Published July 25, 2022 by Norman Shapiro

Why use a mortgage broker?If you’ve read through the first five parts of the Israel Mortgage Primer series, you should have a pretty good idea of what is involved in the mortgage process.

We’ve reviewed what you need to know Before You Apply, the Documentation necessary for a mortgage approval, the various Mortgage Products available from Israeli banks, the Funding Requirements in order to get the mortgage funded  and finally when and how you would go about Refinancing an existing mortgage.

So, now that you have all of the information at your fingertips – why do you need a mortgage broker?

What does a mortgage broker actually do?

Of course, the primary goal of any mortgage broker is to obtain the lowest rates for their clients. Being one of the largest mortgage brokers in Israel, in terms of amounts funded on a yearly basis, First Israel Mortgages is able to use that strength to the advantage of our clients – negotiating on their behalf not only the lowest possible rates, but also the best terms and conditions.

But at First Israel Mortgages we feel that it is equally important to make the mortgage process as seamless, trouble-free and uncomplicated for our clients as possible. To that end we provide an array of services that include (but is not limited to) the following;

  • We provide our clients a list of documents that will be necessary for submission to the banks, in accordance with their particular circumstances. The documentation requirements will differ based on many factors, including country of residency, citizenship, source of income, and more.
  • We assist our clients with putting together the right documents that will present to the banks in the most favorable way possible. Every client and every application is different. Part of our job is to discern the best way to portray the financial information to the banks.
  • Our underwriters will review the documentation provided prior to submission to the banks in order to ensure that all the documentation is in order and that it is sufficient to qualify for the approval.
  • Before submitting any application to the banks, we review with our client the various options available in terms of mortgage products and give our guidance as to what would be most advantageous, based on their particular circumstances.
  • We then determine which banks would be most appropriate for the client’s particular needs and approach those banks on their behalf.
  • Based on those discussions we will request an approval from the bank or banks which are the most competitive.
  • The approval process generally takes up to two weeks, during which time we are in regular contact with the banks to ensure that our client’s file is being properly handled.
  • After the approval is issued, we will review it and, if we feel it is reasonable, we will summarize the terms of the approval in English and convey them to the client.
  • If the client is satisfied with the approval, we will start the process towards funding the mortgage, which will take a minimum of 45 days – but can often stretch to 60-90 days, and involves the following:
    • Arranging an appraisal (after advising the cost to the client)
    • Obtaining the documentation required by the appraiser from various sources, including; the sellers, the seller’s lawyer, the buyer’s lawyer, local land registries and others, if necessary
    • For foreign clients – Preparing the Power of Attorney and other documents required by the banks for signature, notary and apostille by the client
    • Collecting documents from the bank that require signatures from the seller’s side, sending it to the seller’s attorney and arranging for the originals to be delivered back to the bank
    • Assisting the client in obtaining the required property insurance.
    • Assisting the client in obtaining life insurance, if needed. By default, the banks require a life insurance policy covering the principal balance of the mortgage. Under certain circumstances, we are able to obtain waivers of the life insurance requirement for our clients.
    • Coordinating the meeting at the bank for signing the mortgage documents
    • Attending the mortgage document signing at the bank to ensure that all goes smoothly
    • Ensuring that the lawyers have registered the he’arat azhara (cautionary note) in the land registry, as required by the banks, and submitting a copy to the banks
    • Collecting all other documents required by the bank in order to move forward with funding the mortgage, such as tax payment confirmations, municipality approvals and others.
  • After the file is complete, we reconfirm the original approval with the bank and try to improve the rates, terms and conditions on behalf of the client to whatever extent possible.
  • We then monitor the situation at the bank, to ensure that the mortgage funds properly.
  • After the mortgage funds, we will send the clients a ‘closing statement’, which will review the basic terms of the funding and details of the amount and timing of the first payments.

At First Israel Mortgages, we have a full team of individuals who are at the banks on a daily basis, which gives us the ability to monitor the files of our clients at the banks – to ensure that the banks are making First Israel files their priority.

In addition to all the above, we are available to speak with our clients outside of regular banking hours.

In a nutshell, we provide all the services necessary to obtain and fund a mortgage from start to finish!

Prior post in the series: When is refinancing a good idea and how do you go about it?





The author, Norman Shapiro, lives in Israel and is available for consultations during regular business hours in Israel as well as evenings to accomodate foreign clients. He may be reached at or you are welcome to schedule an appointment at this link.