Does this sound like you?
- You want to sell real estate located in Japan that you inherited but do not want to keep.
- You want to sell real estate you bought when you lived in Japan, but no longer need since you live overseas and have no intention to return to Japan.
- You want to sell an investment property in Japan where there is no return on the investment.
Kobe Legal Partners is often asked about the procedures involved in selling real estate in Japan by people who live overseas, but own property in Japan that they want to sell for various reasons.
The procedures for selling real estate located in Japan is done in accordance with Japanese laws and customs. If you live outside Japan, there are probably many things that you are uncertain about when it comes to the best way to proceed in a real estate transaction in Japan.
Steps in a Real Estate Transaction in Japan
The steps involved in selling real estate in Japan are roughly as follows:
- Sign a brokerage agreement with a real estate agent
- Real estate agent looks for a buyer
- Negotiation of purchase price and terms if a buyer is found
- Sign a sales agreement with the buyer
- On the day of settlement (similar to a closing), hand over the registration documents and receive the purchase price
- The shihoshoshi-lawyer will complete the real estate registration application.
Points to Keep in Mind When Selling Real Property in Japan from Overseas
One point is whether you should come to Japan to sell the real estate.
Often the seller does not come to Japan if he or she knows and trusts someone in Japan who can act on their behalf. Except when it is not possible, generally it is a good idea for the seller to come to Japan at least once. The reason for this is that the real estate agent and the shihoshoshi-lawyer have a legal obligation to verify the identity of the parties in a real estate transaction. If the seller is unable to come to Japan, it may be necessary for the shihoshoshi-lawyer to take an overseas business trip to meet the seller for identity verification. If the seller comes to Japan even once, the identity verification can be done at that time.
Another important point is to select a real estate agent and a shihoshoshi-lawyer who are familiar with real estate transactions involving foreign nationals or non-residents of Japan.
You should be careful because, among real estate agents and shihoshoshi-lawyers, there are quite a few who are not familiar with real estate transactions involving foreign nationals or non-residents of Japan. If you rely on a real estate agent who is not familiar with these types of real estate transactions, the real estate agent will not know how to proceed and the whole process could come to a standstill. In addition, a shihoshoshi-lawyer who is unfamiliar with these types of real estate transactions will not understand what type of documents should be prepared, which may result in delays.
Actually, Kobe Legal Partners often receives inquiries from real estate agents and other shihoshoshi-lawyer who are not sure how to proceed in these types of transactions. In that situation, we can introduce an English-speaking real estate agent who is familiar with real estate transactions involving foreign non-residents, and Kobe Legal Partners would participate in the registration procedures to ensure that the overall process goes smoothly.
When you want to sell real estate located in Japan from outside Japan, please let Kobe Legal Partners help you. We are in a position to help you with your real estate transaction for real estate located anywhere in Japan!