In an article on NetAssets the writer highlights the nature and effect of three types of mandate. He also gives tips as to what the seller should be aware of. For instance, he points out that sellers should limit the period of a mandate to between 45 and 90 days, rather than the three to six months which estate agents would like.

Open mandate
Here more than one agency is allowed to sell one's property and the first to introduce a buyer and negotiate an agreement gets the commission. This mandate also allows the seller to sell the property himself without having to pay commission to an agency.

Sole mandate
Only one estate agency has the right to sell and receive commission for the sale of one's property. But not if the seller sells his property himself.

Exclusive mandate
With this mandate the agency is entitled to the commission no matter who sells the property during the period of the mandate (or during a specified period afterwards - the seller should be very much aware of this period).

This article has a link to sample selling mandates which, unlike the usual mandates generally used, state what the agent has to do. This is considered fair to both the agent and the seller and besides, any good agent would abide by these obligations.

These obligations include inter alia the agent:
- acknowledges that he/she acts for and on behalf of the seller;
- treats confidential information confidentially; and
- submits a weekly written progress report on the transfer progress to the seller.

NetAssets article and sample mandate

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