There are many reasons, why you should be careful before booking flats with Sobha Developers.
1) Delivery Delays (my project delayed by 1.5 Yrs and still not sure of exact handover date...this could be longer)
2) Be ready to lose 25% of project cost...by the time they deliver, your net project cost would have gone up by 20-25% (my experience)
3) Careful with their agreement clauses
4) Careful with their payment schedule...this has no relevance to their construction progress.
5) Careful with their sales promises...knowingly or unknowingly they may be cheating you (my personal experience) and management does not care about those promises.
Delivery Always late
I have booked a flat in Sobha Iris in Jan-06. The flat was supposed to be ready by Feb-07. The delivery was postponed 3 times till now. Sobha gives a date and when the date nears they postpone it by 6 months. The current promised completion date is end-July’08 (mind you...it’s completion date but not handover date !). Even if they handover in Aug’08 it’s a good 1.5 Yrs delay.
If you book a Sobha flat, be ready for a loss of about Rs.10 lac. I have calculated my financial loss to be about Rs.11 Lac (assuming delivery will be in Aug’08).
Do they cheat ?
Am not sure whether it is intentional. We were given a payment schedule and were told by their sales that the construction will be completed as per that schedule. However, 96% of the payments have been collected by Aug-2007 (means 96% of the construction should have been completed) and the rest 4% takes more than an year !! It means, Sobha completed that part of the project which gets them money on time and conveniently delays the rest for any period as they have already got their money (including profits!!). Very efficient cash flow planning with customers money indeed !! Mind you, they are right to have collected the money, if you look at the agreement wording. I only hope that this is not a new form of organizational cheating.
They are mostly one-sided. They also charge hefty Advocate fee from customers. This basically means you are paying the advocate fee to have the agreements designed for the benefit of the "Other Party". Considering that all the agreements use the same format - Advocate fee is really wonderful profit margin !
Be cautious of delay clauses : What happens if the project is delayed ? Developers may also have a clause to pay penalty on delay. But look at these clauses carefully to see when they are not applicable and argue with them to change suitably.
Be cautious of Payment Schedule : Ask them questions on, what it means in terms of actual completion. Most probably, you will pay all the money at least 1 yr in advance, though they claim otherwise !!!
Ask them questions on sharing of financial loss. e.g. if they delay the project by 1-2 years, govt may increase taxes & levies. If the increase is substantial, then you will lose a lot.