Despite the un-lockdown process, real estate agencies are struggling to find customers willing to buy properties.
Guwahati: The uncertainty and financial difficulties during the pandemic are creating difficulties for real estate agencies in Guwahati. People have become hesitant to get into real estate deals which requires them to physically inspect the site. Some realtors said that the number of clients has reduced to almost 30 to 40 per cent than in 2019.
Jayanta Ligira, an agent and the co-owner of NE Realtors, Guwahati said, “We hardly have any customers. The few customers that we got post lockdown have tried to use corona as a tool to bargain. This is dragging us down with losses.”
Although the number of deals has increased in the housing sector during the pandemic, there is hardly any demand for retail, hospitality or commercial properties. “Office rentals have stabilised but new work has not started as such. The retail sector is still very much affected. There is not much new work happening,” says Sailesh Bahety, head of Amaze Realtors, Guwahati.
The realtors also said clients have mostly relied on online platforms to finalise the deal and check the work progress during the pandemic. However, the process has not been smooth. Ronak Garodia, a flat buyer said, “Although buying a flat is a good option especially during this (pandemic) period, it was extremely hard for me to inspect the work online and to find workers. As such, the entire project got delayed.”
Mr Sanjay Agarwal, the head of Guwahati Realtors Association said that the situation can improve if the government steps in with reforms. This will make the process of buying, selling and renting of real estate easier, especially during the pandemic. Mr Agarwal also adds that the realtors should not be seen as greedy middlemen but as people who help ease the real estate business.
However, clients are sceptical to trust realtors as they fear getting duped when they cannot personally go and check the properties before finalising. This lack of faith is making it harder for real estate agencies to stay in business.