Caution! Contract for selling your house is not subject to cooling-off! Elderly consumers are prone to trouble. Don't easily sign a contract without knowing details
Local consumer affairs centers and the like across Japan have received inquiries and complaints about problems after selling houses (e.g. "After being touted, I happened to sign a contract for selling my house at a low price," "When I requested cancellation, I was charged a penalty," "I was told that I could sell my house and keep living there by paying a rent. I signed a contract for selling my house, but I want to cancel the contract").
When a consumer has sold his or her house to a real estate company, the contract is not subject to the cooling-off period. Elderly consumers in particular may face serious problems after signing a contract for selling their houses without knowing contract details. If they have sold their houses, they may face difficulty in finding a place to live. If they have paid a cancellation penalty, they may not have sufficient money to maintain their livelihood.
Here, NCAC would like to share trouble cases where consumers aged over 60 sold their houses. Furthermore, we issue a consumer alert and make a request to relevant organizations.
After being touted for a long time, I was made to sign a contract without being explained or given any document
I live on my own. Suddenly, two salespersons of a real estate company visited my home. They insistently induced me to sell my condominium unit and stayed till 21:30. Next day the two salespersons came to me at 10:00 and stayed till 19:00 or so. They said, "If you sell your condominium unit, we will find a nursing home for you." Since I was in a weak moment due to the coronavirus pandemic, I decided to sell my unit. I signed and affixed a seal on a document. Just a pamphlet on the real estate company was given to me. Although the company told me that a buyer is waiting to purchase the condominium unit, I want to cancel the contract.
- I was told that there was an advantageous offer. After being touted for a long time, I was made to sign a contract for selling and renting my condominium unit.
- I was made to sell my condominium unit at a low price. The company says I need to pay an expensive penalty to cancel the contract.
- I believed a false explanation and signed a contract for selling and renting my condominium unit.
- It seems I have signed a contract for selling my condominium unit, but I don't remember it. There's no place to live, so I want to cancel the contract.
- After selling my house, I was demanded to cover a cost to exterminate termites.
- I have received a postcard inducing me to sell my house with reference to registry information. I am annoyed.
Problems highlighted by the sampling of cases
- After being touted for a long time or given a false explanation, consumers happen to sign a contract different from their intentions.
- Some consumers sign a contract without fully understanding contract details.
- After a while consumers with poor judgment signed an unnecessary contract, their family members find what happened.
- In some cases, consumers will be charged house repair costs after selling their houses.
Advice for consumers
- When a consumer sells his or her house to a real estate company, the contract is not subject to the cooling-off period.
- Do not sign a contract if there's something you don't understand or accept.
- Flatly decline any unnecessary offer. Tell them not to solicit anymore.
- In case of trouble or concern, consult your local consumer affairs center.
Request to related organizations
Request to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
- To disseminate and share information on this article among municipal administrative bodies and other relevant organizations
Request to business associations concerned
- Legal compliance
- Consideration for elderly consumers