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Buying Property in India: The Ultimate Guide 

By - King Stubb & Kasiva on February 23, 2023

Buying property in India can be a complicated procedure, but it is a popular investment for many individuals. The Indian real estate market is varied, with a wide variety of assets available, including residential, commercial, and industrial properties. However, there are several legal and practical factors to consider before investing in property in India.

Can US citizens buy property in India? Yes, Non-resident Indians (“NRIs”) in the US can purchase any sort of property in India. However, they must follow the Reserve Bank of India’s (“RBI”) requirements for purchasing and repatriating the property’s sale earnings.

Key requirements for buying property in India for foreigners

Purchasing property in India necessitates the execution of a recorded sale deed signed by both parties and witnessed by independent witnesses. To check property ownership, rights, approvals, and liens, due diligence is essential. Property costs include not just the purchase price but also stamp duty, registration fees, and legal fees.

It is also critical to understand the tax ramifications of owning and selling real estate. Foreign nationals are permitted to purchase residential and commercial property, subject to specific conditions. The buyer must have a valid passport and, in some cases, a visa, as well as follow RBI standards, which include getting a no-objection certificate. Property should not be located in restricted regions, and due research regarding legal status and encumbrances is required. Reputable real estate agents or lawyers can assist buyers in navigating legal or regulatory obstacles.

For buying property in India, the following is required:

A thorough title search should be performed to guarantee the seller has legal ownership and the right to sell the property.

Verification of Documents

All documentation, such as the selling deed, conveyance deed, and property tax receipts, must be in order.

Encumbrance Certificate

An encumbrance certificate should be obtained from the registrar’s office to determine whether the property is subject to any legal or financial liabilities.

Property Tax

It should be checked to see if all property taxes have been paid, and receipts should be obtained to avoid any future liabilities.

Stamp Duty and Registration

All stamp duty and registration fees required to register the property in your name must be paid.

Power of Attorney

It should be verified that the seller possesses the power of attorney to sell the property on behalf of the original owner.

No Objection Certificate

An NOC from the Society, local authorities, or the developer should be acquired to guarantee that there are no outstanding disputes or legal difficulties with the property.

Sale Agreement

A sale agreement should be created to detail all of the terms and circumstances of the sale, including the payment plan and possession date.

Risks involved proceeding to buy a property in India

Buyers should be aware of the risks involved with acquiring property in India. One of the most serious problems is the possibility of property fraud or misrepresentation. This can happen in a variety of ways, including misrepresenting the property’s ownership, title, or encumbrances, or fraudulently claiming that all required rights and approvals have been received. To mitigate this risk, it is critical to undertake rigorous due diligence on the property before purchasing it.

Another risk is the possibility of property boundary conflicts, as well as problems between the buyer and seller. These can be tough to settle, especially if the buyer and vendor are from separate states or nations. It is critical to retain the services of a reputable and knowledgeable real estate agent or lawyer who can assist you in navigating any legal or regulatory obstacles that may develop.

There may also be unanticipated costs involved with owning and maintaining the property, such as property taxes, maintenance fees, and repairs. It is critical to comprehend these costs and factor them into the purchasing choice. Finally, international buyers may face additional risks and regulatory difficulties, such as getting required permissions and approvals, adhering to RBI requirements, and ensuring that the property is not located in restricted regions.

Features of a valid sale deal

A valid sale deed is a legal document that describes the terms and circumstances of a property transaction. A sale deed in India must be executed in writing and registered with the local Sub-Registrar of Assurance in the area where the property is located. Some essential features of a legal sale deed in India are:

  1. The parties engaged in the sale, both the seller and the buyer, must be explicitly identified in the sale deed. The deed must also provide a full description of the property, such as its location, size, and any other pertinent information.
  2. The purchase price of the property and the method of payment must be specified in the sale deed. It should also include information on any payments made by the buyer to the seller in advance.
  3. The date of possession, as well as any other relevant dates, such as the date of the selling agreement or the date of completion of the transaction, must be specified in the sale document.
  4. The selling deed must provide a detailed description of the seller’s and buyer’s rights and responsibilities. This includes any warranties or guarantees issued by the seller, as well as any property restrictions or covenants.
  5. Both parties must sign the sale deed, which must be witnessed by two independent witnesses. In addition, the deed must be registered with the local Sub-Registrar of Assurance, with stamp duty paid in line with applicable laws and regulations.


Buying property in India might seem to be a complex procedure, but foreigners can own property in the nation by following the appropriate requirements and collecting the relevant papers. Verifying the property’s ownership, ensuring that all relevant approvals and permissions have been received, completing due diligence on the property, and comprehending the tax consequences of owning and selling property in India are all part of the process.

Foreigners should also be aware of the process’s risks, which include fraudulent sellers, encumbrances on the property, and potential legal challenges. Before proceeding with the acquisition, interested purchasers should undertake complete due diligence on the property and the seller. Furthermore, understanding the legal checklist for buying property in India shall also assist in reducing risks and ensuring a smooth purchasing procedure. Overall, while purchasing a property in India as a foreigner can be difficult, but it can surely serve to be a beneficial investment due to the country’s expanding real estate industry and advantageous tax rules. Foreigners can make informed judgments and purchase their ideal property in India with sufficient research and help.

King Stubb & Kasiva,
Advocates & Attorneys

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