By Ben Levene

I have had the pleasure of lecturing around New York since the beginning of the week. It really was a huge eye opener to me about the need to educate my largest network of buyers.

One of the deals I’m currently working on is a transaction with delicate negotiations between lots of involved parties, the main discussion being that a Shabbat elevator be guaranteed with the purchase in the specific building!

To explain briefly, the elevator has a Shabbat mode, but the building is arguing with the developer and therefore won’t officially commit to the times the Shabbat elevator will operate.

The buyer, who is not yet committed legally, very sensibly doesn’t want to buy in a building where tension will exist with the current owners but also won’t buy without satisfactory confirmation of the operating times and additionally wants confirmations from Tsomet, an organization that specializes in the kashrut of Shabbat elevators, as to the viability of the elevator.

Negotiations are always a balancing act with many detailed points that might not reach a positive conclusion, but the point is that being a potential buyer gives you the power. If you do not sort your priorities before you purchase or know what is important to you, issues could develop. One of my aims as a broker is long-term relationship building, so I will always try and either help you get all the information or find you experts in terms of lawyers, engineers, and valuers to help ascertain what you need to know.

In what is a very interesting market to buyers, at the moment offering many options at the $700,000–$1.2 million range, be strong and never forget to undertake full due diligence in a purchase.

The purchase of a home in Jerusalem is a very exciting one but still a decision that shouldn’t be rushed, which is why next week I will discuss the experts you need to assist you in getting a purchase over the line to completion.

Ben Levene is sales director of CapitIL Real Estate Agency and is a licensed real estate agent in Israel. CapitIL is located on King David Street in Jerusalem. Email, call 646-781-7745, or visit to learn more.


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