Indian Property Sale – Overseas Indian Citizen

by | Feb 22, 2023 | Indian Law, Indian Law Weekly Round-Up, NRI Legal Services, OCI, PAN, Power of Attorney, Taxation


As an Overseas Indian Citizen you may wish to sell property in India.

Our previous segments, selling your property in India, or executing a power of attorney, discuss legal requirements around the ownership of property as an Overseas Indian Citizen.

In addition to this, how an Indian Power Of Attorney can form an important part of your selling plan. For instance, the POA would enable you to execute the official document – power of attorney in favour of a trusted individual. The POA would be able to act on your property on your behalf. Which means some parts of the sales process can take place without you having to be in India.

A number of individuals certainly adopt this route. Mainly due to constraints on time, costs, know how and overall efficiency. However, it would be a priority to ensure that your power of attorney is a trusted individual/party. A course of action that is informed will make all the difference to your complete sales process.

Below we examine Indian property sale process with further detail.

Setting Expectations – Sales Process

I want to sell my property in India within 8 weeks.

Whether or not your property can be sold in 8 weeks and the funds repatriated will depend on a number of areas.

Your expectations can be clearer when you become more familiar with the processes around Indian property sale. What does it mean to sell your property in India in terms of its actual process. Beginning with the basics.

What is the property and where is it located?

Framework & Preparation

Here are a few points to consider in relation to your property in India;

  • Property size, location and ownership status
  • Sole ownership or multiple ownership
  • Undisputed or disputed
  • Tenanted or vacant possession
  • Consideration of costs, time and expectations
Further, there are two implications to the sale process;
The Paper View
  • Understanding the paperwork and outlining a course of action.
The Ground Level
  • Executing the process.

The former is a starting point, the latter involves a number of people and processes which all need to come together to be effective. This requires a considerable amount of patience, cultural know how and application of professional experience. The point of benefit between the two is that you as a seller have the opportunity to influence the former before the ground level begins. A good tip is to seek guidance before you begin. That is a starting point.

As a result of the level of involvement required from a seller, the popular consensus by the Overseas Indian Citizen is that selling property in India can be a time consuming process. Moreover, there is common sentiment that cultural temperament plays an important role in the overall efficiency of a property sale. All of these determining factors should be carefully considered.

Course of Action

In order to execute a successful plan for your property sale, a considered course of action is necessary. As a result, you can potentially avoid delays and anchor expectations in terms of timeline and costs involved in the complete process. The preferred outcome would be to achieve a satisfactory sale on your property in India.

Further if you are unable to be present in person for most of the process in India, you may need to hire a professional/firm to execute some of the process on your behalf. You must account for extra costs, country to country. Let’s look at some influencing factors.

Influencing Factors 

As an Overseas Indian Citizen there are a number of factors that will directly impact the sale of your Indian property. First and foremost an empathetic approach to the cultural norms should be kept in clear view. To sell your property in India if you are of Indian origin living abroad you will need to prepare for process;

Types Of Factors;

  • Knowing the official guidelines for an Overseas Indian to sell property in India.
  • Knowing your property particulars, location, built area, unbuilt area.
  • Obtaining property documentation, for example a Fard ie a document that provides proof of property ownership.
  • Clarifying any grey areas prior with resources available to you.
  • Your expectations
  • Property sales process, Poa, professionals, property sales agent
  • Regulatory requirements, PAN
  • Indian Law
  • Working with a trusted third party
  • Understanding cultural particulars & impact on sales process
  • Market rates/agents/negotiations/agreement of sale
  • Correct legal paperwork
  • Estimated timelines
  • Associated costs and contingency
  • Payment terms, obtaining deposits/payments on sale
  • Hand over
  • Bank accounts, NRE, NRO & repatriation of sale proceeds
  • Working through intangible factors such as, family cooperation, agreements and so on.

Subsequently, as an Overseas Indian Seller there can be a number of grey areas that you are unaware of. Moreover you may not understand the legal requirements fully. Therefore seeking initial professional guidance maybe beneficial.

Further, there is a difference between information and professional expertise. Specifically, the latter involves applied professional experience and professional know how.

Keeping in mind the limitations of a single article, the above is an example of processes involved in Indian property sale. Also, the relationship between seller and others becomes essential to a successful transaction. It varies according to circumstances.

Property sale in India requires a course of action.

Lastly, below, we briefly introduce the official regulatory body, Foreign Exchange Management Act also known as FEMA. What are some of the specific regulatory guidelines around Indian property for an Overseas Indian?

Indian Property Sale - Overseas Indian Citizen

Immovable property – FEMA

What FEMA states for your property in India

An NRI is permitted to the following (Regulation No.3);

  1. acquire any immovable property in India other than agricultural/plantation property or a farm house;
  2. transfer any property in India to a person resident in India;
  3. transfer any property other than agricultural or plantation property or a farm house to an Indian citizen or a person of Indian origin as defined in Regulation 2(c), resident outside India.

A Person of Indian origin is permitted to the following (Regulation No.4);

  1. acquire immovable property other than agricultural land/plantation property or a farm house by way of purchase subject to the conditions mentioned in clause (a) of the Regulation;
  2. acquire any immovable property other than agricultural land/plantation property/farm house by way of gift from an Indian citizen resident outside India or from a PIO;
  3. acquire property by inheritance subject to the conditions stipulated in clause (c) of the Regulation;
  4. transfer by way of sale any immovable property other than agricultural/plantation property or a farm house by way of sale to a person resident in India;
  5. transfer agricultural land/farm house or plantation property by way of gift or sale to an Indian citizen resident in India.

More on FEMA & Overseas Indian Property.

In summary, as an Overseas Indian Citizen who wishes to sell property in India, you may find benefit in preparing the ground before you proceed with executing your sales process. Initial guidance can be very helpful based on the property and your circumstances. We may be able to assist you – Indian Law Consultation.

Applying for your Overseas PAN Card? If you don’t require full 1-2-1 assistance for your Overseas PAN application and are not sure on some parts of the online application. You may find assistance with NRI PAN Card E-Guide reviewed as excellent by our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I give a family member a POA to deal with my property in India?

Power of Attorney can be executed by you in favour of a trusted individual.

Do I need a taxation lawyer/accountant for my property sale in India?

You will require a taxation lawyer/accountant.

Does the UK & India have a double taxation agreement? Who does it apply to?

Yes it does. It applies to persons who are residents of one or both of the Contracting States.

Is PAN card mandatory for property sale in India?

Yes a PAN card is required.

Related Links 

We can also assist with the following NRI Services in London:

  • Illegal occupation of property in India
  • Family Settlements and partition of NRI Indian property
  • Ancestral real estate and inheritance advisory under Indian law
  • NRI Property Transfer
  • Possession of NRI Property
  • Recovery of NRI money under Indian Law
  • NRI Succession Certificate in India
  • Injunction against alienation of NRI property in India
  • Developer Claims under the Consumer Protection Act in India
  • NRI property disputes
  • Visas to India
  • Indian Power of Attorney
  • NRI PAN  Card
  • Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)
  • Inter-Country Adoption
  • Divorce proceedings under Indian Law for parties settled abroad

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