Do you know ‘Otori-bukken’ ?
Truth be told,
We have to admit there are a number of
shady and dishonest real estate agents in Japan.
As a foreign investor considering investment opportunities
in the Japanese real estate market,
it’s crucial to be aware of the tactics some unscrupulous agents
employ to lure potential clients.
One such method is using “bait listings”
or “otori bukken”(おとり物件） in Japanese.
In this article, we’ll explore what bait listings are,
how they work, and how you can avoid falling victim
to these deceptive practices.
Bait listings are property listings that appear
too good to be true and are used to attract potential clients.
It is primarily used in rental transactions; however,
similar practices can also be observed in buying and selling properties.
These deceptive listings generally fall into three categories:
(1) non-existent properties
(2) properties that exist but are no longer available
(3) properties that exist but are not actually for sale or rent.
Dishonest real estate agents use these listings to
lure in clients and then try to redirect them to other properties
with less favorable conditions.
When dealing with non-existent properties,
the agent might show you an attractive listing with
a low price and excellent conditions.
However, upon further inquiry, you may find that the property doesn’t exist
or has already been sold.
To avoid this, always ask the agent for the property’s exact address
and check it online to confirm its existence and availability.
In the case of properties that exist but are no longer available,
some agents keep listings up even after they’ve been sold or rented.
This is done to maintain the illusion of offering great deals.
If an agent insists that the property has just been taken off the market,
ask them when and who the new tenant or owner is.
If they can’t provide a clear answer, it’s likely a bait listing.
For properties that exist but are not actually for sale or rent,
agents may use these listings as bait to attract clients
and then present them with properties that have undesirable features
or a troubled history. They may show you a property with a seemingly great deal,
only to reveal later that there’s a problem with the location,
neighbours, or past incidents.
Be cautious of agents who continuously present you with questionable properties
and then redirect you to more average options, as they might
be employing a bait-and-switch strategy.
To avoid being deceived by bait listings, be cautious
and ask detailed questions about the property’s history and the agent’s experience.
If an agent is pressuring you to make a quick decision
or is hesitant to provide information,
consider this a red flag. Moreover, take your time
to review and evaluate the properties
presented to you, as rushing into a decision can lead to regrets later on.
Don’t let bait listings stand in the way of your successful investment
in Japan’s real estate market.
Bait listings (Otori-bukken) are a violation of the Building Lots
and Buildings Transaction Business Act in Japan.
It is recommended to gather as much evidence as possible,
such as recording conversations, and report the issue
to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT)
or the building licensing authority of the relevant prefecture.
When investing in the Japanese real estate market, particularly as a foreign national,
it’s important to be aware of the presence of shady and dishonest real estate agents.
One deceptive practice to watch out for is the use of “bait listings” or “otori bukken” in Japanese.
Bait listings are property listings that appear too good to be true and are designed
to attract potential clients. These listings can be found in both rental and buying/selling transactions.
There are three main categories of bait listings: non-existent properties,
properties that exist but are no longer available, and properties that exist
but are not actually for sale or rent. Dishonest agents employ these listings
to lure clients and then redirect them to less favorable properties.
To avoid falling victim to bait listings, it’s essential to exercise caution
and ask specific questions. When dealing with non-existent properties,
always request the exact address and verify its existence and availability online.
For properties that are no longer available,
inquire about the new tenant or owner, and if the agent cannot provide a clear answer,
it’s likely a bait listing. Be wary of agents who continuously present questionable properties
and then redirect you to other options, as this may be a bait-and-switch tactic.
To protect yourself, ask detailed questions about the property’s history and the agent’s experience.
If an agent pressures you to make a quick decision or hesitates to provide information,
consider it a red flag.
Take your time to review and evaluate the properties presented to you,
as rushing into a decision can lead to regrets later on.
It’s important to note that bait listings are a violation of
the Building Lots and Buildings Transaction Business Act in Japan.
If you come across such listings, gather evidence such
as recording conversations and report the issue to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure,
Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) or the building licensing authority of the relevant prefecture.
To navigate the real estate market in Japan successfully,
it’s advisable to seek assistance from an experienced and trustworthy team.
By staying vigilant and taking necessary precautions, you can avoid falling prey
to deceptive practices and ensure a successful investment in Japan’s real estate market.
Contact our experienced and trustworthy team today to guide you
through the process and help you make informed decisions.
Schedule a consultation with one of our experts.
Real estate investing consultant and author.
Founder of Yamamoto Property Advisory in Tokyo.
International property Investment consultant and licensed
real estate broker (Japan).
He serves the foreign companies and individuals to buy and sell
the real estates in Japan as well as own homes.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from
Osaka Prefecture University in Japan
and an MBA from Bond University in Australia
Toshihiko’s book, “The Savvy Foreign Investor’s Guide to Japanese Properties: How to Expertly Buy, Manage and Sell Real Estate in Japan” is now out on Amazon, iBooks (iTunes, Apple) and Google Play.
About the book