Most of the property transactions involve real estate agents or brokers who facilitate the deals. These brokers have become the intermediate medium for different types of property transactions viz. sale, resale, purchase, transfer, lease, auction, etc. The risk associated with the property transaction can be reduced if the credibility of the broker can be ascertained, verified and authenticated
Recently the Central Government indicated plans to regulate the realty sector by regulating the real estate brokers in order to keep a control and check over the cases of fraud and cheating which are frequently reported. The Government plans to regulate brokers by making registration mandatory for real estate agents. The registration shall be done under the purview of the proposed Real Estate Regulatory Authority with the aim of protecting the interest of buyers in all kinds of property purchases.
In February, 2014, the Uttar Pradesh Government had also decided to enact a new law with the objective of regulating real estate brokers and agents which will ensure better services to homebuyer across the entire state. While Haryana was the first state to have made registration of brokers mandatory, the three-year-old drive has failed to move beyond the paperwork. The state Government’s drive to charge a fee from brokers in the city for the license certificate has failed because even those without the certificate are able to do business.
Out of my experience in real estate industry as a professional consultant, I understand that the task of convincing a buyer is a tough one as it involves huge monetary investment. As the transaction value is high, the risk accompanied in the transaction should be reduced to a minimum.
Real estate dealers are key partners of developers and buyers. The decision of registration of real estate dealers is a much-needed step in the sector to raise overall credibility and protect buyers from property-related frauds
A quick guide for buyers while selecting real estate brokers is as follows:
- Check registration of the broker and crosscheck with the developer
- Do visit the office and analyse their working
- Contact only on professional mail IDs and mobile numbers and prefer to be in touch with seniors of the organization
- Always insist on paper work with proper stamps and authorised signatories
- Check the office of the broker and associated developer
There is a dire need of broker’s registration and a regulator or nodal agency which can register the brokers. Quick suggestions for broker’s registration and monitoring are as follows:
Connect broker’s registration with their PAN card for unique identification like service tax number which will bring highest level of transparency.
Establish a central body which can offer all information about registered brokers, like:
- Transactions done in a financial year
- Complaints received
- Registration number
- E-mail ID and contact number
- Associated developers
- Separate window for consumer grievances with status of resolution
- Number of team members and total tenure of operation
- Ranking or rating based on years of operation, complaints, area of operations and endorsement by developers.
There is a dire need of brokers’ registration and a regulator or nodal agency which can register the brokers.
The monitoring by a regulatory body will instill fear in the minds of errant brokers and there will be lesser cases of fraud and cheating by brokers.
There can also be a provision of ratings of brokers based on certain defined parameters like years of operation, no complaints, area of operations and endorsement by developers.
A district-level officer, say a DM or ADM, should be entrusted with the task of carrying out the operations for registering the brokers, issue of license and addressing customer complaints. For brokers who operate in more than one city, a single window registration should be possible so that they do not have to approach the nodal agency across multiple cities and regions