Electronic Real Estate Sales Contracts in Japan
Thanks to recent changes in Japanese law, you can now create your real estate sales contracts electronically.
This means that there is no need to print out the sales contract and have you sign the document.
Of course, if you do not use a real estate brokerage firm, there was no problem to create a real estate sales contract electronically for some time.
In the first place, you could buy and sell real estate without creating a real estate sales contract.
However, when a real estate brokerage firm is involved, the real estate brokerage firm was obligated to create a real estate sales contract.
It had to be made in writing (physically).
The real estate brokerage firm was required to prepare a document in which the matters determined by law were described.
And it was necessary to deliver that document to the seller and the buyer (physically).
However, the law was amended to allow real estate brokerage firms to create real estate sales contracts electronically.
The biggest advantage of creating a real estate sales contract electronically would be the saving of stamp tax.
You do not have to affix revenue stamps to a real estate sales contract if it is not made in paper form.
In addition, when the seller and the buyer want to conclude a purchase agreement as of today, the seller and the buyer do not have to be in the same place to conclude the agreement.
First, the seller electronically signs the sales contract data. Then, it is sent to the buyer via e-mail. Then, the buyer electronically signs the received data.
Creating a real estate sales contract electronically means that the seller and the buyer create the agreed-upon details as data on a computer. You might use a PDF. The seller and buyer then electronically sign the data.
You might use Acrobat PRO, for example. Or, if you are a resident of Japan and have a My Number card, you may use your My Number card to electronically sign the sales contract.
(However, the system of electronic signature with My Number card is very inconvenient to use, because it is a system created by the government. In your home country, I think even a junior high school student could create a better system.)
Thus, although electronic signatures are now allowed in sales contracts, most sales contracts will still be in paper form. People still are not used to using electronic signatures.
If a purchase agreement does not exist in writing, they are somewhat uneasy. It will take many years for this mentality to change.
Even if sales contracts are digitized, many other documents are required for real estate transactions. It is legally possible to digitize those documents.
However, many old-fashioned companies will not be willing to digitize their documents.
If you hope to transact real estate in Japan without hiring a real estate broker, I am willing to assist you.
I will make a real estate sale and purchase contract paper and file ownership transfer registration.
You can send me an email. akiyama(at)japan-law-tax.com Lawyer Tomohiko AKIYAMA