What is it?
If you plan to buy a flat and visit an apartment project, the developer often shows you a fully furnished flat at the project site. This is called a sample flat. Almost all builders make a sample flat of the most spacious apartment in the project. This is done to show how the under-construction flat that you plan to buy will look after completion. Some developers even make two-three sample flats for each category of flat available in the project. Generally, this is built within the premise of developer’s marketing office.
Why is it on display?
Developers adopt various marketing tools to publicize a project. These include brochures, billboards, television and radio commercials and sample flats. A sample flat is an important strategy as it is closer to reality. It gives an idea on how much space will be available to you. It also gives you a sense of the usage of the space provided by the position of furniture and other household items.
Word of caution
However, often the sample flat is not a true representation of the under-construction apartments as the developer designs a very attractive sample flat with the help of professional interior designers. Barring a few luxury projects where well known designers design each apartment, most projects sell bare shell apartments. So while the sample flat may have a modular kitchen, the developer may not offer the same in the price quoted in the sales brochure.
The walls too have textured finish. But once you would move into your apartment after the completion of the project, you may not be able to go for that textured finish on your walls. Even the tiles, ceramics used in the sample flat are often of higher specification than the ones made available in the final product. In addition, the furniture used in the sample flat may be designer furniture which can be very expensive.
What should you do?
While surveying a sample flat, imagine it to be a bare shell apartment. This will give you an idea about how the furniture you own or plan to buy will fit in. If the builder is not providing a modular kitchen but is shown in the sample flat, imagine it with just the slabs and the cabinets. The rest would be your effort and money. If you ask your developer to give a similar kind of modular kitchen, you will have to pay Rs 2-3 lakh more. You can also check on the quality and brand of the sanitary fixtures in the flat.