Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Token .

Yesterday,the redevloper called up to inform that the deal of a flat was signed up with someone else from whom he had got a token as a gesture of the finalisation of the same.The amount paid was anything but token-it must be surely more than a lakh considering that the flat is being sold for more than seventy five lakhs.

We had been negotiating with the builder for the said flat since the last three months but had opted out of giving any money as token or otherwise.We were in the process of seeking a loan from a bank & we were awaiting the bank clearance before making any payments.The bank took its own time which quickly turned from days into weeks & months before they raised some queries.We asked the builder to answer them.The bank at being pestered by the builder at one time, told him, that as he had no locus standi ,only we should talk with the bankers.This in effect, led to situations wherein we were shuttling between the two but, still, the bankers remained non-committal.The builder also was trying to produce one document after another when asked for, always questioning as to why the bankers needed it.He was of the opinion that we had chosen the wrong bank.

The bank was trying to scrutinise thousands of loan applications & maybe trying to find faults with all of them & so this was delaying the process.Moreover,the bank staff at some times was reporting sick -whether they were sick or had caught infection from Jet or Air India is a matter of guess.Actually,the attitude of the bank was making us sick but then one does not have much choice whilst seeking a loan.Maybe you have -that is another bank can be approached but then you have to start all over again.Then, you have to pay the processing fees, which is based on the loan you have applied for & this fee is non-refundable.On second thoughts,one begins to wonder who is serving whom after paying the fees.

Finally, one day,the builder called up to say that the bank staff had told him that they would visit the site of the building which housed the flat.This was news to us.We waited for the bank to inform us about their site visit.We realised that our locus standi was in doubt now as the bank omitted to even mention about the site visit.We were happy, that this showed, that our application was still under consideration.The visit just kept getting postponed & eventually did take place.As the builder had informed us,we also made our presence felt at the stated time.The bankers told us that now the loan cheque was just a matter of days !

But of course,the builder got a customer who paid a token the next day & so the deal with us was off.Some of my friends opined that we lost a good deal because of the delay by the bank & also because we refused to pay a token to seal the deal.

We had such a bad experience years earlier that we were extra cautious this time around.In that deal,we paid a token amounting to a lakh of rupees ( that was more than 15 years ago) & then we came to know that the deal was financially unreasonable.We backed off & demanded our token back but the seller who was a middle class individual like us stated that he will pay us when he gets the amount back from the bank after the maturity period.He informed us that he had put the token in a fixed deposit.We were on tenterhooks till we got back our money.This experience is still so fresh in our memory that we were sure, that if we paid the token ,the builder may treat us in a manner that we will regret for a lifetime.

I am sure,we lost a deal-not a good deal, as I believe, that whenever,one deals with a builder,only the builder profits.We all have been paying premium sums for flats since years.Don't you agree ?

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