How to buy and sell property in India [A step by step guide]

Posted On : April 20, 2019

Buying and Selling of a property are both cumbersome tasks. While buying of a property requires a lot of research and other areas of consideration to make sure that the property once bought is worth your money, selling on the other hand is not easy as well. It takes a lot of time to find the right buyer and also the negotiations to finally come to an end to the sale.

In this blog, I shall discuss the details about how to buy and sell a property in India which shall cover the various aspects.

  • Documents required to buy a property
  • Documents required to sell a property
  • Procedure to buy a property &
  • Procedure to sell a property

Let us start by saying that buying and selling of property can be of two types. They are:

1.     Buying & Selling of Movable Property.

2.     Buying & Selling of Immovable Property.


What is a movable property?

In a generic sense all sort of property which can be shifted/moved from one place to another is called a movable property. Examples of some are given below:

1.     Car

2.     Bike

3.     Antiques

4.     Furniture

5.     Electronics

6.     Raw Materials

7.     Jewelry etc.


By purchasing a movable property, the buyer of that particular movable property becomes the owner of such property and shall acquire the property or that thing which the seller shall give him upon the payment of a price.

The term price used in the above sentence is the consideration amount which the buyer has to pay to the seller for that particular property or thing.


The rule of ‘Caveat Emptor’ says “Buyers be aware”

According to this rule it is the responsibility of the buyer to find material defects before buying a particular thing. As it is the responsibility of the seller to sell good quality products to the buyer, similarly it is the responsibility of the buyer to check the product before buying the same and ensure that he is buying good quality products and makes sure that he is not cheated and is handed over products which are not of good quality.

It is the responsibility of the buyer to check the ‘Material Defects’ before buying a particular thing.

The term material defects mentioned above are those defects which can been seen by the naked eye and seeing which the buyer would not buy such product due to such defect.

Some common examples of material defects are:

1.     Expiry date

2.     Checking the seal

3.     Checking other defects

4.     Checking the Manufacturing date etc.

If the fault cannot be detected reasonable [by the naked eye], in that case the buyer can use his powers vested in the sale contract and can direct the seller to

1.     Exchange

2.     Replace OR

3.     Repair

The thing which was sold to him.



1.     Details of buyer and seller

2.     Payment price and Payment terms of the Vehicle

3.     Technical data sheet/ circulation permit/ ITV/ Tax and fees payments

4.     Features of the Vehicle

5.     How to deal with Vehicle defects



A contract of this type should include the full description of what is being sold and at what price is it being sold. The same should be accepted by both the parties and there should be ‘Consensus – ad – idem’ [Meeting of minds].



In case of sale of animals a person should make sure that the breed of the animal is the same as he wanted and that the health of the animal is in good state.

1.     Sales Contract

2.     Pedigree Certificate

3.     Animal Documentation

4.     Veterinarian’s Card.



You require the following documents for the sale of furniture. They are:

1.      Date and place of the sale. 

2.      Names and addresses of the parties (buyer, seller, and representatives in it’s the case). 

3.      Full name of the thing. 

4.      Nature, brand, model & color.

5.      Year of manufacture or creation.

6.      State it is in.

7.      Price and methods of payment: cash, in installments

8.      Elements or accessories that compose it.

9.      Other pacts may be included such as maintenance or repair pacts, and affidavit of veracity of nature and state of good.

10.   Print and sign by both the document, in all its sheets.

You must also attach the following documents. They are:

  • Identification of the parties (DNI of the buyer and seller, of the representative of it, or CIF if it is a company). 
  • A simple copy of the property registration if you were enrolled. 
  • Certified to be free of charges.
  • Accessories contracts: signal, pedigree, mandate…
  • Inventory of accessory goods, if any.


What is Immovable Property?

Any Property which deals with real estate and not movable assets is called an Immovable Property. A property which cannot be moved from one place to another save and except if you alter it or else destroy it by way of which its characteristics change in such a manner that they become movable is Immovable Property.


Before purchasing an immovable property, the buyer should be aware of the documents that he shall require for the successful completion of the sale. That is why consultation with property lawyers in Kolkata is recommended for Kolkata based properties. Below are the checklist documents for a buyer. They are:

1.     Agreement to sell – This is the first and foremost document which is made during a sale. An agreement to sell is a document which creates an agreement to sell that particular property to the buyer and the buyer only and no one else. Such agreement to sell can have certain conditions which need to be fulfilled either before or after the actual sale. This is the preliminary agreement also known as provisional sale agreement.

2.     Sale Deed or Title Deed – A sale deed or a title deed is executed after the agreement to sell. Such sale or title deed once executed transfers the ownership and possession of the property to the buyer and this deed needs to be signed and registered at the Sub – Registrar’s office under whose jurisdiction the property shall fall. This deed will act as a documentary evidence to prove that you [the buyer] is the original owner of the property and will also act as primary evidence in case there is a dispute relating to ownership. It is only after the execution of the sale deed that the buyer gets complete rights over the property.

3.     Search Report – A buyer should always do a proper search report of the property which is being sold to him so as to know the history and details of the property. This is also called property search which is done in the Sub – Registrar’s office in whose jurisdiction the property shall lie. All you need to do is write a query stating the details of the property and the time period for which you want to search report. Such report shall tell you about the history of the property and the last owner. Also, it will give you a clear idea about the hands from which such property has passed. Such a report shall be helpful in deciding whether or not the property should be bought and also about the seller. [whether or not he is selling you the property for which he has good title].

4.     Khata Certificate – This is a document which shall provide you proof about the property that it has records and entry in the local municipality. This document is known by a variety of names and differs from state to state.

