agreement with the builder/seller. This is proof that you are now the legal owner of the property. Make sure to double check this deed before you sign. Finally, you have to register the sale with the local authorities.
That’s it. You have now purchased your dream home. If it’s a ready-to-move-in property, you can move in at your convenience. If it’s an under-construction property, you can move in once construction is complete.
Skip the Agent: Build The Right Connect with the Right Builder
The best way indeed to skip the real estate agent is by connecting straight with the reputed builders. Not only will you save in lacs, but also you get a clear idea of the builder, the kind of properties they build and what they have to offer.
It’s essential that you choose a reputed builder who has several successful projects under their belt. Look for builders who take extra steps to ensure customer satisfaction. Finding the right builder is essential in ensuring that your real estate transaction proceeds smoothly without any glitches. Furthermore, reputed builders offer you extensive post-sale support for years to come – from maintenance to reselling your property down the line, the help of a builder is immense.
Ashiana Housing build homes. Homes surrounded by vast green spaces and fresh breeze. Homes cocooned in secured gated complexes. Homes where futures are forged and there are opportunities to grow. And Homes in environments brimming with healthy activity, trust and respect. At heart, we build communities with care.