Sunday, February 04, 2007

Dubai Homes now available in simsari.com

Homes in Dubai are now being purchased by click of the mouse. The Vice President of an Investment Bank in Dubai, Ahmad Goheer, while checking his emails, found an email which made a mention about a particular website that sold luxury apartments in Dubai. Goheer logged on to the site “Simsari.com” wherein two apartments in a high-rise that was almost nearing completion caught his attention. After going through the floor plans and completing his calculations, the Pakistani banker, immediately drove past the tower to check if it actually existed. On returning home, Goheer just went ahead, and clicked on “buy now” option, without thinking twice. The decision of spending over $1 million for two apartments was made instantly by Goheer.

On the same site, Goheer also made loan arrangements from Dubai Marina neighborhood.

This reveals the hold of the internet in the real estate market, though most real estate sites only display the listings and the investors are required to phone an agent. There is the auction site such as e-bay offering houses for cash or for those who can arrange the financing.

“Simsari” the Arabic translation of which means “my agent” is a Dubai government owned site, that provides buyers with options to proceed a little further though not all the way. Simsari is the first site to allow buyers to make arrangements for mortgages online, and allow credit card deposits for properties. However, in the final stages, the buyers will have to appear in person for handing over the documents and for signatures on hard copies.

Selling properties online, however, is not very appealing, when a buyer actually wishes to inspect the house and neighbourhood. But in the case of Dubai’s dynamic market conditions, apartments are sold straight from architect’s rendering in immediate areas which may not exist for long. Investors in Dubai property market are mostly from Asia, Europe or Mid-East.

Simsari, which is still in its pre-launch mode, already sold four properties last week, and is in the process of finalizing another twenty, wherein mortgages have been approved online. Properties that are displayed for sale online vary from $20million apartment building with 80 units, due for completion by 2009, to a studio apartment for $89,600. Simsari offers satellite-imagery of construction site which includes a view of neighbourhood homes and backyard swimming pools. The incentives for an online purchase include half percent commission of Simsari, the regular two percent sales charge in Dubai, and occasionally an opportunity to get through a pre-launch offer.

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