Covid-19: How sellers should prepare for post-lockdown period

[] Once the phased exit begins, there will be a lot many things to do in a limited timeframe. Here are some things that sellers can do today to prepare beforehand.

While the industry experts are discussing how Covid-19 is impacting the real estate business, homebuyers and investors, there is a little conversation happening around how will be the situation when India comes out of the lockdown phase and economy will start inching towards normalcy. The 40-day isolation has brought everything to a halt, be it client visit or document verification or signing of sale agreement. The social distancing norms have made it important for everyone to slowdown and stay at home. Once the phased exit begins, there will be a lot many things to do in a limited timeframe. Here are some tips and things that property agents and sellers can do today to prepare beforehand:

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  1. Preparing for project deliveries

Industry experts are speculating all project deliveries will be delayed by six months not just due to the shortage of construction workforce but also because of lack of construction material in the market. In terms of funding, the Reserve Bank of India has announced liquidity infusion of Rs 10,000 crore through the National Housing Bank for developers and housing finance companies. Further, the housing ministry is also planning to boost cash flows for the real estate developers by easing the norms for last mile funding from banks and other institutions. This might come as good news for those developers who are severely cash crunched and are eligible for such funding.

  1. RERA formalities and approvals

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While some of the state regulatory authorities have extended the project registration date by three months, others are yet to make any announcement. So far, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra have announced deadline extensions. While the housing ministry is planning to evoke the Force Majeure clause when it comes to project completion and registration, for statutory compliance, developers might have to wait for further instructions. For project approvals, there are chances that have the time frame might be extended by a few months.

  1. Creating a pipeline of leads

Since buying has almost halted for now, this is a good time to create a bank of prospective buyer list who will be interested to think about property investment in next few months. Once the lockdown is lifted, you can reach out to them to know their intent and interest in your property. However, the price would remain a talking point here and you would have to make up your mind if you are willing to offer negotiated price for their investment in the post-pandemic world.

  1. Scheduling tentative site-visits

If you have buyers for ready properties, taking a decision won’t be easy for them without site visit. This kind of buyers will most probably postpone their decision till the time they can visit the location themselves. While there would be only phased exit once the lockdown is lifted, you can tentatively schedule their visit and add to their calendar so that they can plan for it accordingly.

  1. Reach out to new bookings for documentations

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Those who have already paid the booking amount have to finish the documentation process with them which includes sending them the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), sale agreement, application form and formalities for home loan disbursement. In a recent Naredco session, Housing Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said that the government would consider giving legal sanction to digitization of real estate transactions end-to-end, and enable the missing last step: making the first disbursement without physical presence and signature.

  1. Create digitours of your property site and location

You might want to be prepared for the future in case the second wave of coronavirus strikes and the government has to announce complete lockdown again. Property portals such as help sellers to create a virtual reality video of property at an affordable price. You can also consider digitours for your clients which can be accessed from anywhere and does not require any gadgets unlike AR/VR.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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