You can start over by listing your house with a different brokerage, but keep soft and hard copies of the emails you exchanged.
I suggest you shop around for a good agent, don't hesitate to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Documents and contracts are very serious and please be careful what you sign and do read the small print.
Very glad it's all sorted for you!
I am sorry to hear this and I wish there was a simple answer.
The agency agreement you had with your client is a contract, and non performance is a breach of contract.
That contract is between you and the actual BROKER company, so if your agent is no longer able to perform, the Broker should assign it to another agent within that brokerage or take action themselves.
But really I am not an attorney hence I highly recommend that you:
-either speak with the legal hotlline of the California Association of Realtors, where they will be able to guide you
- Go to the DRE website per the following link http://www.dre.ca.gov/cons_complaint.html
- you contact an attorney for a consultation. There are attorneys who have experience in disputes and litigation between licensed and civil party.
Being that you got into a contract with an unlicensed person, it is in fact true that your contract is still good with the brokerage (as it most likely states within your contract). It sounds like the broker doesn't want to get involved, come across as condoning ill practices in his/her firm due to knowing that it's illegal to sell a home and "pose" as a present holding licensed agent; as if he is turning his head in the matter. Suggestion would be to first contact CAR (California Association of Realtors) legal hotline http://www.car.org/aboutus/contactus/
get some solid info and go directly into the firm and ask to speak face to face with the broker to make sure things are clear. I would say that you may not want to get them in trouble if they are in fact willing to relinquish your contract holding. If they will work with you, I believe they are most likely to be more law-abiding next time around. Find out info and proceed as necessary.
Have a great day and All the best of luck.