When is the right time to include the lawyer?
If you are buying: Right after you agree on the price. At this stage you let your lawyer speak to their lawyer. Usually the seller’s lawyer is the one drafting a contract, but not necessarily.
If you are selling: When you made up your mind to sell. That will give him/her time to prepare all the necessary documents.
What are the layers responsibilities? (Partial list)
- Asserting the seller’s rights in the property. Making sure that the property is his, and no one else has any claims on the property. (Side note, in Israel this is much easier than in the US, but still should never be overlooked).
- Evaluating the legality of the property: The prevalence of construction offenses requires the lawyer to check whether illegal changes made in the property. Otherwise, the buyer may find himself in demand as a condition for payment of betterment levy (היטל השבחה), or unable to complete the registration of the property.
- The way the property is listed (רישום הבית): There may be several issues regarding the property that should be addressed by a lawyer.
- Taxes – The lawyer will represent you in front of tax authorities. This is even more important when selling a property.
- Transfer ownership and complete registration. This may take weeks and even months after signing the contract.
- Prepare documents for receiving a mortgage.
How much does this cost?
Prices can range between 0.25% of the deal and up to 2%.
I usually pay 0.5% (+VAT) and get exhalent service.
Often lawyers also have a minimum charge.
So, how do I choose?
- Choose only a lawyer that specializes in real estate. Even if you already have a family lawyer.
- Make sure that they have enough experience in relevant matters.
- Recommendations can go a long way.
- Make sure they at least cover all the topics in the above list.
If you need a recommendation for lawyers I’m happy with, drop me a line and I’ll try and match you with a relevent proffessional. (I do this free of charge and commission, to support professionals I’m happy to work with).