Just a quick message to folks looking to move to Israel. As in life, there are pros and cons to everything ...
The question continually comes up about whether or not to use a Real Estate Agent. Honestly, if you don't know the language and don't understand the Israeli mentality - you can end up with any number of issues which can cost you more in order to resolve through an attorney. Find a reputable agent with a solid history who will know the area, the properties and the people ... get a referral from a friend!
To rent an apartment, an agent will typically ask for the equivalent of (1) months rent. If it is a reputable agent, they will be available for any issues during the lease term.
To purchase a property, an agent will typically ask for 2% + VAT of the property selling price. A minimal amount compare to other countries, and if it is a reputable agent - again they will work in your best interests.
If you choose to work independently on one of the online DIY-Property for Rent/Sale boards ... best of luck!
I can't tell you how many New Olim I've sent to my private attorney to fix such issues as - paying arnona for the whole building, refusal of owner to pay for any repairs of covered over existing damage, and more .. Contracts are in Hebrew, and you can run into problems you can't even imagine.
In addition, it is legal in Israel to use the same attorney as the landlord / seller .... I can give you a laundry list of issues we've helped resolve.
Don't be penny wise and dollar foolish, you really do get what you pay for ... or don't pay for!