Tuesday, October 30, 2018

How to check for legalities, cost, penalty clauses, and available financing options for a real estate project in India?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Are you looking to buy property in India? Have you decided on the location, or choice of builder? Are you satisfied with your research of similar offerings available in the market? If you answered ‘YES’ to these questions, then there is all the likelihood that you may be about to make the booking amount to the real estate developer. But, hang on; despite making all the efforts to research for the right property, right builder, location, and budget, there is still a possibility of things going wrong. What else can you do to minimize such risks? Well, conduct a thorough due-diligence including verifying the legalities of the residential project of your choice, It’s pricing, penalty clauses to the developer, and available financing options for the project.

It’s not that difficult a task, just be more open and ask a set of questions from the developer, and bank. This is to make sure all bases are covered in case something goes wrong with the project. We have put together a detailed list of “TO DO” things for you to verify before you pay the booking amount for a property of your choice.

Here it is:

Have any Questions?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How to Select a Real Estate Agent

Whether you are a property owner who wishes to sell real estate or whether you are a prospective buyer who wants to buy a property, you will need to hire a real estate agent to help you in your endeavor. When it comes to hiring property agents, not all home buyers and sellers are as informed as they should be about these service professionals. The following tips will help you analyze a real estate agent's credentials, his work and success stories so that you can conveniently achieve your goal.

Here are some useful ways by which you can find out more about the agent before you decide to get him on board.

  • Get in touch with the agent’s recent clients

Ask the potential agents to bring with them a list of their previous clients along with what they have listed or sold in the past one year. Now before you pick up the phone and start calling up the clients, ask your agent if you should expect any specific client to be particularly satisfied or particularly upset. You can also ask the other clients about the asking price and sale price. If you happen to be the seller, find out if the properties sold by this agent are similar to yours in terms of price, amenities and features. One should hire an agent who has a specialization in the type of property you are looking for or wish to offload. You may also ask the clients as to how long their property been on the market?

  • Check the license

Real estate dealers must hold a license that is authorized by a board of a particular state. You should check with your state's regulatory body to find out if the agent is licensed and whether there has been any sort of complaint or disciplinary action taken against him. You may be able to find information related to certain states on databases available online, which the consumers can access.

  • Opt for the best

Check out the peer-given awards held by the agents. Look for felicitations that actually mean something, for instance, ‘Realtor of the Year’ award conferred by the state or an association of realtors. Real estate agents are best judged by contemporaries and peers and if an agent has been honored by his allies then that is a huge endorsement.

  • Look for the right credentials

Just like doctors specialize and have a niche, real estate agents also excel in a niche. Even professionals working in the general sphere will seek special training in a particular area. So make sure you go through the name and look for any indication that the agent has made extra effort and taken specialized training in a specific sub-domain of property sales. Here is what the designations imply –

    1. Accredited Buyer's Representative or ABR – The agent has added education in representing shoppers in a transaction.
    2. Certified Residential Specialist or CRS – This implies that the person holds extra training in managing residential real estate.
    3. Seniors Real Estate Specialist or SRES – This means that the agent has completed training for helping both sellers and buyers who are over 50 years of age.

  • Find out how much experience the agent holds
You can find out facts like how long a particular agent has been dealing in real estate. Such information can be obtained from the state licensing authority. Or you may simply inquire the details from the agent himself. If the agent has been out of business for over five years, they could now be learning on you which is definitely not good. You should always hire a professional who has been actively engaged in a specific sub-domain and price category. You should gauge the magnitude of knowledge of through these two parameters and check the agent’s market presence.

  • Check the current listings
Go through the agent's listings shown online. Check out the agent’s official website or other portals with Multiple Listing Service as a searchable online database. Nowadays, most buyers begin their search over the Internet. Thus, you should hire an agent who uses the web effectively. Presentation is everything and so the agent must be able to show his work through pictures of properties and establish credibility through listings. 

