Bumpy rides along the outskirts of your city, walking through dusty bylanes to see sample flats and a stream of brochures. At the end of such a day, it may get difficult for you to remember which project you saw first or what you liked about it. You may have to follow up the first visit by a string of similar visits. If that poops your house hunting spirit, here’s another option. You may want to look at property exhibitions or expos—a one-stop shop for new projects where you can get details of various projects you may be interested in.
A recent property exhibition in New Delhi featured around 200 projects from 40 developers across Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), including Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad. Typically, a property expo sees at least 60% participation of developers in any area.
Says Harsh Roongta, chief executive, Apnapaisa.com: “A housing exhibition may serve as a starting point for the house hunt or can become the culminating platform for the home buyer. In any case, you have to visit the property site to look at the specifications.”
You will find new projects at various stages of completion—some ready to move in, some may be nearing completion, while others may be at their initial stages. Besides residential projects, there are plots and commercial properties such as office space and information technology parks.
Each project is displayed with a rate list along with other details, such as floor plans, application forms and payment options.
You will also find separate stalls of banks, where you can get necessary information—such as the period of disbursement, the tenure and your eligibility—on home loans. Besides, they would answer your legal queries and clarify your doubts on the documentation process. Says Rajesh Vardhan, managing director, Vardhman Group, a Mumbai-based developer: “A property expo is the first information report that gives the basic idea about the region, properties and the loan part.”
How to use an expo
Know the time: To get maximum information, keep a tab on when an expo is coming to your city. Prashant Tiwari, managing director, Prateek Buildtech (india) Pvt. Ltd, a developer with residential projects in Noida, says, “Preparing in advance may save your time during the expo and house hunt.” Usually expos run for three-five days.
Know your budget: This is primarily about your loan repayment capacity. Says Roongta, “You can use 40-50% of your salary to meet the home loan instalments. Depending on this, you can think of the best possible affordable price band for yourself. But remember to factor in other monthly expenses (such as maintenance charges and your household requirements).”
Know the developer: Selecting the right developer can be tricky. Sunil Jindal, chief executive, SVP Group, a Ghaziabad-based developer, offers a solution, “The fact that a bank is funding a project proves its authenticity. Besides that, look at the developer’s past projects and delivery record. If the company is listed on the stock exchange, analyse the company’s yearly performance and talk to dealers in the region.”
Always check if the developer has a penalty clause in its sale deed. The clause promises a compensation at the rate of Rs5-10 per sq. ft in case of delay in project completion. Often developers mention a grace period along with this clause. Make sure it is not more than three months.
Know the details: Do a little homework before going to the expo. Once you are there, ask the developer for details such as the difference between the basic and total price of the apartment, the actual carpet area and the tentative date of completion.
Dheeraj Jain, managing director of Mahagun India Pvt. Ltd, a NCR-based developer, says, “Buyers can also visit the property site after gathering details from the expo. Viewing the sample flat and talking to brokers in the region also helps.”
How do you benefit
Discounts and waivers: Some developers offer discounts of 1-2% on the basic sale price. Some even waive part of your equated monthly instalments for a specified period. Some may not ask you for preferential location charges, which bumps up the total property cost considerably.
Says Vardhan, “Customers who visit the expo are usually serious buyers. So sometimes developers offer packaged deals with some discounts. For instance, the developer may waive off processing fee or may give you the best possible location. However, the offers are valid for 15 days or so.”
Banks, too, offer discounts on home loan rates. Says Deepak Kapur, director, Gulshan Homz, a realtor developing projects in Ghaziabad and Noida: “Banks offer a small discount on their home loan rates. However, the rate offered is fixed for a year or two. Later, the loan rate is converted to a floating rate. The bank’s offer is also valid for a month for those who register for a property in the expo.”
“Sometimes banks do not charge a processing fee. If the buyer has registered his name and details, we offer the discounted rate even if he comes after one or two months,” says Trilok Sharma, regional business head (north), HDFC Bank Ltd.
Easy processing: This is another advantage of buying home at an expo. But for faster and easier processing of your documents, you need to register your name with the bank officials who are stationed at the expo for this purpose.
Says Rajiv Rai, vice-president (corporate), Assotech Ltd, a Noida-based developer: “Once you book a property, the documents are processed within minutes. However, there is no compulsion on the selection of banks even if the property expo is being organized by another bank.”
The promotional campaigns of the event encourage buyers to bring along cheque books and relevant documents. R.R. Nair, director and chief executive officer, LIC Housing Finance Ltd, says, “It usually takes a few minutes to assess the papers once it is submitted with us.”
Clear titles: A key feature of an expo is that the properties on sale there will never run title risks. Anil Sharma, chairman and managing director, Amrapali Group, a realty firm, says that these properties are vetted by either the legal departments of participating banks or by a law expert.
But do remember that properties and developers featured in an expo are not your only options. Do your homework well and then look at what’s on offer at the expo.