Closing and Transfer of Property in Japan

More information on the documents and processes involved in buying a house in Japan...

Once a housing loan is approved, the buyer pays the remaining sum of the sales price to the seller and the property is transferred to the buyer.

If the buyer is financing the property with a loan, it is quite common to hold the closing at the financial institute that provided it. Once the buyer has paid the remaining sum and other expenses, they receive the keys and necessary documents for the property.

It is normal practice for a legal scrivener to process the ownership transfer to the buyer and necessary related registrations. The seller and the buyer then sign and seal the registration application forms. In addition to registration fees, the buyer pays a commission to the legal scrivener.

It normally takes between two to three weeks after applying for the ownership transfer for a new title certificate to be issued.

It is advisable to ensure that all necessary documents are prepared in advance.

Costs and documents required in closing and transfer

The following documents are required to process the transfer of ownership:

  • Jitsuin: Officially registered seal. If a foreigner doesn't have one, it can be substituted with a registered signature
  • Original copy of seal registration certificate (or signature registration certificate)
  • Original copy of the certificate of residence

The following is payable by the buyer:

  • Remaining sum of the sales price of the property
  • If the buyer is financing the property with a loan
    • Bank commission
    • Guarantee commission
    • Fire insurance premium
  • Settlement money on a pro-rata basis:
    • Fixed Asset Tax
    • City Planning Tax
    • Management fee, repairs fund (for an apartment)
    • Membership fee for the neighbourhood association
  • Agent commission: 3 percent of the sales price plus 60,000 yen and consumption tax in accordance with property transaction regulations
  • Registry License Tax (for registering ownership transfer or mortgage on a property)
  • Legal scrivener commission

Real Estate Acquisition Tax

When purchasing a property, the buyer is required to pay a real estate acquisition tax. This is a local tax on the purchase of land and/or buildings, new constructions, renovations, or donations.

This tax bill is sent to the buyer by the tax office responsible for the property within three to six months of the purchase. It is advisable to settle the payment within the specified time frame.


Information provided for AngloINFO by PLAZA HOMES, LTD. PLAZA HOMES, LTD.: Your Tokyo Real Estate Partner Since 1969 Tel: +81 (0)3 3588 0131 email