Sample Flat – the scam of Indian Real Estate

Let’s face it, “Sample Flats” are captivating and that’s what they are sketched to do at first place. Sample Flats are the biggest scam of Indian Real estate industry. When you visit builder’s office, the marketing person or builder persuade you to visit sample flats. The moment you look at sample flats, half of his job is done. You will surely be astonished by the first look of it. The sample flats are so beautiful and mesmerizing that many of us probably make the decision without even looking at the documents. You already starts picturing yourself as the owner of very same sample flat.

But this is where you are trapped. So much so that most of you don’t even realize that you are trapped. After all we are human beings with dreams and all of us want to give best of the best to our family. Now the builder understands that we Indians are emotional about our homes and he very well knows how to play with your psych. He has a professional team of designers who ensures that sample flats are none less than a hotel suit that most of us can’t even afford. Sample flats are designed for love at first sight and most of the time builders are bang on target.

We spoke to some of city developers and were shocked to learn that developer spent crores in building sample flat. Interior for just one sample flat cost them above 20L upwards.. Imagine yourself planning a budget house of 50-60L and doing an interior of 20L.

Here is why sample flats are a scam:-

Let’s begin with the apartment  entry and we will cover till the exit:

  1. The main door is at least 30% higher and 20% wider than the actual flat. It is also double the actual thickness. This is done to give you a villa type appeal. In reality, main doors are hardly 7 x 3.5 feet compared to 8 x 5 of sample flats.
  2. The drawing room is designed to look spacious with use of glass instead of walls. Sofa and couch are carefully crafted and are smaller than average household items. This give the entire surrounding  a very spacious feeling.
  3. Ceiling height is atleast 1 ot 2 feet higher than the actual flat. This also gives more volume and builder gets a chance to showcase the massive false ceiling design. In actual flat you might just touch ceiling fans if you get false ceiling done.
  4. The lighting used in sample flat is suggested by interior designers, who are experts in creating optical illusions.
  5. Modular kitchen showcased is the best and most expensive from the market. This gives you the luxurious feel. Keep in mind the these modular kitchens and the fancy equipment kept to enhance the aesthetic are among the most expensive one which most of us can’t even afford.
  6. Bathroom fitting and fixtures are of premium quality and same shall not be provided in real deal.
  7. Bedrooms are spacious than they actually are and furniture placed is carefully designed which is smaller in dimensions. This give an overall spacious feeling.
  8. Walls are thinner to leave more space and it’s not the actual plaster. They use ply board so that the finish look much smoother.

In nut shell, builder spend a fortune to ensure that you fall in love with the sample flats. The furniture, fitting & fixture, modular kitchen, wall paintings, paint and lights are so expensive that you can not just afford them. Imagine a sofa set worth 5-6L rupees and a wall painting worth 1L. Can you even think of it?


actual flat
Actual flat
sample flat
Sample flat










How to avoid being duped:-

Partially constructed or RTM houses: If you are purchasing an apartment where atleast one flat is constructed (it need not be furnished but just the structure is ready), insist on having a look at it. If you push hard, marketing guy can’t afford to let you go without fulfilling your wish. If it is RTM, look at the actual flat and not the sample flat.

Under construction or Soft launch: Visiting the sample flat should be the last thing on your mind when you are out looking for property. You should first scrutinize the documents and take a closer look at the dimensions mentioned in the Floor Plan. Also have a loot at the specification document attached.

Once inside sample flat, imagine how well would your existing furniture fit in it. How big are your existing sofa, dining table and bed are. Will you get the same spacious feeling when these items are placed. I hope that you know most likely you would get an empty house and you should imagine an empty house only.

If you are of those kind who do not settle for anything less than promised, take a measuring tape along and measure the dimensions of sample flat. A move like this should be able to give shivers to the marketing person.

“The Logical Buyer” suggest that you purchase your dream home logically and with full presence of mind. One should not be too emotional with this purchase. You will have enough time to be emotional when you get the possession.

We would like to hear your story, were you also lured into sample flats? Share your experience in comments section.

2 thoughts on “Sample Flat – the scam of Indian Real Estate

  • August 10, 2015 at 6:33 am

    This is true in some cases .I think it depends from builder to builder. I know of some builders who have an actual sample flat in the same building which they sell off in the end just like normal flats.These flats are not different from the other flats.

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