When realty kicks in

When realty kicks in

He is the most imaginative of all working men. He could be tall or short, young or old, gentlemanly or otherwise, but he will share one common trait with both his closest working associates and his nearest business rivals — he can sell even when he has nothing to sell. Meet the realtor from one of India’s fastest-growing cities, where the value of his stock-in-trade, namely real estate, has galloped in geometric progression, beyond the understanding of an average economist.

“I have several properties that meet your expectations and budget, ma’am. When can you come? I will show them right away,” said one such realtor whom I had called when my sister, living abroad, wanted to buy a flat close to my home in our very own Garden City. “I will get back to you in a week’s time,” I replied, not quite anticipating such a quick service. “Ma’am, prices are going up everyday, sometimes, even in the same day. In fact, soon we will have an opening rate and a closing rate like gold prices. So, better hurry. One week is too long,” he admonished. “What! That’s impossible,” I retorted. “Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India, and in such a case, you should have two sights for buying property in Bangalore: foresight and insight! Otherwise, you will miss out on good sites,” he spoke with both authority and audacity.

“How dare he talk like that? Next he will be talking about my short sight,” my inner voice howled. Before he could get into any further analysis, I disconnected the call, pretending that I was losing the signal on my cell phone.

The next realtor, an associate of my friend’s friend, appealed to me on two counts. Firstly, she was a woman (not that I am a feminist, but somehow higher wisdom told me that a woman realtor will keep away from talking about my insight and foresight), and secondly, she sounded a bit diplomatic, which suited my temperament. Naturally, I took a liking to her and met her at her office. “I have some very good properties for immediate registration,” she beamed. “Oh, that’s fantastic,” I beamed back. “But there is just a teensy bit of a hitch,” she hesitated, “they are all slightly above your budget. Can you increase your budget by 20 per cent? You see, the prices will anyway go up by 20 per cent in six months,” she predicted. “In that case, I will come after six months,” I said and dashed right out.

“This one or none,” I promised myself as I made an appointment to meet one last realtor recommended by my uncle, a successful entrepreneur in the city. Before I could meet the realtor, my uncle cautioned me not to get carried away by misleading phrases like ‘rare opportunity to buy’, ‘much sought-after property’, ‘compact site’, ‘cosy flat’, ‘select neighbourhood’, ‘move-in condition’, ‘distress sale’ and so on. “They all mean one thing: that there are no takers, and he is on the look out for a gullible person, perhaps like you,” he winked, which prompted me to call off the meeting.

So, while my sister’s dream holiday home in Bangalore is still a dream, I am currently absorbed in understanding real estate jargons. With a better knowledge of the whole mechanism, I hope to ‘put the realtor in his place’ before he puts me in mine!

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