Your responsibility is to see how close the listings come to the type of property you wish to sell or buy. You should also check whether the agent operates in the area where you would like to invest and whether he has dealt with homes in the same price range. The person must be able to have sufficient listings to portray a steady business. However, the list should not be extremely long either because then you will just be a mere number in it. 

You can also assess the agent’s proficiency by mentioning about a recent deal in the area. If he knows about it and can give some details, this means that he knows his job and you can hire him immediately.

Lastly, don't forget to check the various fees charged by the real estate agent. And compare these fees with other real estate agents in the locality.

This is a guest post by Devika Arora who is a professional writer dedicated to following the current real estate trends and writing guest posts and blog posts for the benefit of potential home buyers and investors. The above article talks about how to choose a property agent.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

5 Investment Tips for Commercial Real Estate

An investment in commercial real estate is a great way of increasing your market worth. Also, by acquiring the asset you add a steady source of earnings to your portfolio. Commercial property that is strategically located can appreciate dramatically over a period of time, while rented commercial properties can procure a regular cash flow for other financial pursuits like investment or for comfortable retirement. The following are five useful tips that will help you while purchasing a commercial property.

  • Learn from experiences 

It is always good to go with your instincts. Make use of personal knowledge as the best ideas for investment come from the investor's prior investment experiences and know-how. You should search for real estate in an area located close to your home or some place that is known to you. Investing in familiar markets is always a safer option and you can trust your instincts about what to buy where. Start going through blueprints and get a potential property evaluated. Remember to park your hard-earned money in a well-established locality, rather than an upcoming one even though it would cost more. It is going to be a more profitable investment eventually.

  • Wait for the right opportunity 

If you have just seen the property once and have decided to seal the deal, probably you are rushing in a bit too soon. Do not make such a blunder just because you have the purchasing power or like the look of the place. That does not mean the property is ready to be acquired. You should be comfortable with the area and the property. Visit the real estate during all times of the day to see the amount of lighting and the noise in the vicinity. Recce of the real estate may probably even bring out a few flaws in the property that can later be used to negotiate the price.

  • Build a real estate circle

An investor seeking to buy a commercial property cannot strike the best deal without a few suggestions and strategies from friends or experts from the real estate network. If you have a business associate from the legal, banking, contracting or property sales profession whose opinion you can trust, you should probably get some professional advice before taking the plunge. The person may also help you find a better deal.

  • Plan for both short and long term prospects

As an investor of commercial property, you should be able to gauge the immediate outcome from your investment, while also understanding its long term effects. Cities and their suburbs consist of several run down properties that were once buzzing. Draw your plans and cross-check what you want with what is available. Sometimes, changes in infrastructure, transportation routes and arrival of big organizations in the vicinity can instantly boost the worth of real estate. If something like that is on the cards for the property you are considering, you may be in for success in the near future.

  • Diversify your portfolio

Do not risk your money by parking all your funds at one place. You may be taking a huge risk by putting all your investment into a single commercial property. While buying commercial real estate and renting it out will ensure decent cash flow at a later stage, a market slowdown during retirement would be ruinous. Commercial property must not be the only one holding for an investor. To avoid getting stuck with a fruitless investment, it is advisable that you diversify by purchasing residential real estate or stock. If you are only inclined towards venturing into the realty sector, you can branch out by acquiring space in retail or office buildings, apartment buildings, condominiums, studio flats or by buying raw land.

This is a guest post by Devika Arora. The above piece of work talks about commercial properties in India.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Tips for landowners before they enter into a joint venture agreement with real estate developers

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

Recently, our team was interacting with some of the landowners who have entered into a joint venture agreement with real estate developers in Delhi NCR region. Now, believe it or not, most of these landowners are inheritors of ancestral property and have no clue about the legalities of a joint venture. They go as per the words of their confidants and sometimes find themselves into trouble. Take this, a landowner who entered into a joint venture agreement with a real estate developer in 2006 still finds that his land has been locked by the developer and there are no signs of the proposed group housing project taking off. What can you as the owner of land do before entering into a joint venture with a property developer?

