Documents Required for Buying a Property

June 30th, 2023

documents required for buying a property

When it comes to buying property, certain documents are necessary for smooth and legal transactions. From proof of identity to property-related paperwork like surveys, title deeds, and more, understanding the requirements of documents is essential.

Understand Property Documents 

Buying a property is a significant milestone in one’s life, representing a major financial commitment and a long-term investment. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, understanding the documents required for buying a property is important. To avoid any complications, it is imperative to be well-versed in legal and financial aspects. Legal considerations involve verifying the property’s ownership and title, ensuring that it is free from any encumbrances or legal disputes. On the financial front, getting a property needs proper planning, evaluation, due diligence, arrangement of funds, and more.

List of Essential Documents for Buying a Property in India

When it comes to buying a property in India, various legal property documents play an important role in the entire process. These property document lists are not only important for legal compliance but also serve as evidence of ownership and ensure a hassle-free transaction. Whether you are buying a residential property, a plot of land, or commercial property, it is important to get familiar with the property document list.

  1. Sale Deed 

    A sale deed is an important document that contains evidence of a sale. This acts as legal proof of ownership and transfers the property’s title from seller to buyer. This is usually executed before the agreement and after the compliance of terms and conditions. It is an imperative document for a first-time home buyer.

    This document contains details of the property, such as its description, location, boundaries, and purchase price. To make it legally valid, it should be registered with a sub-registrar. This is generally required by the banks where a buyer avails himself of a loan. While creating this document, an individual may approach the local authority for help. Following are the features of a sale deed that must be checked while buying property:

    – Sale deed must be registered within 4 months from the date of execution
    – It must be registered in the sub-registrar office
    – It can be an important document in the future for sale of the property
    – It acts as documented proof of property ownership
    – A sale deed will be invalid if it is not registered under the given time frame

  2. Encumbrance Certificate

    This is the proof of free title and ownership, which confirms that there is no pending legal or financial liability on the property. It is obtained from the sub registrar’s office and covers a specified period, usually up to 30 years. The EC is essential to ensure that the property is free from any mortgages, loans, or legal disputes.

  3. Possession Letter

    It is created by the builder to specify the date on which the buyer will take possession of the property. However, this is not proof of property title. To do so, the buyer must get an occupancy certificate.

  4. Khata Certificate

    This is a revenue document to check the details of a property such as its location, area, and size, to pay the property taxes. Khata Certificate establishes the owner’s identity for tax payments. This is important to obtain utility connections like electricity and water. While registering a new property as well as transferring the property, a Khata certificate is required.

  5. Title Deed

    It establishes the rightful owner of the property and provides a chain of ownership records. The buyer must verify the title deed and make sure that it is clear and marketable.

  6. Building Approval Plan

    This document essential if the property is under construction, as it is issued by the local authority or municipality to ensure that the construction adheres to the approved layout and building norms. The building approval plan verifies the legality of the property’s construction and its compliance with regulations.

  7. Power of Attorney (POA)

    It is required when the property is being purchased through an agent or representative. It grants the authorised person the power to act on behalf of the buyer or seller in property-related matters.

  8. Completion Certificate

    It is issued by the local development authority after inspecting the property and ensuring that it complies with the approved plans, safety standards, and building codes. It is essential for obtaining utility connections and occupancy certificate.

  9. Occupancy Certificate

    The OC is issued by the local municipal corporation after the building’s construction. To avail home loans and get the necessary approvals for rental or commercial purposes, it is important to get the OC, as it certifies that the property is fit for occupancy.

  10. No Objection Certificates (NOCs)

    Various NOCs may be required, depending on the location and nature of the property. Some common NOCs include the Non-Agricultural Land Certificate, Environmental Clearance Certificate, Fire NOC, and Society NOC (in the case of purchasing a property in a cooperative housing society).

  11. Sale and Purchase Agreements

    This is one of the most important documents to check, which includes the terms & conditions that are agreed upon by the seller & buyer. The pricing of an apartment is an example of this, where the agreement would include the agreed-upon price of the flat.

  12. Payment Receipts (Under Construction / Ready to Move)

    The payment receipt is proof that a buyer has paid the token money to the developer. The seller may sign on the revenue stamp to acknowledge that the payment has been made.

