Published June 12, 2023 by Norman Shapiro

Weight up how much to put down for a house...

Purchasing property is a significant financial decision, and conducting thorough due diligence is crucial for a successful transaction.

In the context of real estate in Israel, obtaining an appraisal prior to signing a contract plays a vital role.

This article aims to highlight the importance of appraisers in assisting buyers by establishing the true value of the property, identifying issues such as illegal construction and improper registration in the land registry, and avoiding potential complications arising from appraisals that are lower than the purchase price.

Furthermore, it emphasizes the unique “as is” basis of property contracts in Israel, underscoring the need to address any concerns before committing to the agreement.

Establishing the True Value of the Property

One of the primary roles of an appraiser is to determine the true value of the property. In the dynamic Israeli real estate market, property prices can be influenced by various factors, including market demand and seller expectations.

By conducting a comprehensive appraisal, an appraiser assesses comparable sales, property condition, location, and other relevant factors to provide an unbiased evaluation.

This information empowers buyers to make informed decisions, ensuring they pay a fair and reasonable price for the property.

Identifying Illegal Construction

Illegal construction or unpermitted alterations can pose significant risks for property buyers. Appraisers play a critical role in identifying such issues by comparing the property to official plans and permits.

By doing so, they can pinpoint discrepancies and potential legal complications. Discovering illegal construction before signing the contract helps buyers avoid future liabilities and ensures compliance with building regulations.

It also offers an opportunity to negotiate with the seller regarding any necessary rectifications or price adjustments.

Verifying Proper Registration in the Land Registry

The accurate registration of a property in the land registry is crucial to establish legal ownership and safeguard the buyer’s rights. Appraisers can verify the property’s registration by conducting a thorough title search and examining pertinent documentation.

This process helps uncover any irregularities, such as conflicting ownership claims or unresolved liens, ensuring buyers have clear ownership rights. Addressing these issues before signing the contract helps mitigate risks and prevents potential disputes down the line.

Avoiding Lower Appraisals and Financing Challenges

One critical aspect affected by appraisals is the amount banks are willing to lend. Often, the purchase price reflects the market value which can be different from the value that the bank can use as a security (due to building violations as an example). If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, banks may limit the loan amount, putting buyers in a challenging financial situation.

By obtaining an appraisal before signing the contract, buyers can ensure that the property’s appraised value aligns with their financing needs, avoiding potential complications in securing adequate funding.

“As Is” Basis of Property Contracts

It is important to understand that in Israel, virtually all property contracts are conducted on an “as is” basis. In fact, the only English words you will see in Israeli property contracts, even between two Hebrew speaking parties, are the words “AS IS”.

This means that the buyer accepts the property in its current condition, including any defects or issues that may exist. Once the contract is signed, it becomes challenging to raise concerns or negotiate repairs or price reductions.

Therefore, the appraisal process becomes even more critical as it allows potential issues to be identified and addressed before committing to the purchase.


To ensure a successful and secure property purchase in Israel, it is highly recommended that prospective buyers engage the services of a qualified appraiser – and an appraiser that will be accepted by the lending bank.

Their expertise and due diligence can provide valuable insights, helping buyers make informed decisions, negotiate better terms, and mitigate risks associated with the property transaction process.

Remember, knowledge is power, and an appraisal is an indispensable tool for buyers seeking a smooth and successful property purchase experience in Israel.

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.