Problems faced by a Realtor
The most expensive investment any individual makes in his/her lifetime is undoubtedly the “Roof above the head” i.e. the home. While, we take a a legal advice before filing a case, consult a doctor before jumping to any medication, when it comes to the biggest investment of the life most home buyers neglect taking a professional advice.
Now a days, there are many legal complications involved in purchasing a property. The detailed knowledge about the legal permissions, complexities of the titles, knowledge about the market price for better investment, likely demand in future for similar properties and whether to invest or not in the property is possessed by a professional who is into the sector.
When home buyers look out for the advice of experts in the real estate sector, they often look up to the developers to get the right advice. But, how many times a buyer is able to meet the developer of the project? They most often end up dealing with the sales and marketing advisors. To get the right advice property buyers should seek the realtors. The certified realtors primary business is real estate brokerage or consultancy.
But, one needs to be cautious of the fly by night operators or part-timers who are into the business and promise to get the best deal in discounted price. Availing the services of a certified professional eases the process of financial and legal transactions. Also, a certified realtor belonging to a professional body can give the buyer a platform of recourse and redressal if required.
A realtor as a certified real estate broker/agent/consultant is a member of NAR-India (National Association of Realtors) and its state or city chapter. The members within six months of joining undergo a stringent test designed and conducted by Indian Institute of Real Estate to test all aspects of the person’s knowledge and proficiency in real estate.
The Traditional Mindset
The sum that a buyer spends as the fees of a realtor is only a small part of the savings that one can make by getting the best property at the best deal with an additional benefit of having peace of mind in future. We pay a doctor or a lawyer in advance, even a mechanic or technician is paid for his visit but a realtor is paid only on the completion of the deal and that too many a times in installments.
A person forgets that a realtor has to make many expenses while making a deal. The expenses are in form of maintaining the office and staff, promotion and advertisements and showcasing the property to the buyers. Moreover, he has to use his knowledge to the best of his ability to complete the deal in a competitive price.
We need to understand the amount of effort that realtors pust in and ensure the timely payment for the same. The realtors atoo need to educate themselves on the need to enter into a binding a contract with whosoever they represent to ensure that they are not cheated for all the hard work they put in.
The New Challenges
The current scenario of the new liabilities and responsibilities brought on by the advent of the” Era of RERA” has brought about a lot of changes to the way business would be conducted. The Act is beneficial to consumers and shall also help realtors in a way that now only registered projects with all permissions can be marketed; however it brings in its own set of challenges.
Anyone can register himself as an agent as there is no minimum qualification or experience or certification required. This would bring in lot of unprofessional or self-claimed registered brokers/agents/consultants therefore, we should educate ourselves before approaching anyone
NAR-India continuously strives to educate its members and therefore, organizes seminars so that they can acquire ample knowledge about realtors and the market. Despite the low visibility among the public, the organization has been able to educate and spread awareness about the importance of being a realtor than just being a registered agent.
It is very important for the realtors to liason with the government and to get adequate representation on the advisory committees or regulatory bodies which would govern all the aspects of the deals to happen in future. It is also important because if the committees or the regulatory bodies would have only bureaucrats or developers or judiciary as members they are likely to have less knowledge about the nature of business.
The provisions of RERA are also a matter of concern for realtors as only liabilities and penalties on agents are defined but there is no protection given to them. Apart from this, the penalty provision are also highly disproportionate. The penalty provision defines that the developer or seller would penalized upto 10% of the cost, but a developer receives 100% of the amount whereas a realtor who is also supposed to pay the penalty receives mere 1-2% of the sale value. The provision here are lop-sided with assumption that raltors are unscrupulous people and deserve no sympathy or protection, only the consumer is fleeced, so deserves all protection.
These are just some of the challenges faced by the realtors today, but nothing beats the satisfaction one gets when an old client meets and says he would recommend you to any one.
Rr. Amit Chopra
Director – Escala Realty India Pvt. Ltd.,
Chairman of Goa Association Of Realtors,
Governing Body Member of National Association Of Realtors – India