There’s a sea of data available on properties on many online portals like 99acres.com, magicbricks.com, makaan.com, housing.com etc. etc. All one needs to do is search for a property on Google and all these pop up fast. Any one of these you open will give you many many options with pictures, full details on the size and the many benefits of those properties. Theoretically one should be able to filter some properties there, get a shortlist and visit and close one of them. It should be easy and actually maybe one can find something there directly from the owner and not have to pay the commission even. Theoretically.
Let’s get into specifics now. Owners don’t have a variety to offer you so you can only see THAT one property. One ends up looking for properties through a broker if one really wants a choice. When a broker posts a listing there on online portals, he pays an amount to the company. He can only post a few listings because there’s a limit and cost to it. He has to generate a response and work on all the responses and get a deal done. Now, there is actually no mechanism to make sure that the details in the listings are true or correct. The pictures can be and often are misleading. Also the prices are mostly listed wrong also to attract the customers. Then later on the other properties are shown which are for more, but the idea was to just get a customer anyhow, so few dumb brokers think it’s working for them. It doesn’t. It breaks the trust. The idea is to get a call and then show whatever one can. So for Rs. 80,000/- a beautiful builder floor is advertised with pictures of another place worth 1,25,000/-. Or for Rs 3 crores a property is advertised, where the actual price is between 3.5-4 crores. He of course gets a response and says that is not available and can show another. Or he shows you what was advertised, just that it’s not the same as the pictures advertised. That’s a complete waste of time and breaks the trust in that broker as well as in Real Estate Agents in general. Bad! Even worse for those who aren’t cheats because then it gets generalized that brokers mislead. Anyways, I am not trying to sell the point that brokers are good or bad, that’s purely one’s own observation. The point I am making is that the online listings aren’t usually reliable and wastes more time than it saves plus the frustration.
But one can use it to their advantage. Just look at the listing and ask the broker to show it. If its misleading, you obviously have the wrong broker. Drop him quick and look for a better one. The way to find a better one is to see who is aggressive in that area in terms of number of listings for that locality, with more pictures and different pictures and then talk to that broker and see if those properties are available for that price and if he is willing to show THAT ONE! If he is and quotes the same price, he is probably going to be useful. Of course, you observe his actions as you go on so that you can see if he is trustworthy or not.
A good broker can help immensely because he understands all the properties, the mindset of different owners and can easily guide where you will be able to strike a deal. Saves a lot of time, effort and frustration. Also the paperwork and other things that you can’t say to the owner/ buyer/ tenant can be said by him and gotten agreement on. He can guide what is usual and what is not at all correct. Most of the times one will save more money by using a good broker than not using one, because he knows the market and can control and steer the transaction.
If you have a trustworthy broker, just have him work hard for you and keep him at it. Rest he will take care of. Hope that helps.