5.     Property Tax Receipts – In case the buyer is purchasing an old property then he should verify that the property tax is paid and nothing is due as on date of the sale. If in case this minute detail is missed then it will become the liability of the buyer to pay all the due property tax by default because as and when the sale deed is executed the ownership and possession of such property gets transferred to the buyer with immediate effect and he shall become liable to pay all the outstanding taxes [if any]. Also, such a receipt also establishes and serves as an important piece of documentary evidence which proves the legal status of the holder of such tax receipts against the property.

6.     Encumbrance Certificate – Such a certificate sates that the property being sold by the seller to the buyer is free from all encumbrances or loans. This certificate acts as a key document. If the property gets an encumbrance certificate that means the buyer and the owner of the property can take loans against such property because it has no previous loans or encumbrances. Such a certificate has all the details about all the previous transactions relating to the property.

7.     Occupancy Certificate – The Occupancy Certificate is also known as Completion Certificate which is given by the municipal corporation in consistency with the sanctioned plan which is issued after construction and states that it is now ready to be occupied.

8.     Statement from bank – If there is any loan which is outstanding on a particular property which the buyer is purchasing then it is safe to take a statement relating to that bank loan so that there is a full-fledged disclosure in that regard. 

9.     No – Objection Certificates – When a property is purchased it is very important that the developer obtains NOC’s from various departments and also gives the same to the buyer. Such NOC’s should be procured from the following departments [The list below is not exhaustive]

  • Sewage Board
  • Pollution Board
  • Environment Department
  • Traffic & Coordination Department etc. 

10. Sanctioned Plan by statutory authority – Before a property is sold there is a sanctioned plan provided by the sellers to the buyers. It is on the basis of this sanctioned plan that the buyer intends to buy the property. The sanctioned plan is the plan which is granted a green signal by the government and it becomes the duty of the builder/seller to plan it accordingly. A sanctioned plan must be given to the buyer so that at the end of the development or construction the buyer is well aware about any kind of deviations from the plan and are also cautious regarding the same.

11. Power of Attorney’s [if any] – If there is any person who is acting on or behalf of a person who has authorized such person to take all necessary decisions regarding the buying or selling of the property then, such assigned person needs to have a power to do the same for which he or she will require a power of attorney for the same. Such power of attorney could be general or specific.


Every property owner has three basic rights. They are:

  • Right to ownership
  • Exclusive right of enjoyment & possession
  • Exclusive right to alienate the property

With all the above rights a person becomes an “absolute owner” of the property.

Selling a flat has become a difficult task nowadays.

The fist step towards selling a flat is to make proper valuation. It is only after this assessment that the seller of the property determines its worth and lays down a price for which he wants to sell the property.

The second step is to check the market rate where the flat is located.

The third step ids to find a prospective buyer. [it is also important to verify the buyer and check his/her credentials involving a criminal check and CIBIL check].

The fourth step is to obtain NOC’s from various authorities mentioned below [This list is not exhaustive]

  • The society [where the flat is located]
  • The income tax authority
  • The municipal corporation
  • The authority who is competent under the [urban land ceiling and regulation act]
  • Any other authority

After the completion of all the above steps comes the most important part which is documentation of the various necessary documents.

Given below is a complete list of all the relevant documents which are needed to sell a flat/property. They are:

1.     A letter of allotment – Letter of allotment is a document which when given to the buyer is an evidentiary proof that the property mentioned on the allotment letter is allotted to the holder of such document. This is given by the seller to the buyer.

2.     Any previous sale deeds [if any] – This is a very important requirement for selling a property. If the seller has all the previous sale deeds and has justified sales and transfer of the same, it becomes easier to sell the property as he has a record of the same. The better the documentation the higher the price can be quoted. It is mandatory under law that the current owner should have the previous agreements with him as well.

3.     Sale Deed/ Agreement – Once the documentation is cleared, the parties can then enter into an agreement to sell and confirm the terms and conditions. After this, they can start preparing the sale deed. Agreement to sell precedes execution of a sale deed. The subsequent sale deed is based on the agreement to sell. This agreement is also signed and executed between the seller and buyer on a non-judicial stamp paper. After the complete documentation clearance, the buyer and the seller should sign an agreement stating the sale and confirmation of the property along with terms and conditions. This document also mentions the terms and conditions and the seller’s intentions of selling away his property.


Given below are the list of documents one requires before selling a property.

1.     Sale Deed [Explained above]

2.     Mother Deed – This is also known as the parent document which refers to all the past ownership's of the property. This is required at the time of selling of the property. This document shall contain all the ownership details of the property through the following modes:

  • Sale
  • Inheritance
  • Gift
  • Partition

3.     Property Tax Receipt [Explained above]

4.     Khata Certificate [Explained above]

5.     Encumbrance Certificate [Explained above]

6.     Building Approval Plan – The following documents are needed to be submitted in order to obtain a Building Approval Plan. They are:

  • Title Deed
  • Property drawings
  • Property assessment extract
  • Foundation certificate (if any)
  • Property PID number
  • Land use certificate issued by the competent authority (viz., Dy. Commissioner)
  • City survey sketch (from the Department of Survey and Settlement and Land Records)
  • Earlier sanctioned plans (if any)
  • Up-to-date tax paid receipt
  • 2 copies of demand drafts

7. Conversion Certificate (Agricultural to Non-Agricultural land)

8. Power of Attorney (POA) [Explained above]

9. Completion Certificate

10. Occupancy Certificate [Explained above]


1.     Make your property look presentable.

2.     Hire an agent who will sell your property.

3.     Advertise your property so that it reaches to maximum buyers.

4.     Price your property accordingly which is at par with the market rate and is also buyer friendly so that they get attracted towards the price.

5.     Keep a negotiation window open.  

Written By:
Shreyash  Mohta

Shreyash Mohta


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