Ask any Mumbaikar, and they will tell you that you'll never win, bargaining with a builder. Builders in the city are a rare breed, who charge exorbitant rates for flats upfront.
Their greed doesn't stop here; he starts extracting money from you for the floor rise, then for the staircase; he will demand advance maintenance charges for two years, and the list goes on. All this, while the building is still under construction. They are like the bullies in school, who you hate, but tolerate because they know where your weakness lies. And a homebuyer's weakest point is his dream of being a homeowner in the city.
Fully aware of this fact, the developer, after taking the initial booking amount, keeps on asking for money from a buyer in various forms, sometimes even attributing it to a demand from government bodies like BMC, SRA, MHADA. Unaware of the truth, the buyer gives in, and pays up.
The need of the hour is an authority, which will deal with homebuyers' grievances. A fast track court should be set up to tackle cases. Moreover, a buyer needs to be made aware that he's not a victim of the builder-politician lobby, and that his voice will be heard; that there is a mechanism through which he can get justice, if he decides to take up cudgels against those who are powerful but corrupt.
This can be done only if there is will in the government to set up a body to look into real estate issues, not from the builders' perspective, but from the common man's.