Buying property: Beware of sample flats

Mar 01 2014, 10:58 IST
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The sample flat is the most potent marketing tool developers use to lure buyers into making purchase decisions. (Thinkstock) The sample flat is the most potent marketing tool developers use to lure buyers into making purchase decisions. (Thinkstock)
SummaryFrom smaller furniture to higher ceilings, developers deploy all tricks in sample flat to entice buyer.

which would offer a pleasant view. However, when the buyer moves in, that window in all probability would face another building. There may not be sufficient light and air in the dream house. The floor and the orientation of the flat could change.

Size matters

Size is another front to fool the prospective buyer. Usually, the area of the sample flat is quite bigger than those up for sale. The ceiling is higher too. But the flat would be smaller. By the time the difference is realised, it is too late.

Unfortunately, the client does not check or measure the size of the sample flat. He may feel awkward to do so, and the sales representative convinces him that he would get something similar and that he need not bother, says Ramesh Ranka, a broker in Mumbai.

However, by the time the buyer realises that the flat handed over to him is smaller, the sample flat does not exist. It is usually demolished once most of the project is sold. There is nothing left to compare or prove, says Ranka.


The game starts with floor size and ceiling height and extends to other parts of the sample flat. In many cases, the walls are made of glass, which gives a better view of the interior. The flat looks spacious as it creates larger visual effect and also glass being thinner than the wall adds to the feeling of greater space.

In some cases one may find plywood partitions instead of brick walls. Gypsum boards, too are used. Like glass, all these consume lesser floor area and add to the spacious look, says Deepa Shah, an interior designer. In a few cases, pre-fabricated bricks of width of say two inches are used to erect the wall. In this case, even when one knocks on the wall, one will not be able to find the difference. Besides, all these partitions impart better finish when painted, adds Shah.

The next element of illusion is the door, or the lack of one. Most sample flats will not have doors to the rooms or even to the bathrooms. Like glass walls, having no doors removes visual obstacles, giving an impression of greater space.


There are three tricks here: painting, furniture and fixtures. Due to use of plywood or gypsum or pre-fabricated bricks, the finish looks superior. The paint used is also of higher quality. However, it

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