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Thread: Real estate agents

  1. #1

    Question Real estate agents

    Hi all. Hoping for some advice / recommendations here. Also just to blow off a little steam..

    Been living for 4 or 5 years in the same place in Kawasaki-shi. Had a good run with our current landlord, but want to move into something a bit bigger, newer and more convenient. Last time we just picked a random real-estate agent in Shibuya, and got lucky. They gave us pretty decent service, and did a good job of calling all the owners before we even looked at any places to make sure that they were gaijin-friendly. Yeah, it sucks that this is necessary, but I'm a pragmatist, and frankly I don't want to rent from a landlord with "foreigner issues" given that they're often living next door.

    This time, we knew the lay of the land a bit better, so we scouted out a lot of places online, then went driving around to check them out on our own. Often the name of the management company is on a sign on the property. We figured we don't need a lot of the (expensive) service provided by the middle-man real estate agents here. We just need to check gaijin-friendly status with the owner, and then see the inside of a place briefly. It irks me to pay 1 month's rent in 手数料 just for them to make a couple of phone calls and fax a couple of documents. I'm fine with the deposit, and would even be willing to pay 礼金 if it's a really good place. But the real-estate agent fees seem a bit outrageous.

    Starting to think I should just give in and pick an agent though, simply to cut out the non-gaijin-friendly landlords before we waste our time visiting a place. We found one place that seemed great, so we visited the local agency. Felt like they didn't take us seriously, possibly because we didn't make an appointment? I also know that this is a busy time of year for them, and they often seem to be understaffed. In the end, they failed to call us on the agreed viewing day. We called another agent, but someone else had applied for the place in the mean time.

    Another nice place we found, we called the agent after taking a look. On hearing my wife's (obviously not Japanese) surname, they asked us where we were from. As expected they had to check with the owner about foreign tenants, and it was a no.

    So the new plan is, find an agent, make an appointment, explain our situation in detail to reassure them, and so that they can convince the landlords that I don't represent a flight risk, shortlist and view some places, and suck up the fees. Just wondering if anyone's had a good experience with an agency in the Kawasaki / Yokohama / west Tokyo area they could recommend?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Yamaguchi-ken N. of Shimonoseki
    Posts
    293

    Default

    If you live near a university try to find an NPO that helps foreigners get rentals.
    Try this: https://www.justlanded.com/english/J...ousing-Rentals
    This link is for Yamaguchi, but look at the name and see if you can find something like this in your area: http://yiea.or.jp/english/about.html
    I believe they are nation wide. They helped me find a place to live not too long ago and I didn't have to pay key or 6 months deposit. Was located walking distance to the university also.
    Also keep in mind that teachers from abroad with families use the local International Exchange Association. I was very lucky that they work with NPO's to help foreigners get housing. Good luck.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you, that's a good tip! As you said, turns out there is a Kanagawa version too:

    http://www.kifjp.org/e-contact

    I've contacted them.. let's see how it goes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Yamaguchi-ken N. of Shimonoseki
    Posts
    293

    Default

    Hey arber, just thought of this. Call yiea up and ask them if there is an International Exchange Association in your area, it is usually in a main city where a large foreign population goes to a university.
    Tel. 083-925-7353

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