Inquiry & Consultation
Each situation is unique when buying a property, and it can be hard to know what should be your first step to take. You still may not have PR (Permanent Residency) or may not have assessed your must haves and any items on your wish list. But in any case, your first step should be to turn to us. Our door is always open for anyone who needs help with a home purchase for any purpose (residence, investment, 2nd house etc...) in Tokyo.
Our first role is to clarify any questions and concerns you have about unique home buying process in Japan you may not be familiar with, and also to give you an idea of what your home loan repayments and purchase schedule would look like with some sample listings picked based on your criteria. Getting accurate information and having a full understanding of what you should be prepared for at the beginning of the process makes the lead time much more efficient and smooth.
If you first plan to get PR to be eligible to obtain a full home loan, we will introduce our affiliated English speaking notary and support you throughout to get your PR.
Our buyer consultations and any support until closing are free and there’s never an obligation.
& Viewing Tours
Once we complete the prerequisites, our endeavour begins. For a start, we will discuss your requirements such as layout, size, budget etc., and also your lifestyle that matters as much. Seeking a property is seeking a lifestyle, and it is crucial to be aware of each neighbourhood's strengths to pick the one that fits your lifestyle the best. We will first share a list of as many potential properties that meet your requirements as possible via email whilst providing you with insights into the kind of lifestyle you can expect with the neighbourhood. Based on your reviews on the list, we will revise it however many times needed and pull all the stops out to find options that interest you.
You can also share links to listings you found yourself on other websites as well. But as most listings on portals are outdated, we will check the up to date information and include them in the list if available, and move on to viewing.
We will chauffeur you to your viewings and accompany you throughout so that we are on hand to answer any questions immediately and advise where necessary.
Preliminary Review for Housing Loan
A mortgage pre-approval is a statement from a lender that says how much you are qualified to borrow, and getting pre-approved for a housing loan prior to applying for a formal approval is always advisable to avoid getting declined for a housing loan after you went under contract. That also shows a seller that there’s a lot less risk to the seller of the deal falling through due to lack of appropriate financing.
Although you can apply for a pre-approval online for free, most Japanese local banks do not offer English support or website and the application process requires you a high level of proficiency in Japanese language.
We will introduce bankers we're partnered with who speak English, and be a liaison between you and the seller throughout the process.
* In case that banks do not offer online preliminary review, it will be done over a phone call.
Purchase Offer & Negotiation
Now you found your perfect property, it is time to make an offer. But before that, we will draw up a cost estimate stating the initial costs and loan repayment plan for you to finalise the financing plan. In the meantime, price negotiation takes place between us and the seller.
And then we will determine the elements such as offer price, time frame, payment method, and mortgage contingency which is an escape clause for a buyer to walk away from a sale without legal percussions and have their earnest money deposit returned without forfeiting any. You are also required to mention how much earnest money you will deposit. Once we are ready, we will proceed to submitting the purchase offer to the seller. This is intended to show the seller that you're serious about the purchase and there are no legal obligations or penalty fees until the contract is signed even if you cancel your offer after the seller accepted it.
& Purchase Agreement
Signing of a purchase agreement usually takes place in the presence of both the buyer and the seller within a week to 10 days from the acceptance of your offer. Prior to the signing, our licenced agents walk you through the disclosure statement meant to disclose the details about the actual conditions of the building and facilities, maintenance costs, neighbourhood rules etc. Formal statements and contracts need to be in Japanese but we will prepare English translation of them, and ensure you fully understand all the conditions and clauses so any issues or disputes won't arise after the delivery.
In Japan, hanko (seal) corresponds to a signature, and is used for most of the legal acts and contracts. Therefore, you're required to seal the contract using your registered seal on which your name is engraved. After the completion of the agreement, you will need to pay earnest money deposit, which is usually 5-10% of the purchase price (maximum 10 million yen), by either bank transfer or bringing in cash on the date of contract. The deposit will be applied against the purchase price of the property when the sale closes.
And finally, you pay 50% of agent fee when this step is complete.
& Loan Agreement
We will put in an application for your home loan immediately after the completion of the purchase agreement. As it normally takes 3 weeks ~ 1 month to finalise the loan application and assessment process, but a mortgage contingency period typically lasts only 1 month so we ensure we get everything ready for the application beforehand to get it completed as soon as possible.
If your home loan has been formally approved, you will receive a phone call from the lender, and a short time later, the home loan contract will be issued. At the time of Loan agreement made between you and the lender, our partner bilingual judicial scrivener will explain the property ownership registration process. Of course, we will assist you in preparing all the required documents to submit to both the lender and the judicial scrivener.
Final Settlement & Delivery
You've officially made it through to the final step. One last step left is to settle the sale and receive the keys. We will act as a go-between and arrange a settlement date as well as a delivery date first. On the settlement date, you settle residual monies, remaining agent fee (50%), ownership registration fee, judicial scrivener fee and all other costs. The judicial scrivener will then settle the mortgage and complete the conveyance. Once completed, the seller will hand over the keys to you. Congratulations, you are now the legal owner of your new home!
We can also support you in your renovating if you plan to do so. We will be the interpreter between you and a renovation company or the property management association, and assist you in any application as well as registrations.