Hi thereWe unknowingly signed an irrevoc...

Asked by Maididi on 24-09-2023 13:33:39
Question posted in the Property Law category relating to Gauteng

Hi there

We unknowingly signed an irrevocable exclusive mandate with an estate agent in 10 March. The estate agent did not explain the mandate to us nor did he provide us with a copy. 

On 13 March we communicated to the estate agent that we will temporarily halt the sale and he acknowledged this. The estate agent subsequently delistwd the property. 

Does the delisting and acknowledgement from the agent mean that the mandate was revoked? Also did we have to enter into a new mandate subsequent to the delisting?

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 24-09-2023 13:38:53

Hi there and thank you for your question,

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Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 24-09-2023 13:53:16

I have seen many irrevocable exclusive mandates which estate agents use, but ALL of them are for a limited period of time. e.g. 3 months, or 4 months. I have never ever seen an irrevocable exclusive mandate which is open-ended, or which lasts forever. Is this what you have signed? Surely it would only be for a limited period of time. 

The default position in law is that one is only bound by agreements which you intend being bound by. Therefore, if an estate agent gives you "a mandate" to sign, and you do not intend it to be an irrevocable exclusive mandate, then the law says that there was no "meeting of the minds" and therefore you are not bound to it. BUT, the law also requires people to READ what they sign before they sign it. So there is a balancing act here. 

The law also allows somebody to revoke something, like an irrevocable exclusive mandate, especially if it was an open-ended agreement. However, if it was for 3 months, then the courts would say that you agreed for a certain period of time and you're bound to accept that now. 

Since the agent has removed the listing, some months ago, I would definitely argue that they have accepted the revocation of the irrevocable exclusive mandate. 

For this reason, I would say that you would need to enter into a NEW mandate with the agent if you wanted to sell the property again, especially since the terms of the mandate might be different next time. 

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