An estate agent must have a mandate from the Seller/Owner to sell the property.

There are various laws and regulations applicable to a mandate. Break those and it could be invalid.

Let’s take a quick look at SOME of the most important aspects:

  1. It must be in writing.
  2. It must be signed by the Seller/Owner.
  3. It must have the expiry date, as a calendar date, on it.
  4. It must state the commission or fees of the estate agent.

I was asked about my opinion on the following:

Can a mandate be signed electronically?

It’s always a tricky one when it comes to contracts and electronic signature. A mandate is a contract, a written agreement.

(I’m going to try not to get too technical, but bear with me.)

The Code of Conduct of the Property Practitioner’s Act (these laws govern estate agents) states the following:


all the terms of such mandate (or extension, as the case may be), are in writing and

signed by the client in a manner acceptable in law, including by way of an electronic

signature as permitted under the Electronic Transactions and Communications Act (“ETCA”).

So, what does ETCA say about that?

ETCA basically, very simplified, states that electronic signature can be used. There are certain agreements that it MAY NOT be used for. There are 4 of those, but the only one of importance for us in this article is:

  • An agreement for alienation of immovable property.

In my opinion, you can sign a mandate electronically.

An OTP / sale agreement / deed of sale MUST be signed in wet ink.

Make sure you know what is expected of you.

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