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Property Documents Checklist Before Buying a Flat in India

In India, buying a Real estate property is almost every person’s dream. Every person in their lifetime wants to own a property especially a residential real estate. Purchasing real estate is considered as a smart and secured investment.

If you are thinking to invest your hard-earned money in gold, share market, mutual funds it’s fine. But real estate is totally worth the investment as it has the highest return on Investment. You also get to enjoy the real estate investment more as it’s tangible.

Once you’ve made your mind to invest in the real estate property market you need to sit back and decide what type of property you are keen to invest in. As per your convenience, you can make a choice between a residential and commercial property.


  • Identify your interests and risks involved in the type of property you are planning to invest in. You need to follow a few steps to come closer to your decision making.
  • Shortlist some properties, do a competitor analysis, do not hesitate to go for site visits to the shortlisted properties.
  • Do a complete background check by getting into every possible detail.
  • Get through the financial assistance if you require any.
  • Make a proper offer and get it well-negotiated before you close the deal in your favour.
  • After you have everything in place, you are just one step closer to make a final decision of Real Estate Investment.


Documentation to Check when Buying a New Real Estate Property in India

This is the final step of a property purchase. Before rushing and diving in, you should have some knowledge about the paperwork and the legal documents required for buying a commercial or residential property.

Property documentation is the most crucial work in the entire process of buying and closing the deal. The documentation process involves an intensive mix of a legal, statutory, and regulatory framework. In most cases, a buyer is not aware of all the essential documents required for the purchase of a property.

You need to collect and thoroughly check all the documents. Completion of the detailed procedure will ensure a sense of safety and security to the buyer as the investment will bring satisfaction and peace.

This helpful guide provides you with a list of all the documents needed while purchasing a commercial and residential real estate property.


Compliance under RERA Act 2016

Rera act


In order to provide great transparency in the property market RERA Act plays an important role. RERA stands for Real Estate Regulations Act and was introduced recently in 2016.

The main aim of the RERA Act is to protect the interests of home buyers. Most of the time, developers are involved in various malpractices and property buyers could feel cheated. RERA helps the property buyers feel at ease as it specifies certain norms for the building and development of the real estate.

The official portal of RERA provides information on the developers from all the states. To help the buyer make an informed choice, information like complaints or cases lodged against the developer. RERA Act is mandatory for both residential and commercial real estate projects.

The act provides several benefits to the home buyer.  As a buyer, it’s your responsibility to check the RERA certificate and verify the RERA registration number. Request for the digital or the hard copy of the RERA certificate and keep it with you.

Sale Deed


sale deed


The very first document which is prepared in the anticipation of the property sale. The Sale Deed is one of the most important documents.

A sale deed is the core document that acts as a legal proof for the sale and transfer of ownership of the property when sold by the owner.The deed consists of the detailed information of the property which is mutually decided between the buyer and the seller. The agreement consists of details like terms and conditions, purchase price, and so on.

Features and Properties of the property Sale Deed


Real Estate developer in Pune


  • A sale deed has to be mandatorily registered in sub-registrar office in whose jurisdiction the property is situated.
  • The sale deed has to be mandatorily registered within four months from the date of execution.
  • If you fail to register it in this time period you are entitled to pay a penalty else the sale deed registration stands invalid.
  • The sale deed is also known as a title deed or mother deed or conveyance deed.
  • If you are planning to sell the same property in the future, this document holds the utmost importance.
  • The sale deed establishes the documented proof of ownership of the property.
  • Before executing the sale deed the buyer must verify if the property has a clear title.
  • The seller must settle all the statutory payments subject to the agreement like water charges, society charges, electricity bills, property tax, and maintenance charges before executing the sale deed. 

Mother Deed


mother deed


Mother Deed is also a parent document. This legal document helps in tracing the antecedent or the original owner of the property. In case mother deed is not available you must make sure that certified copies are available with you. Certified copies can be taken from the registrar’s office authorities.

Being a buyer of the property proper verification of this legal document is mandatory. This document will be the only evidence of purchase and transfer of the property in favour of the buyer. In the future, if ever you plan to sell your property, mother deed helps in the sale and thereby establishes the new ownership for the property.

If you are purchasing a brand new property then you do not need to ask the owner for the mother deed. The first buyer of the property needs to have this document. Mother deed denotes the list of ownership if the property had various owners. The change in ownership of the property could be through sale, gift, inheritance, or partition.

