‘Agent’s stan­dard ex­cuse: The builder hasn’t paid me’

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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

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