is not an every-day concept to many people. In fact, one of the subjects that
seems to baffle most uninformed sellers, is the mandate they have with their
real estate agent. And yet is it something we actually work with every day in
other aspects of our lives.
WHAT IS A
simply means “an agreed upon capacity to do” something, or “an authorisation to
act given to a representative“.
where a real estate agent is concerned, is essentially a marketing agreement
between the seller or buyer and the agent. Many other professionals also act on
a mandate, whether oral or written. Think about it:
When your plumber,
builder, surgeon, banker, lawyer or attorney does something you asked them to
do, he or she is acting on your mandate.
representative is only authorised to act in accordance to the mandate
he or she
received. That is why you don’t wake up with a new roof when you give
a mandate to build a braai! It is important however to have the mandate
in writing to ensure everyone knows what their roles and
HOW IS A
can be given by either an oral or written statement to the effect that you give
the agent or agency an instruction to find a buyer for your property.
You tell your estate agent that you have been thinking of selling.
She says, “Would
you mind if I bring someone who might be interested?” and you say that that
will be fine.
just given the agent an oral open mandate to sell your house!
mandate can and should also be given in writing. A letter to your estate agent informing
them that your house is for sale, and inviting them to introduce potential
buyers, is an example of a written open mandate. Some real estate agencies have
written open mandate forms which they will fill in and ask you to sign. A written
open mandate gives the agent a clear instruction and eliminates any
mandates must be written mandates to be valid. Sole and exclusive mandates must
be in writing to be binding. These written mandates must contain a description
of the property, a description of the mandate period, state that it is a sole
and/or exclusive mandate, and must be signed by the owner or owners.
an open mandate, it is preferable to have the details in writing so that there
are no misunderstandings later. Similarly, your builder will specify in his
quote that the braai is to be facebrick and not plastered. Putting a mandate in
writing, gets you assurance that you both have understanding on what is
expected and what not.
OF A MANDATE
mandate stays in effect until it is withdrawn, or until another mandate comes into
effect that conflicts with the first mandate.
for example, give one agency a sole mandate, the open mandates given to other
agencies are no longer valid.
and/or exclusive mandate can be withdrawn at any stage, unless it states
clearly that it is irrevocable. A sole and/or exclusive mandate also only stays
valid for the duration of the mandate period. When the mandate period lapses,
so does the sole and/or exclusive mandate. Important to remember – never sign
an open ended mandate unless you are sure that is what you are wanting. Most
professional agencies will only require you to sign a mandate for three months.
mandate to be valid, whether an open, sole, or exclusive mandate, there is a
requirement that the mandate grantor must have intended to give that mandate.
In other words: If you were duped into signing an Mls, sole, or exclusive
mandate while intending to give an open mandate, that mandate is not worth the
paper it is written on!
should not be seen as an easy way out of a sole mandate though. It can turn
into an ugly court dispute that can become very costly. Rather read through and
understand every document before you put your signature to it.
Under the Consumer Protection Act, you may give 20 working days notice
to cancel an agreement and the same applies to mandates given to an
agent. Most agencies will hold you to this 20 day requirement, but we
at Property Network allow any seller to cancel giving 7 days notice.
Make sure you check the cancellation terms before sigining.
has four choices in how they want to market their home and are completely
within their rights to ask their agent to explain the pros and cons of each.
Remember, that a mandate, once signed, is a contract between you and the agency
and you cannot simply change your mind about its provisions later and revoke
Click on each choice to read more.
Choice #1 To
sell the property themselves as a private seller
simple enough with the owner undertaking all advertising, viewing etc. Please
make sure though that you are fully aware of legal implications and so on.
An Exclusive (Sole) Mandate to sell your property
A Multi Listing Service Mandate
An Open Mandate
common in South Africa but we are catching up fast with the rest of the developed
world, whereby a buyer will appoint an agent either with an open or exclusive
mandate to actively seek and assess properties on their behalf. See full detail
on Buyer Mandates here.
More informed and wise buyers will seek to work with one agent only,
whether with a written mandate or not - for more info as to why go here
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