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Sellers and mandates

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Estate agents may not offer your property for sale unless you have given them a mandate.

“Mandate” means an instruction or an authority given to, and accepted by, an estate agent to render an estate agency service.

Estate agents may not market a property at any price: you must agree to it. Also, they may not take pictures and advertise it if they haven’t received your permission (mandate).

Estate agents may not knowingly or negligently make a material misrepresentation concerning the likely market value of your property in order to obtain your mandate.

A sole mandate must always be in writing and signed by you (the seller).

What should be mentioned in a sole mandate?

  • The price of the property
  • The estate agent’s commission
  • The expiry date of the sole mandate must be written as a calendar date.
  • The terms of the mandate with regards to the exclusive marketing and selling rights
  • The obligations of the agent in terms of marketing, advertisting and other services
  • The obligation of the seller during and after the expiry of the sole mandate with regards to buyers introduced during the currency of the mandate

A sole mandate given to an estate agent is a fixed term agreement within the meaning of section 14 of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

In particular section 14(2)(d) applies:
(d) on the expiry of the fixed term of the consumer agreement, it will be automatically continued on a month-to-month basis, subject to any material changes of which the supplier has given notice, as contemplated in paragraph (c), unless the consumer expressly –
(i) directs the supplier to terminate the agreement on the expiry date; or
(ii) agrees to a renewal of the agreement for a further fixed term.

Therefore, if you give an estate agent a mandate after you have given a prior sole mandate to another agent, you need to make sure that the prior mandate has been terminated in accordance with section 14(2)(d). If not, it is renewed on a month-to-month basis and the subsequent agent will not have the authority to sell your property. In addition you may be liable for double commission.

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Elmarie Jacobs

Since 2008 I have been selling properties professionally, in simplicity and authenticity, and with an appreciation for life.

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