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

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Question
Dear Mr. Greenberg,

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!  
Sincerely,
Pablo Durissimo

Answer
Hi Pablo.  You have three questions here.  Let's go through them.

Q1: Should the renter want to buy our house, would the renting agent - whom we hired - have any right to any commission?

A1:  That would be spelled out in your contract.

Q2:  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.

A2: That would also be spelled out in your contract, which should contain a start date and an end date.  If they are getting a portion of the rent, you are possibly still under contract with them and the lessee's agent may be entitled to commission, too.  Usually, the commission amount is paid by the owner and split between both the lessor's and lessee's agents.   

Q3: Under what circumstances would it be OK for me to make direct contact with the renters?  

A3: Please allow me to explain that this opinion should not be construed as legal advice.  Every good real estate agent will advise you to contact an attorney familiar with these issues, because real estate agents are not licensed to dispense legal advice.

I hope this answered some of your questions!

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Residential Property Management

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Adam L. Greenberg CPS

Expertise

I have several years of experience in commercial property management, particularly in tenant retention but also in day-to-day tenant relations and service. Tenant relations and property management are the same whether residential or commercial--everyone takes he same licensing classes. It's the practical work experience that differentiates the two. I can answer questions relating to general topics but by law, because I was formerly licensed as a Real Estate Salesperson by The Missouri Real Estate Commission (2005-2014), I cannot give legal advice and as per Items #4 and #5 of the AllExperts User Agreement, and my answers may not be construed as such.

Experience

I began my career in property management with the residence hall operations at a large state university. I worked with everything that had to do with the tenants (students), from directly managing front desk operations to working behind-the-scenes with support staff. Professionally, for over six years, I was a member of a property management team which managed dozens of commercial and residential properties in Downtown Washington, DC; Arlington, Virginia; and Bethesda, Maryland. I also have an additional ten years of experience as a management agent for an absentee owner in Saint Louis, Missouri. I retired early in 2014 and I now live in Florida, which has provided me the experience of interaction with Homeowners' Associations (HOAs). Some of my Answers have reflected this experience.

Organizations
Former member, Washington Area Concierge Association (WACA), Washington, DC Former member, St. Louis Association of REALTORS.

Education/Credentials
BA Speech Communication, University of Maryland, 1993 Graduate of American School of Real Estate, St. Louis, Missouri, 2005 Certified Property Management Specialist (CPS), 2010 Successful completion of Continuing Education courses in Ethics, Diversity

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