1. First of all, what is a joint venture between a landowner and a real estate developer?
Joint ventures are formed by at least two parties with the objective of achieving a specific investment return. Unlike many other business agreements, when the objective is achieved, the joint venture is usually terminated. Following are the attributes of a joint venture.

  • Risk sharing: A single investor may be unwilling to undertake a real estate venture because of its size, location, capital requirements, and/or duration. However, by sharing the risk, two or more parties may be willing to undertake the venture.
  • Combining expertise with capital: Joint ventures are frequently formed as a way to pool equity capital from one or more sources, as well as a means of bringing parties with different expertise to the venture. A joint venture could also involve purchasing existing properties and operating them. In this case, one of the parties may be responsible for acquisition, leasing, and management, and others may provide capital.
  • Speculative objectives

2. Organizational forms
Participants in joint ventures may include any combination of individual investors, partnerships, corporations, or trusts. However, a joint venture in and of itself is not a legal form of organization. In order to specify capital contributions, rights, duties, profit sharing, and the like, a joint venture agreement or a business entity must be created. The choice of organizational form used to accommodate those various groups of investors could be a partnership, corporation, Pvt. Ltd, or trust. Partnerships are frequently the vehicle of choice in real estate joint venture.

3. Profit sharing
Because the parties to a joint venture may contribute different things, and possibly in different proportions, a partnership must be structured such that it provides economic incentives for all parties. Differences in tax status of investors also may affect the way partnerships are structured.

A joint venture can take on a number of different partnership forms. The most common is the limited partnership. As is the case with all partnerships, there must be at least one general partner and any number of limited partners. Generally, in real estate, limited partners are the investors that provide most of the equity capital, while general partners are usually responsible for managing the partnership assets and may contribute a relatively small portion of the required equity capital.

4. Following factors are considered by potential investors for structuring a joint venture.
  • How much initial capital will the parties contribute and how will the parties contribute additional capital if needed in the future?
  • How will the parties share in the annual cash flows to be produced from operating the property?
  • How will the parties share in the cash flow received from sale of the property?
  • Will some of the parties receive a preferred return? Will the preferred return be paid from annual cash flows and/or from sale?
  • Will taxable income (or losses) and capital gain (or loss) be shared in the same proportion that operating cash flow to be distributed?
  • Who will have control over the operation of the property and decisions involving capital improvements, approving leases to tenants, financing and possibly refinancing the property, and when to sell the property?

5. Points you as the owner of the land must keep in mind:
  • Check the credentials of the developer. His past record and success in achieving targets.
  • Before entering into a joint venture agreement with a builder, register your company and transfer the land on the book of this new entity. You can hold 100% of shares of this new entity or shares can be held by various promoters depending on their claim in the land. The new entity formed should ideally be registered as private limited company under the company’s law act of India.
  • Now, enter a joint venture agreement with a builder’s company. Therefore, the agreement is between two companies. One providing land for the development of the project and other providing capital and expertise to develop the project.
  • How do you decide on profit sharing? Well, we have defined it above. However, Recent trends in India indicates a 1/3rd – 2/3rd rule. 1/3rd of the project outflows going to the landowner and 2/3rd of the project outflows going to the real estate developer.
  • As a landowner, make sure that the number of housing units or the developed area of the project is assigned to you and is clearly mentioned in the joint venture agreement. For example, in case of housing project, you should have the housing unit number, size, and floor in the joint venture agreement.
  • As an example, a landowner enters into a joint venture agreement with a ABC real estate developer Pvt. Ltd. The plot of land measures 20 acres and about 600 housing units would be developed. As a thumb of rule, 200 units should be assigned to landowner and remaining 400 to the builder. For a landowner, this kind of agreement is safe and can result better returns for his/her land as opposed to the agreement wherein builder pays the 1/3rd of the cash inflows to the landowner on the sale of housing units.
  • Hire a professional legal company with expertise in real estate joint agreements, and due-diligence.

Have any Questions?