Whether you want to buy or rent a home, there are several channels available to you to help you in your search.
The traditional (and still quite effective) way is to look at the classifieds sections of the major newspapers. Classifieds are published daily in the four major English language papers in Bangalore: The Times of India, The Deccan Herald, The Hindu and The Indian Express. All of them also publish special property sections in their Sunday editions which have more extensive listings. The disadvantage with newspapers is that they often do not carry images of the properties offered, and you will need to make a lot of phone calls, often to brokers and real estate agents who post most of the ads but do not necessarily state that they are agents.
Catching on more these days are some well put together real estate websites that allow you to put up a posting if you are searching for a property, and offer extensive listings which let you to search by area, property type or budget. You can also view pictures of properties. Again, postings are often done by real estate agents, who may show you more than one property once you contact them. The major sites for Bangalore are:
Real Estate Agents
The other way is to go directly to a trusted real estate agent, who will help you find accommodation suited to your needs, and assist you in the process of purchase or rental. The commissions usually are 2% of the sale value for purchases (agents will also take the same commission from the seller) and one month’s rent in the case of rentals (again, agents will collect this from both the renter and the landlord). Typically they will see you through the negotiations and agreement until the actual handover of property/premises occurs. They usually do not take any responsibility after that.
While the better real estate agents keep your needs in mind and offer you a broad range of options, the fact still remains that they are trying to get you to commit to a purchase or rental through them as quickly as possible, so you will need to push them for options, and also take the initiative to bargain and negotiate. They will act as mediators between the owner and buyer/renter, but they technically represent both parties, so they do not represent either one’s interests above the other.
Most agents will only have a motorbike, so they will expect you to follow them in your own transport when you go house-hunting. Make sure in advance that you are not going to be charged a fee for the house-hunting if you do not take any of the properties they offer. If you have been shown a property by an agent, you cannot then rent, lease or buy the property from the owner directly.
Some good real estate agencies who have experience dealing with expatriates, and English-speaking agents are:
- Hanu Reddy Realty (http://www.hanureddyrealty.com/bangalore/index.html) a well-known agency with offices across India and the US. They charge no commission for purchases of new apartments.
- Beary’s Group (http://www.bearysgroup.com) A building and construction company with an agency wing.
- Expat Group (http://www.expat-group.com) Agency dealing with purchases only
- Global Adjustments (http://www.globaladjustments.com) A relocation services group specializing in cross-cultural destination services, with a real estate division. (Rental only)