Resolving agents’ claims for the same commission
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.