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Sole Mandate vs Open Mandate

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  • May 11, 2020
Sole Mandate vs Open Mandate

When you decide to sell your property and consider working with a property professional, you will be given options on different selling mandates.  An exclusive or sole mandate will create a strong working bond with your estate agent, and this is likely to be achieved with a Joint or Dual mandate too.  The difference between these mandates is that an Exclusive Mandate gives the agency the exclusive right to sell the property whereas a Sole Mandate means that the agency and the seller may market and sell the property too.  A Dual or Joint Mandate means that two agencies have the right to sell the property as well as the seller and an Open Mandate allows you to sell your property together with multiple agencies.

An Open Mandate is like an open market for agents and brings with it a healthy sense of competition.  However, this also means that, as a seller, you are dealing with several different agents who will want to put up their agency’s ‘For Sale’ boards, conduct their own viewings and show days with buyers and, of course, correspondend and feedback to you throughout the process.  The competition between these multiple agents does not necessarily boost the odds of better marketing, negotiating and sales prices as there really is only one pool of buyers and they all have access to the property portals.  The disadvantage of an Open mandate for a seller is that, because the commission for the sale is not secured by all the agencies, agents will often want to complete the sale quickly, sometimes by presenting lower offers, to be ahead of other agents.   In addition to the stress of being in contact with multiple agents, there is also a risk of being held liable for double commission if there is any doubt as to who the effective cause of the sale transaction is.

An Exclusive or Sole Mandate serves as insurance that an agent is accountable for the sale of your property.  For an agent, a Sole mandate guarantees their commission, they are fully incentivised to focus on marketing your property and to negotiate the best price.  They know that they can spend money on wide-reaching marketing, premier listings on property portals and social media, show days and viewings, because they will earn their commission on the sale.  One agent conducting show days provides more privacy and security than multiple agents and buyers moving through your home.

A Sole Mandate period is relative to the time your property is expected to sell in the market.  Depending on the price presented to the market, this mandate may be between one to twelve months.  If your agent does not sell your property within the mandated timeframe, the mandate may be extended.  If you are unhappy with the performance of your agent, you can give notice to terminate the mandate and instruct another agency to sell your property on a sole mandate.  All potential buyers will need to be noted when the mandate is passed on from the first agent to the next, to ensure that a buyer introduced in the initial mandate is not introduced by the second agent as this too may be reason for a double commission claim.

It is important to select an estate agent who has a good track record and, as a seller, you ask a prospective agent about their recent sales, perhaps request testimonials and test their knowledge of your area, after all, this is a short-term business partnership.  It is also important to know where the agent will be sourcing their buyers from and their marketing strategy for the sale of your home.  “If you are selling your property, choose one great agent to deal with this important transaction.  Look for an agent you can form a trusting, working relationship with and who also has the support of their sales team and effective interaction with other agents and agencies,” says Sandy Walsh, MD at Property.CoZa.  “Having one point of reference overseeing the marketing and sale of your property will give you peace of mind that you are working together to achieve the best price for your property.”

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