Things you should check before buying a resale flat

Resale properties need not be always cheaper. In metropolitan cities, most of the resale properties are located in areas that do not have any further place available for construction or are very costly. In such areas, resale properties need not be cheaper. Discounts might be available in more competitive markets which have more space available for new properties. Since these properties are usually sold by owners or investors, there is higher chance that the buyer can make flexible payments.

What should you check before buying a resale property?

Here are a few things that you should check before buying a resale flat

What is maintenance charge? What is included in this maintenance charge?

Sometimes, some flats might give you a better worth for its value. However, such flats might also have higher maintenance charge. This maintenance charge should generally cover municipal tax, property tax, assessment tax, water charges, elevator charges, common electricity charges as well as charges for services like garbage collection, security, general cleaning, etc. In some societies extra charges on gymnasium, pool, club-house, etc. might be included. However, it is the duty of the buyer to check whether these services are really available or not.

Also, check whether a separate contribution exists to a sinking fund which might be used for all heavy maintenance activities. Any amount paid into this fund might be irrecoverable. Hence, it might be a good idea to find out how much needs to be paid as a part of this sinking fund.

Is car parking available?

Some societies might not have separate parking space even though parking space is mandatory to be constructed in most apartments. Some others might have limited parking space. Parking lots in such places might be allotted on a rotational basis or on a lot basis. The buyer should check whether the society levies any charge for the parking lot.

Often, the previous owner might not own a vehicle and hence, might not have a slot allocated to him/her. In such cases, it might be a good idea to talk to the society to check whether the buyer can avail a parking slot. 

Is there a water problem?

Water scarcity or availability of hard, undrinkable water is a general problem that exists in most of the cities nowadays. Buyers need to ensure whether there exists some water problem in the area.

Are all the previous bills paid?

The problem with most of the resold houses are that sometimes, the previous connections might not have been cancelled. The previous buyer might not have paid electricity deposit, electricity bill, water tax, property tax or some other form of bill or tax. In case these bills are not paid, there is a chance that the new buyer will have to pay these past bills. Also ensure that the property tax has been paid. If not, the new buyer might have to pay the property tax for all the previous years.

When was the property registered?

If the property was registered more than 18 to 20 years ago, then there is a high chance that the registration might not be valid. Buying such a property would incur high costs of stamp duty. The buyer might also have to incur property registration charges.

What are the documents that should be obtained when purchasing a resale flat?

Obtain all original documents from the seller. If some original documents, especially the sale deed, are missing, then the property could be mortgaged. Obtain the original sales deed and the society share certificate. In case of a resale, proper transfer and re-registration of the property is necessary.

The documents that are required for registration of flats include the sale deed and a letter from the society that highlights the number of floors, the year when the apartment was constructed, the apartment’s built-up area, the number of lifts available in the area, etc.

The purchaser of the resale flat should also obtain a copy of the property card, receipt for the payment of registration fees, NOC from the collector if the building exists on collector’s land, etc. The buyer should also make sure that he/she obtains a clear ownership history to confirm that the property has been transferred in a proper manner.

The buyer can also check for the authenticity of the documents by talking them to a registrar.

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