‘Agent’s standard excuse: The builder hasn’t paid me’
What I have experienced is that a festive offer is always deceptive. Even if you try and be careful, there are chances that the developer or the real estate agent will take you for a ride.
It happened with me three years ago when I bought a 3BHK flat in Noida. I booked the house in an under-construction project through a very well-known real estate agent of Noida. The 1135-sq ft flat cost me R36.88 lakh at the time. The basic price was quoted as R3250 per sq ft and the real estate agent promised me a refund of R2.20 lakh from his own commission.
Normally a real estate agent gets a commission from the developer for selling the latter’s project. So these agents, to attract more buyers, promise to pay the customers some amount of money from the commission. If the customer buys the same flat directly from the developer, he will not get that discount. This happens a lot during festive season.
My agent said he would pay me R2.20 lakh back in installments. The deal looked decent to me because R2.20 lakh is good money. He gave me a credit note on his company’s letterhead. Normally these agents get a commission after a few months from the date of the booking. When I contacted him after two months he told me that he was yet to get his commission from the developer.
He has been making the same excuse for the past three years. I haven’t received a single rupee yet. I have consulted a couple of consumer lawyers and they all say that I should take this case to a consumer court. But I don’t want to get into litigations. Who has the time to keep running around in court? Besides the time you spend, you have to also pay a lot of money for the lawyer’s fee and for other paperwork. And then you are not sure of winning the case.
Real estate agents have their own axe to grind. Most of them refuse to honour the credit note, alleging that the developer hasn’t paid their commission and that they can’t deliver on the promise they made to you
—As told to Jeevan Prakash Sharma