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Get committed: Sole agency wins

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Estate agents generally agree that sole mandates are better for sellers than open mandates.

“A sole mandate is when one estate agent has exclusive rights to sell your house within a specific period of time,” says Greeff’s Mike Greeff. The benefits, he says, are:

  • An estate agent will never pressurise a seller into accepting an offer, which will leave the door open to negotiations from prospective buyers.
  • Choosing a sole mandate means your agent will provide a tailored marketing strategy for your property which will highlight print and online advertising. 
  • Once selling your home on sole mandate, your agent will remain committed to your property.
  • Sole mandate properties are extensively advertised to ensure maximum exposure for your home.

Greeff says: “Commission need not be a sore point once the sale of the property is official. This matter can, however, become less straightforward when there is more than one agent hired by the seller.

“As a sole mandate is an agreement between you and one agency to find a buyer for the house, the agent knows they have a high possibility of selling the home so they can invest time, effort and money in the marketing of the property,” says Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Chris Cilliers.

With a joint mandate, “buyers may be spread over two or three agencies so agents will encourage their buyers to make an offer. As it is unethical for a seller to disclose this offer, there is no competition between potential buyers. This will more often than not result in the seller receiving lower offers.

“People are scared of a sole mandate as they say they are stuck with one agent and maybe the buyer is listed with another agency. But buyers look for homes, not for agents. If their dream home is with another agency, they will contact that agent or they will ask the agent they are working with to arrange a viewing.”

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