‘‘The agent promised me lakh and vanished’
Ihave invested in various projects and thought I had adequate experience in making good deals... but there was one instance when I got cheated. I have been working as a senior consultant in Tata Consultancy Services for the past 20 years. I have been posted in other countries several times in these many years with the company.
I live in a DDA flat in Rohini with my family. I buy real estate projects purely for the purpose of investment. Earlier I used to invest in stocks and mutual funds but they don’t give good returns. I have invested in many projects along the Dwarka Expressway such as ATS Kocoon, Ansals Estella and Chintal Paradiso and have earned handsome returns from a few of them.
So with my experience, I was definitely unprepared for what happened to me. Last year, I bought a 3BHK-plus study flat in Sector 91 in Gurgaon. It was the period of Navratra and as it happens every year, the developer and real estate agents were trying to dole out offers and freebies to attract buyers.
A very renowned agent, whose advertisements appear quite often in national newspapers, promised to give me a discount of R1 lakh if I bought a flat from him. He told me that he would pay me the amount six months after I booked the flat. Though initially he offered me a written assurance, I refused thinking about the good reputation he enjoyed in real estate circles. I paid around R3 lakh as booking amount.
Three months later when I contacted the company, I came to know that the representative had left and joined some other company. When I told them that he had promised me to pay me back R1 lakh as a festive offer, the company said it knew nothing about it.
One year has gone by but I haven't received anything as a festive discount. Since I don’t have any documentary proof of this offer, I can’t even go to court to get it enforced. I am not the only one who have been cheated like this. A lot of my friends have gone through similar problems. I have come to know that even other prominent broker firms make such promises and back out at the last minute. My advice to buyers is that they should never trust any real estate agent when it comes to buying a property. If you have agreed to something, get a written assurance at least to enable you to take legal action against the culprits if they don’t fulfil the promise.
—As told to Jeevan Prakash Sharma