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Does anyone have any experience with Sumitomo Realty.
Yes. I'd been doing my banking with Sumitomo Bank for a decade when I was finally in the market to buy a condo in Tokyo. The first place I went, along with my broker, was to Sumitomo Realty, since they were directly connected to the bank with which I had such a long and successful history.
I'd reached the point where I had Y13,000,000 (about $130,000 at the time) saved with them, and wanted to borrow another Y3,000,000 ($30k) to buy a condo in Tokyo.
Despite having banked with no one other than them, and having my salary deposited directly into their bank, from the same company, for ten years, they said they wouldn't lend me a penny because I didn't have Japanese nationality or permanent residency. A ridiculously low, safe-as-anything 19% loan-to-value ratio, and they turned me away without discussion.
Keep in mind that Y13m is more than the Japanese version of FDIC will insure, so I was showing a lot of faith in that bank that they weren't willing to extend to me.
Acquiring Japanese nationality wasn't a solution since Japan's government requires you to relinquish any other nationalities you might have, including the one of your birth. Permanent residency is very difficult to obtain for an unmarried person. This is why just about all non-Japanese people who buy homes do it in the names of their Japanese spouses, with themselves as co-borrowers.
I ended up borrowing the money as a personal loan from another bank. (At that time personal loan rates were lower than American or Australian mortgage rates, so there was no sense in trying to get a mortgage from a foreign bank.)
Bloomsday, where are you looking to borrow from them? As an American citizen, in New York? I will be disappointed indeed if they offer service to immigrants to America while refusing them in the country of their headquarters.
I am looking in Manhattan at an HPD unit they have listed. We had deal a few months ago. They backed out 24 hrs later...claimed they had an "all cash" buyer. The guidelines state that it must be a primary residence but they are marketing to Japanese buyers as an investment poperty. Then they went in and out of contract a few other times and it is back on the market. They refused to present my offer to their client when I made the same offer as before yesterday. Aren't RE professionals obligated to present any resonable offer to their client? I have filed a complaint with their managing office in the city. On a side note, they are really, really rude and nasty.
This should not have happened...I am glad you are following through with the managing office.
Bloomsday, are you 100% sure that they're marketing it as an investment property and not as a residence for expats (who are often willing to pay big premiums for having someone that speaks their language and can show them the ropes)? HPD units might have a bit of cachet with Japanese buyers who grew up in a place where anything more than 20 years old is liable to get knocked down and rebuilt.
That "all cash" thing sounds a little suspicious. It always sounds suspicious when an agent magically finds an all-cash buyer within a day or two of getting an offer!
Are the rude and nasty people you're dealing with Americans or Japanese? I'm not about to generalize, but I'm curious. Needless to say, I met many kinds of people, both pleasant and nasty, when rearching for RE in Tokyo. The nasty ones who saw that I wasn't able to make them a profit will not be getting my business when I finally am in a position to make money for them.
The rude and the nasty are Japanese. I received an e-mail from a Sumitomo lawyer requesting that I only deal directly with him...not the agent. This was after I contacted the managing office.
This must be the Sumitomo Way:
Step 1: Rude and Nasty to an interested buyer.
Step 2: When they complain...get legal involved.
The price difference between offer and asking is less than 5%. They are basically telling me to f*ck off.