Before selling your property, it is important to get all those papers in order

Planning to sell your Old House to buy a New One? Undoubtedly, residential properties sell like hot bread in metros like Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai.

The documents required to sell a residential property are the housing society share certificate and the sale/purchase deed. Sale deed will confirm if the land is in the name of the seller and only he/she has the full right to sell the land. You need a copy of previous deeds, if required, to confirm the authenticity of the deal and the property. You also need original copies of stamp duty and registered house documents. The seller will also require an NOC from the Housing society. In case of a joint ownership, the owner/owners have to submit documented consent. Home-buyers insist on all these documents if they are opting for a Housing loan.

Most probably you would not face a problem with missing documents if you had invested in new constructions, as they are rather easy to relocate. But, often old houses, which are 30-40 year old constructions, may not have proper Registration. In such cases, the owner should ideally pay off the outstanding stamp duty and file for a registration. “In the case of a missing share certificate, the intending seller should request the housing society to issue a duplicate copy. If the sale/purchase deed and/or chain of agreements/deeds are misplaced, an indemnity bond needs to be furnished by the seller, along with a confirmation letter from the Housing Society.

Similarly, if the original copy of stamp duty and registered house documents are unavailable, an indemnity bond should be furnished by the seller. “In any case, the deed needs to be registered after paying up the valid stamp duty. Adv. R. P. Rathod further adds that “A public notice also needs to be issued”.

You cannot sell the property, if you are still servicing the Housing loan on it. Ideally you can re-pay the Housing loan amount from the first instalment you receive from the prospective home buyer. But, the bottom line is you can’t sell a mortgaged house if the buyer insists on accurate paperwork to apply for a loan.

The value of a property is decided by various factors, including the cost of similar properties in the same location, the view of the apartment, the available amenities in the building and the overall market trends in terms of appreciation and depreciation. Apart from checking out with your neighbours, get the property evaluated by 2-3 brokers to get a realistic quote.

Apart from the title clearance and NOC from the society, the precise details pertaining to the age of the building, the floor plan, the carpet and built-up area, the conveyance of the society, car parking status, land title (free hold/lease hold/collectors land) and transfer charges of the building and the apartment needs to be attended to.

The capital gain would be exempt from tax under Section 54 and Section 54F if the sale proceeds are invested in a residential house and if you do not own more than one residential house at the time of purchase of such a house. But you have to purchase the new house within a year before the sale. Otherwise, this capital gain or net consideration is required to be deposited in a separate account before you file the return of Income. You can reinvest only in a Residential property. This doesn’t include a commercial property or vacant plot of land. Similarly, short-term capital gains enjoy no exemption. The house you are planning to sell would be classified as short-term capital asset as the holding period is less than three years. There is no exemption available on reinvestment, be it a new house or capital gains tax saving bonds.