Practical Guide to Real Estate Transactions in Japan

Introduction: When dealing with real estate transactions in Japan, whether it’s buying, selling, we can assist you as your representative. Real estate dealings on foreign soil can be intricate, but our specialized services facilitate a smooth process.

1) Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent: Choose a trustworthy real estate agent. Our firm has an extensive network of reliable real estate experts in Japan. We can introduce you to agents, regardless of whether you’re buying or sellinga real estate.

The selection of a real estate agent is the most important factor in a real estate transaction. It is difficult for the general public to understand local regulations regarding real estate and its value relative to the surrounding market.

As in any other country, there are some bad agents, so you need to be careful, especially with income-producing properties that have high profit margins. Recently, we have seen investment damage where old properties are sold to unknowledgeable people for many times their original value. In some cases, vendors promise to guarantee rent through subleasing, but the vendors do not actually pay.

2) Legal Representation for Contract Signing: When it comes to signing contracts, a typical real estate transaction in Japan often involves first signing a contract and paying a deposit, and then settling the balance of the purchase price some time later (e.g., one month later). Therefore, the seller and buyer need to get together and meet twice, just at the time of signing the contract.

For some clients, it is difficult to travel to Japan just to sign a contract. In such cases, our qualified attorney can step in as your representative. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, we can review the legal aspects, and also sign the contract in place of you.

3) Expert Support for Post-Transaction Matters: Even after contract signing, there still are complexities of property registration and tax procedures. We’ll connect you with professionals fluent in English to ensure effective communication during these crucial stages.

Please Note: Property selection remains your responsibility. We urge you to engage in thorough discussions with real estate agents and make informed decisions aligned with your goals, as we do not provide guarantees.

Our office is located in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture (next to Tokyo). Therefore, in principle, our office can provide support for real estate transactions only in the vicinity of Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture. For support in other areas, costs may be higher due to travel fees, etc.

Published by

Kei Sumikawa

Attorney at Law (Sumikawa Law Office), Kawasaki city, Japan