Open, multi-listing, dual and sole mandates explained
Insights Team, September 2, 2019

An estate agent mandate is a legal agreement between the agent and the seller of the property regarding the marketing of a property, the duration of the agreement, and the obligations of both parties. There are 4 common types of estate agent mandates in South Africa and below we explain them all.

What is an open mandate?

An open mandate means that the property is listed with more than one estate agent. With this arrangement, the estate agent who sources the buyer gets the commission and the other agents get nothing. You do not need to sign an open mandate in writing but it is recommended so that everyone is on the same page. 

The open mandate can seem like an attractive option because you could have many agents selling for you and thus you would expect greater marketing exposure but coordinating home viewings with several different agents can be quite a hassle. Each agent will also want to put up a for sale sign outside your home and there could be multiple listings on the property portals which can create the impression that your house is less exclusive and that you are desperate to sell. And these impressions will not help you secure a sale at the optimal price. 

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.

What is a dual mandate?

A dual mandate allows two agents to market the property. With dual mandates the commission does not get paid to the agent who sources the buyer. Instead, the two agents split the commission.

What is a multi-listing mandate?

This kind of mandate is agreed upon when agents from different agencies have the right to sell your property. After the sale, the agent’s commission is split between all listing agencies involved in the mandate. 

What is a sole mandate?

A sole mandate is when one estate agent has exclusive rights to sell your house within an allocated time. When the property is sold this agent is paid regardless of who sourced the buyer. A seller is required to sign a fixed contract for usually three months. 

A sole mandate allows your trusted agent to give your property maximum exposure. It also means that all buyers are introduced to the home through a single point of contact that understands your needs and acts in your best interest. 

Sole and sole & exclusive mandates explained

The difference between these two mandates is that with a sole mandate, the appointed agency and the owner can sell the house, but no other agent can. With a sole & exclusive mandate, only the appointed agency can sell the property – the owner can’t.


Insights Team
We're the "thinking arm" of Leadhome, combining expertise in data analysis, modelling, sociology, geography, and philosophy to interrogate current trends in the South African residential property market. Proudly contemplative since 2015.

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