Spike in agents registered under RERA as realty faces difficult times

As many as 3,579 projects have applied for registration under the Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority.

As many as 3,579 projects have applied for registration under the Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority.   | Photo Credit: File Photo

The number of real estate agents registered with Karnataka RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) has shot up from around 700 in 2018 to almost 2,000 this year. As on Tuesday, 1,957 agents were listed as registered under it. The economic downturn, along with other factors, has had a role to play in this.

According to RERA officials, the spike in numbers could be because property sales are down and more builders and developers are using their services. K-RERA chairman M.R. Kamble told The Hindu that the increasing number of unsold inventories was resulting in builders roping in agents to market and sell them. “At present, plotted properties and group housing of 1- and 2-BHKs, which are more affordable, are being registered. Developers cannot afford to have built-up properties lying unsold. Real estate agents will help them sell these for a commission,” he said. He added that K-RERA was also facilitating registration of real estate agents under the Act.

The number of properties registered under RERA is also increasing, according to Mr. Kamble. As many as 3,579 projects have applied for registration at present. “Banks have also started insisting on RERA registration before sanctioning loans,” he said. This trend has been welcomed by stakeholders, who said that when the regulatory authority was set up in Karnataka two years ago the response from real estate agents was, at best, tepid.

Pressure from builders

Haseeb Noor, proprietor of Townscape Real Estates and member of the Confederation of Real Estate Associates (CREA) – India, said RERA registration was useful to them while dealing with pre-launch projects. “Builders are also insisting on registration to market their projects. If you are not registered, you cannot sell for the big builders. Maybe the unclassified ones do not insist on it, but the reputed ones do,” he said.

Furthermore, registration ensures comfort to the client to a certain extent as the regulations make agents more responsible while dealing with them, he added. “It discourages agents from misrepresenting the project. Builders also want our help and they have also become agent-friendly as the market is down now,” he said.

According to the RERA Act, every registered real estate agent should “not facilitate the sale or purchase of any plot, apartment or building which is not registered with the authority”. They are expected not to involve themselves in any “unfair trade practices” such as falsely representing that the services are of a particular standard or grade.

Kishore Jain, president of CREDAI Bengaluru, said builders have become a sort of “enforcing agency” for real estate agents to register under the Act. “We are insisting on doing business only with registered agents. We have become an enforcing agency because of this. Not only is it mandatory, but it also makes the segment, which is an important stakeholder in the real estate industry, more accountable and organised,” he said. He admitted that there were thousands yet to register, but the numbers were slowly rising.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 3:03:04 AM |

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