If in France, in order to conclude any real estate transaction, we “go to the notary”, in Israel, it is not mandatory that the lawyer in charge of the case should also be a notary. On the other hand, it is very preferable, even essential, that he be specialized in real estate law!
During a real estate transaction, the choice of the lawyer to act on your behalf is far from trivial, it is critical, essential and decisive for a transaction well carried out!
A conscientious and involved lawyer can plead your case well and if necessary, even save it!
So much effort is put into a sale or an acquisition, as well as energy, time and money in order for them to succeed, so that this matter requires our fullest undivided attention.
The “contract” stage comes after negotiating the price and conditions: this is the last step towards success!
When the client has his lawyer act on his behalf, sometimes even as his proxy, the latter becomes his confidant, as if he were an extension of himself, and the client must be sure that his interests will be protected as best as possible.
This article seeks to make readers aware of the consequences of their choice and help them with some useful advice before they carry out their future real estate transaction, which we hope will be successful.
Did you know? Israel is the country with the highest number of lawyers per capita!
This has the advantage of offering clients a large choice of lawyers at competitive prices but unfortunately not all are indeed professionals!
What are the qualities and skills that one has to look for when hiring a lawyer?
- First of all, professionalism (areas of specialization in law can be verified with the Bar Association) as well as experience (a minimum of four years of practice after graduation).
- Integrity and I would add that this does NOT go hand in hand with an oversized ego.
- Involvement in the transaction and with the client, a personalized service, a professional conscience and GREAT REACTIVITY!
- Finally, correct fees. generally variable between 0.25% + VAT to 1% + VAT in the current market. Of course, it will be necessary to take into account the fact that there is a price at a “cheap” rate and that the task of investigating the property, registering it and drafting the contract is serious work, far from easy and which can end up being “expensive” if not done correctly. It is a mandatory cost that has to be calculated into the budget of the transaction and it would be unwise to consider only the sum of the legal fees in order to make a choice. In view of the additional costs, these remain marginal.
Negotiate with a good lawyer!
Before hiring a lawyer, we can look for recommendations, up to five or six, from different clients. Not all transactions require the same level of specialization: we will have to adapt to the complexity of the deal at hand. A “classic” deal will require fewer precautions.
Some useful tips:
- The more complex the deal, the more experience in the field concerned is needed.
- Some indications about the property should capture our attention:
– Is the property registered in the land register (tabou)? Under which name?
– In general, the older the property, the greater the risk of the deal being complex.
- Likewise, for apartments or cottages with garden or land (are they private or in use only?), construction irregularities, inheritances, property bought or sold by auction, etc.
It is not recommended – even if it is allowed and done- to hire the same lawyer for both parties. Even if in such a case the price would certainly be reduced and the contract made more balanced for both parties, in the event of a dispute following the signature, this would become very problematic!
Likewise, using the “zihron dvarim”, or memorandum, instead of a contract (in the simplest form) it strongly discouraged by lawyers! Better wait for the drafting of the contract which can be done very quickly! The only advantage would be to “catch” each party so as not to lose the deal. If you would still rather choose this option, make sure there is a draft by a lawyer.
The builder may be asked, in the event of the acquisition of a new apartment, whether it has been checked by an engineer, in order to deal with any construction defects.
Foreign buyers should ask their lawyer two important questions from the start:
1. Will the acquisition be subject to tax?
2. And if so, is this your area of expertise? Do you know how to calculate the related taxes? Reduce them if necessary?
Are you about to buy or sell? Good Luck!! Be concerned and involved in YOUR transaction and make it your responsibility from start to finish!
based on legal advice by Israeli lawyer Mrs. Neta Zaken-Ofir