What is the difference between open and sole mandates?

South Africa's #1 independent property portal

When you get ready to sell your home for the first time, you might be faced with whether you want to sell your home with a sole or open mandate

So what is the difference between a sole and open mandate?

A sole mandate is a written agreement giving one agency exclusive rights to market and sell your property. The agreement should include the length of time that the mandate is granted for, the selling price, the commission rate, and any other terms and conditions.

As a seller, you can appoint another agent once the sole mandate has lapsed.

An open mandate allows a home to be marketed by more than one agency or estate agent at a time. When you opt for an open mandate the estate agent that closes the deal is the agent that receives the commission. While you do not need to have an open mandate in writing, it is still recommended so that everyone involved is in agreement.

What to keep in mind when choosing a mandate

  • While many buyers believe that having multiple agents, will ensure a faster sale this is not always the case. With increased agents, comes increased viewers and increased hassle. With a sole mandate, you only deal with one agent and the potential buyers they show the property to.
  • When agents compete against one another to close a sale, you might find yourself under pressure to accept a lower offer or lose the sale. Because all offers are directed through a single agent under a sole mandate, your agent will be able to negotiate the best possible offer for your property.
  • An open mandate also opens the seller up to potentially paying double the commission because multiple agents can claim that they were the ”effective cause” of the sale.

How to choose the right agency for your sole mandate

  • Choose an agency with a good track record in your neighbourhood;
  • Check that your agent and agency have valid Fidelity Fund Certificates;
  • Request a property valuation, and make sure it has supporting research;
  • Ask about the agency’s marketing approach;

Find a real estate agent