Sunday, 8 March 2015

Woes of new Flat buyers in India.

Everyone dreams of a big beautiful home. But spiralling prices of homes in main cities in India have dampened the moods and sentiments of the prospective home buyers. People have held back their decision to buy homes expecting the price corrections. But I do not think that prices would come down so easily. Due to the nexus of builders and politicians, prices are not driven by demand-supply rule. Builders are sitting on the pile of unsold properties as they do not care even though flats are not sold.
Despite of high prices, many people take a decision to by the dream home. They start searching for the good residential projects. Starting from newspapers to property portals to property brokers to builders to friends, they start gathering information about the under construction projects.
After picking out some projects, buyer visits the site office. Cunning sales personnel are ready to flatter the prospective buyers and show off the amenities of the project in a very polite and showy manner. They will answer all your questions in a positive manner and sometimes even lie to influence and persuade you. Sales personnel are like predators (hunters) waiting to pounce on the preys (victims, targets) – Home Buyers. I have seen cases wherein sales people from even reputed construction companies presenting false information to the buyers to meet their monthly targets.

Here is the list of prominent lies or false promises that were made to some of the home buyers that I spoke to

1. Possession – Many salespersons do not reveal the exact possession date of the flat. Most of the times, They give dates that are few months and in some cases even years earlier then the actual possession date. Sometimes these shrewd goons (salespersons) can you by telling false date at the time of booking and pitting different date in the sales agreement. In some cases, possession was not given even after 3 years post agreed date.
2. Amenities – Buyers are promised of the world class amenities and facilities before they purchase the flat. But after the possession, you may find building constructed with the low quality material without promised or assured amenities.
Many innocent home buyers fall prey to the cunning tactics of these hunters. Buyers put hard earned money to buy homes but what they get in return is absolute anguish in case builder does not keep his words. Many big and small residential projects across India have been reported to be delayed due to one or the other reason.

How this mess impact the consumers?

1. Mental pain - Ask those consumers what kind of ordeal and nightmare they have to pass through if possession does not take place in time. Family member eagerly wait to move in to the new house. They count each day anxiously ahead of the possession. They want to get rid of monthly rents and get free from the clutches of landlords. This period is very miserable and tough for people waiting to move out of the rented houses. Every thought of delayed possession distract their focus leading to additional affliction, stress and depression. Out of frustration, many people resort to violence and even abuse or threaten the builder warning him of dire consequence. But builders are usually very powerful and mighty. They have enough money and resources to fight back. Salesperson who behaved with modesty and humbleness before booking flat show their colours by refuting, counteracting, negating and countering your views. Their earlier cheerful faces now fad showing sulk, frowns and curly lips. Tired of their apathy towards issues, consumers do not show will, guts and courage to challenge them.
2. Financial loss - Buying a flat is a big decision for any middle class family. They put hard earned money into the house. Due to delayed possession, they have to pay rent as well as EMI of the home lone taken from the bank at the same time. More delay means more financial loss and more horrible time.
3. Wastage of Time - Some buyers make future plans as per the promised date but all their plans fall apart due to delays. A lot of significant decisions of their lives rely on the possession. Some may be planning for weddings or some may be planning to celebrate their next birthday in new house. Many emotions are attached to the new house. Buyers are forced to put off their important tasks due to delays causing more agony, torture, distress and pain.

How to avoid getting duped, cheated, fooled, conned or deceived?
1.Read the agreement before you sign it.
2.Take the receipt of all payments you make to the builder.
3.Do not go alone to book the flat. Go with person who knows the construction industry well or has an experience in buying the flat.
4.Get all your doubts clarified before booking a flat.
5.Ask them how they will compensate you in case of delayed possession or how they will tackle any grievances after possession. Undoubtedly,You will get very positive and happy answers at the time of booking.
6.Try to book a flat in a project from builder known for moral and ethical values.

In case your possession is delayed, you can try below options or routes.
1.Take on the builder legally via consumer court.
2.All buyers should come together and hold protests, demonstration and agitations against builder until he bends to your demands. Remember Unity is the strength.

What do you think on this topic? Please express your opinion or ask any question through comment below. You can write to me at

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