Updated: Aug 11, 2020
On one of my last zoom meetings, one of my clients from New York asked me if he is not being 'ripped off' by the seller. He felt he had to ask the question since he is thousand of kilometers away and doesn’t know the market. In these circumstances it is very hard to understand if the price you are paying is fair.
Not only clients from overseas have this concern. Also clients that have made Aliyah and are looking to buy are often worried that they are being taken advantage of because they are 'Chutsnikim' that are less familiar with the area.
So what can you do to make sure that no one is taking advantage of you?
There are three simple tips that you can use in order to get a quick understanding of the value of the property.
#1- Asked Prices in The area
First of all, you should check what the prices of similar properties are. This can be done by looking through a listing of properties. We recommend using a website called 'yad2' (all links attached below). This is the leading Israeli website for real estate sales. If you look up the neighborhood that you are interested in you should be able to get a good feeling of what the price range should be.
#2- Recently paid prices
Although normally the price asked for several similar properties should give you a good indication. You must remember that these are only the asked prices and not the deals that have been done. Knowing for what price houses were sold could be a complicated mission, and often only real estate agents would know this information, but the truth is that you can get more information than you would imagine by using one very simple website.
Every property sale has to be reported by law to the tax authority, and this means that with one simple search you can see a list of the prices of houses that have been sold in the area.
#3 - Consult with an expert you trust
These are two simple steps that can help you get a better understanding of the accurate value of the property that you are interested in buying, but they are not always enough. You might see what the house next door was sold for, but you don’t know what it looks like from inside. You may see the price of a similar size house on the next block, but you won't know that block is near the main road and is cheaper because of the noise.
For these reasons, if you are not familiar in the area you are buying Into you should consult with someone you trust and has a good understanding of the local real estate market. But, even if you are consulting, we recommend that you also do your private investigation, or ask your agent to provide you with such a review.
Offical Tax Authority website: