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Understand conditions of a sole mandate


At some or other point in life, each of us will need the services of an estate agent, whether it is to sell, buy or to lease a property.
The underlying purpose of a Sole Mandate clause according to The Code of Conduct for Estate Agents is to protect the seller’s right to the privacy of his home and to prevent misrepresentations being made to a purchaser.
When you decide to sell your property by giving a Sole Mandate to a certain agency, do you really understand what the terms and conditions are and was the commission implication in the Sole Mandate explained to you as the seller?
Suzette de Villiers of SDV Properties explains the ins and outs of a sole mandate.
Regulation 3 of The Code of Conduct for Estate Agents, stresses that there are certain details that the agent needs to fully explain to the client who, in this case, is the seller.
Firstly, the Sole Mandate must be in writing and signed by the seller. Secondly the expiry date must be expressed as a calendar date and the term “until the property is sold” is not acceptable.
Do you understand your obligations towards the agent and the Sole Mandate you have signed?
During the Sole Mandate, the seller may not sell the property privately or through the intervention of another agent. Should you do so, you may be liable to pay commission to both those agents and the agent shall have the right to cancel the Sole Mandate.
You may also not sell your property after the expiration of the Sole Mandate to a purchaser in a private transaction, or through another agent, if that purchaser was introduced to the property in question during the term of the Sole Mandate.
As stated above: you are putting yourself up for the payment of double commission.
Beware of agents who only want to sign a Sole Mandate to get your business and then prohibit you and the rest of the agents in the real estate market to market your property.
Also beware of those that sign a Sole Mandate right before the holidays start to secure their clients and then leave on vacation.
Remember, the genuine, honest and professional agent shall always protect the best interests of their client, the seller.
Always apply the golden rule: ask if you are not sure.

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