Title Search and Report


woman investment consultant analyzing company annual financial report balance sheet statement working with documents graphs. Stock market, office, tax, education concept. Hands with charts papers


Even before you are executing the sales deed, you must carry out the title search. Firstly you need to identify who is the current owner of the property and then further when you have all the details deed comes in the picture. It is called a title deed, this legal document is also known as a sales deed, gift deed, etc

Encumbrance Certificate


Encumbrance Certificate


While you are performing the title search of the property, you can even check the encumbrances of the property at the sub-registrar office. You must know if the property is free and clear from the legal dues. All the background concerns of the property can be solved at the office. Verify if there are any third party claims and mortgages on the property. To obtain the encumbrance certificate you need to submit a copy of the sales deed at the sub-registrar office.


Related Post- How to Save Tax on Real Estate Investment?

Agriculture to Non-Agriculture land


agricultural land


Due to the rapid increase in urbanization, for development reasons, a lot of lands has been merged with urban conglomerates. So as a buyer, it is important for you to identify that the plot you are planning to buy does not lie in agricultural land. 

If any land is designated as an agricultural land it can be used for residential purposes. Any kind of construction in this land will be rendered as illegal. Several state laws restrict the purchase of agricultural land by non-agricultural buyers. The buyer must examine the master plan and identify if the property is developed in accordance with the zoning plans stated by the laws. Town Planning Authority permits the change of land use if required. This document is also known as the Conversion land use certificate.

No Objection certificate

Wherever necessary, no objection certificate must be issued by the seller and the copy must be handed over to the buyer. With the no-objection certificate, NOCs of the infrastructure facilities like electricity, sewage, water, environmental clearance, and safety approvals have to be provided.

Commencement certificate

Legal documents need to buy a property

The property developer receives this certificate from the Town Planning department. The entire plan, layout, and structure are scrutinized by the department. The commencement certificate is issued to the builder once he clears all the required NOCs ensuring the payments.

Property Tax Receipts


Property Tax Receipts


Tax receipts should be taken to ensure the up-to-date payment of the property tax. The buyer can make direct inquiries with the government to check if the seller has paid the property tax regularly. The buyer must ask the seller to issue the latest original tax receipts and go through all the details like the taxpayer’s name and the date of payment. It is appropriate to go through the property tax receipts of the past 3 years for clarification.

Khata / Extract Certificate

Khata / Extract Certificate


“Khata” means an account in English. It is an account of the person owning the property. There are two types of khata - one is khata certificate and the other is a khata extract.

Khata certificate is mandatorily required for the registration of the new property or for the transfer of ownership. Khata Extract is required to be obtained for the property details from the assessment registrar.  Khata is known for its different names in different cities. In the revenue extract, khata is referred to as Khata A and Khata B.

Basically, khata is an entry in the record of local municipal committee. Khata also confirms that the apartment is constructed as per the approval. Khata certificate is obtained after paying the tax for any new registration. Khata Extract provides all the details of the property like the name of the owner, size of the property, the type of the property, annual vale, and the last date of assessment is mentioned. 

General Power of Attorney


General Power of Attorney


A power of attorney is a legal instrument wherein, one person gives another person an authority to act as a legal representative on behalf of the property holder. The person holding the power of attorney can make lawful legal and financial decisions on behalf of the property owner. He is even allowed to do the sale or purchase of the property if required.

Possession Letter


Possession Letter


Possession letter has to be provided by the developer to the buyer. The date on which the possession of the property is granted has to be issued on the letter. In case, you are planning to apply for a home loan, the original copy of the possession letter has to be issued to the bank. 

Property Card


Property Card


The buyer must check if the property card which the sellers hold contains proper information about the details of the property. 

Allotment Letter


Closeup of womans hand writing on paper


If you are planning to apply for a bank loan to purchase the property, the buyer can get the allotment letter from the property owner. The document has to be submitted to the bank in its original form. It ensures the payment of advance money paid by the buyer and confirms the loan amount is equal to the unpaid amount which is required for the purchase of the property. 

Market Value of the Property


market value


The buyer has to pay regular stamp duty just like the owner of the property needs to pay the property tax. The stamp duty is paid on the agreement value of the property or the market value whichever is higher. Market value means the price at which the property could be purchased in the property market on the date of execution of the instrument like stamp duty.

This property buying checklist will help you understand all the documents required before buying a residential or commercial property in India. If at all you require help in verifying and collecting all the documents and information, you can consult a lawyer or seek the help of property consultants and ease the process for you. The documentation and formalities may differ from state to state as the registration laws are different.

Managing all these documents can be messy, so here is some help: An Expanding File Folder (Fits A4 Paper, Black, 13 pockets) - https://amzn.to/33XI0xn




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