The word broker, particularly in real estate, has always been viewed with a lot of scepticism by middle-class Indian families earlier whenever they ventured to buy or sell homes. Many people also got into several shenanigans in order to escape the commission which they would not want to pay at any cost. Over time, people have realized that real estate brokerage is a vital ancillary which is what contributes towards overall sales figures and growth of the sector while acting as the interface between the developer/seller and the buyer.
When it comes to choosing the right brokerage for your first home, you should definitely go the new-age way. By new-age way, it is meant that you should give proptech a shot (it’s property technology in case you didn’t get that!). This is one space which is witnessing resounding growth several players coming into the fray, each with a distinct competitive advantage for customers. The entire property buying procedure has been disrupted by the emergence of proptech which is another offshoot of the online consumer revolution over the last decade or so. With fintech or finance availability online, the whole home buying procedure is supplemented to the fullest!
What to look for in a brokerage?
When you are buying your first home, you can consider choosing a smart online brokerage. Here are the things that you should ideally look for or insist on while searching:
- Fully democratized and transparent information- The online brokerage/real estate platform should have all information clearly laid out about real estate projects in major cities and locations. You should be able to clearly view projects with their prices, amenities and all other details. You should be able to clearly view all projects in a particular area/location, the area trends in terms of prices, locality information, social infrastructure, connectivity, developer information and so on. You can never have too much information in today’s day and age.
- Budget-Wise Recommendations & Comparison- There should be a dedicated space where you can get recommendations based on primarily your budget and also your other preferences which you can then take forward. You should also be able to compare projects on the basis of several parameters prior to taking a decision.
- Stages till closing of transaction- You should be assisted by the online proptech company/brokerage with the site visit, dealing with the developer, preparing your documents and so on. All steps until the final transaction should be the responsibility of the brokerage as much as it is yours. A good brokerage will always have tie-ups with several leading real estate players and developers.
- Home Loan assistance- The brokerage should ideally have tie-ups with as many reputed banks and NBFCs as possible and should have a platform where you can apply for your home loan with full assistance pertaining to the application, sanctioning, processing and documentation aspects.
- After-Sales Support- There should be consistent after-sales support provided by the customer care team at the brokerage in a bid to address all your issues and queries. This is the hallmark of a good brokerage.
- Pricing- The brokerage should give you accurate and market prevalent prices and in case you find any lower price for the same home from the developer, then the brokerage should be charging the same.
- Brokerage Charges- If it is an online brokerage, they should ideally charge you nothing. Yes, a good brokerage will depend on revenue sources elsewhere and help you buy homes without charging any commissions. 0% brokerage and total service should be what you aim for.
- Customer Support- The brokerage should have a dedicated team of customer support professionals who help with every stage of the process, i.e. discovering and searching for suitable projects to closing the deal, site visits, home loan assistance and after-sales service.
- Reputation- Always choose a reputed online brokerage that has a considerable presence in the country and preferably in some global markets as well. The bigger the firm, the better handled you will be.
After all, intelligent and highly advanced proptech players are those who focus on meeting customer needs with discovery, information, recommendations and consultation before guiding them through the entire procedure, i.e. finalizing of the deal, documentation, transactional aspects, home loans and post-sales service without charging anything from end-consumers. Go for a full-service solution which will offer you fintech and proptech together under one roof while covering the whole process for your benefit.