Expat Guide for Finding Home in Delhi

Most people looking for a home in Delhi either contact agents or go directly through landlords. Agents usually charge a fee equivalent to one month’s rent of the selected apartment for their services. The best way for finding a home in Delhi is through word of mouth, so ask around before contacting agents or checking out classifieds.

Classified Advertisements in Newspapers

National dailies, such as ‘The Times of India’ and ‘Hindustan Times’, and their weekend supplements ‘Times Properties’ and ‘HT Estates’ are good for information about the prevailing property rates in all areas of the NCR.

These advertisements are posted either by the owner of the property or a real-estate agent/broker acting on his/her behalf. You can establish contact with the agent/broker or the owner, see the property and then formalise the lease agreement.

There is scope for a little bargaining in most cases and it is acceptable to ask if there could be a reduction in the rent. The advantage of directly approaching the owner is that don’t you don’t have to pay a brokerage fee.

Online Rental Agencies

Websites like http://www.99acres.comhttp://www.magicbricks.com and http://www.makaan.com provide extensive listings by area for New Delhi. You can search for the property of your choice, be it an apartment, villa or duplex house. Here again, the advertisements can be from the builder, owner of the property or a real-estate agent. Some other websites include:

Real-estate Agents/Brokers

There are property brokers who specialise in specific locations and provide purchase as well as rental brokerage services. As agents normally take one month’s rent as a fee, they normally won’t be that helpful in negotiating lower rents with landlords. Negotiations are better taken up directly with the landlord, preferably without the agent present.

English speaking brokerage agents / agencies in New Delhi include:

  1. Affinity: [Phone: 9811159064] http://www.affinityconsultant.com
  2. HSN [Phone: 41503787] http://www.hsngroup.com
  3. Sirohi [Phone:23310428] http://www.sirohiestates.com

Dealing with a real estate agent:

  • If you are leasing the property through a broker, you will be charged a brokerage fee, usually equivalent to one month’s rent.
  • It takes effort to get the real estate agents to contact you again or give you precise information after talking to them. This is often unavoidable, so if you are truly interested in a property, continue to call. Many agents will be willing to meet you at a pre-determined spot and travel with you to see the property.
  • You will most likely need to go through several agents to see a wide variety of available properties, as most agents only have a few to show in their designated area. Try to make several appointments in a day if you are searching during the weekend.
  • Ask for the agent’s fee for finding a flat when you talk to him the first time. Often they ask for one month’s rent as a fee. Start bargaining over the phone and most of them will reduce their fee to two weeks or three weeks of a month’s fee. Several of these agents also receive money from the property’s owner for their services.
  • If you are not shipping your furnishings from home, try to find a semi-furnished flat which will provide the bare necessities, as fully furnished flats are often more expensive and with old, usually not very attractive, furniture. This will also help you avoid too much furniture shopping, but give you the flexibility to decorate the home per your taste.
  • Make sure you talk to the property owner directly about problems in the flat before moving in. Getting many basic repairs fixed can become a long and patience-testing experience.