  13. Identity and Address Proof

    The buyer need to make sure that the seller has valid identity proof such as passport, Aadhar card, or PAN card. Additionally, address proof documents like utility bills or bank statements can be provided to establish the residential address.

  14. Mortgage Documents (if applicable)

    If a buyer is availing a home loan for the purchase, they should keep all the relevant mortgage documents handy. These can include loan agreements, sanction letters, and property-related collateral documents.

  15. Compliance under RERA (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016

    Developers should register their project with the RERA authority. A buyer should verify if the property has been RERA-registered or not. RERA for each state also gives the details of any complaint filed against the project. To operate legally, all real estate brokers should also be registered with the state RERA.

Required Documents

For Under Construction Property

For Ready-to-Move Property

Fresh /

Primary Sale

Resale / Secondary Sale

Fresh /

Primary Sale

Resale / Secondary Sale

ATS (Agreement to Sell) Yes Yes
Plan for Building Approval Yes Yes
Allotment Letter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Builder Buyer Agreement Yes Yes Yes Yes
Payment Receipts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Possession Letter Yes Yes
Builder NOC Yes Yes
Sale Deed Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trailing Sale Chain Deed Yes
Mutation Yes Yes
Encumbrance Certificate Yes Yes
Completion Certificate Yes
Commencement Certificate Yes
Occupancy Certificate Yes

Complete Checklist for Legal Documents Required for Purchase of Property

Buying property is a significant financial decision and it is important to ensure that all legal aspects are in order. There is a comprehensive checklist of legal documents to gather & verify while purchasing property. These documents serve as evidence of ownership, validate the legality of the property, and safeguard against any future disputes. Here’s the complete checklist:

  • Sale Deed
  • Title Deed
  • Property Tax Receipts
  • Encumbrance Certificate
  • Building Approval Plan
  • Khata Certificate
  • Occupancy Certificate
  • Encumbrance Certificate
  • Completion Certificate
  • Power of Attorney
  • Society NOC
  • Legal Search Report
  • Bank Release Letter

Final Thoughts on Legal Property Documents

In conclusion, purchasing a property involves a significant investment and a series of legal procedures that require thorough documentation. To ensure a smooth property transaction, it is crucial to have all the essential documents in place. These documents include the sale agreement, title deed, occupancy certificate, completion certificate, and building plan approvals. When it comes to buying a property, these documents serve as evidence of ownership.

While understanding the importance of these documents is important, it is equally important to seek professional advice and follow the legal procedures involved in property transactions. Engaging the services of a qualified real estate lawyer or a property consultant can prove invaluable in navigating the complexities of property documentation. These professionals have the expertise to verify the authenticity of the documents, identify any red flags, and guide buyers through the legal processes.

Buyers should also ensure that they follow all legal procedures stipulated by the governing authorities. This includes verifying the property’s ownership and title status, conducting due diligence, and complying with all regulatory requirements. Failing to follow these procedures can lead to legal complications, financial losses, or even loss of property. By paying attention to these aspects and obtaining the necessary documentation, buyers can navigate the property buying process with confidence and enjoy the benefits of owning a property with peace of mind.

Also Read,

How to Save for a House Down Payment?

Advantages of Investing in Indian Real Estate


1. What is a sale deed, and why is it important in a property purchase?

Sale deed is a legal document that transfers ownership of the property from seller to buyer. It is crucial as it establishes ownership rights and serves as proof of transaction. It contains details such as property description, sale price, and terms of agreement, and protects the buyer's interests by providing legal validity to the transaction.

2. What is the significance of a title deed in a property purchase?

Title deed is known as property deed or ownership deed which verifies that the seller has legal ownership of the property and has the right to sell it. The significance of a title deed in a property purchase is to ensure that the buyer is acquiring marketable title, protecting them from disputes or claims over the property.

3. What is the need for an encumbrance certificate?

An encumbrance certificate is needed because it provides details on any legal or financial liabilities, restrictions, or charges on the property. It is important to confirm that the purchased property is free from any legal liabilities such as disputes, mortgages, etc.

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