Re­solv­ing agents’ claims for the same com­mis­sion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

WHAT hap­pens when an agent pro­duces an of­fer on a prop­erty that has re­cently been man­dated to an­other agent?

At present, says An­ton du Plessis of Vine­yard Es­tates, peo­ple are some­times tak­ing sev­eral weeks, or even months, to make up their minds about whether to buy.

This can lead to a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion when a client has awarded a sole man­date to a sec­ond agent as a re­sult of the orig­i­nal agent’s not achiev­ing a sale, and the first agent sud­denly re­turns with an of­fer from a buyer he pre­vi­ously in­tro­duced to the home. The orig­i­nal agent may then de­mand com­mis­sion and the sec­ond agent will prob­a­bly in­sist on shar­ing it – or may even claim that, be­cause the man­date has ex­pired, no fee is due.

“When sign­ing a new man­date sell­ers should make pro­vi­sion for po­ten­tial buy­ers al­ready in­tro­duced to the home, and should have a clear-cut pol­icy in place for deal­ing with this is­sue,” says Du Plessis.

“The In­sti­tute of Es­tate Agents’ code of con­duct lays down rules on this – but be­cause only 25 per­cent of West­ern Cape agents are mem­bers, many are not bound by the code.

“T he Es­tate Ag ency Af f airs Board stip­u­lates that no es­tate agent should ac­cept a sole man­date un­less he has ex­plained to the client in writ­ing the le­gal im­pli­ca­tions of sell­ing or let­ting that prop­erty without his as­sis­tance, or through the in­ter­ven­tion of an­other agent.

The EAAB res­o­lu­tion, says Du Plessis, clearly places the onus on the sec­ond agent to warn his client about pos­si­ble prob­lems. But sell­ers, too, should clar­ify ex­actly what will hap­pen if a for­mer po­ten­tial agent or buyer sud­denly comes up with an of­fer af­ter his man­date has ex­pired.

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