There are some crucial facts when it comes to the sale of a house like ascertaining the value of a house, preparing and maintaining documents as record and proof of the sale, aspects of the price negotiation, registration process etc. A sale or resale of a property is a complex transaction that has several parties involved other than the main parties. Along with the transfer of property, there is a transfer of ownership and proprietary rights from the home seller to the homebuyer. 

However, if a person has ownership, it is not mandatory for the owner to have possession of the property. The right to the disposal of property is however vested in the owner of the property and such disposal of property includes the right to sell the property. The seller has the right to sell the property to whomsoever s/he chooses (subject to the legal capacity and acceptance of the buyer). This article seeks to highlight the relevant facts to the sale transaction of a house.

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Can I sell my house before possession?

There are homebuyers and investors who view real estate as a good investment option. These people do not seek to purchase property for the purpose of residing in it but to sell it when the market conditions are appropriate for the sale.

  • During the pre-launch of soft periods, investors purchase property to avail of monetary benefits, discounts and concessions. These investors then wait for the property’s capital value to appreciate and sell at short-term and medium-term gains. 
  • These properties are usually newly constructed flats or houses which are then purchased by investors from the property developers and builders. 
  • As such, the “chain of titles” does not extend into the past and there isn’t much paperwork in the form of property documents
  • Due to these properties being purchased for short-term or medium-term gains, possession of the property is not taken up.
  • The builder/developer in this instance charges a token amount at the booking time of the property as per the terms of the builder. When the finalization of the property layout happens, an agreement between the builder and investor is executed and registered.
  • When it is time for the possession of the house to be transferred to the buyers from the builder, the investor seeing the capital appreciation in the property deals with a buyer and both approach the builder to officially get the property registered in the buyer’s name and transfer ownership and possession to the buyer. The builder may charge a transfer fee for allowing the investor to transfer ownership of the property without taking possession of it.

How do I sell my house to the bank?

Banks are not in the business of buying and selling property. Section 6 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 prohibits a bank from engaging in a business that is not related to the banking business or furthering such business.

  • A bank can legally take over a mortgaged property to recover the loan amount sanctioned. 
  • As such, once a bank seizes the property and sells it to realize the dues of the mortgage, the bank is not entitled to keep any surplus proceeds from the sale. Thus it is obligated to return any excess to the borrower.
  • Also, Section 8 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 prohibits a bank from directly or indirectly dealing in buying or selling of goods, except when it is recovering dues or realizing security. In this instance, a property builder or developer buying and selling property considers property as goods and not an asset. Thus, for a bank, the property mortgaged with it or placed as collateral against a loan is not its personal asset but a means to recover its dues.
  • As such, a bank cannot normally purchase a house from you with non-banking interests in mind.

Is it safe to sell your house privately?

You selling your own house is a matter of your own choice. Hiring an estate agent is beneficial because the agent knows how to manoeuvre through the procedural hurdles of the transaction and smoothening its passage. 

  • An estate agent knows all the nitty-gritty of the property transaction and how to facilitate the sale of the property. 
  • An estate agent can also help the seller with the documentation that has to be maintained and the registration process. 
  • Estate agents can negotiate with buyers to get a price favorable for the seller. The negotiation process involves having detailed knowledge and understanding of the property matters, one that an estate agent has ample experience.
  • An estate agent can also smoothen things between the authorities and the seller. 
  • However, the employing of an estate agent’s services is voluntary and as the owner of the house, you have the ultimate authority vested in you to sell the house.
  • If you want to sell the house on your own, you can do so by possessing knowledge of all the relevant provisions of the law that apply to the sale of a property. Provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, The Transfer of Property Act, 1882, The Income Tax Act, 1961, etc.
  • Knowledge of the prevailing property rates and the comparative value of the property with similar property in the area is also a requirement. 
  • The seller of the property should also maintain the paperwork of the property to the final detail. 

Steps to avoid being cheated on:

  • Visiting many properties
  • Cross-check the documents showing ownership of the property
  • Get a bank or any financial institutions approval
  • Validate the title deed
  • Cross-check the sanctioned plan and completion certificate
  • Check for any encumbrances, tax dues, or legal dues
  • Obtain a detailed cost break-up
  • Enter into an agreement
  • Don’t delay the registration process.


The importance of certain facts to a property sale like documentation, evaluation of the property, the legal transfer of the ownership and rights in the property are significant. In a property transaction, both financial and legal processes are involved that regulate the conduct of the parties, the passage of the transaction and its conclusion. A seller may appoint an agent to act on his behalf or perform the part of the transaction himself or herself. An estate agent receives commission or brokerage which is usually calculated as a percentage on the purchase or sale value. However, a seller can save on this cost by taking up the active part of performing the transaction on his or her shoulders.