Residential Property Management/going from renting to selling...


Dear Mr. Souerbry,

First of all, thank you very much for volunteering on this site!

Brief background:   We were trying to sell a house in Louisiana for a while but since we couldn't, we decided to rent it.  The sales agent passed us onto their property mgt section.  Through them we rented our house out.  -   The contract we have w/the rental agent only specifies the amount of rent, nothing about option to buy.

Q: Should the renter want to buy our house, would the renting agent - whom we hired - have any right to any commission?

Q:  Am I under any obligation to retain my rental agent for any period of time?   In other words, after they found a renter (who appears to have a rental agent as well) for us, what sort of obligation - if any - do I have to them?  Right now they are getting 10% of the rent.

Q: Under what circumstances would it be OK for me to make direct contact with the renters?  

Once again, thank you very much for volunteering on this site!  
Pablo Durissimo

Without reading your property management contract, I can't know what your obligations are to the rental agent.  However, from my experience as a property manager and a broker, here are my general responses to your questions.
A: If your property management agreement describes only property management tasks, you should not owe a commission to your manager if you sell.
A: Some rental agreements state that the property owner is obligated to pay their manager a minimum number of month's management fees if the owner cancels the management contract before it expires (my standard contract says 3 months).  Check your contract for a minimum fee or cancellation fee.
A: Unless your contract says otherwise, you should always have the right to communicate with your tenants directly, especially if it's for them to either inform you of poor care they are receiving from your manager or to discuss a sale.
If your manager disagrees with any of my responses, I recommend you consult with a local attorney for a legal opinion.

Residential Property Management

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John Souerbry


Property buy/sell decisions; market rent analysis; cost control/profit improvement; property management procedures; real estate portfolio management; selling real estate held by estates in probate or trust.


Over seven years specializing in services to investors and estates.

National Association of REALTORS(R), California Association of REALTORS(R), Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS(R), Bay East Association of REALTORS(R)

My web site blog includes current market information and my "Real Estate Jargon" series that explains sometimes-confusing real estate terminology.

BS in Business Administration; MBA in Global Management

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