Choosing a Real Estate Agency
Find out about real estate agencies
When purchasing real estate, it is important to choose a reliable real estate company. It is especially important to work closely with a real estate company if you are looking for a brokered property. Start by first gathering some basic information about the real estate company.
Point 1: Learn about the characteristics of real estate companies.
Real estate companies have a variety of characteristics.
For example, a company with many branches may have an advantage in providing information using its own network or in dealing in remote areas. A company that has been in business for a long time in a particular area may also be well versed in a variety of local information, not limited to real estate. These characteristics of a real estate company cannot be formally determined by the size of the company. It is important to determine these characteristics by referring to the reputation of the neighborhood and ultimately through communication with the real estate agent's staff.
Point 2: Check basic information about the real estate company.
Information on real estate companies can be obtained on the Internet and through other sources. When information is not available on the Internet, it may still be possible to obtain certain information from government agencies. It is a good idea to check basic information about the real estate company, as needed.
You can also look up the real estate company you want to know about on Real Estate Japan, or search for a real estate company by area or train line.
The following is some commonly available information on real estate agencies.
Real Estate Business Transaction License Number
In order to buy, sell, or broker real estate, a real estate transaction business license is required. Companies with offices (head office, branch, etc.) in multiple prefectures are licensed by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and companies with offices (head office, branch, etc.) in only one prefecture operate under a prefectural governor's license. The license number is always listed in real estate advertisements, so be sure to check it.
From the license number, you can confirm the licensor of the real estate agency (Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism or prefectural governor) and the number of times the license has been renewed. Since licenses are renewed every five years, a company with a high number of renewals can be deemed to have a long history in the business and a certain level of experience, but there are also companies with a high level of know-how even if the number of renewals is low. The number of times the license is renewed should be checked as reference information when selecting a real estate company.
Real Estate Agency Directory
You can check the Real Estate Agents Directory at the administrative offices listed below. This roster includes the date of license, names of officers, locations of all offices (head office, branch offices, etc.), past administrative penalties, and the status of other concurrent businesses. This directory provides an overview of the real estate company. Some administrative agencies provide an overview of real estate agencies and information on administrative penalties on the Internet. However, you cannot judge a real estate company based on this information alone, so use it only as reference information when selecting a real estate company.
Where to browse the Real Estate Agency Directory
Documents available for browsing
Memberships in Trade Associations
There are four trade associations in the real estate distribution industry. Each organization provides training, guidance, and business support to its member companies, as well as consultation on consumer complaints. It is advisable to check the membership status of real estate companies in the associations for reference. If a real estate company is a member of an industry organization, the membership is listed near the name of the real estate company in the real estate advertisement.
Column: Prevention of Malicious Solicitation by the Real Estate Industry
As consumer protection is being strengthened, more and more people are seeking advice regarding malicious solicitation of condominiums. Therefore, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has clearly stipulated prohibited acts in the Enforcement Regulations of the Real Estate Transaction Business Law. Specifically, the following acts are prohibited.
Arrows International Realty Corp.