REINS is the MLS Service for Japan
How can I view available properties online here in Hokkaido? Does Hokkaido have a multiple listing service that shows available properties online?
We can introduce you to an real estate agent in Hokkaido that can help you see property and view listings online, but yes, there is a primary database of for-sale properties in Japan.
Many countries have a real estate listing service – and sometimes that listing is available to the public online. In the US, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is an example of databases of real estate for sale (or previously sold). The equivalent of the MLS in Japan is call the Real Estate Information Network System – or REINS.
The Japanese Real Estate Information Network (REINS) was developed in 1990 by Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLTT) under the Real Estate Brokerage Act. The URL for REINS in Japan is https://system.reins.jp/
REINS is a extensive searchable databased of property in Japan run by the Japanese government. Typically, properties for sale are added to REINS by realtors, and are then accessible by other realtors and real estate brokers. All information is provided in Japanese only. REINS is divided into regions to make searches more specific. In 2018, the MLTT began working to include data about purchase prices in the REINS database. REINS is not as user-friendly as the US-based MLS, and it doesn’t necessarily contain as much data, but it is otherwise similar in many ways.
While the MLS in the US can sometimes be accessed directly by buyers, in Japan, you need a licensed broker/agent to perform a real estate search for you in REINS.
To buy real estate in Hokkaido, the typical process is: You find a real estate agent in Hokkaido that speaks English, work with that real estate agent to discuss your needs, they help you review properties (often using information in REINS), your agent helps you to see properties in person, and you continue the transaction from there.
While most property for sale in Hokkaido is shown in the REINS database, some properties are not – so there is certainly property for sale in Hokkaido that is not listed in the REINS listing service.
There are private sales of real estate in Hokkaido – property is sold via introductions that don’t include showing the property publicly on REINS. Sometimes the owner of the property might arrange for a sale directly with a buyer, without being represented by a licensed agent that could provide access to REINS. Other times, the property has been for sale for a long time, and is taken off of REINS (for a variety of reasons) but is still for sale.
Buyers can gain access to information in REINS as they begin working with a realtor. Often, no contract with a realtor is required to have an agent help a buyer view available properties for sale in REINS, although again, all information is in Japanese language. Some agents will provide translations in some cases.
In many cases, having a local agent with a strong network of contacts will mean a buyer can find some properties not listed publicly at all. Local connections can make a difference.
We do not offer our visitors access to REINS, but we can quickly an easily connect you with a realtor than can help you gain access to REINS, as well as to see properties in person in Hokkaido.
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