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Procedure for NRIs to sell property in India?

July 19, 2013

If you live outside India for the purpose of employment, you are designated as a nonresident Indian or NRI. You may possess property in India or you may inherit it. In that case, it is possible for you to sell off your real estate property. There are a number of steps that you need to take to first transfer an inherited property in your name, sell it off and then repatriate the money.


What to do with inherited property before you can sell it

Many NRIs inherit ancestral property in India. If you want to sell it off to realize the money, there are a few steps that you must take before actually proceeding to sales. These are:

1.    You will first need to establish ownership. For this, you need a transfer of title.

2.    Procure a copy of the will.

3.    If there is no will, appeal to the local court to issue a succession certificate.

4.    Take this certificate and apply for a change of name in the office of mutation of revenue records. Be aware that it is a time taking process to get the property actually transferred in your name.


Documents required

Once you have obtained the mutation certificate transferring the property to your name, you can now get your other documents ready in order to sell the property. These documents are as follows:

  • Original purchase agreement or the title deed of the property.
  • If the property in question is a flat in a cooperative society, you will need to share certificate of that cooperative. In case the certificate has been misplaced, you can apply for a duplicate from the society.
  • You will also need a no objection certificate from the cooperative society.  This certificate serves two purposes. It shows that your property has no outstanding debts and also that the society has no objection to your selling the property.
  • Next, you will need a copy of occupation certificate. This is issued by the municipal corporation, the housing society or the developer.
  • If any of the original title deeds have been misplaced, you can obtain a title certificate from a reputed law firm. This certificate recognizes you as the owner of the property.
  • It is necessary for NRI to have PAN in order to sell property in India. PAN or permanent account number is a unique ten digit alphaneumeric code issued by the Income Tax department of India. It is necessary for taxation purposes. If you do not have PAN, you can apply online and can get the card within a month. You can get one at:

The procedure for sale

Once you have prepared and collected all the documents, you can sell your property. In this case you may decide to take the help of a professional firm who will handle the sale for you in return for a commission. The advantages are:

  • You avoid dealing with cumbersome property market.
  • You do not fall prey to unregulated and unlicensed touts.
  • You can give power of attorney to the firm. So, you will not have to visit India for registration.
  • The firm also takes care of the taxation issue.

The firm actually does all the work on your behalf and the sale of your property is completed.

You can repatriate the money through official dealers, but the amount should not exceed US $1 million per year. You will need to produce a document of inheritance of the property and a certificate from a chartered accountant. But if the property is inherited from another NRI, you will need special permission from RBI.

Finally you should check the income tax provisions both in India and in the country of your residence when you repatriate the proceeds from the sale of your property.

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