RERA: How Will This Change the Digital Real Estate Landscape in India?
RERA regime provides abundant information as well as gives confidence on accuracy of information.
Photo Credit : finlace.com,
Online real estate portals came into existence with the vision of equipping their customers with accurate and abundant information which makes their home buying or renting journey efficient and develop tools which help reach right decisions through deep analysis and insights. At Housing.com, Makaan.com & PropTiger.com, we have been pioneers in disrupting resale and rental segments of industry through accurate locality information on map based interface, nearby commuting options, 100% verified listings collected through on ground data collection team, lifestyle scores and many more innovations. Though we have implemented many innovations when it came to new projects such as Slice View, 3D videos, aerial videos using drones yet we many a times fell short of expectations due to accuracy of information provided to us.
Real Estate Regulatory Authority bill has come as a great respite for online real estate portals as they now not only have a source of accurate information from RERA websites but also abundance of information to create tools which will help customers in making right decisions when it comes to home buying from developers. To understand the impact let’s start with key questions which any buyer has when he starts his home buying journey
- Is this the right location for me?
- Is this the right builder for me?
- Is this project legally safe? Is the apartment I am buying legally approved? Are all approvals in place?
- Will I get what I have been promised i.e., area, specification and amenities?
- Will it be delivered in promised timelines? Will the builder get Occupancy Certificate?
- Shall I trust the agent who has posted this advertisement?
- Am I getting right price? Will there be hidden charges later?
- What if something goes wrong? Whom should I approach?
As far as the first question is concerned, Housing.com, Makaan.com and PropTiger.com have added many innovative tools such as overlaying city master plan over Google map to help customers judge not only current but future potential of location and time sense to understand time it will take to reach various parts of the city from project. Post RERA we will be in better position to answer the other 7 questions as well. Let’s explore the opportunity RERA provides us in answering the remaining questions one by one.
Is this the right builder for me?
RERA mandates promoters of the project to provide information of projects launched by them in past 5 years, whether already completed or under construction. Promoters also must provide information about current status of these projects, details of delay in completion of the project if any, details of pending cases as well as details of land and types of payments pending. This information can now be mined to come up with scores, which will help customer in gaining confidence about builders they are going to purchase home from.
Is this project legally safe for me? Is the apartment I am buying legally approved? Are all approvals in place?
On the RERA website, builders will have to provide a copy of legal title report of the land, a copy of agreement with actual landowner (if the builder is not owning land directly), information about encumbrances in respect of land and the details regarding the proceedings which are subjudice. In addition builder will have to provide sanctioned plan of the project, sanction number of buildings, sanction number of floors, aggregate area of recreational open spaces and number of covered parking. With all this information, online real estate portals will be in position to give their opinion on legal validity of project as well as unit being purchased by customer and highlight if they come across any discrepancy in the documents or approvals.
Will I get what I have been promised i.e., area, specification and amenities?
On the RERA website developers will be providing carpet area of the apartments being sold, definition of which has been standardized in the act. This has been a major cause of concern for buyers as developers till now only provided super area, definition of which was never transparent to buyers. Result of this was mental stress and disputes when actual possession was offered to buyers. Similarly, RERA mandates developers to reveal information about contractors, architects and any other vendor employed for construction of project. Now equipped with this information, portals can provide comparison tool, which can help buyers compare projects across multiple new data fields.
Will it be delivered in promised timelines? Will the builder get Occupancy Certificate?
Under RERA regime developers will be quarterly updating construction progress on RERA website. Leveraging this as well as builder background information, online real estate portals will be able to come up with probability of timely completion of project. In addition to this, RERA also mandates heavy delay penalty equivalent of what builders were charging till now to customers for delayed payments, which makes it unattractive for builders to delay projects. RERA also clearly defines completion of project as procurement of Occupancy certificate or Completion certificate by builder from designated authorities.
Shall I trust the agent who has posted this advertisement?
Under RERA builders will clearly identify registered agents who are authorized to market their projects on RERA portal. This increases the accountability of agents and removes fly by night operators from the market. Online portals can now vouch the credibility of agent posting the advertisement by checking it on RERA website.
Am I getting right price? Will there be hidden charges later?
This will continue to be a tough question to answer for portals but they can try to correlate project pricing with plethora of information available about builder and project. This will equip online portals to answer the variance of price seen across projects based on parameters such as builder quality, construction quality, amenities and specifications etc. RERA also provides for model agreement of sale, which clearly mentions that the total price given to buyer is escalation free, hence there can be no hidden charges at later point.
What if something goes wrong? Whom should I approach?
This is the key differentiator between RERA and earlier apartment acts implemented by states such as Maharashtra, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Buyers under RERA not only can reach out to authority if something goes wrong but can also approach appellate tribunals who will have to dispose off each complaint within well-defined timelines. RERA also prescribes penalties and jail term for offenders, which makes it a very strong law.
To conclude, RERA regime provides abundant information as well as gives confidence on accuracy of information. Online real estate portals will now leverage this information to provide useful tools to customers for arriving at right property purchase decisions.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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