The first time you get ready to sell your home, you’ll find that partnering with an estate agent is essential if you want to smooth out the selling process, as well as improve your chances of securing full market value. When chatting to your chosen agent, they’ll ask whether you want to sell your home with a sole or open mandate. But, what is the difference? In short, an open mandate allows several real estate agencies to market your property at the same time and a sole mandate places the responsibility on a single agent or agency for a period of time. Let’s explore this further…

Should you choose a sole or open mandate?

If you’re struggling to decide which is best for you, this is understandable. After all, choosing who to entrust with the marketing and sale of your property is an important decision. However, many professionals do believe that choosing the exclusivity of a sole mandate is the best way to ensure that your home sells without unnecessary complications.

Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, explains, “the truth is that it is often far more effective to sign a sole mandate and allow one agent the space to secure the best sale. A sole mandate is also a more convenient option because sellers will only have to liaise and deal with one agent rather than several.”

It may seem like intuitive logic to assume that the more agents you have marketing your properties means more opportunities to sell them. However, that is not the case. Simply put, it’s almost always quality over quantity.

The A-to-Z of a sole mandate

The sole mandate must be a written agreement with the seller's signature included. The estate agent is required to explain the legal ramifications and they must also supply a copy of the agreement to the seller.

You may be wondering, how long is a sole mandate valid for? In most cases, a sole mandate will expire after 90 days.

Also, how do you cancel a sole mandate? A mandate, which is not stated to be irrevocable, can be cancelled without notice by the person who conferred the mandate. It’s important to note that most agents use sole mandate forms that invariably stipulate that the sole mandate is irrevocable for a certain period.

You also may have heard about something called a dual mandate. This is also a sole mandate but signed with two or more agencies, rather than just one. Usually, in these scenarios, whomever of the two mandated agents sources the buyer will be entitled to the commission.

The A-to-Z of an open mandate

On the other hand, an open mandate means that your property is listed with more than one real estate agent from a variety of agencies, each of whom will be marketing and trying to sell your property. What can you expect from the rules around an open mandate? In short, an open mandate allows the seller to work with multiple agents without restriction. In addition to this, sellers choosing an open mandate may also run the risk of being held liable for double commission if there is any doubt about which agent was the effective cause of the sale.

Partner with a trusted property professional

Selling your home can be stressful, and quite frankly, having multiple agents trying to sell your property may add to the chaos. At RE/MAX, we believe it’s far more effective to sign a sole mandate and allow one agent the space to secure the best sale. Also, choosing one great agent to deal with this important transaction has several benefits, especially if you find an agent with whom you can form a trusting, working relationship, and who also has the support of their own sales team and effective interaction with other agents in their network. If you'd like to get a trusted property professional like this in your court today, contact your local RE/MAX office for support.