Advice and Opinion

Why to give a sole mandate

When sellers decide to put their homes on the market, they often question whether to give the estate agent handling the marketing a sole mandate or whether to leave it “open”, said Michael Bauer, managing director of the estate agency IHPC. 

Sellers may often feel that they’re limiting themselves by giving the property exclusively to one person to handle and think they’re reducing the chances of the property being sold in reasonable amount of time, he said.

“But giving an agent a sole mandate has benefits that far outweigh the negatives,” said Bauer.

The agent involved sees this as a contract that has to be fulfilled. There are services that have been committed to and, in return, the seller gives him a fair amount of time to fulfil his end of the deal.

Sellers must remember that there are costs involved in selling a property and if an agent knows he has the sole mandate to market a property, he is more likely to use his advertising budget on advertising the property and marketing it to the best of his ability to those on his database, said Bauer, because the reward (the commission) will be his when the property is sold.

“If there is a slim chance of earning a commission because there are many other agents involved in the marketing of the home, the chances are high that the agent will not spend as much time on the particular property and expend his energy where there is a guaranteed reward,” he said.

The benefits to the seller of signing a sole mandate are that it is a written contract, which will protect the seller and makes sure the agent puts all his efforts into selling it. This contract is a legally binding document and will usually give the agent the right to market the home for a specific period of time. In this mandate he will also list how he plans on marketing the home, whether he will advertise it and how many show days he commits to.

Another benefit of having a sole mandate is that the logistical problems that crop up when there are many agents involved, such as show days, viewing times, communication between all the parties, are all avoided. Furthermore, it may appear desperate to the market. Dealing with one agent will make the selling process (which can already be a stressful time) much easier to deal with, said Bauer.

If the seller knows that there will be only one set of bookings for viewings and show days, one agent controlling who is on the property at any given time, it will alleviate the need to constantly have the home ready “just in case” and can get on with normal day to day living.

The key is to choose an agent who is professional and has a good reputation, not just for selling properties, but for handling their client’s properties with due care. The agent will not risk overpricing the property in order to please the seller to get the mandate, nor will he undervalue it to get a quick sale.

Any professional agent, when compiling has valuation, will give a comparative market analysis of a few similar properties in the same area, as well as references from other sellers who have been happy with his services, said Bauer.

“Ultimately the goal is to get the property sold at the best possible price in the shortest amount of time,” said Bauer, “and having one person concentrating on the job at hand completely seems the logical choice.”


This information is published for general information purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to any particular situation. Property Wheel will accept no responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this publication.

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